NON-TARGET TO BANKING FORMULA: 100% SUCCESS RATE (so far)
Ok so I just got into a MM from a non target and helped my friend do the same. Wanted to pass along the formula that worked for me. This is going be a long one so here goes.
The first thing to know about banking is that it's meant to be an exclusive club with barriers to entry ranging from schools and recruiting, all the way down to jargon which includes fancy words and acronyms just to confuse people. It's a close knit club that they only allow similar members into. It's a hard door to push open unless your uncle got you in, you tip off the bouncer, or you push really hard and get lucky.
That last spot is where most non target kids are-pushing as hard as they can and praying for dear life that one of their 200 applications gets them a HR screen-so that hopefully they get an interview-so that hopefully they make it to-so hopefully they get a SA offer-so that hopefully they get a FT offer and make it into the club.
So if you're not at a target you're at a serious disadvantage in getting in the door. BUT….YOU CAN USE THAT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE. FOLLOW THIS FORMULA:
By the time you decide that banking is everything you want in this world and you have absolute conviction, you're already on the clock and probably too late. Deciding and starting early is key because you have a lot of ground to make up as you'll see. Start the process by mid sophomore year and you'll be fine. Some people get lucky and do it in less, but I wouldn't risk it.
Nobody and no job is coming to you in banking, BEFORE you even type a networking email, you have to show commitment by doing EVERYTHING POSSIBLE in your situation
HIRE A PROFESSIONAL TO MAKE YOUR RESUME
This is the packaging that gets you in the door. It's the single most important piece of paper you'll ever have so don't be cheap and spend the money to have someone who knows what they're doing make it. The banking world is rigid from key words to formatting, and no-you're school career counselor doesn't know what she's talking about so just stop right there
HAVE A 3.8 OR HIGHER
(no it's not a 3.5, you're not a Harvard) best way to do this is load on the easy classes earlier on and spend a bunch of time creating your class schedule to ensure you get an A. I would spend a week on ratemyprofessor crafting my class schedule to make sure I had the easiest teachers. One bad teacher who "doesn't give A's" and your GPA is trash early on. No thank you.
JOIN The SCHOOL FINANCE CLUB
It's free, easy, and gives you a great network and education.
HAVE SOME WORK EXPERIENCE
Doesn't matter what it is just have it. For a freshman year internship that means a waiter or data entry and sophomore year that means (at least ) a family friends' somewhat legit company doing something you can relate to analyst stuff. (the more finance related the better)
GET ON THE WSO GRIND
Take WSO excel, PowerPoint, and Financial statement modeling courses and know the behavioral and technical guides cold. WSO is your bible for the recruiting process and you should treat it like another class, YES, that means spend two hours every day learning this stuff and practicing it (and then networking later on). Read the forums, get to know the jargon and the expectations. Live in this world.
TAKE THE SIE & 63
These are easy exams and you don't need to be sponsored to take them. Looks great on your resume and will save you a headache later on so you don't have to take them while working
Towards the end of sophomore year you should be firing off applications for any bank in the cosmos. At least 200 should go outNew York to Corn Valley M&A in Oklahoma. People don't understand that this is a pure statistics game. You're up against THOUSANDS of candidates and many of them have the schools and code words that your resume doesn't. So you can't even get past the automated screening. Applying online is a black hole. So why do it? Great question. That leads me to the next step
BE SCRAPPY, BE RESOURCEFUL
Once you have an internship or two and you resume looks tight, it's time to LinkedIn your brains out. You'll be on LinkedIn 3x the amount of time teenage girls are on tiktok so build yours up and start reaching out ASAP
-every alumnus that you can find who works in any of the places you applied to should be LinkedIn messaged or cold emailed or both. Assuming they have some sort of finance job in the bank and they went to your school, you figure out how to get them on the phone or in person. More senior the better. (Senior associate and up can actually push a resume, not an analyst)
I can't stress this enough- IF NOBODY PUSHES YOUR RESUME YOU WILL NOT GET THIS JOB,
The statistics are stacked against you. And the 20 spots for 5,000 applicants are usually given to an MD's friends son who has a 3.9 at Harvard on the rowing team (yes, think the Winklevos twins in the social network)
So be scrappy and find their email (figure out the email format online or something) and cold email. Keep it short and sweet, no one has time for your sob stories. MDs and analysts have a trillion things going on, so reading a long email from a sophomore at Baruch is already annoying. (see cold email and networking posts for more on this)
During the call or meet, be interesting and exude humble confidence. (Check all the other posts about networking calls or chats about how to get it done and make the ask)
You can also use this tactic on non alumni. Try and find some personal connection snd you may get lucky.
If you follow this formula you should have a decent shot. It's worked 100% so far!
Go get em!