Spending an Extra Year After Transferring

Hello everybody,

I am a recent community college transfer student who transferred to UC Berkeley. This recruitment cycle has not been going entirely well for me so far, as I have no prior finance experience, could not get into any relevant clubs, and was extremely late to the networking game. So, I think I may have to intern at a no-name boutique this summer to get something on my resume.

With this being said, I think the best course of action for me is to spend an extra year at university. Currently, my expected graduation is May 2023, but I do not think my job prospects will be near what I would want them to be at this time. With my extra year and expected graduation of May 2024, my plan would look something like this:

2022: SA at no-name boutique

2023: SA at (hopefully) EB/BB, or just a better firm in general

2024: Secure FT offer from company of 2023 SA role

Does anyone have any advice for me? What do you think of my plan? How does a transfer student spending an extra full year look to recruiters? Has anyone done this before or know someone who has? If so, how did it work out for you/them?

I appreciate any advice. Thanks in advance. 

Comments (11)

Most Helpful
  • Intern in IB - Gen
Nov 10, 2021 - 4:15pm

First off, congrats on getting into Berkeley! However, not to discourage you and I'm sure you're already aware but IB recruiting is going to be an insane grind. I'm assuming you're non-diversity. These next 2.5 years (based on your plan) are going to require nonstop focus and hardwork.

1. You'll need to maintain a 3.5+ GPA which is tough at Berkeley.

2. You need to start getting creative to build up your resume. You said you didn't get into any finance or business clubs. That's fine. You can just be a general member at some of the less exclusive clubs to show some sort involvement on campus. Then, begin to look into research opportunities, individual project ideas, unpaid internships during the school-year, etc. You need to show that you've actually done some professional stuff and be able to write that on your resume. Having some 'Sales Associate' title on your resume just doesn't cut it these days. 

I think it's great that you're shooting for EB/BB, but sometimes you need to be a little bit realistic. You're already behind on the recruiting game. You should potentially consider MM banks, capital markets, or corporate banking as a starting route to eventually lateral to a BB or EB. Good luck.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Nov 10, 2021 - 5:16pm

Thanks, I really appreciate the advice. I will definitely try to get more involved in the activities you mentioned. I agree that EB/BB is a bit out-of-reach for me considering the stage I'm in. For my plan on the types of internships I'm looking for, do you think that it is good, other than me needing to change EB/BB for 2023 SA to a role at a MM bank or something similar? Also, if I do this, do you think there will be any potential for the FT 2024 EB/BB recruitment cycle after my Summer 2023 stint? Thank you, again. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Nov 10, 2021 - 6:20pm

You should def get multiple opinions and advice from others as well but this would be my game plan is I was in your shoes. 

Today - end of 2021 fall semester: Collect yourself mentally and realize that these next 2.5 years are gonna be really tough. Accept that you're going to be super stressed out and you have to 100% commit to the recruiting process, not 50 or 60%. Also, stay focused on academic and don't get your grades slip.

2021/2022 Winter Break: Start brainstorm and reaching out to people (cold-email, asking friends/friend for introductions) to get some a research opportunity, finance or business project, volunteer thing, or actual finance internship for the spring 2022 semester. Just based on personal experience, but I don't recommend spending a ton of time applying to stuff on LinkedIn or Handshake. Literally all 30k students at Berkeley can see the Handshake job postings, so you're chances of getting a good gig is really low. Instead, try to focus your energy on establishing one-on-one connections that might actually lead to something. Then, once you have something sorted for the spring semester, you need to land some no-name boutique, audit, tax, or finance related legit internship for 2022 summer. This is absolutely crutial - if you don't land anything finance related for 2022 Summer then you're EB/BB chances prob go to 0%.

2022 Spring Semester: Things take time so you'll prob end of spending part of your spring semester trying to get a 2022 Summer internship but that's only one part of the puzzle. You need to get started on the standard IB recruiting procedure because 2023 SA recruiting starts in March/April of 2022: get the M&I interview question guide, browsing this forum constantly to learn about the industry, and start to craft your own story.

Then, perhaps the most time consuming part of networking. Even at a target school like Berkeley, there's only so many alumni IB analysts and associates that you can cold-email. Just a random guess but I bet there's prob at least 800 students in every grade level at Berkeley emailing the same analysts and associates. Not trying to be offensive, but you're not a superstar candidate so you unlikely a lot of responses if you use the typical cold-email networking format of trying to "learn about their firm". This is where your personal story comes into play. I don't have the perfect answer for this but you need to think creatively about how you can stand out.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 10, 2021 - 6:35pm

You don't need a full extra year. Just add an extra semester so graduate a semester late (12/23). Start networking now. Network with any UCB alumni that will take your call and start sending cold emails and LinkedIn DMs to any bankers you find online. If you start right now, you will be a be okay for SA 23 despite starting a bit late to the game. You should also be furiously applying for any type of roles for this coming summer. Look for CorpFin roles at big companies, SA roles at no-name boutiques, or any other role at something related to finance. When it comes to stuff on campus, start connecting with people in your classes on campus who appear to be active in clubs. Show interest so you can join the elite clubs next semester and in the meantime join the less exclusive clubs now.

You will be okay but you really need to focus all of your efforts on getting good grades and networking. You should be reaching out to multiple people every day and having a few networking calls a week. 
 

You've got this. Don't let club rejections or people not responding to your emails dismay you. 

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Nov 12, 2021 - 2:09pm

Thanks for your response. I'll take your advice in the roles I search for and using it to get into the clubs

Nov 11, 2021 - 4:29pm

Lmao this snot nosed kid from a tier 6 university thinks interning at a "boutique" is his backup plan😹😹😹

Interning at a boutique is your best case scenario from some shit-tier compsci sweatshop of a university bozo

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Nov 11, 2021 - 8:18pm

The above advice is good, but adding that unless you are really far on credits, graduate in December instead of a full year later. It'll save some $ and you can either have a few months off or start early (BB/EB would be happy to have you early).

It's very common to take an extra semester or year when transferring since recruiting is so early, unlikely anyone will even ask. Just make sure you are putting all of the work in to hit the ground running the second early recruiting kicks off.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Nov 12, 2021 - 2:09pm

I agree on graduating in December 2023. It seems that I may have been overthinking a bit with taking myself all the way out to May 2024

Nov 13, 2021 - 5:02am

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Have compassion as well as ambition and you’ll go far in life
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