Non-Target School Success Stories (dedicated to those who worked harder to break into BB's)

lucasblane's picture
Rank: Baboon | 130

This thread is dedicated to graduates of non-target universities who made it into the coveted investment banking departments of our favorite bulge brackets.

If you fit this description, please respond to this thread so we can pay homage.

Comments (85)

Aug 16, 2010

i know a guy. he broke in. nontarget. hope that heps.

Aug 16, 2010

Non target and non finance major. Broke in this year with a little bit of luck.

Aug 16, 2010
Hawke1:

Non target and non finance major. Broke in this year with a little bit of luck.

Details?

Aug 16, 2010
Joshua.D:
Hawke1:

Non target and non finance major. Broke in this year with a little bit of luck.

Details?

I worked my ass off in terms of networking and that's what really got me in. I also had a fair amount of experience with finance internships. The contact that got me my informational interview stressed to me that once the interview process started his input would mean nothing, and it was all on me. Just come off as being enthusiastic and intelligent and you'll be fine. In terms of details...I'm at a BB in NYC and I'm in IBD.

Aug 16, 2010

What bank?

I am just curious to see if there are any on WSO.

I don't think they get enough credit for what they have accomplished in the IB industry.

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Aug 16, 2010

Deleted

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Aug 16, 2010

Not rocket science to get in so long as you don't to somewhere like SE Louisiana State.

(1) Have a high GPA (3.7+); for most schools, it's not THAT hard to major in econ or something and get this
(2) Get some internships your freshman/sophomore year that have an accounting / finance background, even if unpaid
(3) Talk with professors about students who managed to get into banking - if your school is remotely respectable, there was probably 1-5 kids out there who got into i-banking
(4) Spend a few weeks searching on Google, your alumni database, wherever you can to find people with connections to you in banking. I am sure some friend or alumnus will pop up. When they do, call them, ask pertinent questions about getting to know the industry and I am sure they'll do what they can to help you if you sound eager, smart and respectful
(5) Study the Vault guides and sites like M&I like crazy. Know it front to back - 90% of interview questions come from here. Practice your questions and avoid canned responses as much as possible

That's about it. I went to a small LAC who would send a few kids to i-banking a year out of a class of about 1,000 students. Worked at a corp dev / M&A division of a F500 company near home as a junior, got banking contacts with a few guys who had done it before switching to "the good life" in corporate, and was off and running. At the same time as this, I also cold called dozens of alumni to get advice and contacts, leading to 2-3 more interviews just through hustling basically.

Once you get the interview, it's up to you. But the interview spots are out there. i-banking classes are usually 120-150+ kids; sure half to 3/4 are from target schools but that still means at 6-8 major banks there's about 30-40 spots they leave up in the air for non-core and non-target students. It doesn't take a PhD to do the job so it's really about proving you're not an idiot to the right contacts and working your butt off to get in touch with them.

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Aug 16, 2010

Guess that makes me a rocket scientist. SW Louisiana State grad to a BB.

Did all 5 of the above mentioned items and cold called banks after googling people's numbers. Just asked them to at least give me a phone interview. That led to a live interview, which lead to a superday.

Not impossible to get in, but once you are in, you realize how lucky you got because the whole process can be a crap shoot.

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Aug 16, 2010

Non-target ENGR friend just got FT offer. New York, New York.

Aug 16, 2010

three guys from a non-target this yer had summer internships at top bulges, one in S&T and 2 in M&A. i know one got return offer but the others i haven't spoken with: i'm almost positive they have received offers.

all had high gpa (above 3.8) and relevant internships.

Aug 16, 2010

Florida had summers at Goldman, Jpm, evercore, baml, and citi as well as 5 or 6 at wells Fargo. All had good gpa's and a decent internship the previous summer.

Aug 16, 2010
ChuckFinley:

Florida had summers at Goldman, Jpm, evercore, baml, and citi as well as 5 or 6 at wells Fargo. All had good gpa's and a decent internship the previous summer.

They were all MSF kids.

Aug 16, 2010
insight123:
ChuckFinley:

Florida had summers at Goldman, Jpm, evercore, baml, and citi as well as 5 or 6 at wells Fargo. All had good gpa's and a decent internship the previous summer.

They were all MSF kids.

Sure, but they all are florida undergrads doing a combined degree. Not a target except maybe at wells fargo.

Aug 18, 2010

I'm from a non-target trying to get into a BB, and I feel like I'm doing things very similar to what you've said. I have a 3.7+ GPA, interning at a regional IB, have been talking to alumni that work in the industry, etc. I've actually set up meetings with them and will be meeting a few of them soon.

My problem is, there's not ENOUGH alumni from my school. They're mostly in one bank, so I feel like I'm not casting a wide enough of a net. I've been thinking about cold-calling, but who should I call? Random analysts or the HR department?

Aug 18, 2010

Both. There's literally no downside to doing this. I ended up with an offer at a major MM bank after cold calling one of the analysts after being redirected to him when I called the front desk asking about recruiting. Got a bit lucky that the kid even listened but we had a similar background (both went to LACs in New England) so we hit it off and eventually got an offer.

If you just get directed to fill out an online application, then you're back to where you started with nothing lost. I would imagine that trying to do the cold calling route works better with regional offices and smaller banks though, as NYC BB recruiting is a different animal altogether.

Aug 19, 2010

What would you suggest for NYC BB?

Oct 20, 2010

I have 3 offers right now from a super non target. 3.8+, lots of leadership bs, IB boutique internship in NY my junior year. Advice would be read every guide out there, do wall street prep, and cold call/linkedin like crazy. I ended up messaging over 1000 people in the last year, had phone convos with over 100. Culminated into around 7 final rounds at reputable firms. If you really want it, be extremely persistent. 2 out of 10 will give you the time of day so be a shark and know it is a numbers game.

Another great part of the networking is you will have tons of contacts who will be in the right places later on in your IB/PE career.

Oct 20, 2010

I broke in with a 3.3 GPA and went to Northeastern University. I was fortunate enough to land a coop at a middle market Private equity firm and worked for three years. I just transitioned into leveraged finance at a reputable middle market.

Oct 20, 2010
ByAWideMargin:

I broke in with a 3.3 GPA and went to Northeastern University. I was fortunate enough to land a coop at a middle market Private equity firm and worked for three years. I just transitioned into leveraged finance at a reputable middle market.

Are you illiterate? This thread is about bulge brackets. This is why you have a 3.3 from northeastern.

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Oct 20, 2010
  1. all 'non-targets" are not equal
  2. it's not a fucking success story. something like 36% of each bb is "non-target"
Oct 22, 2010
New Yorker:

1. all 'non-targets" are not equal
2. it's not a fucking success story. something like 36% of each bb is "non-target"

I heard the rate at elite boutiques drops dramatically to ~10% or below...highly bad ass.

Oct 20, 2010

i broke onto a trading desk for non target and 2.5 gpa

Oct 20, 2010

finalfantasy, until you get a job in the industry, how bout you quit acting all high and mighty. No one cares where you went to college..

Oct 20, 2010

you mean harvard? all middle markets care. i am most prestigious person at piper jaffray superday

Oct 20, 2010
finalfantasy:

you mean harvard? all middle markets care. i am most prestigious person at piper jaffray superday

I can tell from your grammar and spelling.

Oct 20, 2010
finalfantasy:

you mean harvard? all middle markets care. i am most prestigious person at piper jaffray superday

Probz also one of the most incompetent, hence why you got rejected from 3 BB super days.

Oct 20, 2010

FF, that's funny, because your profile says you attend Yale

If you're gonna lie and troll, and give unqualified advice, keep your story straight.

  • eyelikecheese
  •  Oct 20, 2010

Finalfantasy and jimbojones are really good friends

Oct 20, 2010

eyelikecheese is in operations. these are facts.

and I'm not lying I attend one of Harvard/Yale/Princeton but don't want to out myself. this aint xoxo

  • peter griffin
Oct 20, 2010

Broke into S&T and IBD via networking and strong academic performance, complete nontarget. Took a surprising amount of effort. I agree with the previous statement that not all nontargets are created equal.

Oct 20, 2010

broke into IB from non-target to a west coast elite boutique. 3.5 non-business major. persistence is the only word i can use to describe.

--
"Those who say don't know, and those who know don't say."

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Mar 5, 2018

Agree SB

  • eyelikecheese
  •  Oct 20, 2010

Word finalfantasy

Oct 20, 2010

lol NGH09, good point.

May 6, 2012

PM me if you're looking for a PE summer job. LA.

Oct 21, 2010

I broke into the BBs twice.

The first time was as an SA, but I didn't get an offer. After wallowing in self-pity, I went back out there and got the FT offer at another BB. I went to a good non-target, but no banks recruit there. I made it purely through hard work and interviewing and networking skills. It's definitely possible for any of you to do it.

May 6, 2012

Recent-Hot Topics All time

@"ValueBanker14" has a great blog on this, check out his posts.

lots of threads about this already addressed but basically here's the formula:

1. good grades
2. good technicals
3. networking
4. persistence
5. right place right time (luck)

there you go.

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May 6, 2012

Thanks for the mention @"thebrofessor". I appreciate it. OP feel free to msg me whenever you need it.

May 6, 2012

Have you looked in the success stories forum?

May 6, 2012

I go to a non target (rising Jr) and I am pretty sure I got a Botique/MM firm for later this year. I got this by working my ass off in school and showing a lot of passion for investment banking. Was able to have my family network for me, they aren't IBankers but work with ex bankers/people who know bankers.

I'm sure there are thousands of people more qualified then me but it truly came down to a lot of luck. However, getting grades and showing interest are things YOU can control and allow for luck to happen.

Good luck OP! Its nice to hear non-target people break into banking here.

May 6, 2012

Dude, just share your story.

May 6, 2012

enough MDs at BBs to count on two hands??

May 6, 2012
StanTheMan87:

enough MDs at BBs to count on two hands??

I was wondering about that too.

May 6, 2012

really? how was Penn State for you? Do you miss it?

May 6, 2012

ah nice to see haters rolling around too. are you mad that rooster might've possibly taken your offer?

May 6, 2012

Insecure non-target tools like you make the rest of us look bad.

P.S.: I highly doubt you got much further than jerking off while thinking about 10s from the hottest sorority

May 6, 2012

Ummm... nice post man, clearly you're not bitter about anything. And being 10th isn't something to be proud of imo.

May 6, 2012

wish my non-target was like that. just blows completly in every aspect.

May 6, 2012
rooster:

We may not have gone to HYPSW, but where we went to school you bet your ass there was a designated bar to hit for every MTWTFSS. Although our alumni database has enough MDs at BBs to count on two hands, our hottest sorority has more 10s than your entire school. You might have been invited to 15 of the best career fairs in the country, but you will never know what it's like to experience 24 home football games (with real teams).

OCR could have landed you 10 interviews and 9 offers, but we get a hard on knowing that we took that 10th offer from a target kid bc we bust our motherfucking asses. We don't give two shits about the target-school on your resume, all we see is a target on your back.

HIZZAH!

This post is really immature

Mar 5, 2018

I'm a Junior at a pretty extreme non-target (99% sure there has never been a single graduate at a BB) public university that is most well-known for it's medical and law programs, NOT business. I have big4 experience, bizdev at F500 commercial bank, and boutique PE. Having virtually no alumni database or connections, cold calling/emailing/LinkedIn hasn't gotten me very far. I worked my tail off just to get the PE internship, and can't seem to crack the barrier between middle-market/boutique IB firms in my area and BB. Any recommendations?

Best Response
Mar 5, 2018

Non target State school, broke in to a B.B. for me it was just starting really early. I had 3 investments internships before my junior year. One of the firms I interned twice and made some really strong connections on the buy side. I also did a ton of calls and actually took the bankers advice. I feel like often for networking we reach out for "professional advice" but honesty just want the person to vet us. I took advice like a project and would update bankers on how things were going. I literally added a mathematics to my finance major because so many bankers said the hard double major or CFA would seperste myself from the other non targets. In the end, non targets compete against other non targets at most BBs. They have an allocated number of spots for us and you just have to work smarter and harder than the others.

Honestly fit is so important and having a unique story. People don't stress this enough.

Gpa during recruitment was 3.7 fin 3.5 mathematics.

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Mar 5, 2018

Also, there is a kid from my school that was so set on working for a BB that he sold his car and moved to NYC with just a resume. He hustled hard because he's a fantastic guy so for him it's basically a numbers game.

Kid is at JPM now and did it without any diversity or junior programs. Just a stone cold killer. Wouldn't be shocked if he was one of the top analyst in his group.

Took him 81 solid contacts.

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Mar 5, 2018

but i am certainly not from a target school. i double majored in accounting and finance from a public university, was active in extracurricular activities, had an internship as a credit analyst for a public debt fund, and after i graduated i worked for 2 years at an institutional investment consultant as an analyst. The consulting job helped me master my MS excel skills and MS word formatting skills which have been a huge help since signing on as an investment banking analyst. Also, the direct contact with clients i experienced was important. Lastly i took and passed Level 1 of the CFA exam while i was at the consultant. I was chosen over multiple MBA candidates for the highly sought after position in a region where investment banks are scarce.

Mar 5, 2018

not bad dongKong

Mar 5, 2018

I went to a public state university for my undergraduate to save money. I always planned on going to grad school, thus went to get a masters degree in the UK from a target. Now I have a full time job (sales derivatives equity) waiting for me in July at a BB.

An acquaintance of mine from my state school got a job in research at BofA in NY. Not the best bank, not the worst one either. He was a very driven kid, extremely arrogant though, might be the reason why he didn't get the M&A jobs he actually wanted.

An actual friend of mine from my state school got a job at JP Morgan in Trading. He was part of the hispanic business society, and their club had the best network on the street in my business school.

Another friend got a position in risk management at MS, she doesn't really like it, but is considering to get into M&A. Again she was part of the hispanic business society, and milked that network.

Some jackass from my undergrad, (That I dearly love none the less) got an internship at some boutique firm that ended up being bought out by blackstone... So thanks to cheer luck he has a full time offer at that bank.

Another guy busted his arse to get a job at HSBC in PWM, he got the job. He is an extremely brilliant individual from Venezuela, and I believe his father helped him get the internship that led him to his full time offer.

To sum it up: It is possible to make it into banking out of a non-target, and you don't have to be hispanic either. But if you notice the trend, most people who are in banking from my non-target were from the hispanic business society. It just means you have to look at the club that is the most connected with Wall Street. I am not hispanic but I went to a couple of their events. Look at EVERY opportunity there are on your campus.

Finally, I didn't do that because I didn't need to thanks to grad school. But you can always contact alumns that did end up on the street, there are very very few from my school, but if I understood correctly, they will bust their asses to get you some interviews if you are worth it.

(I just realized I didn't capitalize the H in Hispanic, please excuse me)

Remember, you will always be a salesman, no matter how fancy your title is.
- My ex girlfriend

Mar 5, 2018

not every major bank recruited from my school, but I used the alumni network at those other banks to get interviews and eventually a job. My advice to you would be to start e-mailing and calling alumni.

Mar 5, 2018

Thanks for the range of situations. Im from a non-target, graduated 6 months ago and am doing a consulting position at JPM through an agency. Im trying every possible avenue with minimal success. I've been told by many ppl that my res is strong(esp. work ethic, and leadership). And I've been bending over backwards trying every avenue with not even a nibble... Ive been networking, applying left, right, and center. I even dropped over $2k and a 7-10PM class after work on a 4wk IB Training seminar, which I think was really excellent. I even cold-call/cold-email bankers with no success(I know this is a glim prospect), model mock deals, etc... None of the technical stuff will help me until I land an interview though.

Can anyone offer some insight on the brick wall I seem to be hitting? Has anyone else overcome similar hurdles to secure a banking position?

Mar 5, 2018

I'm a currently not a banker, but am in the process of getting there. I'm looking for an internship now, and I think I might have some good leads with Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and Royal Bank of Canada. This is because I networked like crazy. Anyways, I know a guy who got a job with goldman sachs in their derivatives trading group. He managed to get a solid internship with a hedge fund though. He basically went about talking to professors to help him.

Mar 5, 2018

Part of the issue for you right now elan is that no one is hiring. I attend Yale and I am one of no more than probably 15 kids who got FT offers without a SA. Last year I think that number was closer to 40, so obviously non-targets are getting killed.

Mar 5, 2018

The thing is that the top most candidate in a non target has as much a chance as an absolutely average candidate at a target. i have come to see this from my experience.

Mar 5, 2018

Let me preface this by saying that I'm not a banker (yet...) though I think that I can still shed some light on this topic:

I'm a current senior at a non-target though very well respected private school. My friends who have gotten internships and full time offers in banking made it in through networking--e-mailing alums and other people that they know. Luckily, my school has a critical mass of people living in NY who work in banking.

Last summer I managed to line up a REALLY great internship (everyone I worked with had BB experience, directly related to IB/corp. finance) through nearly dumb luck--submitted my resume through an internship listing database, was one of a handful of people they interviewed out of hundreds of resumes, and managed to get an offer (and get paid quite well). At that point, I wasn't dead set on banking, it was just one of a few things I was looking at. Ironically, I sent resumes to countless places that were less selective and far less interesting and never heard from them.

This fall I landed interviews at 2 local/boutique banks; one of which is quite well respected in its niche. I simply submitted my resume online and got calls from them. Also had another interview at a very prestigious boutique (think Lazard, Evercore, Greenhill) that I got through a helpful alum who had access to my (and other) resumes through my school.

My path (so far) has been pretty unusual in that I never e-mailed or networked with anyone, though I've started to do that now. My advice to you would just be to talk to as many people as possible. However, spamming your resume never hurt also; it certainly paid off in my case.

Keep plugging away buddy. Keep your eyes and ears open for every possible opportunity.

Mar 5, 2018

EDIT: Dunno why this is showing up new - it was posted last year while I was still in school.

I'm currently a senior at a southern, private, non-target. The only BBs that came to campus were Citi, Bear, JPM, Wachovia and BofA, but many MM firms like KBW and Jefferies come to campus, as well as many boutiques.

My junior year I was late to the game for summer positions, and found that deadlines had passed for most banks. I was still able to beat the deadlines for a few of the MM firms. My resume was strong, and I nailed the interviews. Afterward, through a stroke of networking luck, I got connected to an upper executive of one of the banks I interviewed at. He made a phone call, and I got the summer position (although afterward, I learned that I was at the top of the post-interview rankings anyway).

I spent the summer at the MM firm and worked my butt off to impress the guys I worked with. After my summer, I received at FT offer, but decided that I wanted to look around a bit. I spent the entire fall of my senior year speaking with family friends, my summer colleagues, and recruiters as they came to campus. I ended up scoring a ton of interviews (and making it to superdays) at firms of every size.

I ended up taking a position with a prestigious M&A boutique, primarily because I enjoyed the people (which, if you ask me, is the most important thing).

In summary - I think the most critical thing in landing interviews, and being prepared to excel once I got there, was having the junior summer internship under my belt. For all you younger guys out there - work your butt off networking to get that internship junior year. It doesn't have to be at a BB in NYC. It just has to be in investment banking. I can't stress how much this helped me. The BB firms didn't care that it was a MM internship - purely having it put me head and shoulders above a lot of other applicants.

Good luck to everyone out there at non-targets - it can be done!

Mar 5, 2018

I went to a new school, with no alumni, obviously not a target by a mile. Graduated six months ago, started applying for analyst positions for the fall and then found out how early you have to apply. I was pretty clueless back then, not that I'm a genius now. Talked my way into an interview with Greenhill after showing up and knocking on their door, but not good enough for them to open up a spot.

Things that didn't work for me:

  • Personal connections
  • Cold-calling
  • Alumni (none to speak of)
  • Friends in finance

What I did:

  • Figured out I was clueless and proceeded to read everything I could to get an idea of what was going on, then zeroed in on the regular interview stuff (Damodaran is a hero for putting his stuff online)
  • Applied online everywhere, even though numerous people told me it was useless
  • Got a few interviews (all from online apps), one second round with a BB
  • Rocked that, did a superday and rocked that, got an offer for 2008

I look decent on paper (previous independent consulting experience, top of my graduating class, etc.), but I had no MBB/BB internships and moved towards finance very late (last year of school). I really hadn't done myself any favors.

Frankly, I was lucky my resume ended up in the interview pile in the first place. After that though, I had worked pretty hard to know everything I could and more. Ironically the finance stuff wasn't that impressive to them, they said "well done" and that was that, but the strategic knowledge and ability to lead a group under pressure was apparently what impressed the hell out of them according to the guy who called me with the offer.

I suppose the takeaway is (1) do all you can to get the resume in the interview pile (really, probably be more aggressive than I was and call them up); (2) work hard in the meantime to know your finance, and if possible expand that to some of what a typical MBA curriculum may include...it seems to score points.

I do well in social situations, but if that's a weakness definitely do what you can to work on it. I imagine it counts more than anything else, both in terms of working with people and in terms of being able to make a lasting impression.

Mar 5, 2018

To all non-target prospective monkeys out there:

Don't ever be bothered or get discouraged by the fact that you did not go to a target school. If you want it enough, you'll get there.

I'm from a very non-target with no IB recruiting at all (only one recent alum who made it into IB at Piper, another one into S&T at GS). Majored in computer science then switched to econ at a state school. Not-so-good GPA and OK in extracurricular activities. Did a PWM internship at a BB. After graduation I did a year and a half of valuation for technology firms at a economic consulting firm. I leveraged that and landed a tech IB internship at a boutique, which I'll be finishing up next week. Had a superday this week at a top MM bank and got the offer for tech IBD, a top group on the street.

Conclusion? Anything can happen if you work for it and do it the right way. I'm an example of a non-target with non-exceptional credentials who made into a top bank and group during the WORST job market. The best thing to have is an unconventional mindset. Even if you didn't go through recruiting while you were at school, the process just gets harder but more satisfying in the end. There are still opportunities out there and you just have to find them in anyway you can. The 4 things that got me here was:

1) Finding a job or a niche that can be very transferrable to an IB role later on. I did lots of modeling for tech companies in my first job and that turned out to be very useful for the group that I was targeting.
2) Cold calling/emailing alums, friends, friends of colleagues etc. More ADVICE from them, you're likely to do better at interviews. More opportunities arise, more chances you'll land something.
3) Research, study and practice. Be very very prepared for an interview. I can't stress enough how important it is to understand the interview process and know what's going to come at you. Being able to deliver a background that makes sense is upmost important (since much of the time during the interview is focused on that). Know your finance, acct and niche cold, if you had lots of background in them. The superday I had this week was the first superday I've ever had (and hopefully the last, for an analyst role at least). I just kept my head down and prepared it day and night, on the train, in the shower (while working as a SA). It's your chance to shine and don't let it blow by you.
4) Luck. Lots of luck. Unfortunately this is a factor we can't control, but do put yourself in the position where your chances are the greatest. I had good background in tech and that's exactly what I went for.

That being said, I wish everyone good luck, especially in this shitty market. Feel free to PM me anytime if you need help because I was once in your shoes and understand how challenging and frustrating the process can be.

Mar 5, 2018

I've posted this a couple times but I'll go again.

Went to a small definite nontarget (but well respected) liberal arts school in New England. Passed on some target schools like UVA and the like because of a scholarship offer at the school I chose (if you follow college basketball, you can probably tell where I went). Nobody at my school, except for 3-4 kids who work their a$$ off, end up in IBD/S&T. I had no idea what I wanted to do until my sophomore year, when one of my roommates transferred to an Ivy League school to have better odds of getting into a banking job.

After my sophomore year I figured I'd check out some finance/accounting, since I was an econ major and knew I didn't want to go into research, so finance was the only other option I knew econ was useful for. Through a family contact, I got an internship in finance/budgeting in my home city. The job was pretty boring, but I learned a ton about debits/credits and financial accounting, which became really helpful when trying to understand financial statement analysis.

The more I looked into finance jobs, the more I realized that banking seemed like the most interesting and lucrative option out there. Because I was a bit late into the game of interest in banking (relative to kids at target schools), I could not get a banking internship, but was able to cold call my way into some contacts at MMs during spring of junior year. These became helpful in the near future, since I was able to get a CorpDev job at a F250 tech company, doing M&A. I worked on two live deals and got some great deal experience. I honestly thought hard about staying, but I would've had to do a rotational program and I did not want 1 year of M&A and 2 other years of treasury/op's.

I knew I wanted to do banking, and the guys in CorpDev were unbelievably helpful. Through a high school connection, I met up with the head of our CorpDev group, had coffee with him a few times, and apparently he took a big liking to me, because he personally called 5 BB MDs he dealt with in the past and got me connected with them. 4 of those later turned into offers. Additionally, the banks that I kept calling spring of junior year finally took interest in me after the M&A experience, and I got another pair of MM/boutique offers. I think it also helped that I managed to get a boutique IB internship for the fall secured that summer, which I was sure to note in my resume and in interviews.

Furthermore, after scrounging through my school alumni network and searching through Google for more banking alumni, I got in touch with a few other boutiques and MMs. By this time, I had gotten my BB offers, so I did not pursue the MMs further. However, I've kept in contact with the alumni for advice and in the future I expect those contacts will become helpful.

My main advice is the following. Kick a$$ in school- 3.7+ GPA, preferably over 3.8. Sounds intimidating, but if you crack down you can do it. Find a few internships during the school year. I think as a NT you need to prove you are harder-working than the rest. To help pay for my rent at school, I had a workstudy, job, and an internship each semester from sophomore year on. Only a couple were finance-related, but all helped me. I learned PowerPoint skills through my workstudy (creating PPTs for professor presentations). I learned time management at an operations/mgmt gig. Picked up people/phone skills in a marketing internship (important for interviewing). You don't have to go this heavy into it, but it wouldn't hurt.

In addition to GPA/internships, look for an extracurricular that you can participate in and play a real role in. And pursue EVERY angle. Alumni, HS alumni, friends, family, friends of friends, cold-calling, whatever. If you are smart and persistent, as well as friendly, SOMEONE will eventually give you an offer. And it seems like when it rains it pours- when one place offers it seems like 2-3 do soon after, so don't get frustrated.

Nontargets are at a disadvantage getting into the door, but not one bit once you start interviewing. The interviewers don't care where you went (unless of course you were from the same school as they went to). In fact, as an econ major at a liberal arts school, I felt like I got a lot more softball questions than someone from a Wharton or Ivey or UT-Austin BHP. Be confident. And understand that right now, the markets are brutal. You won't be the only one to not get an offer if you come up short. Look into CorpDev, CorpFin, or Big4 transactions services/M&A advisory. They are all really good experience and better work-life balance, but with lesser pay and exit opps. I met a ton of guys in banking who started off in accounting or corporate finance, went to get their MBA, and eventually got into banking.

Mar 5, 2018

You guys who went to state schools - there are state schools and then there are state schools... may be good to specify.

Mar 5, 2018

what would you guys consider middle range UC's (UCD, UCI, UCSB)?

Mar 5, 2018

Ideating-
Do you mean the distinction between a UVA, Michigan and a Western Dakota Tech, etc..?

"I'm not sure what the four 9's do, but the ace, I think, is pretty high."

Mar 5, 2018

Yes.

Mar 5, 2018

Some state schools are heavily recruited ... UMich, UVA, UTaustin, Cal ... huge difference between these schools and places like ASU, Texas A&M, Florida, Oklahoma, Nebraska

Mar 5, 2018

I'm currently a senior at a southern, private, non-target. The only BBs that came to campus were Citi, Bear, JPM, Wachovia and BofA, but many MM firms like KBW and Jefferies come to campus, as well as many boutiques.

How is that a non-target? I went to a private non-target in the greater NY area, and the only recruiting on campus was a few BB for operations.

Mar 5, 2018

The sad thing about my school is that there wasn't even recruiting for operations...

Mar 5, 2018

I can attest to lynnventures because I, too, attend a non-target school (think about the top 100 schools listed in US News and we don't even rank in the top 90...). Pretty sad.

Mar 5, 2018

i feel like i have seen this same question 9,000 times since i first looked at this site...

Conclusions:
1 - network with ANYONE you can get ahold of already in banking
2 - apply everywhere (including online)
3 - talk to professors, if a finance/economics professor thinks highly of you, they will refer your name to young alum already where you want to be
4 - get involved in finance/wall street clubs early on and be involved, not just signed up... the president who was a senior when you are a sophomore will be 1-2 years into their finance career when you are looking

Do you "scholars" understand the importance of having an advocate for yourself on the inside? also, if you acted like an a-hole when you were a fresh/soph and your contact in finance knew you then... i'd suggest telling them how you have changed and grown. i can't even tell you all how many people have asked me for help passing their resume and i just toss it out because i would never attach my name to theirs. i'm not going to put my neck on the line for a [email protected] or for someone who i think has a sh-tty attitude. keep that in mind because if you have someone working against you, you are F'ed.

as with others that have posted, i came from non-target and am now a top analyst at prestigious boutique (think Greenhill, Evercore, Lazard, w/e). never let people tell you its impossible, but never think it will ever be easy. we have to work harder for respect but once earned, we have better work ethic than silver spoon kids which magnifies our success...

Mar 5, 2018

Forgot to mention, interviews will be conducted either over Skype chat, or I can send you a doc containing leading questions that you can fill out.

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