Longtime lurker. First post.
I'm originally from the South. Growing up, I hated school. I'm talking about failing multiple classes, dreading going to school, and even getting suspended many times. I was diagnosed with ADD at a young age, but never wanted to take my meds (till I started to again in college and realized why everyone wanted Adderall). My freshman year in high school was the first time I actually applied myself to my classes. And I still failed.
My sophomore year of high school, my dad got a new job. Thus, my entire family moved up North. I went to a new school, and had no friends. This would be a life defining moment for me. Since I had no friends, I decided to start my own business. (This business is now generating six figures in revenue). I also participated in a schoolwide stock trading tournament, and I came in fourth place. This was the first time I realized I was actually good at something, and it happened to be something I really enjoyed. From that moment on, I was hooked.
My freshman year I opened up my own brokerage account, and by my sophomore year I had generated a return of over 15%. I was overjoyed. I also continued growing my business; I focused on targeting a niche market that larger companies seemed to ignore.
After my sophomore year, I landed my first internship with a small bank. This was when I really realized that I wanted to work in financial services. I worked my ass off in this internship, and it paid off. The analyst who I reported to connected me to someone he knew at a major bank.
My junior year I leveraged that connection and got a first round interview at a BB. My mentality going into that interview was that the bank was lucky to be interviewing me. I was way overconfident, and it showed. I got destroyed.
After I got off that call, I was crushed. But I didn't give up. I bought the Wall Street Prep guides (https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/guide/investment-b...), and sent out over 300 emails. I joined my schools investment club, and networked with older kids who had gone through the interview process before. I interviewed with 14 different firms. The 14th firm gave me an offer. It was at this moment that I realized that persistence is key.
Through the rest of my junior year, I was a regular attendee at my schools investment club. I became an integral member, and learned as much as I could. I still sucked at school (GPA <3.5), but I tried extremely hard. As the saying goes, "it's hard to beat a person who never gives up". While I had a GPA that was lower than basically every other kid in the club, I was one of few who had landed a great internship at a major US Bank.
But, once again I went into the internship a cocky motherfucker (I should of learned by now). I didn't receive a return offer. And like before, I was crushed.
My senior year, I networked like crazy. I made multiple trips into NYC to meetup with alumni, and it payed off. By the end of my fall semester I had received an offer at an asset management firm located in a major financial hub (Not NYC).
Cut from the firm
Myself and a good amount of other new hires showed up for training the very first day, bright and early. It went like this for another month. Then, the firm cut us.
This happened completely out of the blue. For once, it wasn't due to my own actions. Myself and ~25 other kids were completely shocked. I had already signed a lease in a new city, and now I didn't have a job (Luckily, through my business I had already saved roughly 50,000). I was fired on a Friday morning, and the only thing I remember from that day is thinking "what I do right after I lost my job I will always remember". So, I went back to my apartment, and sent out 50 emails that afternoon.
The next five days, I had sent out over 400 emails. (I ate adderall like it was candy to achieve this) I had lined up 15+ informational interviews, and 3 actual interviews. 10 more days go by, and I had made it to a fourth round interview at 1 firm. I was notified that my fifth and final round interview would take place exactly 1 month after I lost my first job.
5 days later, I had an offer. In the greatest city in the world.
Moral of the story?
Don't give up. Even if life shits on you (due to your own actions or because of events that you can't control), never give up. Persistence is key. If a kid with major ADD can make it to Wall Street, you can too.