Work Hard and Achieve Big Things: A Short Success Story

Hello fellow monkies,

Today, I wanted to share a success story. Unfortunately, this success story is not my own, but instead, my college roommate. Hopefully soon, I will be sharing my own.

The Background:

My college roommate has a ~4.0 GPA. He spends every day, morning to night, in the library. My other roommates and I constantly joke around, "Has anyone seen Cole?" to which someone responds, "He's probably in the library," and usually they are not wrong. Cole only comes back to eat and sleep. When we do hang out with him, we often joke around and ask him how many times he beat off to the Latin American Exhibits.

Despite having a 4.0 GPA, Cole is definitely not the smartest kid I have ever met. However, I can tell you confidently that he is one of the hardest workers I have ever met.

Investment Banking Recruitment

This past summer, Cole interned at a boutique in NYC that was not looking to hire. However, because they loved him so much, they told him they would reach out to him around December and let him know whether or not they could offer him employment. However, Cole knew this wasn't guaranteed, so he spent the entirety of this semester recruiting for full-time investment banking positions. He lined himself up for endless interviews. I felt like every day--or every other day at the least--Cole would tell me he had a phone interview or a first round video interview. As the semester progressed, he began flying out for superdays. Over the past 4-6 weeks, I felt like he had one just about every week. However, every time he heard back from the superday, it was always the same response. Rejection after rejection. I thought to myself: "Eventually, he's got to get an offer, right?"

The Offer

Yesterday in class, Cole received a phone call. When he looked at the phone, and recognized the number, he immediately gasped. He gasped so loud that the professor stopped the class and said, "Is it something I said?" Cole responded no and frantically ran out of the room. After class, I asked Cole what had happened. He immediately hugged me in joy and said, "I got an offer from [so and so]." He had finally done it.

Later that day, Cole texted our house group message, "Who's trying to get fucked up tonight?!" explaining to us that he was done with the library. Although Cole did have a good celebration that night, things didn't really change. By 9:30 AM the next morning, he was back in the library. Later that day he said to me, "Boy, it felt like I slept in forever this morning." I chuckled.

The Twist

Throughout the semester, Cole had been interviewing with mostly middle-market investment banks, as well as boutique shops. He would get his foot in the door by applying through our university's career portal, through the careers page on each firm's website, as well as through connections he had made over the past years. However, one day while scrolling through our university's career portal, he noticed something different that peaked his interest. Something that he thought he would never have a chance at. He decided to apply anyways. And it became one of the best decisions of his life. Cole actually got an offer from a private equity firm with ~$20 billion AUM, something that he only dreamed of further down the road after investment banking.

The Lesson Learned

When I asked Cole how he did it, he said to me, "It was a numbers game. I knew if I applied to every position I saw, one would eventually work out." I couldn't agree more. Seeing Cole interview multiple times a week, and land superday after superday, I knew one would eventually work out. More importantly though, Cole was able to play his numbers by putting in the work. He worked harder than EVERYBODY I knew, and it certainly paid off.

TL;DR

After spending every day of this semester in the library from 8:00 AM to 11:30 PM, my roommate finally got an offer. Hard work and never giving up always pays off.

If you have any questions, feel free to shoot them below. I have included this thread in the investment banking forum because Cole's actions and recruitment experience relate entirely to investment banking. If it wasn't for a spontaneous opportunity, I am most certainly Cole would have received an offer from an investment bank.

Consulting Case Interview Course

  • 2,037 questions across 209 consulting firms. Crowdsourced from over 600,000 members.
  • 11 Detailed Exclusive Cases developed by a McKinsey Associate and 10+ hours of video.
  • Trusted by over 1,000 aspiring consultants just like you.

Comments (9)

Most Helpful
Oct 24, 2018

Everything in life is a numbers game. It's amazing how much you can get done by just being the only one retarded enough to call everyone.

Oct 24, 2018

When you are the one person that calls everyone, it really goes to show how badly you want it. And this can say more about you than you would imagine.

Back when I was an athlete in high school, I always used to listen to Eric Thomas's "How Bad Do You Want It? (Success)" speech. I know that may be a bit cliche, but man, can that guy motivate people.

Yung Bull

    • 3
Oct 24, 2018

There is nothing more true.

Oct 27, 2018

So is this a target university?

Oct 28, 2018

No, our university is generally not a target university, at least for jobs on Wall Street. Being located in the South, only Houston O&G groups for investment banks target our school and recruit on campus.

Yung Bull

    • 2
Learn More

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

Oct 28, 2018

Good job Cole

Oct 31, 2018

Nice job Cole.
We could all take a page from his book.

Oct 31, 2018

Fuck yeah Cole