If I go to Community College, do I have a chance of becoming an Investment Banker?

Good Evening Everybody,

I am a Community College student that would love to work in Investment Banking in the future. Although I have been seeking summer sophomore internships left and right, I tend to encounter that same old "must be enrolled in an accredited 4-year institution" statement. With recruiting starting earlier and earlier these days, would you say I wouldn't stand a chance of breaking into IB with the recruitment delay most transfers face?

P.S. If it helps, I already have experience with a BB bank, however, it is not in the IB sector. My experience was mostly innovating new products with the purpose of revenue and economic developement (some really interesting stuff!), but I will leave it at that since I don't want to doxx myself :D

I would appreciate your responses and please be as harsh as you desire. 



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Comments (26)

Jun 19, 2021 - 7:06am

Yes, its possible but we need more info. Are you willing to transfer to a 4-year university as a sophomore? What are your grades and extracurriculars? 

"Markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent."

Jun 19, 2021 - 7:41am

Thank you! I will PM you the specifics but I am going to transfer junior year to a semi-target over at the west coast. I have a 4.0 GPA and pretty decent extracurriculars including: leadership in PTK (honors society), the finance club, 2 internships (one in sales at a well-known tech company, second as an analyst at a BB but not IB), co-founder at a relatively successful non-profit, and I am building a consulting program at a well-known organization backed by 2 respected colleges in CA. I apologize if it is a little vague, I will PM you the details if you wish :D

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 19, 2021 - 2:20pm

It's possible, but probably pretty unlikely without a sophomore year internship. Would you consider staying at your new school for a fifth year or getting an MSF? I think either of those options (I'd lean heavily towards an MSF) should give you some stellar recruiting options.

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Jun 19, 2021 - 3:41pm

Yes! Since I am planning on double majoring in Statistics, it would make a lot of sense for me to stay 3 years at my school. I am also thinking of getting an MBA in the future, so if all hope is lost in undergrad hopefully it can be restored then. But thank you for your help :D

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 19, 2021 - 3:59pm

I'd be wary about getting an MBA directly after undergrad. The top programs are reserved for people with work experience and your recruiting options will be limited by that fact. MSF programs are designed for those without work experience (and theyre only one year), so look through some threads on that topic dawg. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 21, 2021 - 12:01am

That's a gas internship dawg, ib or not. Ik ur unsure and probably nervous about ur chances to get into ib, but i'd bet my left nut that u make it and crush it. ib isn't as hard as people on this website make it out to be (they do it to stroke themselves). youll be chillin

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jun 19, 2021 - 4:04pm

transfer asap. Spend your summer retaking the SAT, ACT to get as close to perfect score as possible. If your test scores and GPA are inline with semi-targets you should be fine. This should be your only priority until you accomplish this. 

Jun 19, 2021 - 4:50pm

You say you're on the west coast, so probably doing the UC TAG program? Make sure you get into Berkeley or LA as it's a total pain in the ass to break in from other UCs. If you come in as a third-year, you'll be near the end of the traditional SA program recruiting season so you'll have to start recruiting while you're still at CC. Next fall make sure you hit the ground running by getting in touch over the summer with people at the finance clubs at the school you're transferring to. They'll have advice specific to your campus, alumni group, and location. I broke in from a mid-tier UC and the alumni network is strong so best of luck. I know of four transfers who now work at a BB (GS/MS), an MM, and various regional/industry boutiques.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jun 20, 2021 - 6:38pm

Adding on to this, breaking in from UCLA is also a pain. Nothing against the school, it's great, but from what I've heard, recruiting there is nearly nonexistent. USC is great for CA CC transfers though, maybe look into that

Jun 20, 2021 - 11:18pm

Ok so the reality of the situation is this - every large bank recruits for junior summer interns during students' sophomore summer. That means if you transfer your junior year, which you said you would in another comment, then you'll miss out on recruiting. Yes you can apply from your CC, but it'll be ridiculously tough as coming from a nontarget is hard enough and gets your resume thrown in the trash more often than not, but coming from a CC will be even tougher. Your best option is to delay graduation by a semester. So instead of doing 4 years of school you do 4.5. That means that banks will see you as a sophomore when you're transferring after 2 years. That gives you a full 2 semesters to have a GPA, to network using your new schools network, to recruit on campus if possible, etc. This is your best option. It literally doesn't matter how good your extra curriculars are, what your work experience is, bankers are biased and will immediately judge the CC (to clarify once you transfer that doesn't matter anymore).

Also you said you had experience at a BB but not in IB. You can use that in your story for why IB during interviews, but don't expect them to think it gives you a leg up on other candidates.

Jun 20, 2021 - 11:27pm

Thank you so much! The plan was staying 3 years at the college I am transferring to due to my double major, but thank you for reinforcing the significance of doing so. I sincerely hope they let me delay graduation, but I think if I present myself as a double-major I should have no issue. Thank you again :D

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jun 21, 2021 - 12:02am

Appreciate the post but please learn what a proper noun is and when you should and should not capitalize words. "Community college" and "investment banking" should not be capitalized. It's a small detail, but finance is about the details, and details like this quickly add up and can make the wrong first impression when networking

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Jun 23, 2021 - 2:26pm

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Sep 1, 2021 - 8:34pm

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