My story - the fire within us all

Posting from a throwaway account because my story is unique.

I come from a very disadvantaged background and had to witness immense financial duress throughout my childhood. My mom took care of us all through our childhood and there is one particular incident that stands out from this time. It was when I was around 12 years old and went with my mom to a pawn shop where she sold some of the belongings she had received from her mom so she could pay for her education and I think that was the day when everything changed for me. 

I wasn't exactly smart and was pretty much an average student. However, experiencing my mom part ways with her trusted belongings for us ignited a fire within me that has kept me going till now. I grinded my ass off throughout high school and worked thrice as hard as my more smarter peers. Eventually, I made it to an IBD feeder for undergrad. 

Because of my background, I had no idea what investment banking was and found the adjustment in college with wealthy peers extremely tough. I continued to grind and got top grades throughout the first two years of college. I went to every single networking event and even though I felt extremely out of place. I kept three jobs in college so that I could support my family. Did not party or have nearly as much fun as my friends but I knew that if I kept going I would make it. 

A few months ago, I signed with a top group for a SA and have been meaning to share this with you all. 

Comments (32)

Nov 11, 2021 - 9:06pm

That's awesome, man. Congrats on securing the SA. I'm sure you'll shine when that time comes.

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  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Nov 12, 2021 - 1:07am

Damn. Sometimes I forget how much some kids place IB jobs on a pedestal. Happy for you though

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Nov 16, 2021 - 3:41pm

some individuals could probably work themselves into a lucky position but for most IB is a great opportunity. And still one of the best luanch pads to investment roles.

Nov 12, 2021 - 1:26am

dam man respect +100

you should let that fire drive you to work harder but don't let it consume you either. treat yourself and have fun sometimes too 

Most Helpful
  • VP in IB - Gen
Nov 14, 2021 - 10:21am

Congrats on how far you've come thus far. With that being said, isn't it a bit premature to start celebrating now? The real work lies ahead. 

Don't get me wrong, not trying to diminish your accomplishments, but I grew up being homeless from time-to-time during my childhood. Drug useage and crime is standard on the streets, but luckily I never succumbed.

I can relate to your journey and we're one of the few lucky ones to make it given our circumstances. Every industry... technology, accounting and even entrepreneurship have some people with backgrounds like ours. 

For me, it started with literally flipping burgers at McDonald's. To get promoted to assistant store manager, needed at least a GED. A little after I got that, I saw that McD offered tuition reimbursement, so I enrolled at the local community college. Was looking to make some friends and get my mind off my shitty life at the time, so I figured attending school would hit two birds with one stone.

Ironically didn't really need tuition reimbursement because my income was so low that financial aid covered 98%. 

Being at community college lead to transferring to a no-name state school, especially when I went there. Over the years, the school's rep has improved, which is nice to see. I met my now-wife there and we have a wonderful family together. Even though I came from a broken household and was only a shift manager at McD, she knew I had brighter days ahead. 

Once I got my degree in business administration, I applied for a job at McD corporate. Apparently, I was "overqualified" for a position at the restaurant level. Ended up getting an entry level role in corporate finance. I think the interviewers really liked my "story", my background, and the potential PR.

My boss was doubly ivy educated. It's here where all the pieces fit together; I finally learned what M&A was, the appeal of getting an MBA, and the different paths that existed (Corp Dev, IB, PE, etc.). Also can't imagine how my life would've turned out if not for technology like computers and the internet. Note I don't have a Linkedin for all you sneaky bastards out there. But even if I was outed, wouldn't really care tbh. 

I did end up getting my MBA from an M7. My boss above wrote one of the rec letters. As I type this, still can't believe a guy like me saying "M7". After working for a regional IB in restaurant M&A, I've been with a LMM PE that has a food and beverage group.

Unbelievable how flipping meat patties at McD has shaped my career/industry focus. Not trying to brag or anything, just realizing how lucky I got. FWIW, I'm a straight white male.

Sorry, OP, for taking over your thread.

Nov 14, 2021 - 8:43pm

Im not sure the point of this comment. I read the rest of the post with the lense of how you believe its too premature to celebrate and that the work lies ahead. But then it completely turned to focusing on your accomplishments and your own rags to riches story. Never returned to your point of how the work lies ahead.

Definitely not too quick to celebrate. Lifes too short to not celebrate every win; let alone a big win like this. With that being said, celebrate but then quickly refocus on whats next and how to go about achieving what is next for you.

Nov 14, 2021 - 8:27pm

Kind of stories I like to hear. Insane amount of grit develops from moments like that.

Interested in health tech, consulting, and entrepreneurship.

Nov 16, 2021 - 12:07pm

I am super happy for you and hope you can continue to do well, but I'm sure you have noticed to most senior people, Summer Analyst, is a really minor thing. Tbh never compare yourself to another person. You're doing awesome.

It sounds like you have a good future ahead and keep grinding. I grew up low middle class and understand the feeling.

Nov 16, 2021 - 12:25pm

Hell yeah! All that hard work and sacrifice is beginning to pay off! Don't let off the gas!

I think I did this right

Nov 17, 2021 - 7:13am

Amazing! Happy for you.

What do you call an economist who forecasts? Wrong!
Nov 17, 2021 - 7:05pm

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Dec 2, 2021 - 11:05pm

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