The Unfortunate Truth

I see a lot of people writing inspirational stories of networking and I just want to be honest with all the users on here. Those stories, are RARE. Everyone in my group goes to a target school, knew someone within the group, and/or has an insane story. Also, the group likes to recruit from its intern class so FT hires come few and far between AND unless you have actual relevant experience or get pretty senior in another group then it won't happen and even then it's still unusual.

Edit: Since people are thinking I am trying to crush dreams, let me clarify. My point was to let people know just because you did not get the internship/job does not mean you are an excellent candidate because I have definitely been rejected and got the feeling that there is something wrong with me. So, if anything, the post is meant to be painful honest and comforting and not discouraging.

Comments (40)

Aug 1, 2019

If you manage your expectations and establish a realistic timeline you can get pretty far. That's just the thing thought, you won't go from a gaelic studies or criminology major to a front office M&A position at a BB.

But say you start somewhere, almost anywhere in a MM bank, could be commercial banking, maybe even personal banking. You start your CFA, cold call people within your bank, do your research, show interest. Maybe you land a trading floor adjacent MO position, get started in credit risk in corporate banking and then leverage that position and experience. Then you go from there.

That said, someone who is in FICC sales at my bank gave me some sobering wisdom about what he did, what I am trying to do and what you are trying to realistically portray
"it all comes down to luck."

That shouldn't discourage people though, it should fuel them to send those emails, prepare for the informational interviews, keep up with the markets even when it seems pointless. It could very well pay off when you call a recruiter internally and "a job posting just came by." or something like that.

    • 1
Aug 1, 2019

Not trying to be discouraging just honest because some info on here is misleading

Most Helpful
Aug 2, 2019

Why bother to do anything then, just give up on life. Not everyone who is successful went to Harvard or worked at Goldman. There are many paths to success and a fulfilled life. Indeed, there are many different definitions of what "success" looks like. If you are the type of person that thinks, oh well, I didn't go to [ target ], therefore my life is over - then you are right, you definitely aren't going to get very far.

Is it harder if you didn't go to a target or get the "right" job out of college? It might be. It probably takes more hustle. But guess what? That's life. Welcome to being an adult.

I worked at a top BB with a guy who had gone to an unranked private school with a mediocre business program, started at some shitty bank outside of the US, worked hard, lateraled over to a slightly less shitty bank, worked hard, and eventually lateraled to top NYC BB. Not only that, by year 2 there, he was the top performer not just in his group but in his entire class across the entire bank. This whole thing took him years, but he's currently crushing it. What differentiates that guy? He's not some crazy genius who has some magic power you don't have. He has work ethic. He shows up to work on time. Every day. He does what's asked of him, reliably, consistently, and well. He's not an asshole. You, too, can do what he's done, by applying yourself. Anyone can. (Caveat: I recognize that he's a white male, so it does make it easier for him, but I want to believe it's possible for anyone).

And then, on the other side, just because someone went to ABC school doesn't necessarily mean they are perfectly happy in their "dream" job, either. The road to success is usually long and winding.

    • 13
    • 1
Funniest
Aug 2, 2019

Imagine logging on to WSO and starting a thread just to crush non-target kids dreams. Sad!

    • 17
Aug 4, 2019

Ugh, was not the point. I was just being honest

    • 1
Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Aug 5, 2019

Pretty sure it is you who is missing the point

Aug 21, 2019
dickiegreenleaf:

Imagine logging on to WSO and starting a thread just to crush non-target kids dreams. Sad!

TBH, probably a good 90% of them will have their dreams crushed eventually in a very organic way when they attempt to make it happen.

Aug 21, 2019

True. Ignorance is bliss in this case lol.

Aug 2, 2019

I also didn't get a call back from Goldman

    • 1
Aug 4, 2019

I never applied to them.

Aug 7, 2019

My future hopes and dreams were crushed :(

No pain no game.

Aug 8, 2019

You are being sarcastic, but I was trying to crush dreams

Aug 7, 2019

"THE UNFORTUNATE TRUTH"

is just an anecdote about his/her specific group

THEREFORE YOU ARE ALL FUCKED

    • 1
Aug 8, 2019

Ugh, I would say this about all groups at BB. I mean it does not mean there is 0 chance but it also means that if it doesn't happen it doesn't mean you suck

Aug 7, 2019

Why does your icon say you are in PE but are currently in banking?

Aug 8, 2019

huh? idk, i am in pe though

Aug 8, 2019

I "networked" a shit ton throughout college. Maybe like close to 300 phone calls + trips to NY to meet bankers over coffee.

In the end, I never secured a FT IB offer. But it taught my a lot about resiliency and to be responsible for whatever that happens to me, good or bad. Honestly, it was one of the most difficult and humiliating experience to go through. I went from thinking I was the shit and was going to end up at a top IB to being unemployed for 2 months after graduating with no real prospect. If you're reading this and you're struggling, just know that there's always a way out. But you need to find it

I ended up with $180K tech job out of the gate for those wondering.

    • 2
Aug 8, 2019

What do you think went wrong in IB recruitment? Or was it just completely a luck thing?

Aug 8, 2019

Good question.

Honestly, I can't really say what I could've done better since I've never converted. All in, I had about 8-10 interviews (including super day with GS IB).

What I can say, is that you should find ways to relate to your interviewer. Something that resonates with them. Show them you are similar to them, whether it be your story, or your work experience. They will go easier on you. Trust me.

That played a huge role in landing my tech job. And it was really by random chance.

Obviously don't fuck up technicals. Another thing that can help is to show how you can be an asset on their team. But with IB, I feel like the job is pretty simple. Anyone who can make it to a super day can do the job so its hard to differentiate yourself through your work abilities.

So play the similarity card.

Aug 8, 2019

I love this. You should share you story on a forum.

Aug 8, 2019

Thanks! I might do one soon

Aug 8, 2019

You joined a FAANG?

No pain no game.

Aug 8, 2019

Basically.

Aug 8, 2019

How did you get the tech job and what certs do you have?

Greed is Good!

Aug 8, 2019

I studied engineering. Just never did much coding/software stuff.

    • 1
Aug 8, 2019

I kinda of liken it to getting on the PGA tour. Not that many spots, theres a lot of people trying to make it. However, a large portion of the people trying to make really have no "business" being out there. For example, I know guys who played D3 golf in college who averaged high 70s who though they could give it a run. Never ended up making it. But everyone always wants to point to guys who did, like a Paul Azinger, Rocco Mediate, Ian Poulter; but for everyone one of them, theres 100 guys who went D1 and played in big tournaments who are just knocking on the door, but can't get in. Take Brooks Koepka, #1 in the world, big game hunter; but he wasn't that impressive in the junior ranks, had to go to Europe at the start of his career and was able to get successful over here. He wasn't the only one to try that strategy, and won't be the last. But he might be the only one in while who achieves his status.

So when I say "no business", really I mean, those with a legit shot, and those with no shot who might luck into it, but its a far cry. Can someone with bad grades, non-target, no connections get in, yes, but it'll take work and a lot of luck. But we tend to hear more about them here, than everyone with 4.0/target/uncles in the industry.

    • 3
Aug 8, 2019

That's true which is why I shared the forum because the reality is that the ones who have people making phone calls tend to get it. While I think the cold calling stories can be uplifting, when I started working and didn't see that it crushed me and it is misleading (falsely getting people's hopes up). Although a lot of people have taken offense to my forum, it's honest and the reality.

Aug 8, 2019

I actually got into my job by cold calling and reaching out. Had to take a job that was an hour away, but I was able to get back closer to where I lived.

At the end of the day its a talent issue. Its like sports, the pros don't care where you came from, its just can you play. Maybe you had bad high school recruiting, didn't get to a big D1, but you might have skills for the pros. Rare, but can happen. Same thing in banking.

But I also think its an issue with a lot of people. Most just don't have the discipline to improve themselves, or position themselves, thats where the failure comes in.

    • 2
Aug 8, 2019

Deleted

Array

Aug 8, 2019

Don't want to be pessimistic, but I do agree people vastly underestimate how much of a role luck plays in their success.

You're a player in a game with 7 billion other players. Often, the cumulative impact of their actions has more of an impact on your life than your own actions. I can't count how many doors have been opened for me because of a chance meeting with someone, or how many horrible, unfortunate things I've seen happen to people who worked super hard (e.g., cancer, terrible family situation, hit by a drunk driver).

    • 1
Aug 10, 2019
Comment
Aug 13, 2019