Hi all, I've been reading this site for a long time; think it's time to give back a bit if I can. My path has probably been the most non-traditional I've ever seen on WSO, so I created a burner account to answer any questions you may have. If someone somehow figures out who I am, please keep it to yourself.
Went to a definite non-target for undergrad and had a sh*t GPA (3.0) - partied too much and didn't think grades mattered. College internship experience included: PWM at a local boutique, commercial banking at a F500, and S&T at a boutique. Once I started looking for a job senior year I realized that literally zero consulting firms, i-banks, or asset managers recruited at my school or had even heard of it, and I didn't really know how competitive finance was until my resume got shot down a couple dozen times - I won zero interviews at top firms so I took the first job I was offered working in the back office of a F500 bank.
I hated BO work more than anything in the world and wanted to blow my brains out every day so I started to look for new jobs starting my second week of work. Through an obscene amount of networking (like 600 emails, 20 informational calls, a couple interviews over the next 10 months) I won an analyst offer from a family office in a tier-three city (think Wichita, Tulsa, Cleveland) doing venture capital and small private equity deals. Living in a small city making 75k base, 20k bonus and working on deals was a million times better than working in the back office in a big city making 60k all-in.
During my time at the family office I worked on like five deals directly, led the process and diligence on a few and had some successful exits. Got to work in a couple of the portfolio companies at a deep level. Recently the managing director of the FO retired and told me to go find a new job so I went through a very informal recruiting process, off-cycle, for PE and won an offer in a hub city at a MM firm as an associate after about four months.
That's long enough... what do you monkeys want to know?