If You Want to Learn How to Get a Job on the Street, Read my Story

Whatsup Monkeys,

I thought it would be important for all college students to read my story and understand that ITS NOT IMPOSSIBLE to get a job on the street coming from a Non-target school. I'm sorry if this post is long, I just have first-hand experience going through recruiting and I know how stressful and debilitating it can be at times. This is my story:

Summer before junior year

So lets back this up a little bit. Came from an average public high school, had a sh!tty GPA and okay SAT scores. Ended up at a private non-target college, recruited to play D1 Football. Really had a tough time balancing the whole student-athlete thing for the first year or two, and had nothing to call home about GPA wise. Decided to double major in Finance and Economics. The summer going into my junior year I had applied at a few local wealth management shops near my town. Nothing panned out for me the way I wanted it to so I took a job at a very small (8 employees) accounting firm, really just doing administrative work. I had met with the two partners and told them my background and what I was interested in which was equity research and trading. They gave me a few projects regarding company valuation, and I pretty much taught myself how to do a three statement valuation model. All in all, it was an okay experience but nothing that I was really interested in.

Junior year - determined to land a big-time internship

From there, junior year of college I really began to hit the books hard and raised my GPA significantly. I became really interested in the markets and would spend hours doing just my own research on one of the schools Bloomberg Terminals. I was determined to land a big-time internship for the summer going into Senior year as I knew the chances of getting a FT offer was a lot higher with an internship experience within that company. I sent out applications to all of the Bulge Bracket Banks, and all of the big time Asset Managers. I received 2 first round interviews for two separate positions at Blackrock and a first round interview for IBD at JPM.

Hopes were crushed

To make a long story short, I did not receive a second round interview at JPM, but for Blackrock, I made it to the third round Superday for both positions. I was siked! I took part in both Superdays (2 1/2 hours each) and left that office in NYC feeling like a million bucks because I knew I had great chances of landing one of the internships. Month, after Month, after Month, after Month goes by and finally 5 months after my interview the HR rep at BlackRock calls me and tells me that I didn't get either position. Crushed was an understatement. I thought my career aspirations were completely over. I knew that my odds of applying to FT jobs without internal internship experience would crush my chances. So I ended up sending out around 60 applications that night and landed an internship at an insurance/Mutual fund shop in NYC.

Networking Hustle

I was well aware that this place did not make any full time offers to their interns, so I had made the decision to make the most out of this internship experience and make as many connections as I possibly could. For the course of 10 weeks, there was not a week where I didn't have at least 4 coffee networking sessions or lunches with people all throughout Manhattan. I was on WSO every single day reading as many posts as I could to find a single FT opening for any company. [you can learn about WSO's networking and IB interview course here ] I was determined to land a Full-time job on the street. Then, I created an excel spreadsheet and made a list of 400+ banks, asset managers, and hedge funds (All throughout the Tri-state area) with corresponding contacts with someone in the firm, email addresses, phone numbers, and an application date (if they had one).

I couldn't even count the number of rejections

Fast forward, and I'm back at school for the beginning of my senior year and last football season. While in training camp I had devised this plan that I was going to individually email every firm on my list, send individual emails to every one of my contacts, and send handwritten letters and resumes to every Bulge Bracket Bank and large AM firm that I could. I did just that. Weeks and weeks and weeks go by with rejection after rejection. I couldn't even count the number of rejections I had received. I would sometimes receive a rejection email within seconds of hitting the "Submit my Application" button. I had recruiters ghosting me, and everyone in the world looking at me telling me it was impossible. It was impossible in everyone else's eyes because every other candidate that I was going up against was from an IVY league school with a top percentage GPA. It actually got to the point where I believed them.

S&T Interview...

Until one day... I receive an email from a Bulge Bracket Bank that wants to do a first round phone interview for a FT S&T position. I did the phone interview (while in my car on the way home from practice) and we had a great conversation about football and work ethic and what it takes to be successful in the industry. I received an email inviting me to NYC for a final round Super day. I was pumped! With just the luck I have... I end up getting the flu the day before the Superday. I sucked it up, chugged a few packets of Vitamin C, and was off to my interview.

I was on cloud nine

I had to part take in a 5 round interview and also give a 45 min presentation on specific investment examples (after being given 20 mins to read through the material) with a 101 fever. I absolutely killed the interviews despite my cough and teeth chattering fever. Two weeks later I get a phone call while I'm in class and I quickly run out of the classroom to answer. It was the bank offering me a FT job in their S&T analyst program. I was on cloud nine. I think the whole business building had heard me scream in excitement. I start training this upcoming July!

Anything to separate yourself from the crowd

So again, I apologize for the long post and probably not the best grammar, but I wanted to share my story because I can first hand understand how extremely stressful it can be. People will be telling you "Its Impossible" or "You can never do it" for the entirety of your life. It takes determination and consistency to separate yourself from the crowd. Any job or position you hold, you have to make the most out of your experience. It's too easy to just sit there and complain about how you hate your job and you wish you were doing something else. Actually do something that is going to help you down the road! Learn something! Teach yourself something new! Think of a new investment pitch! Anything to separate yourself from the crowd. Every finance major at any school no matter where you are has the notion that they are going to end up with this amazing job on the street. Its determination, hard work, and perseverance that really separates the men from the boys.

Thanks for reading and I wish all of you monkeys the best in your careers.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask!

Comments (43)

Best Response
Mar 23, 2018

Good for you! So happy to hear that! I'm almost in the same position, just a a couple of years behind you. Really happy for you. I sometimes feel discouraged, coming from a non target school, but this post really helped lift my spirits and reminded me that I can get whatever job I want if I just do not quit.

GunningForPortfolioManager

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Mar 23, 2018

I couldn't have said it any better. It's all about how hard you want it and what you are willing to do in order to meet your end goal. Never quit, it's too easy.

Mar 23, 2018

Awesome story man, good on you - and congratulations. Can I PM you some questions about the recruiting process and how you prepared?

"It is not our circumstance that controls us, but our thoughts that control our circumstance." -James Allen

Mar 23, 2018

100% I would love nothing more than to help whoever however I can. Send em' my way.

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Mar 31, 2018

I will definitely be taking you up on that in the immediate future!

Numbers are history, and businesses are historians.

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Mar 23, 2018

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Mar 23, 2018

I'm glad I was able to help you. Feeling hopeless and defeated throughout this stressful process is normal. Find some grit, be relentless, and don't stop until you get to where you want to be. No excuses.

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Mar 23, 2018

thanks for posting your story!

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Mar 23, 2018

Thanks for the great input @TheWolfofWS
Did you do any extracurriculars at university, or was it just football? Currently a sophomore going down a similar road. Thanks!

Mar 23, 2018

My first two years in the grind of football that's all it was, just football and class. Once I was able to figure how to manage my schedule a little better I joined the Students Investment Club which manages a small portfolio of the school's money. I don't think extracurriculars matter that much in recruiting when you have something like NCAA sport, just because they know the amount of time required to part take in the sport. Besides that, I would say the more extra activities the better. It shows you are able to manage your time and function properly in a time constraint environment.

Mar 23, 2018

Thanks so much. I don't play sports like you did so I wanted to look into other groups. Luckily we have the same investment group here on campus, although I've been in the process of creating a commodity group on campus.

Mar 23, 2018

Congrats. But still, how could you persuade that you can do your job while not having enough credentials?

Mar 23, 2018

I think it was really all about selling yourself in the interviews and coming off as communicable and personable. Be able to relate to the person that is interviewing you. Let them know that you would be a good fit in the team or in the program. These are things that cannot be taught. These are qualities that interviewers are looking for. Anyone can ramble off numbers and have all of this market data in their head and prepare a few pitches. It takes a special trait to be able to connect with someone on a personal level.

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Mar 23, 2018

Ha - funny to hear. Had loads of rejections. Then decided to apply to S&T, my background fit a lot more. S&T is about the person, not about the formatting you went through.
Welcome to the dark side (even if I left it), it will be hell, you'll hate your life and will want to kill yourself at times. In the long run you'll look at it as the best part of your career.

Mar 23, 2018

I'm looking forward to it! Boss already told me for the first 4 years I won't be able to take a single day off and I am expected to be in at 6 am. Id love to talk to you through messages to hear how you liked the business and where you went after it.

Mar 23, 2018

Congrats! and thanks for the write up. Very impressive, especially as a student athlete

Mar 23, 2018

Thank you, I really appreciate this response. I'm here to help!

Mar 23, 2018

Thank you very much! I appreciate all of the feedback.

Mar 23, 2018

Didn't get an offer during recruitment as a 1st year MSF almost 3 years removed from college. But posts like these keep me grounded. I'm in till the end.

Work hard, work clean, & most of all do not give up.

Mar 23, 2018

Its only over when you decide you are ready to give up. Never stop chasing, and never stop bettering yourself. There is always something more you can do. Don't forget that.

Mar 23, 2018

Well said. I was discouraged at some point too being in the same situation as you but recently started picking it up again. Reading this and your post more than gives me a breath of fresh air to keep on trying.

Mar 23, 2018

Congratulations pal, all the best in your new role. Don't rest on the laurels as they say.

Mar 23, 2018

I'll be sure not too. Thanks for the support!

Mar 23, 2018

This is awesome! Thanks for sharing :-)

Mar 23, 2018

Thank you!

Mar 26, 2018

Congrats man, gotta make your money before the CTE kicks in, thats my plan at least.

What position did you play and was your college and or hometown in the tri-state area?

Mar 23, 2018

Hahahahah, hopefully the CTE never kicks in. Been hit in the head far too many times. Played defensive end at a private FCS Division One School.

Mar 27, 2018

Congrats on the offer dude. That D1 football hustle definitely shined bright. Good luck this summer.

Mar 23, 2018

Thank you for the supportive message!! I appreciate it.

Mar 30, 2018

congrats on the offer. your hard work certainly paid off. just for the record, fcs isnt d1 and you're a scrub.

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Mar 23, 2018

Thanks "swaglord", my hard work most certainly paid off. For your information, FCS is D1 Football. My championship ring can prove that. NCAA D1AA FCS.

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Mar 23, 2018

Whatever floats your boat dude!

Mar 30, 2018

Then, I created an excel spreadsheet and made a list of 400+ banks, asset managers, and hedge funds (All throughout the Tri-state area) with corresponding contacts with someone in the firm, email addresses, phone numbers, and an application date (if they had one).

Thanks for sharing and congrats! I'm curious, how did you go about building this list of 400 names with contact info? Did you use Bloomberg or other resources to gather the info by region? Thanks!

Mar 23, 2018

Hey man, just did some quick research on google. You can search for "List of hedge funds in XYZ state" and it's pretty easy to get a list compiled.

Mar 31, 2018

Hey. Congrats on getting the offer after hustling so hard.

I would be interested in knowing how did you use the Bloomberg Terminal for research.

Apr 2, 2018

Good Job! Congratulations

Jan 6, 2019

The moment when i could physique the best way to take care of the program a bit superior When i registered this Learners Investment decision Clb which often is able to a compact account on the school's dollars. When i don't think extra curricular make any difference a whole lot with getting once you have such as NCAA hobby, even if many people learn the volume of time period instructed to aspect experience the adventure. Other than of which, We would claim a lot more more things to do the higher quality.

Jan 7, 2019

Congrats! Rejection can be discouraging and the nay-sayers will discourage you even more, but I'm so happy you did it. I went through a different yet similar experience and definitely can relate. Congrats again.

Array

Jan 8, 2019

Props to you man. Always inspired by stories like these. GG

Jan 11, 2019

Nice post man. Always need some encouragements. Been getting rejected left and right during recruitment (also because I am applying to a lot of jobs out of my league), but won't give up man! Thanks!

Feb 22, 2019
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