Non-Traditional Background - How'd you get your foot in the door?

BBA18's picture
Rank: Gorilla | banana points 573

I'm a junior at a non-target (3.96 GPA, Honors Finance Program, Double major in Finance & RE w/ honors concentration) and I only got 4 first-round interviews during recruitment. Two of which required some dumb luck because I just applied through the company Website. One was w/ a BB (GS/ML/JPM), got a superday, no offer after the first-choice accepted. Second was PE (BX/KKR), no superday.

Most of the kids in my program have already placed. The ones still waiting for offers have had 15-20 first round interviews.

This is my second year at this school (did 2 years at a JUCO) and I think I'm not getting many shots because I haven't been tracking towards IB since HS. I grew up blue-collar and didn't know what investment banking was until 2 years ago. My resume prior to transferring reflects that. I had a good internship w/ a RE investment group last summer, but feel like nothing I do is going to matter if I can't get my foot in the door.

I'm networking as best I can and trying to position myself for FT next, but am trying to decide if IB is a path worth sticking with, or if what I do is largely irrelevant because I was shoveling asphalt and hustling cards while the kids I'm competing w/ were building their IB resumes.

Is it worth sticking w/? If so, what should I do? I feel like I'm 20 years behind kids in the same program that I'm beating in the classroom.

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Comments (129)

Oct 25, 2017

Lol get out of here with that "I didn't know what investment banking was until 2 years ago", I didn't know what IB was until December of my junior year and still got into a BB for FT. And I was a non-target just like you, in a non-finance major, with a lower GPA.

Put your nose to the grindstone and network your ass off. Clearly your credentials are in line, but it appears you did 0 networking because otherwise you would've have 15-20 first rounds like everyone else in your program. There are 50 threads you can find about networking - use them.

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Oct 25, 2017

Came here to say this. I have a background that is no more impressive than yours and I made it in, so stop feeling sorry for yourself.

Oct 27, 2017

Bro didn't you say you went to a top 50 school? While that isn't a "target" that is still a good school for the rest of America and will have some semblance of an alumni network, maybe even an ib club like IU. I won't go into the semantics of your family connections to ib because it is not necessary nor contributes to the discussion. He could be going to some school in the middle of fucking Kansas that nobody has ever heard of and has ZERO alumni or family connections. The fact of the matter is that these firms hire a very small amount of people and limiting yourself to BBs and MF PE roles is completely ridiculous. I think chasing prestige is very dangerous for non-targets. Why not hit up HL, WB. Jefferies, etc. too? There's more to life than working at a BB.

If he's interested in RE (username) then it makes sense to look at other roles than investment banking.

Oct 27, 2017

@BillBelichick37 I think you may have interpreted something different from what I had wrote. Even if OP goes to an ultra non-target, it doesn't dilute my point, if anything it enhances it. I think you misinterpreted me saying "Networking" as "reach out to more alumni". I personally got my BB job through cold emailing non-alumni I had no connection to, so I don't see why OP couldn't do the same instead of saying "Fuck it, my destiny is predetermined because I grew up blue collar".

Note that my point also did not say "Chase BB jobs only" as you seem to have implied. In fact, I have said in many interviews exactly what you said, that chasing prestige is overrated. My point was to say if I can network my way to a BB job at a non-target with less credentials, OP can certainly at least get to a MM or reputable non-EB boutique. I agree with you - there are a breadth of opportunities they can pursue

Oct 27, 2017

what dalai said, im a non target with a terrible gpa (3.4), (i work full time) out of the 200+ emails ive sent ive gotten 10 contacts at bb's who where willing to help me. Non-target doesn't mean your excluded from IB it just means your going to have to work a bit harder

DalaiLama:

Lol get out of here with that "I didn't know what investment banking was until 2 years ago", I didn't know what IB was until December of my junior year and still got into a BB for FT. And I was a non-target just like you, in a non-finance major, with a lower GPA.

Put your nose to the grindstone and network your ass off. Clearly your credentials are in line, but it appears you did 0 networking because otherwise you would've have 15-20 first rounds like everyone else in your program. There are 50 threads you can find about networking - use them.

Oct 31, 2017

Second this. I just received a BB SA offer with really solid experience but a rather low GPA and came from a non-target. Networking is literally everything and whether or not you start early really only matters now if you were a freshman (and you're not).

Cannot reiterate how important it is to reach out far and wide - I sent probably ~400 emails by the time I had my offer. Just think that someone somewhere else probably is doing more than you and use that to motivate yourself to network harder.

Oct 26, 2017

Try to cleanse your resume and tilt it toward valuation and corporate finance

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Oct 26, 2017

What are some good ways to do this?

I'm sitting for CFA I next December, so I can try and work that in.

Should I ax the blue-collar stuff and go into detail about involvement in finance clubs?

I come from down in the Valley, where Mr. when you're young, they bring you up to do like your daddy done.

Oct 26, 2017
BBA18:

Should I ax the blue-collar stuff and go into detail about involvement in finance clubs?

Yes, but only if the finance club stuff isn't fluff BS

Also, I had far worse credentials than you and made it so keep at it. Look at MM banks that may still be recruiting in satellite offices or one-off scenarios. This will require more networking but they do pop up from time to time. after the recruiting cycle.

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Oct 27, 2017

Honestly, the blue collar stuff on my resume took up an entire 20 minutes in one of my superday interviews because the interviewer had done similar stuff as a kid. I had a good bit of corporate finance and wealth management on my resume as well, but just left one of my part time jobs on there.

FYI, I go to a school that maybe sends 1 kid to a banking/trading role every year and I got a BB SA offer, so it can be done.

You want loyalty, hire a cocker spaniel.

Oct 26, 2017

No interviewer wants to listen to a sob story. Be likable and impressive.

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Oct 26, 2017

No shit.

I got superdays after 3 of the 4 interviews, no sob story.

Point of the OP is not to complain. I genuinely want to know what steps guys who weren't initially on the IB trajectory took to land in IB.

I come from down in the Valley, where Mr. when you're young, they bring you up to do like your daddy done.

Oct 27, 2017

Doesn't sound like you did much networking. Might want to work on that.

To infinity... and beyond!

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Oct 30, 2017

No doubt this is true.

How plausible is it to network into a BB/EB (my school has a good amount of kids at the latter) for FT w/out an IB SA gig junior year?

Or is the there more optionality in focusing on GPA more than FT recruiting, shooting for a top-tier MBA (Thinking Harvard 2-for-2, maybe a Wharton MSF) and essentially giving it another crack with a blank slate and an Ivey on the resume?

I come from down in the Valley, where Mr. when you're young, they bring you up to do like your daddy done.

Oct 31, 2017

Depends on what you want. If you have solid finance experience on your resume besides IB, you can attempt to network for FT positions (seeing as you have an adequate alumni base as well), although be warned that FT recruiting is more competitive due to less positions being available, so a complete lack of IB experience will hurt you. You could try to get a boutique internship before graduation.

An MBA is also a good option, but you'll have a harder time recruiting for buyside positions, since you'll be joining as an associate most likely.

To infinity... and beyond!

Oct 27, 2017

Although I would guess a lot of users on this site would disagree with me, I think you're on the right track with the CFA. I can only speak to my own experience, but I had similar stats as you. Decent but largely non-target undergrad, solid grades (though not in the honors program), good but not 'blue chip' internships. Really silver/bronze across the board. But after I passed level 1 the response rate to any entry level job I applied to increased by at least 4x, including IB programs. Even though CFA is meant for Equity Research and Asset Management, it at least guaranteed HR and interviewers that I knew something about finance and could apply myself if needed. The catch is that you really do need to pass the exam though. Just being a level 1 candidate means nothing.

Do take my recommendation with a grain of salt however, as you may be better off just using the extra time you do have to network. Also, contrary to popular belief, IB is not the be-all-end-all. Depending on the alternative career, you may even have a better shot at top MBA programs relative to your IB peers.

Nov 1, 2017

Huge underrated point I think a lot of us miss until it works out: the whole thing is a numbers game man. Your friends have already placed, not because they're magically better at finance or interviewing, but because they got an offer after their 10th superday or whatever. Keep your head up, reach out to people who have no idea you exist, build your network of people willing to vouch for you, get a million interviews and it will work out.

Nov 1, 2017

I suggest tapping into your alumni network and just cold-calling/emailing. There are many threads on this forum that focus specifically on non target recruiting and you could apply those tips to your situation. I do think you need to get a relevant internship under your belt to show you're serious about the change as well, and use your free time networking and learning on your own.

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Nov 1, 2017

Thanks for your reply. I am definitely looking to secure an internship as a way to get in - will this be difficult as a nontraditional candidate or will they be more open than full-time positions generally speaking?

I have connected to some alumni on LinkedIn recently, but they are few and far between, I have a few months so I think I will approach this from a long-game angle.

In terms of self-study, I read about a course that many BBs make analysts take - Wall Street Prep - would it be beneficial to my application to undertake this myself or would it be overkill?

Thanks again for your help.
James.

Nov 1, 2017

I would think they would be more open simply because it is an internship position which is really meant to be a learning experience. Also don't think it would be overkill to take a course, if anything it should help show your interest and willingness to learn

Nov 1, 2017

Thanks for the advice. In that case, I will probably try to secure an internship at a local boutique.

I have an upcoming assessment centre for a tier 2 consulting firm, I was thinking to go through with that for a year or two in order to help me lateral into IB, do you think that would be more beneficial to my application than internships over the same period? I suppose it is more stable employment at least.

Nov 1, 2017

I swear by Rule #4 especially this part: "roll deep with girls when you go to a club and TRADE those girls against a banker contact (I've gotten bankers laid and it has helped my career in ways you can not imagine.)"

People don't know how important sex is and most bankers (nerdy ones) can't get laid with quality girls. Personally I run my own ass-book that I trade with my contacts (junior levels below VP) for both men and women. It works like a charm.

"I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."

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Nov 1, 2017
sxh6321:

I swear by Rule #4 especially this part: "roll deep with girls when you go to a club and TRADE those girls against a banker contact (I've gotten bankers laid and it has helped my career in ways you can not imagine.)"

People don't know how important sex is and most bankers (nerdy ones) can't get laid with quality girls. Personally I run my own ass-book that I trade with my contacts (junior levels below VP) for both men and women. It works like a charm.

+1 to this.

Best Response
Nov 1, 2017

To further validate OP's points, here is my viewpoints on networking:

People are motivated by different things so you need to know what they want. In order to know what they want, you need to spend more time with them. Perhaps, someone of them have family members who want to get a job at XYZ firm. Some want to run for office and need campaign contribution. Some of them love PETA and they want to support that cause. Some just want to have a good time around town. I don't consider them as bribing. It's called networking. Networking is where you position yourself to be useful to others while getting what you want from them. It is an alliance, pooling of resources and trading for what you want.

So my answer is yes. 50K can get you into good schools, at least six figures job, pass to the most exclusive clubs and the hottest chicks in town. You just need to consciously think of who you need to know and what you need to do, to get to where you want to go. Having friends in higher places never hurt. The biggest question is "what are you bringing to the table that they are willing to go out there to take a bet on you?" That my friend is a million dollar question worth considering and thinking about.

While making my break into Wall Street, I networked with more than 600+ people. Everyone of them are concerned with three things: 1) Money, 2) Relationship and 3) Others.

1) Money means career and financial issues. If you can figure out a way to be useful to them: introducing them to the right people, helping them with chores, and be selectively generous, you will get ahead. This is mainly true for analyst and associate levels.

2) Relationship. Everyone have relationship issues mostly junior guys. Guys with money want more women. Women with money want to get married. Older guys want to get married. If you can be the social butterfly who can bring people together, you will have the "social asset" that you can leverage upon. No one is going to hate you for helping them with their relationship issues. This applies to all levels, mainly unmarried people.

3) Other. I put everything else that doesn't apply to those two categories above. It is because people who already have Money and Relationship are looking for something else. They want to feel different. They want to enjoy life. If you can help them develop interest: Photography, Wine Tasting, Fashion or help them with Personal Development, and being useful to them, no one is going to blow you off.

The 3rd item also applies to people in higher positions like the MD, and the Partner levels. They already got everything they want in life. Most of them want to make a difference in the world and they like mentoring younger kids. If they can relate to you with your under-dog story, they are willing to vouch for you. And as a mentee, your must pledge your loyalty towards them, take their advice seriously and show progress in your own career. That is showing your respect and that is the only way to win them over.

I have never met anyone who is 100% happy with their lives. There is always areas that they want to improve. The key is to quickly figure out what is keeping them awake at night. What do they want? Stop thinking of what you want and try to help them to get what they want. That is my friend, the ultimate way to influence people, win them over and the key to building a power-base for yourself.

"I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."

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Nov 1, 2017
Human:

I have never met anyone who is 100% happy with their lives. There is always areas that they want to improve. The key is to quickly figure out what is keeping them awake at night. What do they want? Stop thinking of what you want and try to help them to get what they want. That is my friend, the ultimate way to influence people, win them over and the key to building a power-base for yourself.

I have found this to be the most useful piece of advice in my short career. After you get to a certain age and have a certain amount of money, people look for other outlets that money can't buy. Having hobbies outside of staring at an excel model for 12 hours a day pays huge dividends when you get an opportunity to show a higher-up a good time.

Nov 1, 2017

I never thought about it like that, but rule no. 4 or the ass-book is best advice I have received so far.

SSK

Nov 1, 2017

This thread is great.

Nov 1, 2017

+1

Nov 1, 2017

Love it! Thanks for the advice, Barboone & sxh6321! :)

Nov 1, 2017

worst thread of 2012 (srs)

I'm gonna get that bish some binary

Bishes love binary

Kind Regards,

Bin_Ban

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Nov 1, 2017

Let me see if I understand. Basically, move to New York and become a pimp to financiers and you will be able to become a financier as well? If pimping doesn't work, then become a teller?

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Nov 1, 2017

This is a great thread- thank you for sharing this you guys. I fee like some people learn these kinds of lessons the hard way, or never learn at all.

Especially Human, your view on networking is right to the point- I was talking to Keith (the guy who wrote Never Eat Alone) and it is absolutely essential that you figure out people's needs and help them with it.

Nov 1, 2017

wow. this isn't how life works at all kids.

My drinkin' problem left today, she packed up all her bags and walked away.

Nov 1, 2017

Well he certainly got the 'non-traditional' part right.

Nov 1, 2017

Wow, this is incredible. One of the best threads I've ever read on this site.

Nov 1, 2017

If you are homo and know gay mds or vps then #4 is easy as hell. Trust me. I'm at a target in SF and intentionally seek out gay bankers on match.com and it's the easiest way to land interviews. I had 14 first round interviews and made it to 6 super days. I also want to add that if you aren't a true homosexual like I, you can pass off as one until you get a first round interview. Wait for super day, nail it, get the offer, delete your match.com profile and start rolling in money. I think ibanking is the one career where gays have an advantage. I can only say this works in SF. Maybe not so much in NY. Good luck all.

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Nov 1, 2017

Off topic but how did you get down there in the first place? I'm interested in doing something along the same lines.

PM me if need be.

Nov 1, 2017

I don't have enough banana points to PM. To answer your question, I came here to volunteer at an NGO, and they happened to just start this project. They approached me to join the team after learning about my background.

If you're interested in finance, there are also lot of microfinance NGOs in Latin America where you can intern or volunteer for a few months to a year at a time.

Nov 1, 2017

I'm in a similar situation and I've found that regardless of what the recruiters tell you it's going to take a lot of networking to get an interview. Start with alumni, then linkin groups with a shared interest then just cold emailing altogether. Good luck. Hopefully someone else can answer in more detail for you.

Nov 1, 2017

Thanks for the tip. I'll definitely start contacting alumni soon.

Nov 1, 2017

If you're more than a yr out of school, I don't think you can interview MBB. You would need to go the MBA route to get into their recruiting cycle. I could be wrong on this. For tier 2, you just need to network and get someone to refer you internally. Your background looks strong.

Nov 1, 2017
michael.scoffield:

If you're more than a yr out of school, I don't think you can interview MBB. You would need to go the MBA route to get into their recruiting cycle. I could be wrong on this. For tier 2, you just need to network and get someone to refer you internally. Your background looks strong.

Yeah, getting from industry to MBB at the pre-MBA level is very tough. You can try applying in the standard fall recruiting season, but even if that's possible you'll only start in 2014. Most of the large consulting firms will have their 2013 start classes firmed up by now.

Nov 1, 2017

I'm looking to start next fall (2014); I'll be 3 years out of school by then. Looking at firms such as LEK, OW, ATK, Roland Berger, and Booz. Do they recruit people a few years out of school, pre-MBA?

Nov 1, 2017

I don't know the answer, but it's best if you ask consultants (or HR) working in those firms. Policies might even differ by office.
Also, even if some companies state that they do hire from industry pre-MBA, they might not actually do so in any significant number.

Nov 1, 2017

How competitive is post-MBA associate recruiting compared to undergrad analyst recruiting?

Do you have any practical tips on improving communication skills? I feel like that's the hardest out of the three to practice

Nov 1, 2017

I do not know. I didn't go through Analyst recruiting so I have nothing to measure against. To your second question, don't stop talking to people. Practice makes perfect. Start calling people you don't care or even want a job from, then once you feel comfortable with your story, explanations for various qualitative questions, move on to your target...think of it like warm-ups in sports, except you can control when you start playing...

Nov 1, 2017

@SydViscous thanks for sharing your experiences. It seems that MBA is the only route (with exceptions of course) of making it into IBD.

I spoke to someone at a well known firm and he relayed similar advice in that either find a bigger bank that needs analysts or go get your MBA.

For me, I've worked in the O&G space for two years and am currently in a Business Development role where I am responsible for, among other initiatives, to source for potential M&A opportunities and to present those findings to upper management.

My goal was to leverage this experience (boutique or otherwise) in order to land an opportunity in IB. Seems to me that industry experience is just another bullet point and not something banks seem to care for.

Any advice?

Nov 1, 2017

I don't agree. I think it puts you ahead of someone who knows all of the BIWS/Vault answers because those guys just process information, not apply it. Working in the field means you know whats actually going on operationally - much more valuable. I know for a fact that Intrepid Partners (Skip McGee's new shop) was looking for people with all kinds of backgrounds including Bus Dev...Give them a call or start knocking on NatRes groups/boutiques.

It doesn't matter what shop you work for, it matters that it says "Investment Banking ___" on your resume. From that point, you can move up, down, or to the buy-side (yes, its MUCH harder to get PE from a boutique than a MM, or BB), but not at all impossible.

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Nov 1, 2017

What do you mean by "boutique"? A place like Lazard, Evercore, or Moelis? Or a smaller shop?

Nov 1, 2017

Don't worry, one day you'll drink from the sweet sweet nectar that is Bulge Bracket Paradise.

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Nov 1, 2017

Nice edit...

Nov 1, 2017
Satire 101:

Don't worry, one day you'll drink from the sweet sweet nectar that is Bulge Bracket Paradise.

Wow, 12 Monkey Shits and counting..? Too soon?
Was my sarcasm not sensed?

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Nov 1, 2017

Here is a pat on the back and a banana, better luck next time... haha

Nov 1, 2017

lol Thanks.

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Nov 1, 2017

thanks for doing this, posting to the frontpage now

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

Nov 1, 2017

Thanks for doing this, and congratulations on breaking in. I find your story quite similar to mine, no name undergrad, few years of experience and a good but not top MBA program. I've just graduated and have been doing my best to network with bankers. I wanted to pick your brain on the networking part, is there a particular strategy or method you used to convert networking meetings/informational interviews into job interviews? So far I've had alot of positive encouragement, but more often than not ending with "send me your resume/keep in touch" conversations but haven't been able to convert anything so far. Any advice/thoughts?

TIA

*EDIT: I'm in Canada fyi

Nov 1, 2017

Buy a lucky rabbit's foot (seriously), it comes down to luck. I spoke to 400+ bankers since beginning my hunt. Everyone from Analyst 2's who got me interviews to ex-Heads of IBD USA at BBs who also got me interviews. The sad fact is that a lot of bankers are nervous, neurotic, pussies. Why should they stick their neck on the line for you if they have nothing to gain, and all to lose by recommending you? Make everyone LOVE you. Give examples that demonstrate you know how to work, your tone and clarity will tell them more about how sharp/confident you are than any canned Vault technical question. Do everything from talking to people, to sending your resume cold to firms with resume drops. You never know where it will come from, but if you push and grind, it will come.

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Nov 1, 2017
SydViscous:

Buy a lucky rabbit's foot (seriously), it comes down to luck. I spoke to 400+ bankers since beginning my hunt. Everyone from Analyst 2's who got me interviews to ex-Heads of IBD USA at BBs who also got me interviews. The sad fact is that a lot of bankers are nervous, neurotic, pussies. Why should they stick their neck on the line for you if they have nothing to gain, and all to lose by recommending you? Make everyone LOVE you. Give examples that demonstrate you know how to work, your tone and clarity will tell them more about how sharp/confident you are than any canned Vault technical question. Do everything from talking to people, to sending your resume cold to firms with resume drops. You never know where it will come from, but if you push and grind, it will come.

Whoever threw shit at this one, truth hurts doesn't it pussy?...

Nov 1, 2017

Congrats on breaking in! Don't stop hustlin'

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Nov 1, 2017

Thanks for doing this AMA!

Couple questions:

  1. What advice do you have for someone trying to get in to a Top 25 MBA with similar stats as yours?
  2. Did you find your internships during B-School through OCR or networking?
  3. How many banks would you say recruited at your school?
Nov 1, 2017
  1. Learn how to write, or find someone who will edit the shit out of your essays. That's what got me in.
  2. Networking.
  3. At the graduate level, 2-3. Undergrad is more competitive and get looks from BBs.
Nov 1, 2017

Thanks for doing the AMA! I'm in the exact situation you were in: an undergrad from a non-target school with <3.5 GPA. My question is how were you able to land a job in the Private Wealth field? Did you do any Wealth Management internships beforehand?

Nov 1, 2017

No PW internships, I actually had a buy-side internships in undergrad but when I came out the market had crashed so no one was hiring. PWM all you need to be able to do is talk, and frankly that is something that always came naturally to me.

Nov 1, 2017

thanks for sharing your experience, could you expand more on how you landed in your current role?

Thanks

Nov 1, 2017

I could talk for days...What can I answer specifically?

Nov 1, 2017

Kind of a random question, how much of an asset is programming in banking (not necessarily for quants, but people close to the money)? If you're good at it is it much easier to find a job?

Nov 1, 2017

It's not. I think knowing VBA at a basic/intermediate level is beneficial because excel does have limits, but at a high level it is not something to think twice about IMO.

Nov 1, 2017

To reiterate Sil's question, can you elaborate on what type of "boutique" you work at (i.e. EB, regional, industry-focused, etc.)

Nov 1, 2017

We are generalists, focus mostly on M&A in Consumer, Industrials and Tech, but do a fair amount of security issuances as well. 90% of what we do is domestic. Very relationship driven, not much pitching which kinda sucks from a learning perspective. Firm is just over 25 people in size.

Nov 1, 2017

What kind of trader position do you want? Because most of the time you need skills that you did not mention and most of the times you will never use the skills that you mention.

Nov 1, 2017

To be honest I would start in any position that gave me opportunity to learn either Sales & Trading, Investment Banking (Creating Markets *Where my passion really would be*), or Proprietary trading. Personally, I started out using fundamental analysis customizing advanced trading platforms to determine revenue drivers. I later moved into technical analysis. This was complimented by taking 365+ days worth of data and compiling it using excel and mini tab to build regression models.

Successful people are willing to do the things unsuccessful people can, but are unwilling to do ..o

Nov 1, 2017

Most S&T jobs require more skills than TA. Mostly math, coding and your personality (ie how you handle stress and pressure). If you are good and fast in math maybe you can show of your skills here: http://tradertest.org/. Also there is a whole list of companies that you could possibly reach out to.

Nov 1, 2017

Thanks for your critical feedback. I took honor's in statistics, regression models, economics, financial analysis, managerial finance, and several others. You mentioned companies that might be interested in talking with me, where would I find these? I got hired at SMB Capital. But, they wanted a 10,000 dollar risk deposit, training, and licensing costs to be paid out of pocket. I have no problem doing that, but would need to have it come out of my salary, commissions, draw, or possible advance which they don't give out.

Successful people are willing to do the things unsuccessful people can, but are unwilling to do ..o

Nov 1, 2017
David1roberts_hotmail.com:

Three years later I had two girls working for me making 1000's of dollars a day in cash.

oooh, now I see what kind of business you run

Nov 1, 2017

I had a small sunglasses business which I ran in the Northwest while attending trade shows to expand my product line.

Successful people are willing to do the things unsuccessful people can, but are unwilling to do ..o

Nov 1, 2017
David1roberts_hotmail.com:

Thanks for your critical feedback. I took honor's in statistics, regression models, economics, financial analysis, managerial finance, and several others. You mentioned companies that might be interested in talking with me, where would I find these? I got hired at SMB Capital. But, they wanted a 10,000 dollar risk deposit, training, and licensing costs to be paid out of pocket. I have no problem doing that, but would need to have it come out of my salary, commissions, draw, or possible advance which they don't give out.

See: http://tradertest.org/list.php There are however a lot more companies around.
If you score high enough on the test in tradertest.org you can submit a resume and they can possibly help you. Other than that, try to get some experience in investing itself (not always necessarily trading) and maybe learn some programming language(Python, Java, C++ for example). If you know that you will ace every speed math test thrown at you, you can demonstrate that you're really interested in trading/market making and you have some experience in coding then you can send out your resume. There are tons of companies out there so you have enough chances.

Nov 1, 2017

You bring up an interesting point. I have been seriously thinking about going to school to get my Master's in Computer Engineering, Software. Do you recommend this? Thanks too for the personal list! I applied to Jane Street awhile back, but didn't get an interview. I will look at the other companies though too :)

Successful people are willing to do the things unsuccessful people can, but are unwilling to do ..o

Nov 1, 2017
David1roberts_hotmail.com:

You bring up an interesting point. I have been seriously thinking about going to school to get my Master's in Computer Engineering, Software. Do you recommend this? Thanks too for the personal list! I applied to Jane Street awhile back, but didn't get an interview. I will look at the other companies though too :)

I am not sure how it is looked up on in the US, in continental Europe it is normal to get a masters degree, so everyone I know has a masters degree, however in the US it is different. If you want to be a trader, try a quantitative finance masters or something similar. Basic understanding and being able to code a little bit is usually enough for traders.

Nov 1, 2017

Okay, I applied to every job that you recommended. Thanks, do you have more recommendations?

Successful people are willing to do the things unsuccessful people can, but are unwilling to do ..o

Nov 1, 2017

I don't know what kind of motivation letters you are writing, but I can only write 2 or 3 a day tops and usually 1 of them is really good. It's either my shortcoming or you rushed it. Some of the firms are option market makers others algo and other are something completely different. Try to look in to their business and use that in your letters.

Nov 1, 2017

I customize each letter for the company and position that I am applying too (I took honors in several writing classes ha ha. Love to teach and write lol.) Okay, so I got an interview with Optiver. I am sort of really worried because taking math test under pressure is fun, but I am rusty.

Successful people are willing to do the things unsuccessful people can, but are unwilling to do ..o

Nov 1, 2017
David1roberts_hotmail.com:

I customize each letter for the company and position that I am applying too (I took honors in several writing classes ha ha. Love to teach and write lol.) Okay, so I got an interview with Optiver. I am sort of really worried because taking math test under pressure is fun, but I am rusty.

Well you need to get 56 questions correct I believe and then there are 2 more tests which are less speed based. Speed is essential, so start training already. Train a lot. If you pass these tests you have 50% chance of a job instead of 1%. After that prepare for an brutal interview. In which your motivation will be argued and some technical option type of questions are asked. Learn a lot about the company, eg working hours, products traded, culture and learn a lot about options (greeks, spreads, straddles, butterfly.. etc etc.). And learn how to make markets, bid/ask. Keep in mind that vega is the most important aspect in the options market.

Owh and besides that, I think Optiver is one of the best propshops around there. So you should try your very best!

Nov 1, 2017

Thanks, I feel the pressure ;) I don't know anything about options though.

Successful people are willing to do the things unsuccessful people can, but are unwilling to do ..o

Nov 1, 2017

Options: strategies-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Options_strategies
greeks - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greeks_(finance)
, just learn 1st order greeks, gamma and veta. And learn how they impact the price and the curves (delta curve at t=0 for instance).
And for the rest try to find the book, options futures and derivatives by hull, there you will find more about options, option smiles and the B&S model.

Nov 1, 2017

Wow! thanks bro! :) I really appreciate your help. It means a ton and will get these. Right now I am studying Numerical Sequence Tests by Heidi Smith. I also got a book by Henry Sticker. I am hoping these will help.

Successful people are willing to do the things unsuccessful people can, but are unwilling to do ..o

Nov 1, 2017

Did you just group us with the LSE and Durham? How dare you. How dare you sir. That's appalling.

Highly selective you say? It may be true with Williams or Amherst, where I see some people in IBD, but really, from what they tell me... and as it seems you go to Wesleyan... why do you think so highly of your incompetent school?

anamerican

    • 3
Nov 1, 2017
anamerican:

Did you just group us with the LSE and Durham? How dare you. How dare you sir. That's appalling.

Highly selective you say? It may be true with Williams or Amherst, where I see some people in IBD, but really, from what they tell me... and as it seems you go to Wesleyan... why do you think so highly of your incompetent school?

suck a dick, man. get off the boards.

Nov 1, 2017

Anyone with constructive criticism or real insight?

Nov 1, 2017

Look the answer is when I worked at McKinsey/Bain, most of my managers (older people) had history degrees. Why? They didn't want to become academics. I realise you do economic history; alas no one even knows what that is outside of academia, i..e, no one can name a single economic historian beyond Niall Ferguson.

All the younger people at these firms you listed did math, econ, etc. some even had PhDs in it and were working as analysts or associates. Times have changed, and even if you have done a stats course you're best bet is to become an accountant or try 'networking' and seeing if there's a place lined up.

Seriously though, why did you group us with those schools?

anamerican

    • 1
Nov 1, 2017

Thanks for the pearls of wisdom anamerican.

RE Grouping- Durham was ranked number one for history in two 2011 and 2012 league tables and was ranked within the top three universities for: archaeology, anthropology, chemistry, ECONOMICS, French, geography, philosophy, physics & astronomy, subjects applied to medicine, theology & religious studies. Moreover, Durham was within the top five for myriad other subjects as well.

Nov 1, 2017

So I gave you 10 minutes of my valuable time for advice, and then you insult me. K.

Durham grads, unless they have gone to Eton, rarely are hired into IB or major Consulting unless they have science backgrounds.

anamerican

Nov 1, 2017

Bump. Have made some headway via networking, but still am facing this as an off-cycle candidate. Thus, I welcome further advice...

Nov 1, 2017
D3exlacrosse:

Currently trying to break into IB/PE/VC or consulting. I'm worried my 'non-traditional' background is a 'deal-breaker':

Undergrad:
-Attended highly selective liberal arts college, but not necessarily 'target' (think Bowdoin/ Kenyon/ Wesleyan/Haverford)
-Majored in social science/humanities with sub 3.5 GPA (poor fresh/soph years)
-Extensive extracurriculars: NCAA lacrosse, club hockey, etc.

Graduate School:
-Attended top-tier UK MA social science program (Cambridge/ LSE/ Durham/ Oxford)
-took intensive quantitative research and stats courses whilst there

Internships/ Work Experience:
-Director of operations for UK sports agency
-Teacher at boarding school
-Gubernatorial campaign and other local government

Does anyone with a non-quant or liberal arts background who currently works in the industry have any advice or insight from their experience landing their current position? Furthermore, where might I have more luck getting a foot in the door--IB/PE/VC?

You might be the east coast version of me (or I the west coast version of you): small liberal arts college on the west coast, social science degree, club lax, UK MA ranked in top 3 in the subject (think: LSE, Sussex, Aberistwith [sp]). I'm in wealth management now - dont do it, it sucks - I'm trying to get out.

Nov 1, 2017

You might be the east coast version of me (or I the west coast version of you): small liberal arts college on the west coast, social science degree, club lax, UK MA ranked in top 3 in the subject (think: LSE, Sussex, Aberistwith [sp]). I'm in wealth management now - dont do it, it sucks - I'm trying to get out.[/quote]

Out of finance industry altogether, or merely PWM? Moreover, any advice as to how you tackled recruiting/application process?

Nov 1, 2017

@d3exlacrosse

Do you have any updates as to your situation? I'm really interested in how things are working out for you. Hope you have good news!

Nov 1, 2017

Find ppl at your schoold who work in IB and network through them and find recruiters name. Get them to make in into. Sometimes non target schools that yield solid candidates can become a good side door. So working through ppl from your school with a positive track record is a good place to start.

Nov 1, 2017

"Sure im not making IBD kind of salary, but im not crushing 100hrs a week. I found a stellar job, with amazing benefits and it couldnt be a better fit."

Glad to hear your success and I share your sentiments in the quote above. To hell with prestige and "killing it". It's important to find what makes you happy and I'm sure you have some swag considering your triumph here. Congrats mate it would be great to see other members of WSO with the same humility and perspective that you have here.

Nov 1, 2017

Congrats man. I followed some of your other threads...and in typical WSO style, you got ripped to shreds for the resumes you had posted. While it was enjoyable reading the comments and I did laugh a little, I'm glad you made the best out of it.

I'm very intrigued by the type of role you were able to land. Any more details? PM me if you want.

Nov 1, 2017

Pdres, thanks for sharing the same sentiments. Much appreciated!

Mezz, i remember some of your comments and I thank you. Granted I got ripped apart, but apart from the over the top comments, alot of it was unbiased and pointed. Once we are able to weed through the crap, there are alot of gold nuggets to be offered... PM coming.

"Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish"

Nov 1, 2017

"Cut the burger into thirds, place it on the fries, roll one up homey..." - Epic Meal Time

Nov 1, 2017

Congrats sir.

Nov 1, 2017

WOW! CONGRATS!!!

Get busy living

Nov 1, 2017

Working in sports anything is better than IB anywhere. You win. Congrats.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Nov 1, 2017

Congrats on getting a position you actually enjoy, don't hear enough about that on here.

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
"Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

Nov 1, 2017

Props!

Nov 1, 2017

I remember you! Congrats buddy.