I am from a non-target so needless to say recruiting for SA positions was quite difficult. I ended up not even getting a first round interview from anywhere I applied, which I assume was because of my poor gpa and non-target school. Anyway, I didn't want to give up. I started looking for some janitorial apprenticeships at some of the BB's in New York. I set up a few informational interviews with a few MJ's (Managing Janitor) on the street but it didn't seem like anything was going anywhere.
I then decided to contact a janitor from my elementary school named Mr. Mike to see if he had any contacts on the street (networking is everything on Wall Street). Turns out the person he apprenticed for in Highschool was now a big time MJ at one of the banks mentioned above. We met up and hit it off and he hired me for a summer spot right away.
Half way through the summer while I was deodorizing a urinal, one of the MD's from the IBD walks in and starts to go about his business at the urinal. He was very well known around the office and a guy who I thought I would never see again (being a frequent traveler). So I figured if I had a shot it was now. I let him finish, and while he was washing his hands, I blurted out the only thing I could conjure up at that moment, "Apple!" I proclaimed as he turned to me in utter surprise. "Apple is looking into being bought!." This MD looked at me in substantial confusion and asked me who I was, and where I collected my intel from. At this point I had literally no idea what to say, being that what I said was completely untrue. "I heard it from my boss, George, you know? The MJ here?" This jargon confused him and he asked me to explain to him what an MJ was. After my minute and a half explanation he burst out into a fit of condescending, uncontrollable laughter. In being that what I told him ended with my dream of becoming a summer analyst, he felt nothing but extreme pity on me. He knew that I was going to have to make my way up the ranks and it was going to take me a while to even make it to analyst.
To my complete disbelief, he, then and there, promoted me to a full time associate janitor! I had done it! I was moving up in the ranks! My raise included 12% pay increase (8.96/hr!), fat perdiem (Credit card with 25 dollar line on it for lunch and dinner for the month), and last but not least at all I have the opportunity to hire an apprentice of my own. This story can show all of you hopeful college students that you don't need a 3.5+ from a target school to get into Investment banking, just some networking skills, and the courage to take a chance and put it all on the line.
Also want to thank WSO contributors for helping me land my apprenticeship/FT offer.