Q&A: Non-Target, sub 3.0 GPA to IB

I'll see some of these on WSO every now & again, I figured that my story could be somewhat interesting enough that it may be useful for others in a similar spot, or are just looking for confidence. I'm currently an associate at a financial services focused boutique. Happy to answer any questions that you all may have.


Complete US non-target with few IB alumni, sub 3.0 GPA, business major, 2 boutique IB roles, interned at a middle market financial svcs. firm 


Feel free to ask me whatever you'd like, or PM me if you're more comfortable doing that instead.


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Comments (11)

Sep 9, 2021 - 2:19pm

Background: Junior pursuing Engineering at a Target in India, 3.1 GPA.

No one in India hires engineering graduates for their front-office roles and the thing is I cannot tolerate coding even for a second so that is off the table. Pursuing MBA is always an option, but my aim is to work at an IB straight out of my bachelor's. Took advantage of classes being held online, bought CFA Books, applied at almost 200+ internships (all outside India) but to no avail, now networking my ass-off and hoping to get something. 

Question: Am I crazy for wasting my time thinking that if I push enough, I can get my foot through the door, or should I just start preparing for GMAT?

Thank You in advance. 

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Sep 9, 2021 - 4:45pm

Most IB positions in india are held by CPA's/CA's. IB has very little to do with engineering. Sales and Trading is great for engineering people because of its need for analytical thinkers, but based on what I have heard, it requires a bit of coding.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 10, 2021 - 5:10pm

Not crazy at all and you're not wasting your time, persistence is the key here. Keep networking.

There were times where I had the same thoughts as you - wondering if I was just wasting my time. I was able to break-in and I didn't start networking until after I graduated from UG. Obviously everything is accelerated these days, but you still have time. I was in a somewhat similar situation as you in terms of thinking of b-school, I'd say study for the GMAT/GRE and try to get into a solid school, but allocate most of your time to networking, improving technicals/nailing your story/resume experience. Maybe 80/20 or 70/30 of your time (more weighted toward networking). I made myself study technicals and nail my story throughout the week. Also set goals as far as # of networking calls to have each week. Genuinely show the other person that you're interested in their background and that you researched them (not creepily though) when you network too, this goes a long way.

Hope this helps.

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Sep 9, 2021 - 4:43pm

How much did you have to network to land a spot at a boutique? How was the pay? Was it street level? Did you apply for the boutique job after seeing a listing online, or did you ask around to find the job?

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 10, 2021 - 5:00pm

Lots of networking (a couple-ish years worth with 500+ attempts). Pay is street level. Standard resume drop through LinkedIn, the posting had a significant amount of applicants, but I was fortunate enough to beat the others.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 16, 2021 - 4:28pm

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