Not getting into diversity programs and panicking

Similar to a previous thread, but as an Asian female at a target with a 3.95+ GPA, I have not gotten into any of the women's/diversity feeder programs that I've applied to, like Citi Early ID, CS Women's Mentor, PWP Women's Advisory Prep, Moelis YLDP, PJT, etc. I've talked with 2-3 analysts at each of those firms as well as HR for some firms too. Even before applying, I got interview prep and resume reviews from Career Services and upperclassmen who will be going to some of these firms.

This is super discouraging because I can't even get an interview for these programs which I know are feeders for female candidates and fill up most of the female diversity spots. It also sucks to see individuals who have literally no previous IB or finance experience on their resume and have not networked and have a lower GPA than me from a nontarget school can somehow get it. 

Do I basically have no chance during regular recruiting now since the competition will be even more fierce? Any reassurance / advice / tips would be helpful.

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (19)

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Mar 17, 2021 - 1:06pm

Are you an international student? What's your previous experience like? your GPA is only one tiny part of your resume and while its good that you are at a target, you would still need at least some kind of previous experience. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Mar 17, 2021 - 1:14pm

wow, women moment

Just chill, sometimes these programs are a little random, or if you go to a target then there's probably a ton of people from your school applying to these programs. Yes, the regular process is "more fierce", but if you're as qualified as the non-diverse applicants, you have just as much of a shot. For context, I'm "diverse" and went to W, and I got rejected from every diversity program, but I got an interview at every EB I applied to and accepted one of the offers.  

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Mar 17, 2021 - 3:10pm

Thanks, OP here. This is reassuring. I'm wondering as a diverse applicant though, are you competing for fewer spots since diversity spots have already been allocated to a select group of individuals through the feeder programs?

Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Mar 17, 2021 - 4:28pm

I mean yeah obviously, there are fewer spots left... 

but you have just as much of a chance as any other regular cycle applicant (assuming equal quality, which most diverse candidates are not, and that's facts). You're not disadvantaged for reapplying. But take a look at your application materials again bc maybe there's something wrong with your resume. 

Also, some general advice, you should start only worrying about things that are in your control. It'll spare you from wasting your time and stressing unnecessarily. Regardless of any of the answers here, would you really have changed anything? You're going to apply again either way. 

Most Helpful
Mar 17, 2021 - 4:51pm

You should self-reflect on what you wrote, think about your situation, and the purpose of these programs. Because you're not the first person to make a post like this and you won't be the last so I'm hoping this gets to other people too.

 "as an Asian female at a target with a 3.95+ GPA"

"I've talked with 2-3 analysts at each of those firms as well as HR for some firms too"

" It also sucks to see individuals who have literally no previous IB or finance experience on their resume and have not networked and have a lower GPA than me from a nontarget school can somehow get it."

You're at a target, you have an impeccable GPA, and, judging by your critique of people without experience, you probably have some finance experience. These programs are for diverse candidates and target people who probably are not as competitive as regular recruiting cycles (i.e. lower GPA, no internships, different intersectionality) and may be unfamiliar with how recruiting/networking is done. You have done everything right. If you are as qualified as you believe you are, you will get offers during regular recruiting. It sounds like you have nothing to gain from these programs because you know everything they would try to teach you.

And the final quote brings your character into question. Do you think these firms want someone who is as entitled as you sound? You don't know those people at non-targets nor do you know their backgrounds and why their resume is different from yours. You have the ability to go to a target, to do well, and to know enough about the game to have started early. Not everyone is that fortunate or privileged. The lack of empathy on this board is astounding at times.

Mar 17, 2021 - 5:14pm

FinancepH

These programs are for diverse candidates and target people who probably are not as competitive as regular recruiting cycles (i.e. lower GPA, no internships, different intersectionality) and may be unfamiliar with how recruiting/networking is done.

I don't think this is the case -- At least at the events hosted by EBs. Quite a few people who've secured sophomore BB and reputable PE internships consistently show up to several of these events. 

  • Intern in AM - FI
Mar 18, 2021 - 12:53pm

Yeah biggest demographic I've observed at diversity programs is Asian females with very strong resumes. I think the reason OP isn't getting in is because there are probably a lot of qualified applications from her demographic to compete with.

Funniest
  • Intern in IB - Ind
Mar 18, 2021 - 11:21am

Oh you didn't get into the diversity program? Now you have to go through regular recruiting like the rest of us. Good luck, you only have a 3.95 at a target in addition to former experience and have been networking with bankers a year before recruiting starts. What a tough position to be in!

  • Analyst 1 in CorpStrat
Mar 18, 2021 - 8:23pm

... you sound like the type of person who is bound to have a very fulfilling dating life lol

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Mar 30, 2021 - 1:29am

pretty much in the exact same situation as you OP, you're not alone. I've also been rejected from almost all of those exact programs you mentioned and so I'm definitely feeling really anxious right now. I'm still hopeful though, we got this!

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

June 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (35) $364
  • Associates (203) $232
  • 2nd Year Analyst (115) $151
  • Intern/Summer Associate (97) $145
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (27) $145
  • 1st Year Analyst (420) $131
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (338) $82