11/30/17 update: This was originally posted in 2014 but I am still able to take questions As some of you know, I'm about to begin by MM IB analyst stint in a week. I've been blogging for WSO for a fair bit of time now and I thought it would be good to use some of my experiences to help others. I went over my story in detail here but below is a quick overview: Non-target Non-finance major No prior finance or IB experience 4 year, D1 Tennis Athlete 3.7 GPA, 700 GMAT and a couple honors societies Prior International living experience I'm willing to answer questions on networking, cold emailing
23 Nov 2020
I've been a member of WSO for the past four years and frequently I have seen questions regarding the potential benefits of graduate school, specifically on the value it provides when trying to break onto the Street. So, I thought I would share my story, and the thought process I used when deciding whether or not to attend graduate school, and then, then a reflection the experience and how it has helped me. Q&A…But first, I'll share my background: I went to a non-target school (think liberal arts Top 30) and was a life sciences major that was pre-med bound. I had a great time at college but
26 Oct 2020
Hello everyone, I am sharing this because Andy and Patrick said it may be useful for some younger users. I legitimately believe that WSO helped me get my career started. About me: I grew up in the roughest part of town nearby a big city (think Ferguson Missouri, Flatbush Brooklyn, Baltimore, Detroit, etc). My dad was a substance abuser and my mom found "homes" by finding a new boyfriend to move in with. I had two brothers and sisters. I didn't finish high school because we got evicted when I was 16 and we couldn't find any place to stay. I got a GED and worked for a landscaping company
16 Apr 2019
This is more of a venting post more than anything but not a "boohoo woe is me" post. I swear I need a change of scenery big time. I've been at my REPE fund accounting job almost 2 years in July. Started there 2 months after graduating from a non-target. I didn't have an internship in college, so I was struggling during my job search leading up to graduation. I was pretty desperate at the time knowing how many bills I'd have once student loan payments kicked in so my buddy at this firm reached out to me with a referral link. As a finance/econ grad, I had no interest whatsoever in accounting but
13 May 2021
I have some questions about Equity Research if any of you don't mind answering... What does your typical day-to-day look like? What is something you wish you knew before going into your equity research super day? What technicals would I specifically need to perfect for an equity research super day? What do interviewers look for in interviewees coming from non-target schools (I've heard the technical questions they ask are harder than coming from a target school)? If you only want to answer one question instead of all of them, that's fine too, as any input would be appreciated.
13 Dec 2021
Hello everyone! I'm currently a junior and athlete at Indiana Tech and I want to break into M&A. It is my first semester here , I transferred from another non-target school. My GPA this semester I would say would be somewhere between 3.0 - 3.5. I'm aware that I don't have a 4.0 GPA from Wharton and that I'm not American, but I really want to break into this industry, it's my passion. I know I'm very capable but I feel like some of the "standards" are holding me back. I have done the DCF and Financial Statement Modeling course from WSO, applied to more than 150 companies, sent countless emails
25 Nov 2021
Just graduated from ASU with an EE degree and business minor and am becoming increasingly disenchanted with working as an engineer. Finance appeals to me because of the high ceiling on career growth and performance based compensation. I went to high school in AZ and got a 90%+ tuition academic scholarship which means I essentially went to school for free (cheaper than community college). Big difference in my opinion between kids at ASU that are from in-state on scholarship and those that are from out of state and at ASU just to party. Learning that employers tend to not make this distinction
13 Oct 2020
Hi, this is my first post so any help is appreciated. I am a Junior at UW Madison and currently have a 3.3 GPA and am majoring in industrial engineering and Econ. I have been studying trading for two years now, and this summer (did not have a sophomore summer internship), I finally became profitable, earning 7% over a 30 day period. I consider myself pretty smart, I got a 34 on my ACT. I am extremely interested in becoming a professional prop trader. I know my GPA is a bit low (personal problems freshman year) and my school is not a target. I was wondering will being able to trade profitable
09 Sep 2019
Mod Note: Each day we'll be posting the top WSO forum posts of 2014. This one was originally posted on 1/25/14 and ranks #19 for the year by total silver banana count. You can see all our top ranked content here. Hey all, As I sit here and prepare to write this story, I look back on one of the most memorable years of my life. I cannot help but be thankful for the opportunity to have gone through some incredible experiences, both good and bad, that have shaped me into who I am today. As investment banking summer analyst recruitment continues to progress this year, I thought I would share a bit
18 Dec 2014
Mod Note: Each day we'll be posting the top WSO forum posts of 2014. This one was originally posted on 2/20/14 and ranks #21 for the year by total silver banana count. You can see all our top ranked content here. I just received an IB SA offer this morning from the number 1 firm on my list and I just wanted to share my story on how I got there. I come from an extreme non-target, my school is in the country and I knew that I had absolutely no chance if I applied cold online. I knew that there were schools near me who are target schools. So I searched on every BB firm's website and was able to
21 Dec 2014
Hi all, I'm a rising senior at a good school (but non-target) studying Kinesiology (Exercise Physiology...yes, I know very random). I wanted to be a sports performance coach heading into college, but I started developing a passion for finance in junior year. Breaking in cold turkey is obviously a stretch, so I was looking to maybe further my educational background with a Master of Finance. I know there is a lot of deliberation over whether or not an MSF is a waste of money. Got a great internship at a small VC firm for the summer. I will score a 650-700 on the GMAT with average quant scores
02 Jun 2021
Hi there, I am a current sophomore at a non-target school (Ga Tech) majoring in Finance hoping to break into IB for the summer following my Junior year. I have a 4.0 and recently accepted a position at a F500 company, and while it's unfortunately not a Finance or Accounting position it is related to business services for the company. I also have extensive work experience starting all the way from the summer after my senior year of High School in Marketing. I know that most recommendations I have seen have said to take on a role at a PE firm, or a Finance role at a F500 for your sophomore year
17 Dec 2020
I am currently in the process of laying out my college career. I recently decided to pursue investment banking, and when I began the application process for SA 2019 I realized it was far too late. I did apply to all the BB's and top tier MM's, however I realize with my 0 networking and non-target state school status, it is safe to assume these will be out of the question for summer 2019. The fortunate thing is that I have 2 semesters worth of college credit from AP classes. This allowed me to spend fall semester at a corporate finance internship, combined with my current internship at an
30 Jul 2018
Hello all, I'm currently enrolled as an undergraduate in a target school in the UK but I'll need to leave at the end of my 1st year back to my home country since I need to be close to my family due to health reasons. I'm expecting a first. Do I have any chance when applying to London IB jobs in the future, considering I was in a target school and managed to get a first in my first year? Visa not a problem
08 Dec 2021
Hey all, I'm currently a finance major at Miami University (OH) and while I'm enjoying the classes and doing well, I've found it's ridiculously hard to network for top NY internship positions (AM/IB/ER in particular). I personally think Farmer has mostly good finance/accounting/econ teachers, and some really solid ones, but I've found it extremely difficult to get a callback, even with good past experience, clubs, and networking my ass off. I know Miami isn't a target, but the frustration is causing me to doubt the school. I wanted to therefore ask what people would think of a finance major
13 Dec 2019
So some brief context: I'm headed into my senior year, attending a west coast private solid non target. 3.90 GPA, got First Honors (top of my class this year), Finance Major / Math Minor (have taken a number of electives in CS, upper div math, etc..) I'm currently abroad in Europe for a F500 Corp Fin internship- I was late to the cycle for IB SA positions and this opportunity presented itself so I figured it wouldn't hurt. First relevant internship in Finance. I graduate December 2022 so I can still apply for SA 2022 roles- I've been cold calling / emailing with moderate success to VP/MD for
08 Jul 2021
Hello everyone, I am a senior about to finish my CS undergraduate degree and I've been extended an internship offer from Citibank. I am hesitating accepting the offer because I am 3 courses from completing my degree but the program overlaps with my schedule since it's an off cycle internship. I would most likely have to extend my graduation. I have a sense of how hard it is to get into the banking industry, especially from a non-target school. This could be a huge opportunity so I was wondering if you could give me any insight on whether I should consider taking the opportunity over school or
15 Nov 2017
To give you guys some more information about myself, I'm currently a freshman from Eastern Europe, and I study at a Non Target business school in Manhattan (there's only like 2 of those, so you can probably guess). I spent the past 2 months interning at an asset management firm back home (I had to go back because of Covid). I made my own model to value the equity for downstream oil companies (and yes, I know what a crack-spread is, since that's the first thing anyone asks when you talk about downstream O&G). I learnt how to use CAPM, NAV, calculate inventory gains and losses, etc (Damodaran's
10 Nov 2020
WSO Admins and Users, I just wanted to extend a sincere thank you to those at WSO and MI for all of their constructive criticism and advice over the past year. The advice of others and willingness to help kept me motivated to push longer and harder to chase my dream of becoming an investment banker. I am coming from a Non-target school with no IB internship or banking background, but I was able to network my ass off, study hard, and persevere in the end by receiving a full time offer from a top middle market firm in their M&A division. I went through three Superdays, and ended up with an offer from my top choice that I believe would be the best fit and will help create a strong foundation for my future career success. http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/guide/private-equi…
16 Oct 2011
Happy New years everyone!, Hope everyone enjoyed their new year and got home safe. I wanted some advice in which internship to choose from. My background: I am currently a sophomore at a non target school double majoring in accounting and finance. My goal is to get into IB / a good mba program. Based on these goals which internship will be most beneficial to me at this point: Johnson and Johnson finance intern, Big 4 internship, or an internship at Moody's client services. I know essentially none of these are directly related to investment banking and I will keep trying to network and apply to
01 Jan 2017
I'm sure a lot of other non-targets can back me up on this, going to a non-target blows. Every morning I wake up and wish that I had known in high school or as a freshman how much going to a target helps. But honestly, it makes sense why banks recruit where they do.
02 Mar 2021
Moderator Note (Andy): This was originally posted in June 2012. Everyone knows those kids who go to non-targets who do absolutely nothing to help their job situation and freshman summer or sophomore summer don't do anything, but maybe get some manual labor job at best (cashier, waiter, etc...). Many of them probably have average grades and just party a lot. Kids at targets and semi-targets are fighting skin and bones for top BB gigs and MM offers. Even so, inevitably some kids at targets and semi-targets get screwed. The majority of people I know at non-targets don't think about networking and really the uphill battle they face to get good jobs. So with the economy so brutal, what do those at non-targets who don't network do?
02 Mar 2013
I am willing to admit that I did not make it into any of my target schools. I understood in any such industry talked about in WSO, my credential would put me at a disadvantage. As a result, I pushed myself to make the connections and steps necessary to earn a valuable Summer Analyst internship. I was very fortunate to get it, but even more shocked by the lack of understanding of how important this internship was at this school.
17 May 2014
I attend a non target, but i have been trying to network with alumni from schools in the same state. Hello Mr/s. NAME, My name is XYZ and I am a student at XYZ, majoring in finance. I am interested in investment banking and recently came across your firm. I noticed that you also attended school in STATE. If you have the time, I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you about your experience at XYZ COMPANY. Best Regards,
08 Apr 2019
Hello all, I am an undergraduate BA business undergraduate at Plymouth University with a 2:1 predicted grade. I'll be honest and can accept my A-levels aren't the best. I've been trading for over 6 months now successfully to try to boost my finance related knowledge both from a worldview and in Excel. I have work experience in a variety of different jobs from customer service to graphics, just none finance related. I'm also currently doing the BIWS Financial modeling course to further extend my financial knowledge. I've been networking with Alumni and potentially have an informational
01 Mar 2018
Greenlight Capital and the one and only David Einhorn recently released their Q3 letter to investors. In the letter they released background information on their new hire. This is what it said:
05 Nov 2012
So, I have this friend who I've been trying to encourage to network. I'll call her Esperanza because I really love that word. She has overcome a lot of things already. She is a 1st generation student from a spanish speaking country. She doesn't come from a wealthy background either. Esperanza has been working hard for a very long time since early high school. She was able to pay her way through community college and help her family out financially a bit. She has also fought through an invisible disability. However, a lot of misfortune has befallen her. A few years ago she was car jacked. Because she lives in a racist state, she was arrested. YES, her NOT the person who did it. Of course the charges got dismissed, but it left her with a record that hunts her continuously.
09 Aug 2012
UConn Undergrad graduating early in December 2019 with a double major in math/econ. Expected GPA by end of this semester ~3.6. Doing a ratings agency internship in NYC this summer. Created a club my freshman year. Didn't do much else except work bc im poor. How difficult will it be for me to break in? How should I take advantage of being in NYC this summer? Interested in IB/Corp banking/equity research
09 Apr 2019
Hello all, This is a serious question (i.e. not a troll). I know that with bonuses about to be handed out soon, if not already, many who thought banking was for them but isn't will be calling it quits. Additionally, I know some first year analysts finishing up year one will be making the leap to the buyside. Furthermore, I know that (or hope?) there will be random openings popping up at a range of investment banks.
10 Jul 2013
Thanks to everybody on this forum, many of you have been extremely helpful in fielding questions and helping provide me with the opportunity to learn. It's been a tough road full of rejection but all you need is one offer. Top tier MM and ranked on the league tables in a few categories. I was the only non-target at my superday and was a little concerned afterward. Either way here I am. Thanks a ton and I will be sure to contribute more moving forward.
13 Nov 2010
I'm a 2009 grad from a non-target, mediocre GPA with no banking experience. I got an offer last week from an elite boutique (w/ a signing bonus) and thought I'd share some advice. I think it really applies to those of you w/out a finance background, but really I'd recommend it to anyone. Go into interviews w/ a hard sell mindset. I mean fucking HARD SELL. I arrived at this strategy after a weak phone interview; I was shocked to get a face-to-face, so I decided that I'd try to set a completely different tone, control the flow of the interview, and really sell myself hard. I basically went in there pretending to know everything about everything related to the specific industry I'll be dealing with (my internship experience was in this industry, so that obviously helped), and I think I made it pretty clear from the beginning that I expected to get the job. I asked a ton of questions (spent almost an hour at the end of the interview) and developed a very strong rapport w/ the guys interviewing me. Also framed a lot of my questions from the perspective that I already had the job (ex. I'd ask "How much time will I spend doing XYZ?).
13 Apr 2010
I go to a non target school. We have a program that accepts 25 students per year and sends them primarily to WF, RBC, and a few others. One per year goes to EVR/LAZ. I'm currently a rising sophomore applying in the spring. There's an MD who went to undergrad at my school and is now at PJT/Moelis. No other graduate works there. Is it impossible to network with him? If it isn't what is the best way to approach it? Thank you.
07 Jun 2018
First, I want to thank everybody for their advice on meeting my CEO. I met him yesterday and it went really well I actually view him as a point of reference now. I am becoming a better networker because of the WSO community. I am very grateful. Ok now on to this new post. I am very active as an alumni at my non-target school. However, I am frustrated as I seen a lot of potential in my alma mater not taken advantage of. There are so many resources surrounding the campus yet they have failed to truly embrace them.
13 Apr 2012
Hey guys feel free to provide your input. I just finished my junior year at a non-target, went through IBD SA recruiting at a few firms including BB's with no luck. I am thinking about delaying my graduation to take another shot at SA recruiting First Time Around: -3.3/3.4 GPA -BB (UBS/ML) PWM Internship Not very impressive as you can see, but I was able to network my way into interviews. If I give it another shot here is what my profile would look like: -3.5 GPA -BB (MS/GS) Finance Division SA - 2015 Summer -Boutique Healthcare Equity Research Internship -BB PWM Internship Let me know what
13 May 2015
Quick background summary: First post, but have been using this website for >2 years. Student from a top target who pursued another career and then lateraled from a boutique to IBD at a top BB (GS/MS). I definitely know how hard it is to break in.
29 Mar 2014
Hi fellow monkeys, I recently accepted SA position at a BB. I haven't gotten official paperwork yet, but on my resume it says I am a certain major. I am currently actually undeclared (long story) but in the process of declaring to that major on my resume and hopefully can do so before I have to send in my official transcripts so that things line up. But I am also in the process of thinking about switching to a different major and may instead declare that. How does this work with the internship process? Would the bank care if a) my transcript doesnt say same major or b) says undeclared when
12 Feb 2015
Hey guys, I've been a lurker on these boards for quite some time, taking advantage of the invaluable information available for college students such as myself. I've "taken" a lot from this community so I figure it's only fair to give back (or attempt to at least). First and foremost, my intentions are not to gloat. I only hope to provide an informative story that may inspire/help others from a "super" non-targets; and by "super" I mean barely breaking top 100...
03 May 2011
I'm currently a 22 y/o student, graduating in 2 years with a healthcare-related degree (NOT an MD) at a non-target, who is interested in pursuing some non-traditional routes - I'm currently considering Consulting, IBD/PE/HF/VC. I've been contemplating on whether to make B School a part of the "plan" for awhile now, but planned to be focused on biotech/pharma industry or healthcare. However, I've only been recently made aware to the fact that there are many healthcare-focused financial services and consulting shops. Are these guys - e.g. HC PE and life sciences consulting shops – looking for people with HC backgrounds? Or are they typically more interested in finance people?
06 Oct 2014
Hello! I am currently a sophomore at a semi-target/non target and have my eyes set on MBB for an internship next summer (after junior year). I am an engineering major at a top 10 program, with a 3.75 and decent test scores (2100+ SAT). I have done some work for a small consulting firm (which has some big name clients) and will be interning at a Fortune 100 non-consulting firm this summer, most likely as a project manager. I am decently involved around campus (member of 3 organizations and play on multiple intramural teams, and will look to hold a small leadership position in one of the organizations next semester). I am mostly worried about my lack of a target school, the lack of any really prestigious awards, and leadership positions.
09 Apr 2014
In case you missed our July 23rd webinar entitled Networking from a non-target & tips / tactics to break into BB IB, have no fear. The full recording of the webinar can be found below (free until Thursday night when it goes into our video library). SIGN UP FOR A 1-HOUR MENTOR SESSION WITH JACOB And, as always, if you want to sign up to hear about upcoming webinars before they happen, sign up inside the post... SIGN UP FOR A 1-HOUR MENTOR SESSION WITH JACOB
27 Aug 2014
My firm is in the middle of recruiting for SAs, and we have been having a bit of a debate in the office; I wanted to see where some of you guys stand on the matter. We do most of our recruiting through OCR, but we also take apps from non target kids that reach out to us. So, here's my question: Would you rather interview a kid that goes to a target, has a good GPA (3.6+), but has no finance experience, or a kid at a complete non target, good GPA, and a previous IB internship? Many of the analyst/associates at my firm prefer the target kids with no experience at all to non targets, who have
02 Feb 2012
Wasn't sure whether to post this under AM or HF, but here goes: I'm a senior this year in the honors program of a big state university in AZ. I have a 3.7 GPA and plenty of great EC's.. started a community service club, interned with the Department of Homeland Security for 2 years, spent a semester studying in Italy (Milan). I'll be graduating this spring with a double major in Finance and Management. My career objectives have changed a lot since I began school.. and I have settled on Asset Management. Specifically, I would like to get into Hedge Fund work (analyst/research, and eventually management). However, the school I'm going to isn't exactly a target. Also, unfortunately, I haven't had any practical experience in financial services at all at this point.
26 Aug 2012
Yes, I know this topic has been beaten to death already. My situation is slightly different than other schools. Finance and economics are both in the business school. I got to a top 50 non target (One or two kids make BB each year, and some make local IBD). A lot of kids go into top corp fin. These kids are typically finance majors, but not all. There are three possible degrees which would work - accounting, finance, or economics. Accounting is arguably the best, but the classes are significantly harder. Most accounting students have GPA's below 3.5. I eliminated this degree after learning of
15 Nov 2011
Hi WSO, I need some help decided on which direction I should go with my job search/ Career. I am interested in pursing a career in ibanking or consulting. I go to Queens College (CUNY), a complete non target in these fields, and I will be graduating in 2013. I dont have any relevant work experience yet because I've been going to school during the summer months, However i will try to get 2 before i graduate.
22 May 2012
I go to Uconn, and it has become evident through my past year and half here that it will be extremely difficult to get into banking unless your a D1 athlete or network hard into a boutique. I've been advised by friends and even some alum working at top places now after HBS/Tuck/Sloan MBAs that transferring to NYU might be a good idea. I did okay in high school and have pretty much gotten straight A's in college. However, Uconn is geographically isolated from Banks (2 hours away from Stamford, 3.5-4 away from NYC) and BB's especially like Yale Grads (closer by, likely more qualified) which crowds out Uconn grads from dominating Stamford as the 3rd best school in state after Yale, Wesleyan and Uconn=Trinity.
22 Sep 2012
Just got a FT offer from BB (think GS, CS, DB) in NY. 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.
27 Jul 2011
http://www.razume.com/documents/24107 http://www.razume.com/documents/24182 (UPDATED Jan 31) I would love any and all feedback on this. I am coming from a part time MBA (small but accredited school), no relevant experience but would like to break into MC (anywhere from 2nd tier to boutique, internship or FT). I'm really unsure about how much detail to include on course projects (that is probably more relevant than my work experience). Should I focus more on that (in the Skills & Activities section or create another section?) and reduce the detail of my work experience? Or just include some of that experience on the CV?
26 Jan 2012
My question is on graduating in 2.5 years with a 3.0 and a degree in Economics from a nontarget, or graduating later with a 3.3. I got two D's in Comp Sci 220 and French 101 my freshman year, retaking these courses would bump my grade up to a 3.3. Is it worth it? I've managed to study international business in Chile for a semester (3.5 GPA), intern at a boutique investment bank in Shanghai, China for two months, become the youngest president in my fraternity's 20 year history, averaged working 30 hours a week throughout my college education at multiple jobs and done plenty of community service
14 Sep 2016
It is Sunday night and I am about to start my second week of the final year of my MBA program. I am still doing a bit of work finishing up a deal with my summer internship at a regional boutique, and preparing to tackle the task of finding a FT gig at a larger bank. I came to this non-target MBA mainly for the full-tuition scholarship, but I am finding that the ROLOI (return on lack of investment) might be less than the ROI at some of the target schools to which I was accepted. Getting an IBD job out of here is going to be a function of my work and networking only, as there really aren't any MBA alums in banking; just those who went from the undergrad of this school to analyst positions.
28 Aug 2011