Opportunity in Alaska

Currently a sophomore at a regional university that has connections with regional midwestern MM banks (peep username). Had an internship last summer doing Business Development at a pretty well known organization. Was recently given the opportunity to work on a fishing ship in Alaska this summer which sounds extremely interesting to me and a nice send off before working in an office for the rest of my life. My question is: will me taking this blue collar job rather than chasing a more traditional IB pipeline internship (FP&A or boutique PE) shoot me in the foot or would it possibly benefit me by being more of a unique candidate. I have a lot of good extra curricular activities including managing a budget of 100k and a VP of an org with several hundred members, I also have a  3.8 GPA if that adds any extra context. Love to hear your advice, sounds like an amazing life experience but unsure if I want to take it if it could potentially harm/slow down my career trajectory. Also any thoughts about how to leverage this experience in an interview if anything comes to mind.

Thank you in advance!

Comments (6)

Jan 26, 2022 - 11:00am

Of course having "relevant" work and internship experience is going to help you. That being said, I was a bartender on the Block Island Ferry until my Junior year in college and didn't have a finance internship until the summer going into my Senior year. I don't think doing one unique thing as a sophomore is going to hurt you. It may raise the question though, why would you work on a fishing ship in Alaska if you're pursuing banking? If you are driven to become a banker why wouldn't you pursue a finance role? On the other hand, it could make you seem unique and make for an interesting conversation. I'd be much more interested in talking to someone who spent time in Alaska than someone who helped organize datasets in an office. 

Most Helpful
Jan 26, 2022 - 11:06am

Seems like a super unique opportunity, but there are really two sides of this story. As someone who reads resumes for my bank, seeing that experience in Alaska would definitely catch my attention, and if everything else in your resume checked out, I would probably be more inclined to give you an interview. At the same time, I would be questioning why you didn't go for a more traditional sophomore internship. My advice would be to spin this experience with as much of a financial twist as possible, without completely embellishing. You say you're working on a fishing ship- could you manage their finances or inventory? Or are you only working in the fishing itself and shipping it out? Try to get as much of a financial experience tied into the job. Could be hard, but if you can twist that, you get both a cool experience that stands out and also a way to get yourself some real-world finance experience. PM me for more help

  • Director in IB - Gen
Jan 26, 2022 - 12:54pm

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