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Case Studies & Reader Success Stories - From Non-Target Schools or Low Grades

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How to Break into Investment Banking as a Pre-Med at a Non-Target School

We’ve covered quite a few different career transitions before, but one that escaped attention – until now – is how to get into banking from a pre-med background. And to make things even more difficult, what if you’re also at a non-target university and you have a lower GPA? Should you transfer universities? Just network […]
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How to Break into Investment Banking at the Last Minute and Win a Role in the Industrials Coverage Group

Can you get into investment banking at the last minute? Back in 2005-2007, the answer was “Yes” – at least if you had good grades and had attended a well-known university. Plenty of students “became interested in finance” when full-time recruiting began, and then made frantic efforts to pass on-campus interviews. Over the past ten […]
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From Non-Target School to Elite Boutique: How to Make the Cross-Country Leap

Can you get into a top bank from a university that’s completely off their radar? Sure. But what if your university is also far away from New York and other financial centers? And what if you realize you want to do investment banking fairly late in the game? Then it might be a bit harder. […]
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How to Go from No Return Offer in Your Internship to a Full-Time Investment Banking Offer… from a Non-Target School

What happens if you screw up? For example, what if you put time and effort into recruiting, you win an investment banking summer internship, but then you fail to get a return offer for silly reasons? You could go back and start networking again, but most banks prefer to hire from their summer intern pools. […]
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How to Win a Full-Time Investment Banking Offer as an International Student in a Non-Target Master’s Program

Is a Master’s degree your best chance of getting into the finance industry? It might be – if you pick the right program. Master’s degrees are useful for “Plan B” scenarios where you didn’t get the job offer you wanted the first time around – though you came close – and now you want to […]
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From the Back Office and a Non-Target MBA to Running Deals as an Investment Banking Associate in Canada

Can you get into investment banking from a non-target MBA program? Most people would say, “No. Keep dreaming.” But what if you add a few more handicaps? Not only is your school a non-target, but it’s also far removed from any major city. You’re in Canada, which has far fewer openings each year than the […]
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From Non-Target to Bulge-Bracket Bank: How to Play the Transfer Game Like a Pro and Win Offers

Do you believe all the success stories you read on this site? In other words, is it possible to win job offers in the finance industry from a non-target school or a random background? Yes – but it’s not easy. If you’re dedicated to breaking into the industry, you’re often better off transferring to a […]
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From Insurance Sales to Investment Banking: How to Make Up for an Unknown School, a Low GPA, and No Relevant Internships

What background makes it toughest to break into finance? Engineering? Accounting? The back office? Being a male escort in Tokyo? Each of those careers presents different challenges. But there’s one particular background that bankers do not like: insurance, and specifically insurance sales. If you attend a university where “everyone” does it, though, you could easily […]
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From Community College to Fortune 500 Investor Relations: How to Defy the Odds Even When Everyone Tells You “No”

The “path.” It never seems to die. And neither does the assumption that you need to follow a certain “path” to get into the finance industry. It’s like a cockroach: no matter how many times I drop nuclear bombs on it, it just won’t stay dead. That’s why I wanted to share this story of a reader […]
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From International Student at Non-Target School to Bulge Bracket Investment Banking: How to Beat the Odds and Break In

You might say that it’s “pretty tough” to break into investment banking in the US these days – even if you have perfect grades, an Ivy League degree, great work experience, and you’ve networked so much you never want to “meet someone for coffee” again. Now imagine that you come from a… slightly different background: […]
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From London to the Middle East: How to Break Into Investment Banking in Dubai

While you’ve learned all about working in Dubai and other parts of the Middle East from previous interviews, we haven’t focused on recruiting much – until now. The interviewee you’re about to hear from went from spotty A-Level performance and low first-year university grades to multiple bulge bracket offers. And if you think that’s impressive, […]
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Diversity Recruiting: Your Secret Weapon for Breaking Into Investment Banking?

“Can you tell me exactly what I have to do to get into finance? There must be a combination of grades, certifications, internships, and activities that will guarantee me a spot at Goldman Sachs, right? Give me the magic bullet solution for breaking in!” Ah, another day, another email. And if you don’t believe that […]
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From Non-Target School and Unpaid Wealth Management Internship to Full-Time Bulge Bracket Investment Banking Offer: How to Make the Leap

In this interview we’ll speak with a reader who landed a full-time bulge bracket investment banking offer with 0 banking internships and a non-target school on his resume. There have been a few interviews with readers from similar backgrounds – but I thought this one was great because he shares unique insights and unusual networking strategies […]
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How to Network Like a Ninja in London and Break Into Finance with Low Grades and a Non-Target School on Your CV

“You’ve written so much about networking, but it doesn’t work outside the US. No one in my country responds to cold calls or emails – what do I do?” It’s one of the most common objections I get to the networking advice on M&I. There are dozens of interviews disproving the old complaint that everything […]
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From Non-Target and No Finance Experience to 2 Full-Time Bulge Bracket Investment Banking Offers

“Help, how can I move from PWM / asset management into investment banking?” “I have no time left and need to find an internship! What do I do?” “How do I get internships with no finance experience?” I love this interview because this reader accomplished all of the above. Plus, you’ll learn about: A ninja […]
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How to Break Into Investment Banking If You Have a 3.0 GPA, Graduated from an Unknown School, and Only Recently Learned English

How do you break into investment banking if you don’t have a 4.0 GPA from an Ivy League school? (For more free training and financial modeling videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.) For one, you don’t use the “typical” strategies. You need to think less like the average person breaking in and more like a […]
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Unknown State School with No Finance Background to Investment Banking: How to Make the Leap

Is this site dedicated to Ivy League graduates with perfect grades? No! Of course not. At least, I hope not. We do get plenty of readers from “elite universities,” but many readers have also broken into the finance industry from unknown schools – often with lower GPAs and less-impressive work experience. Today’s story is in […]
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How to Break Into Finance with a Low GPA, No Finance Experience, and Without Going to a Top School: 4 Mistakes to Avoid and 3 Strategies to Embrace

It’s one of the most common questions/complaints I get… “All your advice is focused on people at top schools! What about the rest of us!” “You assume that we have 4.0 GPAs in finance programs!” “What do I do if I’ve been a door-to-door insurance salesman for the past 10 years?” Never mind that advice […]
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