Luckiest break you've ever gotten?

Tax Evasion's picture
Rank: Baboon | 155

As the title states, biggest or luckiest break you've ever gotten that could have otherwise never allowed you to materialize your own talent/potential. An inflection point, someone influential, or a 1 in a million thing that happened to you.

Comments (83)

Feb 9, 2020

Getting that call from the PM I'd been in touch with for 4yrs stating that a spot opened up at the firm he worked at and he got me an interview slot. Had always been interested in equity investing, but this foot in the door at a top firm completely changed the game.

Now I know even if I exit the industry at some point, I've got the knowledge I need to lap the market in my PA, and that peace of mind is invaluable as I scale my net worth. Not to mention of course how interesting the job is and how it's let me meet a ton of incredible human beings and get a sense of how they think. Owe it all to him

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  • Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs
Feb 10, 2020

Transferring from non-target completely off the map with 0 alumni on Wall Street except for a diversity hire in a satellite office, to a target with all the club networks etc. I take for granted all the opportunities I get, but to be fair I probably would have been able to get a good job anyway.

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Feb 10, 2020

I suggest you scroll up and reread the question.

  • Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs
Feb 10, 2020

I don't understand, there are like ~5 transfers to target school every year and the kinds of opportunities are completely different. What are people MS'ing, getting lucky with a transfer application is insanely life changing coming from a complete non-target lol...

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Feb 10, 2020
Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs:

...to be fair I probably would have been able to get a good job anyway.

What do you mean by this?

Don't @ me

Feb 18, 2020
NonTargetScum:
Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs:

...to be fair I probably would have been able to get a good job anyway.

What do you mean by this?

Given these two,

a) Probably being able to get a good job anyway

b) An actual offer

it is pretty clear that this is the former.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs
Feb 29, 2020

Would have been able to get a good job, maybe I would have applied the same effort to transfer into getting an IB job through hard networking. Or I'd settle for an IB job at a local boutique in my city, get a big 4 job, etc. "Good" job but just a different playing field you feel?

Feb 10, 2020

The guy I started my first successful business with me was actually going to start it with someone else at first. Turns out I was his second choice.

...but his first choice died in a freak accident. He was driving along a highway...and a tree fell on him.

Feb 10, 2020
m_1:

The guy I started my first successful business with me was actually going to start it with someone else at first. Turns out I was his second choice.

...but his first choice died in a freak accident. He was driving along a highway...and a tree fell on him.

Holy shit. Insane

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Feb 10, 2020

Still waiting on my lucky break over here bruv.

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Feb 10, 2020

Being born into a family full of millionaires in Alabama.

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Funniest
Feb 10, 2020

You definitely come out better after splitting your millions among the family when your sister is also your mom.

    • 36
Feb 10, 2020

roll tide

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Feb 10, 2020

you gotta keep the money in the family, you can't do that if you mary outside your bloodline.
incest more like WINcest amirite bois

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  • Director in IB - Gen
Feb 10, 2020

I got my first job in IB from a resume drop - that I have no recollection of doing. I made it all the way through the first round phone interview without knowing what job I was interviewing for. Looked up the firm, and never recalled being on their website, much less applying for a job. To this day, I have no idea how they received my resume, and I'm now in my 11th year in IB.

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Feb 10, 2020

impressive aye!

"Be persistent and you will get, be consistent and you will keep it, be grateful and you will get more"

phuckQuotes

Feb 13, 2020

11th year in IB straight from school? Damn son.

  • Director in IB - Gen
Feb 13, 2020

I guess my second luckiest break is that I've avoided sweatshops which have allowed me to stick around for over a decade and not burn out.

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Most Helpful
Feb 10, 2020

Being born in the US of A baby!!!! In a more philosophical way, the mere fact that we are intelligent, sentient beings is truly incredible. If we consider that we are just a bunch of molecules put together in a specific way so that we can think, feel, and evolve, it is so much luckier than being rock floating through space.

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Feb 10, 2020
LetItBegan:

Being born in the US of A baby!!!! In a more philosophical way, the mere fact that we are intelligent, sentient beings is truly incredible. If we consider that we are just a bunch of molecules put together in a specific way so that we can think, feel, and evolve, it is so much luckier than being rock floating through space.

Amen brother!

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Feb 11, 2020

Never happened

Feb 11, 2020

Oh right! I forgot to thank our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the true OG God for the bountiful gift of life

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Feb 13, 2020

https://media.giphy.com/media/3ornjXIIShZ2MgyyHu/giphy.gif

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Feb 19, 2020

Negative, I am a meat popsicle

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Feb 10, 2020

I cold emailed a billionaire hedge fund manager my stock pitch (I wasn't aware at the time - only that he was a top performer in the biotech realm) and ended up chatting on the phone with him for about an hour... that conversation opened a lot of doors for me. He also connected me with one of his team members to help me work through the model I was creating for my pitch.

If you are curious the Company is $SGMO. It had quite a run in 2017 when I pitched it, and has since fizzled out.

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Feb 10, 2020

An internship with a MD that I had a practice interview for at school. Got lucky.

Greed is Good!

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Feb 10, 2020

When I got caught cheating the final month of senior year during high school... Dean of Students had the option to: have me fail that class, kick me out of school, not walk at graduation, and threaten to tell my future undergrad that I had just got caught cheating, potentially rescinding my acceptance.

Needless to say, the Dean was a huge bro and supporter of mine throughout high school. He "mysteriously' lost the plagiarized essay and therefore couldn't kick off an investigation into the cheating. Granted this was 7 years ago, but still.

Who knows what would have happened if he didn't "lose" arguably the most plagiarized, laziest essay ever submitted to a professor...

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  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Feb 10, 2020

Not sure how this is "funny" given my future was on the line, but thanks for the nanners I guess

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Feb 10, 2020

feel like if you were going to a decent / good school it works out for the school that you be able to go as well. HS can be lenient for seniors and it works out for everybody in my opinion. There pressure to perform well to get into college, but once that milestone is hit, there are so few people who learn to learn or enjoy school. same with IB jobs, once people signed their SA I remember people going drinking on weekdays and skipping class all the time. Not everyone of course but the environment changes so much.

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Feb 10, 2020

I have a pretty good one I think.

For background, I graduated from a non target this past spring. Before my last semester I was in an accident and required surgery on my arm. The recovery was brutal and I missed an extended period of time to begin. Even once I returned to school, I had to attend physical therapy multiple times a week. I had to make arrangements with all my professors in order to get caught up for time missed as well as accommodations given my situation/recovery.

This semester I was able to get fairly close with all my professors obviously, however I got particularly close to one professor who further sympathized with my situation: my fixed income professor which was a finance elective. I attended office hours frequently and attended all of his classes. We developed a great relationship which was unusual for me through all 4 years of school for any course professor.

Fast forward to the summer. I am applying for jobs and opportunity at a fund opens up for me through a friend of a friend. I pass the phone interview, pass the next in person interview, and make it to the final round. Here I meet with the group head. He asks me about my college and the courses I took. Next he told me he knew a professor at my school that was a great family friend and mentor of his. He asked if I knew him and told me his name: same professor I mentioned above. He even tried calling him during the interview.

They connected and had a conversation about me sometime during the selection process. I wound up getting the job. I usually don't believe in luck, but in my case I think the stars definitely aligned a bit.

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Feb 10, 2020

Honestly not dying or being arrested, especially in the college years.

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Feb 10, 2020

Feel this big time, I should have died at least 5 times by now

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Feb 17, 2020

I feel that. Every car I've owned except my current one has been totaled. A week before HS graduation I crashed really badly, that was probably the closest I've been. I think a few changes in physics (a couple degrees different from impact, a few mph faster, maybe even a slight shift in wind) and I'd be gone.

"The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary." - Nassim Taleb

Feb 12, 2020

Welp mine is being arrested in with no consequences thanks to a series of events which I couldn't have expected. Wont divulge details but thankful to this day as I may have had my offer rescinded

Feb 12, 2020

The real question, was it a FELONY CHARGE?

Feb 10, 2020

I found Jesus.

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Feb 17, 2020

How has this helped you? I'm trying to understand it better. I feel like I genuinely try to give organized religion a shot but never feel accepted or like I understand it. I'm just curious.

"The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary." - Nassim Taleb

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Feb 19, 2020

To say that it helped me is an understatement. It changed me completely. My goals, how I spend my time, what I think about, my demeanor, personal relationships, etc. It all completely changed, and for the better. If there's anything more specific you'd like to discuss or ask, please feel free to shoot me a PM.

Feb 10, 2020

Being born to educated middle class parents, being of above average height, in good health (never had a headache, don't need glasses, never get ill) and without a disposition to pack on fat but can add muscle easily,

All these things alone, while perhaps not huge advantages or particularly noteworthy on their own, have made life a bit easier for me.

And being male, so glad I don't have to deal with being pregnant.

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Feb 12, 2020

How old are you. Was like this minus easily building muscle - had to fucking crank for that - but now I can tell metabolism is going to shit unfortunately at 25-27... weekend activities are catching up

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Feb 12, 2020

I'm 31, yeah things do slow down a bit after a while but so far I've been ok.

Feb 17, 2020

I envy your lack of headaches. I get them and migraines quite often.

"The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary." - Nassim Taleb

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  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Other
Feb 10, 2020

My phone screen interviewer said they were good friends / grad of the same school with the person who forwarded my resume to HR - (I didn't go to their school). Followed by one of the MDs at my super day saying they were a "mentor" type figure to said phone screen interviewer. This was at a bulge bracket. Also another one of the MDs at my super day saw a firm I interned at and jokingly said he didn't get an offer there after a final round interview during his undergrad.

I think I interviewed well regardless but I'm sure these weird things helped

Feb 10, 2020

I constantly develop symptoms of the imposter syndrome but having supportive alumni at the VP/ MD level is a huge break. Being able to schedule coffee chats with successful people that have a family and who made more in 1 year than my family ever has is truly inspirational and appreciative.

Array

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  • Analyst 3+ in HF - Event
Feb 10, 2020

Went through a very bad, dark streak while in college. Got fairly deep into dependent drug use, depression from the death of a friend I felt responsible for, felt my mind slipping, had been expelled from school and then got back in...I don't want to say I was ever suicidal, but the thought did enter my mind at certain points. So, the biggest break for me was being able to snap out of the spiral and work myself into a reasonably successful career to-date. It could've just as easily done a different way, I think.

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Feb 14, 2020

God bless dude. Been there.

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Feb 10, 2020

Sourced my first deal in my 1st year ever working. I just happened to know a guy in a MM firm whose client is looking for an buyout. I asked if he was looking for an investor and said yes. I discussed it with my MD and negotiated the deal structure almost all by myself (with the guidance of my MD and VP). Closed the deal back in December and that company is now preparing for a major investment for exporting their products to China and India.

It really opened up some doors and really boosted my confidence overall. Over that one deal i get 4 HH emails and 2 interview calls from a local MM PE shop (mostly from competing bidders). I might've not get any carry nor significant bonus over it but i think it really helped my career overall.

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Feb 11, 2020

If you don't get any bonus, then it's the MD who seems to have caught the lucky break, not you.

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Feb 11, 2020

I would get top bucket bonus but it is pale in comparison on my overall brand so to speak. I mean as an analyst you really won't get crazy money anyway so all you can do is prepare for the MD track.

Feb 11, 2020

Imo, luckiest break I've ever gotten was my failed baseball career. Thought I was a lot better than I really was and after a few years of college ball and 2 grueling leg surgeries/rehabs, I went back and got an actg degree (having no idea of what that really entails). Had some awesome professors that steered me in the right direction and ended up landing an advisory gig with the big 4. Had I never gotten hurt, I'd be on some bus somewhere hooking up with randos in the midwest. Thank God I shattered my leg.

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Feb 11, 2020

yeah, jockeying a spreadsheet for 80 hrs/wk is way better than hooking up with randos, big ball contracts, fame, fortune and glory. Maybe there will be a cornfield in the afterlife where you'll get another shot.

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Feb 11, 2020

Thankful for not living in a van, down by the river.

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Feb 11, 2020

van down by the river

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  • Analyst 3+ in Consulting
Feb 11, 2020

I got arrested freshman year of high school for breaking and entering into a neighborhood home. Could have ended up doing time, but got lucky that the homeowners declined to press charges. It was a real wake up call on re-evaluating the company I kept -- afterwards I started taking school more seriously and got into a semi-target while my co-conspirator (who I never saw again) was recently arrested for selling coke out of the Domino's Pizza where he works

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Feb 11, 2020

Being born a white middle class male in the United States of America in this era of humanity who managed to get a white collar job doing something that interests me.

The more I learn about the world and the history of our species the more I am just blown away by how just incredibly lucky I am.

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Feb 11, 2020

one of the sales teams at my first company decided to take a chance on an associate who spent five years in legal and compliance supporting their team, so it's either that or passing CFA level 3 by the skin of my teeth. either way I'm a lucky MFer

Feb 11, 2020

Still waiting for a big, career-making break, but the biggest to-date was when I got a response to a cold email to an FLDP manager when I was in college.

I was at a no-name, 10 year old, 1000 student liberal arts school. Any alumni with business related jobs were in insurance sales or some shit. I was so naive about recruiting timelines, and I just happened to email right when they were kicking off recruiting. I happened to find someone's email address, and I sent a cold email off into the abyss..

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Feb 11, 2020

Cold emailed the global head of IBD at GS. Got a referral (used to work at firm).

    • 1
Feb 12, 2020

Funny enough I tried this with Citi and my follow up email didn't go through because (I assume) he blocked me:(

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  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Feb 12, 2020

I did this with Jefferies and the guy responded and told me to take game of thrones off my interest section it is highly inappropriate (totally ignored everything else I said). I wanted to reply "OK boomer" but saner heads prevailed. That was awhile ago so it is kinda cringe that I had that on there but whatever.

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Feb 12, 2020

I had a great mentor at my first job out of ug. He was mid-40s, divorced, kids all grown up, loved to party but was also super intelligent. He eventually left for a better role with an institutional investor but we kept in touch through happy hours and lunches. 5 years into his new role he decides he wants to move to Florida for better weather. A couple of days before he leaves he hands his boss my resume and says i'm the guy they should hire to replace him. One month later I started the interview process and had an offer soon after. This is the type of shop that typically recruits MBAs so my chances of getting in the door would have been slim without his recommendation. The new role totally changed my career trajectory for the better. I've been to Florida to visit him several times, mostly to go fishing on his 60 footer.

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  • Associate 1 in S&T - FI
Feb 12, 2020

I honestly think my lucky breaks are the jobs I did not get. Right out of school I was working a job that I was very ready to leave after one year and I had a couple of things in mind that I was trying to move to. I had at least 3 interviews for jobs that I would have taken had a I got them that would have been way worse than my current situation. One of which was at my current firm, I actually know the guy who got the role and I am now way ahead of him. We always joke that he is the best thing that ever happened to me.

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Feb 13, 2020

Getting my first job as a commodity trader, switching careers after a few years in engineering.

Non target school from a non target country with a non target GPA., so it took a few years of really hard work to get there.

The luckiest bit about it? I almost didn't apply for the role because it was advertised 1 week before the CFA exam. Needless to say, it changed my life. Skipped the whole mid/back office route and the mediocre trading analyst positions (you know the ones that people take in hope of getting a seat in a few years), and went straight into a junior trader position. Currently moving into a seat at a top global player, starting in a couple months.

Luck = prep + opportunity, so keep at it boys because things turn around just before you're about to give up in despair.

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Feb 13, 2020

I love the Luck = Prep + Opportunity. Waiting for my break and glad you had yours! What kind of engineer were you? I studied ChemE.

Feb 18, 2020

Electrical Engineering. Learned the market structure and leveraged my knowledge of physical flows and my CFA exam to get a spot on a power trading desk.

Feb 13, 2020
  1. being born in the USA
  2. having a father figure in my formative years
  3. charges leading to jailtime being dropped from my record

beyond the above, I think being born into my family was the luckiest break. they're not correct about everything, but they taught me early the value of education (when your family members are poor black and poor white when they were young, education is the only thing that can lift you up) so I was very curious but also academically challenged. I think I would've ended up like a lot of the crowd I grew up near (drugs, dead end jobs, crime, dropout) had I not had instilled in me the desire to learn early on.

sure I've worked harder than some, but if my dad had left earlier and I had shit parenting, I'd probably be slinging dope rather than financial advice.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 13, 2020

Worked at a retail store and developed a surface level relationship with one of the regulars. Landed an internship at one of the most recognizable brands on the planet (which I don't remember applying to), where I bumbed into said customer. Turns out they ran M&A - had some conversations with them and got some career advice. Set my sights on IB later on - fast forward to my superday at my current BB, the MD that interviews me give's me the "how'd you get interested in IB" question and I mention the old customer that I met at my retail job. Turns out that's their client. Needless to say, I got the offer.

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Feb 14, 2020

Driving back home from work after pulling an all nighter, I fell asleep at the wheel while the car was about to exit the highway full speed... I woke up just in time to avoid a wreck.

Feb 14, 2020

There was a panel discussion at my school that brought a F100 CEO and some other very influential people to campus. I asked him (F100 CEO) a question about M&A during the Q&A and that night I received a message asking if I wanted an interview. Also, on the same day, we had a lunch with the CEO of a large asset manager and it turned into essentially a two hour 1 on 1 discussion and we've kept in touch. Got the job after the interview, and the connections that have come from it have been fantastic considering that I attend a school that barely anyone has heard of.

Feb 16, 2020

What was the question?

I tried.
Feb 16, 2020

Definitely my current role. I went from a very narrow objective based role into one where we are given as free reign as you can imagine.

The intention was that, too. It's hard to understand the difference of what more you can offer until it's fully in front of you and you keep climbing. I'm in that role 1 year later and it's incredible. I hope for good luck by EOM, and I think I created something that very well will absolutely shock the industry. I'm confident I have now, but this will be the 3/3 home run. Two thirds there, and even if it's stopped now it's remarkable.

I do remember a lot of people doubting me. Giving me a hard time, saying I lack credibility. A lot of it gave me the encouragement to keep going actually. I hope bonus next month is good, and I hope my deal flow into next month as previously mentioned carries that momentum.

I can't say I expected my luck to turn out this way. But not a soul can say I didn't try hard or always make myself available. I hope others can go through this experience.

Life is hard. Lots of personal stuff can create a wave of emotions. Professional development, in today's world, is super competitive. All I can tell folks is literally never give up and keep going at it.

    • 2
Feb 19, 2020
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