I've been sitting on this post for a while. I was waiting for it to turn into a success story; started-from-the-bottom-now-we're-here kind of story. But it's been so long I'm going to post it anyway.
Finance degree from non-target, super involved on campus, extracurriculars, case comps etc. Worked my ass off to somehow maintain a 3.9 GPA. Managed to land a couple solid internships. I'm also well on my way through the CFA program.
I've been on the job hunt for quite a while now. My school has no alumni in finance. My approach has been to apply to jobs online, follow up on LinkedIn, and message everyone and their grandma on LinkedIn/email. Even tried an unsuccessful cold calling stint. I've been keeping track of my job apps in a spreadsheet. It's well into the hundreds now. It blows my mind. I realize networking has the highest success rate, so that is where I now spend most of my time – setting up phone chats and coffees. I've found that talking to ppl at firms that already have an opening results in the most interviews i.e. applying first then reaching out on LinkedIn.
It has been over a year since I've graduated. I have just under one year of work experience. The challenge is that because I've already graduated I get passed over for the new grad roles, BUT I don't have the 2+ years of experience to qualify for other roles. I actively seek out feedback from every interview. The feedback is always positive, which is good, but means I have trouble finding ways to improve. They always mention the role (FT or internship) was given to someone with more experience, or an MBA, which isn't an option for me at the moment.
What I've been looking for:
At this point I'm not being very selective. I've started to cast a wide net. I've had interviews in PE, VC, ER, private credit, real estate, corp dev, consulting, tech sales, underwater basket weaving and on. I'm looking for something analytical involving research and analysis; ideally in an environment where investment decisions are made. I find the process of identifying and executing on investment ideas exciting. That's what my background is in. I am interested in getting more exposure to debt investing and have recently been chatting with private credit firms, specialty lenders, corp banking etc.
I'm a very hard working, driven and ambitious person. I also enjoy long walks on the beach. It felt very uncomfortable to write this post – to admit I've failed. Failing to overcome challenges is not something I'm used to. But this job hunt is starting to break me. It has dramatically impacted my life and my relationships. I've worked so hard and diligently to get to where I am but the stars just aren't aligning. It has been quite a humbling experience – to get knocked down over and over again. But I have to trust there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There has to be…
It's a hyper competitive job market and I know some of you have been through similar experiences and can relate to the struggle. So I'm hoping that by reaching out to my fellow monkeys I can get much needed motivation and advice. What am I doing wrong??
NOTE: I should include I'm in Canada (looking primarily in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver). Very open to US, but don't think sponsorship is realistic.