Is I-banking a still possibility for me?

JustTrynaBank's picture
Rank: Chimp | 10

Hi, I'm a junior at University of Southern California and a lurker since mid-August. After my internship at a search fund (basically a micro private equity firm) in NYC, I was convinced that finance, and particularly investment banking, is what I want to do after hearing my managing partner's experience at Merrill Lynch. I really want to develop the financial acumen that he had. I really enjoyed reading and analyzing CIMs, and actually doing high-impact work that taught me a lot during my internship.

The problem is that I found out pretty late that I wanted to do investment banking, and go into finance. I just switched into the school's business school 2nd semester of my Sophomore year and I haven't given much thought about what I want to do after college until this summer. I have a bit better than average resume and a mediocre GPA (3.5), and I have no connections in people working in finance, as I immigrated from Korea when I was 10 and I don't really have many family here in the States. I've been attending a lot of information sessions/networking events this semester and finding out that connections are crucial in this field, which is pretty discouraging. Is I-Banking still a possibility for me? What should I do/can I do right now if I still have a shot?

I feel like I am pretty late, as I've just started finance and I haven't really been involved in finance fraternities/clubs on campus, as most of my friends/connections are engineers and CS people. If this information is of any value, I am originally from New York and I would love to work in NY after college as my immediate family and friends are there. However, I am not in a position to choose, and I would be more than happy to work in the field anywhere.

Quick Resume:
Interned at a search fund (micro-PE firm), did marketing and real estate internship since I started college
Started an organization that helps the homeless get necessary training to get a job and support themselves
Crew Team (Rowing), Residential Student Govt

Thank you for reading my post, any realistic advice would really help me at this point.

Comments (12)

Jan 19, 2017


Sep 14, 2016

I've been talking to bunch of people he connected with me, but they haven't been too big of a help. I am not completely sure, but I don't think he ended his career at BAML on a positive note, as he failed to move up from the analyst position/did not get a third year offer. What are some other things I should be doing?

Sep 15, 2016

From what I've seen, Search Funds are usually started and run by fresh MBA grads with previous experience in IB or Consulting. His boss ("managing partner") was probably in his late 20s and was probably just an analyst at (BA)ML. With that said, search funds are becoming more popular and they're a decent (usually unpaid) internship option for freshman and sophomores trying to land an IBD SA position junior summer.

Sep 14, 2016

Recruiting starts soon or doesn't start until spring (I don't know the timelines anymore) so you still have some time to hustle.

USC gets opportunities i think.

Sep 14, 2016

Definitely not too late, I started late myself (think later half of junior year) and now I think I'm pretty much on track. I did take time off school to get balls deep into internships so I guess if that's what you want, maybe be prepared to graduate later? That always shows dedication.

Sep 14, 2016

Thanks for your response, can I PM you to learn more about what you did/how you spent your off semester? I was thinking of taking a semester off to do more internships and prep so I am more ready.

Sep 14, 2016

Of course, I'm happy to help. Do note that I'm not based in the US though

Feb 19, 2019

Stumbled upon this thread and I seem to be in a similar position to how you were. In the spring of my junior year with a financial analyst internship and a credit internship at a financing company currently trying to figure out how to land a full time in the fall as I just now realized I wanted to do it.

Jun 30, 2017


Sep 15, 2016

shameless bumping for more advices

Sep 15, 2016

I would say that you still have time. Summer Analyst resume drops have not concluded for a lot of banks and you're lucky that you're still a junior and get into a summer program. Apply to everything (from boutiques to BBs) and capitalize on any opportunities you get.

Sep 16, 2016