Worried about getting an IB job after an arrest?

I was someone who was arrested multiple times in college (underage drinking 2x, resisting arrest, fake ID, lying to an officer) and up until the day that I started my job in IB, i was very worried that these things would come up and my job would be taken away.  I searched wso for someone who had a similar experience, but could never find anything.

Well I am here to assure you that misdemeanors not related to the securities industry had zero effect on my job prospect.  Idk if anyone will ever read this, but even if one person 5 years from now comes across this post as their anxiously searching WSO I'll be happy that I posted this because Ik it would've helped ease my stress.  Obviously I cannot speak for every bank, but this was my experience.  Don't let your past define you.

EDIT: As people have pointed out in the comments, fake ID clearly can f you.  I will say that my fake ID charge was with campus police and was not a felony.  Nonetheless, I'm happy that people are sharing their experiences because the more information that's out there the more clarity future readers can get

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Jul 27, 2021 - 10:46pm

I also got an IB job following by PE (and several internships prior) after getting a misdemeanor possession of marijuana right before college. I was able to get a sealed record though (and eventually will be expunged in a few years i think) due to it being a first offense, but i have never had any issues come up with background checks.

Good post OP. I definitely remember the dread at the time thinking i will never be able to land a solid career because of this. As long as you stay away from felonies you should be all fine. And get a good lawyer

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jul 28, 2021 - 9:24am

Good on you for making this post! It really helps calm people down when they think their life is over because a misdemeanor. 

For those that want more data points: I also got a MIC and was able to land a BB internship and convert to fulltime. It did come up on my background check but all they asked was for the court records, nothing else. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jul 28, 2021 - 11:00am

Can confirm. Was arrested by some retarded small town cop for drunkenly yelling "fuck the police" at 2AM. Cops really tried to make something stick / convict me - didn't end up getting anything, and was never brought up in any background check. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jul 28, 2021 - 12:53pm

can't tell if this is based or if you're a retard lmao

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jul 28, 2021 - 4:57pm

Fake ID goes on your FINRA record even if you got pre trial diversion. 

I think it's self report tho idk. 

Most Helpful
Jul 28, 2021 - 5:56pm

I was charged with a fake ID (felony charge) in college and it indeed cost me multiple summer analyst positions which I had worked most of college to attain. I ended up getting canned by BofA and in hindsight I thought I was being smart by choosing the offer with the best hiring manager relationship. Ended up being the wrong choice because (obviously) BofA has a massive compliance machine. I often wonder if some of the boutiques would have cared. Anyways, since it was a felony charge, they had no choice but to terminate the offer. That was a dark senior year in college, friends. However, fought like hell to get it sealed an expunged off of my record. I checked the "no" felony box for the bulge bracket bank and multiple buyside roles since and havent heard anything about it. I also have an MIP and public intox (from being in such a dark, drunken place my senior year). That cop ruined my life for several years. Luckily we had a family connection to the judge because the shitty college town in which the court/ police station was located was notorious for ruining people's lives. 


Life is more than dollars
  • 8
Aug 3, 2021 - 7:31pm

Unfortunately, the "Felony" flag in your BG check was probably what dinged you immediately (imagine most BBs/large orgs have no tolerance HR policies about felonies/white collar misdemeanors).

I knew a classmate in bschool who got a DWI one week before starting 1st year orientation, lol, and he was totally fine during the process (told us stories of having to sketch off during his internship during the summer for court appearances). He interned/started FT at a EB and just put his notice in that he's taken a buyside job - so not the end of the world if you are smart about it.

Hear me now, children, for my occupation is of much import. For 82 years I have been an oil man, a ‘baron’ some have called me. Now what does an oil baron do? The answer - crush your enemies! Grind their bones into dirt! Make them regret that they were ever born! Oil is not for the weak - it is the Earth’s milk, and only the strong may suckle at Mother’s teat!

  • 2
Aug 3, 2021 - 8:56pm

You're definitely right. A felony charge is a reportable event for FINRA and no org (esp a BB) is taking the risk of having a reportable employee on broker check.

Life is more than dollars
Jul 28, 2021 - 5:59pm

Two arrests here, both misdemeanor drug possession, one 9 years ago and one 11 years ago. Both are expunged convictions but could come up on an FBI check, which they do for financial jobs. However the FBI check is by law required to only show them relevant convictions such as theft, fraud, or insider trading. I would know, I was so freaked about the first background check that I called the service they were using to ask what would show up.

I have been through 3 background checks in the financial services industry: one at an insurance company (first internship) and the other two at BB banks. None of these firms have denied me employment after the background check, and the two banks didn't even drug test me.

I think that, in general, we all have credentials, work ethics, and skills that surpass any misdemeanor conviction's cause for worry at these firms. Also the culture is generally pretty "work hard, party hard" across the industry and that has been the case since the seniors were juniors. I mean, fuck, Moelis takes people to Vegas after a deal. Talk about being risk tolerant.

Jul 28, 2021 - 11:57pm

Reminder for kids reading this thread is to never talk to the police under any circumstances without a lawyer present. You do not have to talk to them but they will try to convince you that you have to. If the cops stop you for anything: ask if you are being detained. If so, answer "I invoke the 5th". The cops know they can intimidate young college kids into incriminating themselves. A rough night in jail while waiting to get a lawyer is much better than having charges stuck on your record. 

Jul 29, 2021 - 9:08am

Yep. Cops are NOT your friend, and will often just fabricate shit or coerce you to say something that will implicate yourself. Never talk to cops for any reason unless you have to. 

Jul 30, 2021 - 3:16pm

Agree based on experience. My second conviction was a felony that was able to be aggravated to a 2nd degree misdemeanor because I knew not to talk to the police at all. My lawyer had more negotiating room, and it made life much easier for me.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jul 29, 2021 - 3:26pm

I'm glad my college town has *that* store that accepts any ID that scans. Bars are super strict though and cops routinely do stings at the bars though not the stores for some reason. 

Fun story, I actually got caught the very first time I used my fake. I went to an off the radar store (in hindsight was a bad idea). When the cashier asked me to state my birthday, I was distracted, and my dumb ass accidentally stated my real birthday. Cashier laughed and handed the ID back thankfully. Used it countless times at the safe store with no problem though. 

Upcoming sem is my last underage, so wish me luck.  

Jul 30, 2021 - 12:55am

Close friend of mine who was caught with weed twice (nolle prosequi the first time, convicted the second) interviewed at a boutique PE earlier this year. Final interview was with the MD/partner and the dude came clean 100.1% about his record just before ending the interview. MD responded by saying "thx for your honestly but just between you and me, we never had this conversation". Received offer shortly thereafter. Not sure if this would have been possible at a bigger shop but yeah I can confirm this happened. 

Jul 30, 2021 - 1:18am

I had a pretty bad temperament back in college so things usually got out control easily. One night I got into a fight at a club and the other kid stole my scooter in retaliation. I went to his house to get it back and ended up causing 10k worth of damages to his car.Cops arrested me on campus the day after and charged my with a 3rd degree felony. Both of the arresting officers pressed me hard trying to make me incriminate myself. Fuck I know this was reckless but don't insult my intelligence. If I'm paying 250k for an education, trust that I know better than to be intimidated by someone with a high school diploma and 6 months of training. All in all, judge dropped the charges and ordered me to pay restitution (he wasn't willing to ruin someone's future, which they generally don't have an issue with). That same summer I landed an internship at a tier 2 BB, and the following summer at an EB (where I currently am). My record was later expunged and it never came up, not even when going through licensing.Moral of the story is don't do stupid shit like the above, but if you do it's not the end of the world.DO NOT talk to the cops ever. They will not help you nor do they want to. Stay quiet, deny, and spend what's necessary to get a great lawyer (not a decent / good / okay lawyer, but a great one - the ROI on this will make it the best investment of your lifetime)Most future bankers have the type of personality to get them through situations like this. It's just another obstacle to overcome. For the future kids reading this, things will be fine. Do not give up and keep the same level-headed mentality.

Aug 3, 2021 - 7:50pm

dude how tf did you get past HR with a felony drug trafficking charge showing up on your background check?

Hear me now, children, for my occupation is of much import. For 82 years I have been an oil man, a ‘baron’ some have called me. Now what does an oil baron do? The answer - crush your enemies! Grind their bones into dirt! Make them regret that they were ever born! Oil is not for the weak - it is the Earth’s milk, and only the strong may suckle at Mother’s teat!

Jul 30, 2021 - 12:50pm

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Aug 18, 2021 - 3:09pm

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