Is Being a Non-Target Going To Hurt me When Applying to F500s?

So basically, I'm wondering if working in the corporate finance (NOT AT A BANK) for a F500 company is less competitive than investment banking/consulting. After being rejected by every bulge bracket (in just about all of their divisions) and even local boutiques here (btw, I don't even live in New York City, so most of the boutiques in my area are not even that legit...no, I'm not going to tell you where I live), I'm starting to think that me and banking are just not meant to happen and that I need to move on to something else in my life.

corporate finance seems interesting to me, but I'm wondering how much my non-target and lack of outstanding credentials will hurt me here? So while I know it varies from firm to firm, I'm just wondering, in general, how much being a non-target will hurt for corporate finance positions? Can you guys think of any F500 firms that have a decent name (i.e. can get me into a decent MBA like UT-Austin, and the like) that aren't as hung up on things like target vs non-target and I might have a shot at?

thanks

Comments (13)

May 25, 2010

It's tough out there right now, I'm in my last semester at a non-target and I can't get any BB I-Banks to even talk to me. It seems like if you're not from Wharton or MIT you might as well be farming unicorns.

May 25, 2010

F500 recruiting is often regional. Look at executives from Wal-Mart and P&G - definitely "non-target" schools for IB.

if you ain't first, you last

May 25, 2010

you live in Oregon

May 25, 2010
Exclusive8:

you live in Oregon

I don't know if banks even classify states, but if they did Oregon would definitely be a non-target

May 25, 2010
Exclusive8:

you live in Oregon

Nah, i don't. This is my friend's account but he doesn't use it anymore, so he gave me his password. None of the stuff in the info (I'm guessing that's where you got it from) is mine. The only thing that's true is that I'm from a non-target, but I do not live in Oregon. He did which is why he put it there.

Non-target person with high finance dreams

May 25, 2010

Echo the sentiments on the whole F500 recruitment being a regional phenomenon. You could try out asset management (not at an IB) as another option but I'm unaware if the sell-side aspect of BBs appealed to you greatly.

May 25, 2010
deltahedge:

Echo the sentiments on the whole F500 recruitment being a regional phenomenon. You could try out asset management (not at an IB) as another option but I'm unaware if the sell-side aspect of BBs appealed to you greatly.

I'm not big on sell-side stuff, no. I like more strategy-based work or figuring out what makes businesses grow, which is why IB seemed like a good fit (I know that a lot of banking is selling, but still), but it doesn't seem like that's in the cards, so I'm exploring other options.

Non-target person with high finance dreams

May 25, 2010

If you're interested in what makes businesses grow and lean towards the strategy aspect of business you may want to definitely consider management/strategy consulting. Obviously attending a non-target will hurt your chances at an MBB (McKinsey Bain and Boston Consulting Group), but they're not the only shop in town. MBB employees tend to look down upon on other outfits, but you could consider working within the consulting arms of Deloitte, PwC, or E&Y. The Big 4 are far more forgiving when it comes to non-target vs. target, but you better have a solid GPA. Search the forums for consulting within those firms and you'll get a decent idea of what they entail. Finally, you never know what the alumni network may bring so it's always worth seeing if a former grad has broken into the ranks and then network your tail off.

May 26, 2010
deltahedge:

If you're interested in what makes businesses grow and lean towards the strategy aspect of business you may want to definitely consider management/strategy consulting. Obviously attending a non-target will hurt your chances at an MBB (McKinsey Bain and Boston Consulting Group), but they're not the only shop in town. MBB employees tend to look down upon on other outfits, but you could consider working within the consulting arms of Deloitte, PwC, or E&Y. The Big 4 are far more forgiving when it comes to non-target vs. target, but you better have a solid GPA. Search the forums for consulting within those firms and you'll get a decent idea of what they entail. Finally, you never know what the alumni network may bring so it's always worth seeing if a former grad has broken into the ranks and then network your tail off.

Consulting would be cool, but I hear that its tougher to get into than just about anything, and that exit opps outside of MBB and a few elite boutiques (like Parthenon, LEK, and maybe a couple of second-tiers like Oliver Wyman) aren't very good. Consulting would be an excellent fit for me, and it always has been, but if banking is becoming a pipe dream, I can't imagine consulting being any more probable...

Non-target person with high finance dreams

May 26, 2010

It's a tough environment out there right now, even for target kids. There are alot of other roads to travel that lead to BB IB/Mega Fund, some, obviously, more traditional than the rest. I know that on this forum Goldman and MBB are pushed heavily, but the world is bigger than just those firms. F500 corporate finance/ strategy/ corporate development roles would be a thought, or perhaps getting a valuation analyst gig at D&P, Grant Thornton, or BDO. Again , maybe not ideal, but a job that can be used to build into something better. Being a credit analyst for one of the ratings agencies is not a bad life either.

Consulting with the Big 4 is better than it may look initially.

A consulting job with one of the Big 4 can lead you to Harvard Business School, even from a non target:

http://www.hbs.edu/mba/profiles/students/2010/krol...
Look into a professional certification such as the CFA, or getting a master's in Finance or Econ. Several schools such as Duke and Yale offer a Master's in Econ.

Remember: It's not necessarily where you start, it's what you do when you get there. You have to develop your network, leverage your personal story, and make the most of it when it counts.

May 26, 2010

Alright, I see what you're saying, thanks!

Couple more questions:

  1. Anyone know of solid financial leadership programs like the one GE has? I know GE is damn hard to get into, but are there other legit ones that are a bit more forgiving for non-targets?
  2. What is the best way to study for the GMAT? I'm going to need a really good GMAT to make up for so-so grades and probably not ideal softs, so any tips?

Non-target person with high finance dreams

May 30, 2010

A lot of the Fortune 500 companies have this type of program. Off the top of my head I can remember

Chevron
IBM
Johnson & Johnson
AT&T

There's plenty others, you'd have to just look online.

Also, the commercial banks have managment trainee programs, that you might want to look at.

Jun 13, 2010
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