My Story of Breaking In (Summer BB IB)

Na'Daz's picture
Rank: Baboon | 144

Hey guys, this forum had been invaluable for me in securing a summer analyst position within IB at a BB (MS/GS/JPM) and I wanted to share my story.

Background:

Parent's didn't go to college (were missionaries) grew up fairly religious. We lost our home during the crises and about a year after moving to the city I left home at a pretty young age. Reasons for leaving were a mix of drug abuse in the family and physical/verbal abuse.

Ended up homeless for a bit > Graduated high school > Enrolled in community college

Met a mentor who gave me my first suit, briefcase and helped me write my first resume. Due to legal issues couldn't apply to FAFSA and had to work full time to get through college. I applied to a program unique to our school and went to London for an internship in a finance related role. I think this experience helped set me apart, following this I did Big 4 in NYC.

I used this opportunity to walk into the front desk of many BB's on my off time and made friends with the security guards. They often knew people and would refer me to HCM , after a lot of hustling I had an opportunity to land an S&T internship at BB. All still while at my community college.

Following this I realized I was more interested in IB and tried to make the switch unsuccessfully. Many people told me with a big name on my resume it would be easy, THAT IS A LIE. I hustled so hard to make it happen and it didn't, so I took a year off of school and worked on my technicals and story.

At this point I had transferred to a super non target, as it was cheap, had what I considered to be a good finance program and solid if small network on the street. However before school I had started I received my offer.

I apologize in advance if this story sounds convoluted I tried to maintain anonymity while also sharing my experiences, hope this story helps someone else in their process.

A few notes:

I know I didn't mention this but I transferred twice and took roughly three years to do my community college stuff, it sucks but not all paths are linear and you if want it bad enough you'll deal with the cards life offers and make it happen.

Networking is key, it's honestly the only thing I had going for me.

Lastly rejection is a part of the process and is integral to your growth and maturity. Learn to accept this. I was told I was a better fit for accounting, I kept that email to fuel my drive. I was rejected from SEO, MLT all those minority programs (I am a minority) because in part due to my shaky educational path as well as not taking SAT/ACT (wasn't planning on college in HS).

If anything is unclear feel free to ask questions.

Comments (30)

Sep 9, 2018

Congrats and good luck!

Sep 10, 2018

Jesus christ that's one hell of a story. Congrats man -- you've earned all the success you have today. As someone who also found his way into banking from a community college and non-target, it's always refreshing to see someone hustle as hard as you clearly have. Good luck!

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Sep 11, 2018

Thanks man, definitely was a hard fought battle. We're both a testament that it always pays off though.

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Sep 11, 2018

Congrats!

Funniest
Sep 11, 2018

Homeless + Community College + Befriending BB security guards + BB Internship while at CC

you should write a book titled: Fuck you lazy NYU kids

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

    • 19
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Sep 14, 2018

Why the shade towards NYU Sternites?

Sep 11, 2018

Ha.

Well I have multiple entitled sternie friends who always complain about how hard it is to break into IB. (Despite the silver spoon sticking out of their mouths and unlimited amount of resources from parents). I love them though!

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

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Sep 11, 2018

Thanks for sharing your story!

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Sep 11, 2018

I'm indebted to this forum, thanks for all the work you guys do to help kids like myself.

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Sep 11, 2018

Serious props on the hustle, that's a hell of a story. I also love how understated this is. Nothing else to add but congrats!

Sep 11, 2018

Shit fool.

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Sep 11, 2018

"Many people told me with a big name on my resume it would be easy, THAT IS A LIE."

So true lol

Sep 11, 2018
Na'Daz:

I had an opportunity to land an S&T internship at a BB. All still while at my community college.

You landed a FO position, at a BB, with a community college on your resume? Don't you need to be at an accredited 4 year university for your resume to even go through?

Na'Daz:

I used this opportunity to walk into the front desk of many BB's on my off time and made friends with the security guards. They often knew people and would refer me to HCM.

And the security guards helped you get the position?

...what?

Most Helpful
Sep 11, 2018

Not at all true, often times in the application there is an "Other" section for education which where I indicated the school I attended.

Well that's a bit of an oversimplification, however the answer is yes. He was a regular trying to become a professional DJ as well as trying to raise is daughter as a single father. In other words a regular guy.

Thousands of people walk through the doors of their respective institutions and don't bother acknowledging the doorman/security guards/front desk workers.

Make friends with these people, you never know who they know.

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Sep 11, 2018

Damn that's awesome man, congrats.

Sep 11, 2018

.

Sep 12, 2018

Any networking tips? Cold email templates you used or questions you asked on a informational interview?

Sep 11, 2018

Thats awesome man.

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

Sep 15, 2018

Thanks for sharing your story -- best of luck to you.

Sep 15, 2018

You have overcome an incredible amount of difficulty to get this offer, but you are really just now into the first inning. Congrats, but please realize that from here on out you need to work harder than everyone around you with a smile on your face. Based on you even being where you are today, I'm sure that will be the case, but it's an uphill battle to make it in IB/finance for anyone.

Please reach out if I can ever be of help. My network is fading after all these years out of finance, but I do have a lot of experience, and I'm from a non-traditional Wall St background (farm kid from rural IL) and know many others who are as well.

Sep 11, 2018

Thanks man, I take the advice to heart. What's got me here, like you said, his hard work with a smile. I'll continue to do so going forward because these are the things I have absolute control over.

Will definitely reach out, it's awesome knowing there are multiple people that have similar unorthodox stories.

Sep 15, 2018

Congratulations! I'm glad your hustle got you where you are.

Could you pls suggest some questions that you often asked in your coffee chats, which allowed you to show interest + highlight what makes you a good candidate?

Thank you for sharing!

Sep 11, 2018

Sure, the first advice I can give however is to have your story down. Can't emphasize this enough. This opens the conversation to further questions and topics to discuss.

If it's an initial conversation try to understand their background, literally just asking them to tell you about their background and how they got their will open up the conversation to follow up questions.

Try and highlight overlaps between your stories and any connections you could draw. This also means though that when you reach out to people it's helpful to target people with similar backgrounds as you are more likely to have a more fluid conversation.

Let me know if this helps or needs further clarification. Good luck!

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Sep 15, 2018

You don't know how much I needed to read this right now. I'm a sophomore that just transferred to a semi-target from a non-target and I'm starting to lose hope. Back at my old school I grinded like hell to land a summer internship and get my GPA high enough to transfer. But now that I'm here it seems like everyone looking to break into IB is 50 steps ahead of me. Did you have any specific networking tactics that helped you stand out amongst the crowd? Also, is it possible to claim that I'm a freshman instead of a sophomore (since it's my first year at this new school)? That could buy me around a years worth of time.

Sep 11, 2018

Glad I could give back, don't lose hope, it doesn't get easier.

Regarding networking tactics be innovative. You can't ONLY work harder you have to be savvy, a hustler even to some extent. Ex:/ Instead of looking at people who only have a similar background(non-target, same hometown, etc.) search for people with your same name. This was huge for me as the connection is almost instant.

Hi John,

My name is John XXX and .......xyz xyz

My response rate was nearly 100% with this strategy. Come up with strategies that work for you.

Claim whatever is most true and accurately represents your standing, if you want to claim freshman status, pick up a minor so that you need to extend your schooling by at least a semester. That is a good strategy but like almost every good response to a finance question, it depends, it depends on your circumstances that only really you are privy to.

Good luck!

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Sep 19, 2018

I also had an S&T internship at a "brand name" bank and am trying to break into IB. I was wondering how did you have trouble making the jump? Did you have to alter your resume about your S&T experience to cater to IB or?

Thanks a lot and congrats, really inspiring story.

Sep 11, 2018
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Sep 11, 2018
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