Non-targets! the most inspirational guy on Wall Street!

"I've known pain you've never felt before" - Sam Isaly

To anyone who has their hopes down on breaking into the industry, you should know about the legend Sam Isaly. He's a managing partner for the $7B aum fund OrbiMed which has bragging rights for the largest healthcare-dedicated investment firm in the world. If you don't know, OrbiMed is absolutely the top notch fund in the healthcare space. Every healthcare banker and sell-side analyst daydreams about working there come recruiting season. They run strategies from PE, VC, long-short, and even Eaton Vance's Worldwide Health Science fund.

But what's so special about this guy? A quick look at Isaly's profile reads Princeton, LSE, Merill Lynch, Chase, Legg Mason. What's so non-target about that?

Well, he's been a paraplegic ever since a wrestling accident in high school. To add insult to injury, Yale even withdrew his admission after the accident. With an injured spine, he lost control of his legs and had to re-teach himself to use his arms. At the time, Princeton didn't have ramps, so Isaly needed his classmates to haul him up the stairs. To this day, Isaly can barely use his right arm, and scribbles his notes by holding a pen using his fingers like a pair of chopsticks. If you think you're getting unfairly judged, think about how much prejudice was against this guy! His interviewers would immediately disqualify him because of the wheelchair.

But Isaly doesn't want your pity. He became the first student in a wheelchair to graduate from Princeton. He won a Fulbright scholarship and got a masters at LSE. He wakes early enough to check the Asian market at 6am. He works 12 - 18 hours a day. He averaged 20% returns these past 2 decades. And He runs the best healthcare fund on the street.

So if you're still feeling down about not getting in, I hope this man brings you some inspiration. I've never seen a person so driven before. He's my hero for sure.

Comments (33)

 
Jul 3, 2013 - 4:55pm

Non-target because he's paraplegic?.........................

[quote]The HBS guys have MAD SWAGGER. They frequently wear their class jackets to boston bars, strutting and acting like they own the joint. They just ooze success, confidence, swagger, basically attributes of alpha males.[/quote]
 
Best Response
Jul 3, 2013 - 6:00pm

Are you really comparing attending a non target school to a man who lost the use of his limbs? People need to get some perspective. As a former non target student myself some of the people on here who think going to an unknown school is the kiss of death need to grow a pair and hustle their way to where they want to be and stop using it as an excuse.

 
Jul 3, 2013 - 6:26pm

I think OP's point is more like: no shortcoming should discourage you from getting into Wall Street. More like, if this guy can do it, so can you! No matter whether you are from a community college or handicapped!

"I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature."
 
Jul 3, 2013 - 7:33pm

derivstrading:

Are you really comparing attending a non target school to a man who lost the use of his limbs? People need to get some perspective. As a former non target student myself some of the people on here who think going to an unknown school is the kiss of death need to grow a pair and hustle their way to where they want to be and stop using it as an excuse.

Seriously, how the hell can you compare being a paraplegic to going to a school that bulge bracket banks don't recruit at? Fuck's sakes.

 
Jul 3, 2013 - 7:48pm

JDawg:

derivstrading:

Are you really comparing attending a non target school to a man who lost the use of his limbs? People need to get some perspective. As a former non target student myself some of the people on here who think going to an unknown school is the kiss of death need to grow a pair and hustle their way to where they want to be and stop using it as an excuse.

Seriously, how the hell can you compare being a paraplegic to going to a school that bulge bracket banks don't recruit at? Fuck's sakes.

hahaha

To be fair, lots of people going to nontargets go on to live relatively normal and healthy lives

 
Jul 3, 2013 - 8:24pm

TheFratPack:

It's titled "Non-Targets!..." because he is addressing those that attend non-targets. The story is meant to prove anything is possible.

But there are people from 'non targets' that are even more successful than that. And I'd much rather graduate from a school where a few industries don't recruit from than not have use of my limbs...

 
Jul 3, 2013 - 8:45pm

Thurnis Haley:

Is non-target now being used as a synonym for any sort of disadvantage in life?

Lol I wonder if there are Non-Target stickers available, so people can park in the handicapped spots.

Please don't quote Patrick Bateman.

  • 1
 
Jul 3, 2013 - 9:27pm

DBCooper:

Thurnis Haley:

Is non-target now being used as a synonym for any sort of disadvantage in life?

Lol I wonder if there are Non-Target stickers available, so people can park in the handicapped spots.

lolololol

The usage of the term non-target on this site is so overdone it's hard to exaggerate how over dramatic some people are. This post might win the competition for the most over the top comparison.

 
Jul 3, 2013 - 9:30pm

This is the dumbest thing I've ever seen. The whole point is that he went to PRINCETON and LSE. If he hadn't gone to an elite school he may not have been successful and his disability would have been a bigger hinderance. This is not relevant at all to non-targets...

 
Jul 3, 2013 - 9:53pm

cakepie:

This is the dumbest thing I've ever seen. The whole point is that he went to PRINCETON and LSE. If he hadn't gone to an elite school he may not have been successful and his disability would have been a bigger hinderance. This is not relevant at all to non-targets...

the message is pretty clear to me - it's 100x harder to get to the top as a handicap than a non-target but this guy still made it because he was determined.

So what if he got in princeton, he still beat all these other kids despite his handicap. Just imagine how much this guy could do if he never got injured.

Keep your head in the game guys..

Great Post.

 
Jul 3, 2013 - 10:21pm

fantastic pick-me-up

"The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter"
 
Jul 3, 2013 - 10:57pm

couchy:

cakepie:

This is the dumbest thing I've ever seen. The whole point is that he went to PRINCETON and LSE. If he hadn't gone to an elite school he may not have been successful and his disability would have been a bigger hinderance. This is not relevant at all to non-targets...

the message is pretty clear to me - it's 100x harder to get to the top as a handicap than a non-target but this guy still made it because he was determined.

So what if he got in princeton, he still beat all these other kids despite his handicap. Just imagine how much this guy could do if he never got injured.

Keep your head in the game guys..

Great Post.

Yeah that's why it's so ridiculous. His situation was nothing like graduating from a non-target. Nothing.

 
Jul 4, 2013 - 12:26am

I mean the title of the post has little to do with the content but it's not about a specific type of person that the story applies to.
For what it's worth, I see this as a great story showing that adversity must be taken as a catalyst to one's motivation.
Life isn't fair. Some people are going to have to work harder than others, but god-damnit this is America and we can all achieve greatness if our work ethic is great enough to overcome our adversities.
Happy 4th of July WSO

 
Jul 4, 2013 - 2:46am

derivstrading:

Are you really comparing attending a non target school to a man who lost the use of his limbs? People need to get some perspective. As a former non target student myself some of the people on here who think going to an unknown school is the kiss of death need to grow a pair and hustle their way to where they want to be and stop using it as an excuse.

Amen brotha. Hard work and taking advantage of opportunities when it presents itself will take you much further than a few words on your diploma in the long run. Train your perspective like an ultra marathoner and take little steps as every step gets you just that much closer.

 
Jul 4, 2013 - 3:40am

Jesus Christ, fellers. For a bunch of well-paid, highly-educated guys...

This post is not saying that coming from a non-target literally equals paraplegia. It's about not curling into a ball and crying yourself to sleep because the deck is stacked against you; it's about climbing the goddamned mountain and shitting on the heads of everyone laughing at you because you don't have a degree from Harvford's Sterton School of Business.

 
Jul 4, 2013 - 3:47am

I would honestly rather be a paraplegic than attend a non-target school.

I would rather have banks take a look at me first, then JUDGING that I deem physically unfit to join the group, rather than NOT even look at me, being from a non-target.

Heck this dude was from PRINCETON and ended up starting a megafund. That is SOOOO amazing just like how zuckenburg/bill gates from HARVARD started up facebook/microsoft - two tech giants. WOW!

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