Low GPA - do I realistically have a chance in IBD?

After being rejected from several banks already (most without even first round and one from the first round), I am seriously starting to wonder if I have a realistic chance at investment banking.

My background - rising junior at H/Y/P with a 3.4 GPA, international student, D1 athlete, Engineering degree with one asset management internship and a small no-name NY boutique investment banking internship coming up (done remotely). I also have not been active at all in terms of school clubs related to finance as I decided quite late to go down this route.

I have seen success stories of low GPA students and of international students, but an international student with low GPA making it to IB seems to be unheard of. Being an international student limits my options to some BBs and a few EBs and these seem to be the firms that look for stellar candidates with no flaws.

I have been networking quite heavily I'd say, but mostly analysts/associates and very few MDs who I'm not even sure if they would heavily vouch for me.

I've basically dedicated all my efforts for recruiting for IBD, but do I realistically have any chance? Is this the time to start reconsidering my career options?

Comments (8)

Most Helpful
Jun 7, 2020 - 10:05am

For sure man. D1 athlete explains the GPA and the fact you're at a top school shows you're a high achiever. Get linkedin premium and start spamming messages and take every call possible. Try to get your story down cold and explain your GPA. You seem smart and motivated all it takes is one yes.

Jun 7, 2020 - 12:05pm

3.4 HYP - yes
3.4 HYP engineering major - yes
3.4 HYP D1 engineering major with 2 internships - absolutely

Low GPA is not a dealbreaker at HYP, and your major and sport basically make up for it.

Some banks have blanket no-sponsorship policies and that's probably some of your auto rejections. Do a search on here (some semi-recent threads on this) about who does or doesn't sponsor and derive your list that way. Keep networking, don't forget about VPs as they have pull too.


  • 1
  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jun 7, 2020 - 2:39pm

This makes sense. I've heard of people with similar GPAs from lesser schools and lesser majors get offers. Only at BBs though, not EBs (but given that most EBs are done I'm assuming you're mostly planning for BBs anyway)

Edit: EBs have pretty strict GPA cutoffs so this probably explains your rejections so far

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jun 7, 2020 - 12:37pm

make Credit Suisse a big priority. I am an international student as well and my contact at CS told me that they are really accommodating when it comes to international students. he also said that if we don't get the sponsorship they'll move us to another office. so I am pretty sure they are one of the few firms who don't care about sponsorship. (they start interviewing on 15th so it's pretty soon)

Jun 7, 2020 - 11:07pm

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