My path from a non-target to the top EB

glorydays's picture
Rank: Orangutan | 290

Been a long-time admirer on this forum. I wanted to share my journey from a nontarget to one of (if not the) best elite boutique bank in NYC. I am a junior at a nontarget with a 3.5+ GPA, had a two internships at regional banks, but knew I wanted to go into IB at a BB or EB since I was in high school. My intention is to shed light on the process and help others in a similar position.

My internships helped improve my skills, but more than anything they served as opportunities to gain experience communicating with senior people and build out my network. The companies I worked for may not have been my end goal, but they were terrific jumping points from which to build a career.

Networking was of the upmost importance for me. Coming from a nontarget, we're inherently at a sever disadvantage to the entitled target school kids whose fathers' paid their entrance into HYPS. But do not let that discourage you. Keep grinding day in and day out. I reached out to anyone from a nontarget, and I was surprised how many of them were willing/ready to help a random nontarget kid. I suppose they recognized what it was like to be in a similar position as they were back in college. All this would not have been possible without the networking help at these firms, the network I generated was/is tremendous and I encourage any other nontargets in a similar position next year to do the same as I did.

Through this emense nontarget network, I was able to secure interviews at all the top firms, BBs (GS, MS) and EBs (EVR, CVP, MOE, PJT). Once in these interviews, my superior grind, grit, and intellect compared to the entitled target kids manifested itself and securing an offer was quite simple: just know your technicals cold and be personable. talk about being president (or a least senior boar member) of your IB club, mention your strong GPA, and how hard you worked to end you where you are. These traits are the most important for any potential IB candidate. But more than anything, I attribute my success to my passion. If there is one thing you cannot fake, it is passion. I exhibit an unhampered, specific passion for each firm and IB in general that I really don't think target kids could. The top EBs and top BBs loved this (best advice I was ever given).

I ended up receiving offers at 5/6 of the firms I listed above (including GS). Ultimately however, for other nontargets, due to the importance of group placement, I would recommend an EB offer over a BB offer. Targets have a huge advantage with group placement due to the plethora of alumni in those groups. Therefore, take the EB with placement into M&A at EVR, CVP, or RX at PJT. It's a better option than going through placement at GS or MS and praying for TMT/FIG or M&A respectively.

Hope my story can inspire other nontargets to achieve the same result, and looking forward to hearing your comments and stories below.

Comments (14)

Dec 7, 2018

Inspirational! What are the best ways to go about getting those networking calls?

Most Helpful
Dec 7, 2018

Congrats! Having been on the other side of the table and knowing how things work, you are absolutely spot on. If you are at a non-target, the key is to reach out -- to anyone. I would also encourage non-target candidates reading this to not adopt a "us vs. target" mentality. Not every target kid is entitled and had everything handed to them -- most, in fact, worked hard to get where they are and didn't have any connections whatsoever. I certainly didn't. Plenty of non-target kids found me on LinkedIn and reached out to me. Even though I was from a target, I took the time to speak to many of them and passed along the ones whom I liked -- which simply were the ones that I thought exhibited the traits that would make a good analyst. The problem, however, is that getting in touch with me was easy but getting a response out of me, especially a timely one, was not. People are just busy -- working 80+ hour weeks type of busy. If you don't hear back, don't take it as an implicit rejection because you are from a non-target. In fact, when I had downtime, I'd much rather surf ESPN for 30-40 mins before my next call than to use that free time to speak to a kid looking for a job -- and I was one of the few people in my group who actually enjoyed recruiting, mentoring, etc. The secret is that there is usually only 2-3 people in every group who really care about this stuff. It can be an MD, VP, associate, or analyst. You will know when you meet them, but they are the people who you need to latch onto. They are the people who are the first to volunteer to be an interviewer, who are the most vocal about who to hire, who are willing to stick their necks out for a non-target, etc. The goal is to find these people -- to find me, basically.

The other huge problem for non-targets is timing. The problem that non-targets have is that they are not in sync with the recruiting timeline. For example, maybe someone will get in touch with me but we just finished our resume selection a week prior. Or maybe you get in touch too early, which is a problem as well, because it is up to you to ensure that you are top of mind when recruiting rolls around. Many people have a phone chat with me and then just assume that I will remember them when recruiting rolls around. Wrong. Find ways to stay in touch. Send me an email to say congratulations if you saw in the news that my group announced some transaction. Send me an interesting article that you read about relating to something that we talked about in our phone chat. Banking is a relationship business. This is what MDs are doing with their clients to ensure that their clients remember them when it comes time to pick which bank to work with. The same goes for you. I am your client. The point is that you need to remind me that you exist. It is also up to you to somehow figure out when recruiting is happening and to make sure that you are in sync with what is happening. But the point is that that recruiting window is very finite and, if you miss it, it's hard to get in.

Hope this is helpful to someone. Best of luck!

    • 13
Dec 7, 2018

Good god -- A. stop with the ripping of "entitled kids" getting into top schools B. "Superior grind, grit and intellect" - just stop it.

    • 6
Dec 7, 2018

Did a kid from HYPS bang your girlfriend or something? If so, it might've been me haha

Really hope you're at my EB this summer. I love shitting on non-target cucks

Fuckin my way thru nyc one chick at a time

    • 14
Dec 7, 2018

did you mean immense? lmao

You're going to want to up your spelling game before you start the summer. Especially if you're going to tout your superior intellect as a strong character trait. Would also suggest using that grit to grind out your stats in humility.

    • 4
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Dec 7, 2018

LOL "my superior grind, grit, and intellect compared to the entitled target kids manifested itself and securing an offer was quite simple"

I already feel sorry for the other summer analysts in your class.

    • 2
Dec 7, 2018

Oh God.

Dec 8, 2018

Congrats and thanks for sharing!

Dec 8, 2018

You must be really fun at dinner parties...

Dec 8, 2018

You're an idiot, no target school kids must have earned their way there right? Gee, so should I ask my middle class dad how he managed to scrounge up $10ml to donate to my target so I could get in?

Dec 8, 2018

Clearly a troll.

Dec 8, 2018

Lol "superior grind, grit, and intellect" =3.5 gpa ?

    • 2
Dec 9, 2018


Dec 9, 2018