Possible to break into corporate finance with a 3.1 GPA and no internship experience from a semi-target school ? What are my options?

So basically I am a recent grad from a semi-target school and had a horrible time in college and had some mental and physical health issues that crushed my drive, energy, ambition, and ability to do my work and get good grades.  I almost ended up dropping out but stuck with it. Spring semester Junior year I finally started to get the help I needed and was able to make Dean's list the last three semesters, but even then I was about 70%-80% max of what I know I truly am, and that still is not enough considering the damage I did to my GPA early on. I didn't educate myself enough on career paths and internships early on as I had my head completely up my ass and did not land any due to my GPA and lack of knowledge about how to apply, and basically thought I could just show up and be handed jobs. This is moronic because I had access to excellent career services at the time as well.  I know IB, PE, Big4,  like that is totally out of the question for me, not in 10 million years, but I just wanted to know what options I could possibly have, or if I can even pursue anything in finance at all, to be honest.

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Comments (6)

May 12, 2021 - 12:38am

I was in a similar position 3 years ago. Graduated with under 2.8 gpa from a state school. Had switched majors once, but finished with strong grades at the end. Don't lose hope. Was able to get a treasury analyst position with a $4B public company. Have worked really hard and have proven myself to be a top performer. Got a promotion over counterparts with MS Finance degrees. I've recently leveraged the promotion and experience to a more senior role at a F50 company.

If you can get your foot in the door anywhere (FP&A, Treasury, Business Development), just work hard and learn as much as you can and the GPA will mean nothing.

May 12, 2021 - 7:50pm

I appreciate you reaching out bro. I  really am starting to lose hope, but am interested in treasury, FP&A, commercial, or corporate finance.  It just seems so impossible, that there are millions of candidates better than me everywhere I look, feel like I am applying to very competitive firms and am not sure where to look.  What was your networking strategy? Thanks again!

May 15, 2021 - 8:02pm

Honestly I didn't have any networking plan. For the treasury analyst job I had a connection to the VP of Corp FP&A but I doubt that had any weight on the hiring decision. When that company is hiring fresh undergrads they were very focused on personality, and having a good fit with someone who could grow.

The new role I am taking with another company I did not network at all. They had actually hired another analyst from my company a few years ago, and one of the interviewers was from my hometown so there were a few points of familiarity. 

Honestly you have to just really sell yourself. Fake it till you make it. Best of luck.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 12, 2021 - 7:53pm

 I know IB, PE, Big4,  like that is totally out of the question for me, not in 10 million years

Don't have that attitude.

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