Immigrant, Homeless, Broke AF but FINALLY LANDS IB at a BB.

BigTuna5's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 632

If you can, read the whole story. Anyone out there that's gone through tough shit, heads up and never give up!

My living situation as a child

I was born in a third world country (middle east), very (and I cannot stress this enough) shitty living conditions. Dirt roads, little food, browning water. My dad was VERY lucky and got approved for his green card and brought my mom and his kids to the states. No lie, it was very shitty here too. Both of my parents didn't attend high school, had to feed three kids, and needed to make rent. It was tough. My mom washed dishes, my dad cleaned floors, I personally cleaned bathrooms to support my family. My older brother has downs syndrome and also worked at a liquor store to support our family. Some other shitty things to mention before we get into the good stuff: We lost our home and lived in a van for some time, lost all our so-called "family" and "friends" because we were too poor/ "worthless" (fuck you guys).

Originally I wanted to be a Dr

I worked really fucking hard in high school and did well academically (high GPA, clubs, etc). Why? I wanted to go to a good school on scholarship and make money to take care of my family. Originally, I wanted to be a doctor, deadass because I knew they made money and it would always guarantee a job. Yes, I didn't care about helping people, I just wanted money and I'll admit it.

Scholarship offer

I was able to receive a full 100k scholarship to a VERY NON TARGET. Lmao you def have never heard of it but it was free tuition and an almost guarantee admittance to med school (if I did well). I didn't have 2$ let alone money for college, so I was like fuck it, let's go. I went, I hated the subjects, medicine was boring af to me. Plus, I didn't know it would take so much time and debt to really make some money as a doctor, like a lot of it, fuck that. I didn't have the patience and my family needs help because our situation was getting worse by the day. I had no idea wtf IB was, I honestly didn't know much about finance, thought it was whatever. Then my buddy got a job at Barclays and told me you make a fuck ton. I was like shit and made the switch.

Transferred to a target

First, had to switch schools because no way in hell was I getting an interview let alone an offer given my school. LEGIT ZERO alum are in banking at that school. I transferred to a very good target (think Northwestern, Umich, Duke). Thankfully, the school loved my story and they actually matched my scholarship so I don't have to pay even a single dollar for tuition (very fortunate).

Secured a IB Internship

The challenge was not over. I was dumb af and still didn't know anything about finance or banking. All I knew was chem and bio given my pre-med background. Plus, being poor at this school where everyone was rich af and had connections, I felt irrelevant and didn't think I was going to make it. My first year, I bombed every interview. Reason being, didn't know technicals because I haven't taken business courses and my parents were sick (a lot of personal stress). I was able to secure an IB internship in NY at a whatever bank.

Networked like crazy

I kept grinding despite missing school to take care of my parents and working 3 part-time jobs during school to put food on the table for my family back home. When I arrived in NY, I finally understood the concept of networking and proper interview skills. Met with every person in the city, legit over 100 phone meetings/coffee chats to break into the industry.

Got the call...

I then was invited for a superday at a BB. NGL, I didn't think it went well. Everyone there was an IVY league kid and looked way more polished than me. The interview went well but not like THAT GREAT. I came out feeling OK. I went back to work and kept on networking and preparing for interviews. At around 7pm, I get a call from NY and my heart sank. It was either the mofo seamless guy or the BB. I picked up and the VP called to congratulate me, I got an offer at the BB within IB.

I DEADASS cried while talking to him and said "Thank you, my family and I really appreciate it"

I ran outside the building, facetimed my parents and NEVER FELT MORE HAPPIER. For the first time, my parents were crying tears of joy and I finally feel content for once.

All that shit that I went through is fading away. I still can't believe that a poor immigrant kid could get an offer at a BB in IB.

Lessons:

NEVER give up, always be nice to EVERYONE, stay confident, use "disadvantages" as learning opportunities, and try to find meaning to why you want something (for me, taking care of my family).

(Apologize for being dramatic or any silly grammatical or spelling errors. I'm just happy af and still can't think rn lol. All the best to you all. Happy to answer questions)

Comments (76)

Jul 25, 2019

Congrats, this is well deserved.

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Jul 25, 2019

Really inspirational. Congrats dude, wishing you all the best!

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Jul 25, 2019

Amazing! Congrats to you :) Audibly laughed at "it was either the seamless guy or the BB". Fun stuff.

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Funniest
Jul 27, 2019

Same here. Either FOOD-LOBBY or the offer.

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Jul 25, 2019

What. A. Story.

Very inspiring, not only for people who are in the situation you were, but for people who didn't have much of a struggle comparatively, because it gives them a good sense of perspective. I'm sure you're going to be a straight up killer at your job.

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7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

Jul 25, 2019

Big mood

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Jul 25, 2019

Thank you for sharing...honestly needed to hear something like this today.

Would love to have you on the podcast to dig into your story more - we'll reach out :-)

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Jul 28, 2019

I listen to all the podcast episodes, and this sounds like it will make for a great episode. Hope it happens!

Jul 25, 2019

i'm happy af for you that you got this offer. good job buddy

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Most Helpful
Jul 25, 2019

Congratulations!!! Remember as you rise up the ranks to pay it forward:

  • Give advice to kids recruiting, including non-targets
  • Treat your colleagues (and future junior staff) well regardless of their background
  • Stay humble and remember where you came from and to be a good person

(For people MS'ing, it doesn't help the dialogue unless you explain why...)

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Jul 25, 2019

Very important, thank you for including that.

Jul 25, 2019

Thanks for sharing your story - I really wish we had more of these. truly inspiring and motivational.

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Jul 25, 2019

Congrats great story.

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Jul 25, 2019

Well done sir. Bless you and your family.

    • 1
Jul 25, 2019

The American Dream, love to see it

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Jul 25, 2019

Great story. I think there is something to be said about someone that hustles and scraps like this compared to other kids. I can't definitely say that you will work hard than someone from a target that grew up with advantages, but I assume someone like you will work AT LEAST as hard.

Capitalize on it and work hard, but remember that life isn't all about work (e.g., your family is important).

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Jul 25, 2019

congratulations!

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Jul 25, 2019

Congrats. Incredible story and very well deserved.

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Jul 25, 2019

Congrats. I was raised in similar socio economic conditions and am currently at a school where majority of my friends that are interested in IB have connections and are a lot more polished than myself but i am glad to see there is light at the end of the tunnel.

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Jul 25, 2019

yeah! what a story

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

    • 1
Jul 25, 2019

This is amazing! Congratulations and well deserved! I also came from a poor background hustled hard with networking and am now at a reputable bank, but fortunately did not have to cross as many hurdles you did. Resonate with you a lot about extreme gratitude since we come from humbler beginnings. Congrats again and good luck!

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Jul 25, 2019

This is so awesome to hear! Best of luck in the future.

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Jul 25, 2019

Fuck yeah. Good shit. Best of luck in the career--you earned it. Nice to see the dream is still out there.

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Jul 25, 2019

Absolutely loved this man, genuinely happy for you and I don't even know you lol.

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Jul 25, 2019

The American dream?

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Jul 25, 2019

Congratulations! what a story, I wish you all the best going forward!

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Jul 25, 2019

Awesome!

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Jul 25, 2019

This is amazing! You will be very successful in life.

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Jul 25, 2019

'Merica

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Jul 25, 2019

Also an immigrant, also a non target (although never had to go through what you did). I still remember that same call, 20 years later.

Congratulations, I'm sure you will crush it. Never look back. Glad to see this country still works. PM me if you want any tips before you start the internship.

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Jul 26, 2019

Way to go - you are just getting started, but there is no doubt you have the tenacity to do well in finance. Bravo!

Jul 26, 2019

Great job man, well-deserved.
All the best!

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Jul 26, 2019

This is very inspirational, thanks for sharing your story with us.

Jul 26, 2019

congratulations OP, no questions just a ton of respect for the hustle. if you ever want to get into PWM we could use more people like you.

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Jul 26, 2019

That is some laudable shit. Nice job, mate.

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Jul 26, 2019

My warmest congrats mate, really! All the best

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Jul 26, 2019

Congratulations man. I have no clue who you are, but I'm really happy for you. I hope things continue to turn up for you.

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Jul 26, 2019

Congrats. Surprised your parents cried (tears of joy I assume) because you got an internship in a remote field of business. I don't think my parents would've even picked up the phone to entertain me. But, great story and good luck.

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Jul 26, 2019

Definitely tears of joy, as was I in the middle of times square, best moment of my life. Thank you.

Jul 26, 2019

Omg, What a great story! I really needed to hear this.I am an immigrant too and going thru the same shit poor and Non-target. Didn't really know what IB is until I graduated. I am working in B.val now and trying to learn as much as I can so I can transition into IB.

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Jul 26, 2019

I didn't make it into banking right out of school either but like you ended up in valuation, which positions you decently because you're able to develop significant technical skills. I'm now at a top tier MM firm but making that transition took a few years. Just a shit load of networking, sending out countless resumes and not letting that rejection email or phone call deter you. It can be done, good luck.

    • 1
Jul 26, 2019

Love the grind, best wishes.

Jul 26, 2019

Deleted.

Jul 26, 2019

I don't know you, because I've got the biggest smile on my face as I read the tail-end of your post. I hope you and your family enjoy the "high" of your latest achievement and of all your hard work.

Onward and upward, keep your hustle, and keep us posted on your endeavors!

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Jul 26, 2019

Congrats!! Hopefully the next time some silver spoon Ivy League kid comes on here to whine about how they didn't get a return offer and their chances of making it into banking are over they read this first and understand true hardship.

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Jul 26, 2019

Great story. Thank you for sharing your journey, it was very inspiring. Congrats on the offer!

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Jul 26, 2019

I can feel OP's humbleness emanating from how almost everyone on here got a silver banana for congratulating him. Keep it up!

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Jul 26, 2019

HELL of a story; your success is so well deserved and I love how you don't try to tear down others success/advantages when telling your own story. You're gonna kill it at your new job, I'm sure your family is extremely proud of you.

    • 1
Jul 26, 2019

CONGRATULATIONS OP!!!
Now go kill your internship and secure that full-time offer.

    • 1
Jul 26, 2019

I am really happy for you and I will try do to the same (again, and hopefully this time it works out). I find networking phone calls so weird. Both of you know what you want and once you get answers to the basic questions it just seems pointless.

My question is, what exactly did you ask them? What was your approach with each one of them? What kind of things did you try to learn?

Jul 26, 2019

Hey,

I was horrible at these calls originally until I crafted my story. I always start off by saying "Thank you for taking the time, how about I tell you a little bit about my self and then I can ask you some questions if that's ok with you?"

If you have a killer story, they will get hooked and will ask YOU questions, the best way to start the conversation and be well engaged. After, ask him basic stuff but try your best to talk about fun personal things he/she enjoys. For example, I asked what he enjoys about NY and he talked about this car club, I personally love cars and we talked about cars for the entire call. In the end, he said he'll get me the interview without me even asking for help. You just gotta find common ground and let things fall in place naturally.

Good luck!

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Jul 28, 2019

What seniority of people do you feel helped you along the most? Is the the analysts, associates, or VPs etc?

Jul 26, 2019

Congrats OP, I have a similar story! Not as difficult as your journey as my parents immigrated here and then had me but grew up lower class, went to a shit high school, community college, and then transferred to ultimately land BB IB.

Much respect and best wishes

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

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Jul 26, 2019

Keep killing it! All the best moving forward.

Jul 26, 2019

Congrats man! Great story. These stories are extremely helpful at hard times, when you're about to give up. Thanks

    • 1
Jul 27, 2019

So what's the next step man? PE lmao

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Jul 27, 2019

Who tf would throw monkey shit at this?

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Aug 12, 2019

Some people are just shit.

Jul 28, 2019

Congratulations!!! Truly inspirational story and journey. I am sure that you and your family will rejoice with your notable achievement. It further reinforces the notion that determination and hard work always pay off. Hats off to you and thank you for sharing.

You're walking around blind without a cane, pal. A fool and his money are lucky enough to get together in the first place.

Gordon Gekko

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Jul 28, 2019

Congratulations! Keep grinding!

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Jul 28, 2019

From one immigrant with a similar background to another - this is what America is all about. You focused in, you never gave up, you dedicated yourself, you worked, and you EARNED. And people recognized and respected that. And you didn't complain or demand that this country or anyone give you anything because of blah blah blah - you f*cking earned it.

Never change this attitude; it will take you far, much further than the people who bleat and moan about not being able to achieve their goals because of xyz. Yeah, you have had to (and will have to) work harder. But that's OK. Just power through it and achieve.

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Jul 29, 2019

I dig it man. Super inspiring to hear. Makes me believe with 1/10th the effort I can do big things.

Jul 29, 2019

.

Jul 30, 2019

Immigrant here. Keep pushing man, keep pushing.

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Jul 31, 2019

Nice story, man. I'm really happy for you, but actually your story not about hardworking and success - its about luck of your dad who won the green card. You just go with the flow of life and all.

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Aug 12, 2019

Love the immigrant hustle. Good luck!

    • 1
Aug 12, 2019

Great stuff man, keep that grind. Love to see it!

Aug 12, 2019

Amazing story, congrats ...

Aug 13, 2019

WHat country ? Yemen ?

How did you have the misfortune of being Arab and poor. That's like an oxymoron.

Other than that, good job. One of the things I love about America is how warm and accepting people are if they feel you're the right guy for the job. Every other social barrier or short coming is overlooked. American's ruthlessly commercial nature in the 9-5 world has done wonders for those who can succeed on merit. It's not like that in many countries where people from a clan, caste, or region, or ethnic group are still given priority.

D.I.

Aug 13, 2019

I won't lie--I hate grammatical errors in all writing. I give few breaks, but in this case, I forgive your exuberance. I find your story inspiring and wish you luck. If you need some help in a year or so after you've spent some time at the bank, I'd happily speak with you about career options. I make that offer rarely, but if you cite this post, I will honor it in a year or two when you're recruiting for associate positions. In the interim, take a breath, enjoy your success (they come less often than you might like), then center yourself and remember what you're striving for. Never lose that drive. The drive is what makes you different than all the kids you beat. That's why they chose you. It's your meal ticket whether you're hungry or not. I guess I'm trying to tell you to remain hungry.

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Aug 14, 2019

Beautiful. Very low income background too. Superday tomorrow. Needed this !!!

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Aug 14, 2019
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Aug 14, 2019
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Aug 15, 2019