Next Steps? Non-target with boutique internship looking for advice

Scurti's picture
Rank: Baboon | 149

I'm currently a freshman finishing up my first year in a top 50, non target business school. I'm a double finance and economics major, who will most likely finish with a 3.4/3.5 (depending on my finals) after my first year. Obviously that isn't exactly where it needs to be, but I have time to drag it up. This summer, I'll be working at a boutique investment bank in my town. I've networked with whoever I can from my town and my school, and I've set up several meetings with analysts and associates in my neighboring city just to discuss their jobs and how they got there. I hold a leadership position in the school sponsored investment fund as a freshman, a member of a fraternity, and a member of the club soccer team (as well as Economics club, but no leadership role). This summer will hopefully open up several more doors, but in terms of my NEXT steps in eventually trying to break into BB/MM or top boutiques, what should my next steps be approaching this summer and my sophomore year?

Comments (5)

May 7, 2016

Focus on getting your GPA up over the next couple of years and continue to network, leveraging this summer's experience. You could also always try to transfer to a target school.

May 7, 2016

In the exact same situation, but core GPA sitting at 3.7. Was my school's investment club's President for 2 years, started a business three years ago, non-target but top 50, obtained a BSc from a target before business school, etc.

I think that my biggest weakness comes from the fact that it's my first internship (thank God I found something in IB) and that I'm entering my last semester in Fall. Really interested in seeing what others have to say regarding our situation.

May 7, 2016

OP - I'm assuming you mean undergrad, whereas Cornelius it sounds like you're in grad school. I can only speak to the undergrad experience...

You're definitely on the right track OP. Sophomore year is definitely the time to get your technical skills down. You say you're a member of the investment fund - which is great! - but is there some sort of banking focused club you could join? My school has a selective banking club that teaches sophomores valuation throughout the year. There's also a specific banking focused class that helped me get my skills down. Keep an eye out for case competitions too. Participating in them is good, but if you place at the top you might be able to sneak your way into a super day.

Keep networking, the earlier the better really. My biggest regret is not networking early enough. As a sophomore you can say, "hey I'm really interested in banking can you tell me more about it?", and there is no implication that you just want a job from the banker. As a junior the networking feels much more forced because they know you really just want to have your resume put on top of the pile so you have a better shot at an internship. It's much easier to come back around to someone who you have already spoken and built rapport with when you are actually looking for a job.

Other than that, focus on getting your GPA up. At a non-target the bare minimum is really a 3.5. Shoot for a 3.7 if you can. If that means cutting out some of your extraneous activities I think it would be worth it.

Don't stress out too much, sophomore year doesn't have to be that bad. The first semester of your junior year will be 300x worse anyway.

May 8, 2016

Furthermore, considering I have pulled the "tell me about banking" card to several alums (primarily BB analysts), how can I leverage that into tangible results (an internship at a BB)? I'll obviously want to apply to those premier SA programs come junior year, so I guess to be more specific what is my next step in that type of networking after the initial reach out?

Also, my school does offer certain programs run through Wall Street Prep that I'm pretty sure has a focus on valuation. There isn't really a club that offers/focuses on banking itself, but that just might be an opportunity to make one. Again my GPA is the one lackluster part of my resume so far, which obviously has time for improvement. Thanks again for your help so far!

May 8, 2016