WSO--From hedgeFund Analyst to UPS Mail Carrier--My extreme descent in 4 years


I don't know where to post this. I picked a random sub and got typing. I will eventually copy-post this to another forum, as I feel I have something worth considering.

I went to a catholic Business college in the western states. Won't say much beyond that cause we all browse this forum, but I will say, their counselors basically lie through their teeth, it's as "Catholic" as any public school, and the bulk of my academic career entailed studying vocabulary terms for college professors. That's it. Vocabulary and some basic, archaic journal entries.

 Long story short, I did have enough skills to work at an exclusive, tiny, secretive hedge fund in my homestate in my junior and senior year.

That's it I thought. First hedge fund internship. Foot's in the door. From there, anyone will give me a true finance/business job. That's the narrative college students are told; mix between boomer dad's "give 'em a firm handshake" and the recognition that you have to have formal experience to start getting formal finance experience. I was thrilled. I busted my ass working for that dude. In the end, we didn't find anything worth creating software on, but we felt I had a superb experience, one that would get me into any regular finance job anywhere in the metro

Then I got a second gig; basically IB but for an extremely specialized group.

Both were secretive but I also don't want my name associated with a sobstory

Now, with not 1 but 2 rock*star finance gigs, i was CERTAIN I'd be at an ER shop, trading firm or consulting firm after college. WHO ELSE but a few students had that sort of experience under their belts?

I was wrong. I got 0 offers after I graduated, Lord knows however many I applied to. I got 1 offer for a 20$/hour gig answering phones for a certain notorious company, and that was it. Literally no offers after a prestigious Hedge Fund gig. No one GAF. I networked, networked, networked, bragged (that's what we all do right?) to the right folks--analysts, MD's, hiring managers, talent recruiters, etc. I only got that 1 offer my whole final year at college and 4 months after graduation.

Finally I gave in. I begged a bar bro to get me in at an Operations Department. I thought, "yeah, it's ops, but that'll be a great foot in the door...omg my fooooot's in teh dooooooooor"

So followed a career launchpad in hell. The second I found out I was hired, I realized I was going to be caught there forever. My bosses were all stuck there for decades. My coworkers had MBA's but were building useless files no one read. Some didn't even graduate college. I applied to every job available. This was all I got, and other similar-back-office corporate deadzones.

All this, and I'd basically done equity research. I'd been an intern at an IB. I'd built every financial model available. I did work on indices, banks,etc. All I got was a dead end Back Office job. If you want to say "ohhhh BO isn't bad!" fucking work there and tell me whether you make it beyond 80k$ and whether YOU get into the front office I got to work every day and got ready to go before I got in my car. It was BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD. and I was told "jUst GeT a FoOt In the DooR".

So, I applied to everything else. bookkeeping, investments, brokerage, sales, trading, private assets, real estate, consulting (we did a lot of things at my company, it's one of the top 3 banks in the US)

A variant of "hey folks, basically we both went to the same college, can I get some time to chat about how to get into your dept? I have modelling experience, hedge fund experience, and math experience. pelase help?"

Nothing. Not from my "CoLlEge SoCiaL NetWorK", not from people in the same company, not from friends of friends. I was basically trapped. And that is one of the worst places to be in a company.

My cube mates were growing envious of my evident (i didn't bother hiding my distress) aspirations. They were furious; they were envious; they were rage, brutal,, and w/out mercy.. Their Evil Eye was bright and whenver I tried to find another position at that company, they fouled shit up. It was depressing.

Finally I left. I decided I'd go to college for anything other than finance. I wasn'tfinding ANYTHING that'd accept me and I figured i just didn't have what they wanted. Bear in mind I applied to over 400 jobs, internships, coffee meetings, etcetera. Kids, just so you know; that's all bullshit. Ain't no one going to take you because you were " a self-motivated analyst" who "bought coffee" and "hit the grind". It's decided at birth, even before we are born.

Fine. Ok. So I have to carry mail or work in as a bank teller. I'm not arrogant. I don't mind being a CCA. At least I have my family, right?

No. Walk in one day and my baby  sibling is getting fucked by some wanker and snorting crack.. Fuck.  Asian, Hispanic and south asian readers will  understand why this is fucking bad .

Basically aggressive and beats my parents when they don't get their way. We've tried being considerate, tried calling friends, doctors (all who say "your child is normal" because they are fucking dumb and my sibling is extremely smart ) and even gotten courts involved. They have all said "your child is fine". It's a dead end. For any readers with schizophrenic or disturbed siblings, will you for upvote? Want to see who else if fucking screwed .

I was a rising star 4 years ago. Now I'm carrying my bullies' amazon things for 15$/hour. I will work beyond 55 hours a week. 

Frenemies, college bullies, ex gfs are all making $300,000+ as doctors, lawyers, FAANG  or IBD/ER/VenCapital. And I carry mail.

The only alternatives are going back to operations where I'll make about 35K a year and become a drone like the failures who despised me at the Operations department. Self-mutilation, diabetes, stress eating and excessive alcohal consumption are RAMPANT at Back OFfices.

I'm not even sure why I'm writing this, you won't and you cannot help me. I'm stuck and I get it, I'm doomed because I bought the college bullshit, and the Boomer Mantra.  And I'm not even mad. I'm depressed. I'm depressed because one of you will also fail as I have. We don't know who, but some winsome freshman's about to fuck their entire lives by going school and getting nothing out of it. Don't do what I did. 

Inb4 "stOp feLing SoRY foR YouSrlef!" and "jSuT mOvE ouT"

I hope we all succeed

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Comments (10)

Oct 8, 2020 - 5:02pm

there are other careers for you to go into

accounting at the Big4 (they always need bodies with brains, and the pay ratchets up after a few years...after 10 years you can be making 250k)

technology (learn to code - many options here)

or you can go into the public sector, working for the city (big cities like Boston, NYC, LA, SanFran, Chicago pay well)...or work for the federal govt (take the foreign service exam - its hard, but being a diplomat is friend is about to become the US ambassador to a friendly country and has loved the career)

So many things to do in the world.  Generally the only way to get into the investment banks is on campus recruiting...the banks look for a specific pattern, that has worked for them in the past....if you don't fit the pattern, sorry...but there are so many other careers out there for a young person like yourself.  My brother in law works for the FBI and loves it.

Oct 8, 2020 - 5:11pm

I should add I am a shit accountant and quite frankly despise accounting (no offense)

coding? yes, but coding is a lot  to learn. You do not get into a real coding gig by #learn2Code, that's a social-media scheme to sell FlatIron Academy and CodeMountain bootcamps. Ask FAANG folks, they will tell you these are not salient. Also, coding requires A LOT of concentration. and time

Id become an Army officer/FBI agent were I fit enough to (shoulder injury, docs basically said it's done for)

Appreciate the advice though, feels good to hear someone cares enough to comment without saying "but bootstrap yourself, go move out, fuck your family, fuck you" etcetera.

Have explored these alternatives and they are more nuanced than serial advertisers will let on. I appreciate you answering. Feels good to know someone took the brainpower to advise.

Hope you will succeed.

Oct 8, 2020 - 5:22pm

accounting is not "book keeping" there is minimal "counting" in accounting (the name is horrible) it is very similar to investment banking probably have no idea what accounting work really is (i live with a big4 accountant and many of my friends are accountants of various types...i know)

yeah, it takes time to learn to code, probably 1-2 years where you really try....but there are many tech jobs outside of the FAANG companies who are desparate to hire decent coders (no college degree required if the have the coding skills).  if you really want it, the only thing stopping you is hard work....if you don't want to work hard, then yeah, no big $$ for you

Oct 8, 2020 - 11:50pm

Most likely fake.

Two different posts jump between $17/15 and hour salary.

Not even a friend helped him get a foot in the door?

If this is real, try looking at temp jobs and part time jobs. Even enrolling in a Community College for a certificate in accounting before going to a temp agency so you can spin some narrative about falling of the career wagon will yield results. You can drop the certificate after you get a stable job or more experience. The more details you provide, timeline-wise, the more tailored ideas and suggestions you can receive. Also be honest about anything that might have interfered with your normal job search.

Go, Go, Excel

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Most Helpful
Oct 9, 2020 - 2:16am

Hey man,

As I am reading this, I need to reply to you in what I think can help you.

  1. Mentality: it's sucks. But you have to be calm and do not feel rushing. I know you want to move and advance, but this is a bad situation. It you are locked in a cage, smashing your head is not gonna help.

  2. Way out: I think learning coding seems too out of scope. Do not solely focus on finance. I am not saying fold your cards, but for now, try to join small business firms/ non-tech at tech firms/ accounting may work/ helping your dad's business/ sales etc. I think going to MBA is ideal but not realistic yet. You need a cover/job so that at least you can spin later.

  3. Back office: you can not show these people your ambitions. Of course they will try to smash you down because you are unlike them. You need to keep it hidden and down. You need to pretend you are like them and then only reveal it when you see a way out or an opportunity to grasp.

  4. A Little encouragement: you networked with 400+ people. You worked at HF for 2 years. It is not nothing. I know it you know it. It hasn't benefit you yet but you learned so much and it's in your bone/blood. It will help you one day. Jacky Ma or many others have nothing and arguably even tougher situations than you. You can look it up to encourage yourself a little

Good Luck

Oct 9, 2020 - 5:49am

You act as if your life is over haha. Your life's quite shit now but the good thing is that you really need to be a moron to make it even worse! Good luck bro. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Oct 15, 2020 - 4:19pm

You seem to have a very narrow mentality.. there are many options out there beyond being a mailman.

Plus, even BO sounds better than being a mailman. Anyway. 

I guess you got very unlucky in the past, but I am sure you'll find a way out if you slowly examine some other options and decide to really dedicate yourself.

You're like "omg I hate accounting" and "oh coding takes time" and go on to become a mailman. (?!)

I hope things work out, for you, me and everyone else...

Dec 8, 2020 - 6:24pm

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