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

377 Comments | Case Studies & Reader Success Stories - From Non-Target Schools and Low Grades

59 Flares 59 Flares ×

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 on topics like networking applies to everyone – and that we’ve addressed how to get in from different backgrounds several times before, with more coming up in the near future.

Today I’ll share a few stories from readers who work at banks and are responsible for interviewing potential new hires – and a story from one reader who recently did exactly what the title suggests:

He got into finance with poor grades, no finance experience, and did it coming from an unknown school.

Here’s how he did it…

What NOT to Do

Let’s start with a few stories from readers who are working in investment banking and interviewing potential intern and full-time hires.

Read each of these, and then do the exact opposite of what the person in the story did.

1. Potential New Hires at a Boutique: Back to the Basics

Here’s a portion of an email I received from an Associate at a boutique investment bank who has been interviewing potential interns recently:

“It seems unbelievable, but most of the resumes we got were poorly formatted and had typos. What are they thinking? Also, it was shocking to me how many people had no idea about basic business and accounting concepts like enterprise value and working capital. Even more shocking was how many students claimed their ignorance was understandable because their university did not have a business program.”

Lessons Learned: Go back to the basics. If your resume has typos and you can’t explain enterprise value, your chances are 0%. Investment banking is a hyper-competitive field that attracts Type-A personalities and overachiever workaholics.

But despite how competitive it is, it’s still worth remembering that the majority of applicants don’t even get the basics right… and at true regional boutiques, you run into even fewer interviewees who know their stuff 100%.

It goes back to one of my favorite points: don’t overestimate the competition.

2. The Guy Who Couldn’t Take No for an Answer: Avoid “Jack Bauer”-Style Networking

This story comes from a friend who works at a boutique outside the US. This was an in-person story, so I’ll quote my friend as accurately as possible:

“I had one guy who requested an informational meeting with me… so we met for coffee once. I could tell that he didn’t know that much, and during the meeting he was trying way too hard to impress me rather than just being himself. I told him we weren’t hiring anyone at the moment, but he kept pressing me for more meetings.

Within 2 weeks, he had emailed me about 5 times asking if I was free for more informational interviews. By the 5th email I basically stopped responding to him.”

Lessons Learned: Persistence is good… to a certain degree. You have to read your contacts and decide who likes you, who is open to further discussions, and who doesn’t want to have anything to do with you.

Remember, a networking ninja is stealthy – but emailing someone 5 times in 2 weeks is the complete opposite. Rather than subtly extracting information from your target, you’re more like Jack Bauer torturing a suspected terrorist to get information on the next attack.

Subtlety comes with practice and there’s no quick-fix solution: the best advice is to get out there and start talking to people. If no one responds favorably, re-think your approach and ask your friends and anyone you’ve spoken with for honest feedback.

It’s probably too aggressive to contact someone more than once every few weeks unless you know him/her very well and have extremely specific questions.

A BIG part of going from networking newbie to networking ninja is determining your “most valuable” contacts and acting accordingly.

3. The “Finance Expert”: Tell the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth

It’s tempting to claim that you have a ton of finance experience to stand out – and that temptation is especially strong if you don’t have top grades, a banking internship, or an Ivy League name on your resume.

But bankers can detect that type of deception instantly, and will always call you out on it – as in this story from a friend who just interviewed one candidate:

“Had a guy who told me he has ‘built financial models and performed relative valuation such as trading comps and transaction comps.’

I asked him to walk me through how he spread those comps… and then he just stumbled and started going off on a tangent for 5 minutes without actually answering the question. Not knowing is one thing, but his biggest mistake was lying about it.”

Lessons Learned: Don’t lie, especially about something that the interviewer can easily determine is a lie – whether it’s “fluent in Mandarin” or “knowing how to spread trading comps.”

It’s one thing if you’re exaggerating your role in a “company you founded” (with your friends in a backyard in high school) and the facts are harder to check, but when it’s something concrete you can’t afford fabrication.

Only bend the truth when you won’t get called on it and when it benefits you in some way.

4. The “Steep Learning Curve”: Wait, Why Did You Want to Do Investment Banking Again?

It’s amazing, but some interviewees have no idea why they’re actually applying to investment banking jobs. I get at least 1 email per month asking what the “best reason to say you want to do i-banking” is… and here’s the truth:

Think for yourself about why you actually want to do it and use that as your reason.

And make sure you have a good reason – unlike the guy below (another story from a friend at a boutique)

“Another guy told me he wanted to get into i-banking ‘because nowhere else would provide a steeper learning curve where he could learn the most in two years.’ He kept rambling on about learning… but I had no clue WHAT he wanted to learn – so I asked him if he wanted to learn i-banking, or learn how to learn… he was TONGUE TIED.”

Lessons Learned: Your “story” and answer to “why i-banking” (or “why PE,” “why consulting,” “why anything”) are the most important parts of any interview – and if you have bad answers, you’ll never make it past the first round.

Saying something generic like “I want to learn” can potentially work but you need to elaborate and say what it is you want to learn specifically – and then tie it into your background and what you’ve done before.

A tech consultant saying he wants to understand the big picture of the industry when applying for tech banking makes sense.

But if you limit your response to “I want to learn” without elaborating, the interviewer would rightfully turn around and say, “So enroll in a Ph.D. program – what are you doing here? Or go read a lot of books.”

From Failure to Success: Getting in With a Low GPA, No Background, and No Top School

No matter what your grades and education are like, you absolutely need to have your “story” together and have good answers to the basic questions.

But if you’re not coming from a “4.0 at Harvard” background, you may be tempted to exaggerate and be overly aggressive when networking, both of which can hurt you.

Here’s how one reader avoided all that and got into finance despite having a low GPA, no prior experience, AND after he had already been working full-time in another industry:

“I know that in one of your recent posts a reader had mentioned that they wanted to hear a story about someone who came from a non-target school, with a lower-than-average GPA, and no finance experience, who made their way into the industry.

Well, I am that person! I went to a small non-target college that no one has heard of, and got under a 3.0 there (though I got a 4.0 on the social scale!).

I’ve been working for the past few years as a tech consultant, though I also did some management consulting-type work.

I recently got an offer from a hybrid banking/consulting boutique, and did it by networking with an alum from my school who I cold-called. He was fairly high-up so it was a good decision to go to him directly.

During my interview process, rather than getting technical questions on accounting and finance, I was asked to provide sample work product showing my writing, presentation, and basic modeling abilities.

I know that’s not the norm at bulge brackets, but I think anyone applying to boutiques and hybrid firms should know that – especially if you have some full-time work experience, showing them what you can do (literally) plays a big role in getting offers.”

Lessons Learned:

1. Although he didn’t go to a target school with a strong network in finance, he used that to his advantage by cold-calling someone high-up and using the rare alumni card to get an “in.”

How many calls do you think someone like that gets?

Not many if he’s from a non-target school.

2. He leveraged his background by applying to a hybrid firm rather than a pure bank. By appropriately spinning his consulting experience, he made it sound like he was well-suited for the position.

And since it was a boutique, his chances were higher to begin with.

3. There’s more than one way to impress. Especially for anyone working full-time and applying to small firms, bringing in examples of your previous work is an effective and often-overlooked strategy.

You have a big advantage over anyone still in school, because you’ve already proven yourself in another field – and you need to use that to your advantage.

About the Author

is the Founder of Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street. In his spare time, he enjoys learning obscure Excel functions, editing resumes, obsessing over TV shows, and traveling so much that he's forced to add additional pages to his passport on a regular basis.

Break Into Investment Banking

Free Access to Exclusive Content for Members Only!

Loading the player...

Sign up for The Banker Blueprint today and enjoy:

  • Free Report: 57-page guide with the action plan you need to break into investment banking - how to tell your story, network, craft a winning resume, and dominate your interviews,
  • Exclusive emailed bonus material,
  • Free Banker Blueprint newsletter with more in-depth advice,
  • Unlimited access to all articles, videos, and advice - and free updates whenever new content is added to the site,


We respect your email privacy

Read below or add a comment...

377 Comments to “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”


  1. Steve says

    Hi, I’m currently a junior at one of the top20 semi target majoring in finance & accounting. I have a subpar 3.4 gpa, without any internship experiences at all. Basically I was cut off (3.5 minimum) for most OCR banking opportunities. (I know I should’ve networked). So I’ve been trying to reach out to regional boutiques, but so far it’s been a dead end. I might be able to pull off an FAS internship abroad (with a no-name consulting company). But I feel this wouldn’t really position me well for the FT positions.

    So I’ve been thinking about hedging my chances by applying to msf programs (Claremont, Vandy), also taking cfa lv.1 upon graduation. + (I’m also looking into opportunities in Singapore, HK)

    What would be your intake on my situation?

    Thank you.

  2. Gaurav says

    Hi, im an engineering graduate currently working in a sales job for the past 6 months.
    (wasn’t interested in the job opportunities as an engineer here in India and hence the switch)
    I’ve developed an interest in finance and am looking for a switch into the industry but am not very sure on how to go about it.

    My grades aren’t great and i have zero financial experience.

    I’m basically looking for a bit of advice to get the ball rolling.
    Could u help?

    Thank you.

  3. Susan says

    I am a finance student and had an administration executive experience for nine months.After that,I resigned in November since not interested on that position.After that,I help my dad to conduct his business for few months.I decided to venture in investment field then I apply investment job at Kuala Lumpur.But so far only one investment company called me for interview.How can I venture into investment field with no investment experience and low cgpa?

      • Susan says

        Apologies that I still have extra question wanna to ask you.If I take CFA while working at call centre of bank as customer service officer,is it easier for me to switch to investment bank as investment banker after I finish three levels of CFA with customer service officer experience of bank position?

        Thank you.

        • M&I - Nicole says

          No. CFA is useful if you want to work on the buy-side (think asset management, private wealth management). It isn’t particularly useful for investment banking roles, other than research. While having the certification is valuable, you will still need to network and pitch yourself to increase your chances.

  4. SC415 says

    Hello All,

    I currently am going through a will be carreer changing year. I am working as an Accounts Payable/Recievable clerk for a pretty big company and would like to get myself more into the corporate finance world. I have no official training in finance, besides the 3 or so years I have in my current Accounting position. I don’t have a 4yr degree as well. My question is what would be the best way to get started in the corporate finance world? I have found some courses in this field at a local UC extention, does anyone recommend this courses? Other methods? Or would my best bet be going back to school and possible getting my degree??

    Any advise would be much appriciated.


  5. Jackie says


    I’m a sophomore at a target undergrad business school, and recruitment is coming up soon for me. I was wondering about this piece of advice that you had given in a separate article:

    “5. I have a low GPA. How can I break into investment banking?
    Network like crazy, and go around the official channels.”

    How did you go around official channels? Even if you do network, I’ve heard that you applicants are told that they still need to apply through their school career website, but schools don’t let you apply if you don’t have the GPA requirements. What kind of methods are there around official channels?

    • M&I - Nicole says

      You can focus on smaller/boutiques banks and cold call their seniors. Since their teams are relatively leaner, you may be able to skip the standard application (not interviews though) if the team really wants you onboard and has such hiring needs. For others, some who have family friends in some firms on wall street probably don’t even need to meet certain GPA requirements and can get an internship relatively easily …

      • Jackie says

        I’m aiming for bulge bracket – would this even be attainable? I have mentors who I’ve met with a couple of times, and will continue to meet with until recruitment begins. Most are at associate level. Could I ask them to pull me in? Is that possible if I don’t apply through formal recruiting channels? How much more would it help if I had, say, a VP or a director trying to pull me in so I can at least apply?

        • M&I - Nicole says

          Not really, because associates don’t usually have that much power in the recruitment process. If you have the support of an MD, or better yet, the partner of a firm, it may be more promising.

  6. Marcol says

    Hi Im a rising senior at the University of Georgia and currently have an 3.55 Major GPA in Economics and 3.05 overall.

    Is UGA considered a target school and also what are my chances of getting a full time I banking job without an internship?

  7. Aakoo says


    I am currently a sophomore at the University of Maryland-R.H. Smith School of Business pursuing a degree in Finance. I am very interested in learning more about internship opportunities in investment banking. My GPA is quite low, a 3.46 with a relatively business focused course load. I did intern with Merrill Lynch as a Wealth Management Intern and will be interning with a non-profit mortgage finance organization this summer. As an intern for Merrill, I definitely gained some skills with market research and overall exposure to financial markets, but I fear my experience may not be enough. Do you have any advice on how to increase my chances of obtaining a strong investment banking internship for next summer?


    • M&I - Nicole says

      To increase your chances, you may want to (1) increase your GPA (2) start networking and contacting alums in the industry now (3) tap into your ML network and see if anyone can refer you to a summer intern role in NY (4) Join a finance/investment banking club

  8. Jackson says


    I just graduated with a B.S. in Business Admin with a specialization in Finance from a no name school with a low GPA. I put myself through college by working at a retail bank (JPMorgan Chase) as a licensed banker (Series 6,63, and Life Insurance) for about four years. Basically, all I have is sales experience and my 4 year degree. I am looking for any entry level finance position but ultimately want to go into trading (equities, options, fx). I am willing to start at the bottom as an associate, trading assistant, etc. What should be my next step?

    Thank You!

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Network a lot and start cold calling firms. Perhaps you can also try JPM’s S&T. Start following the markets intensively and be able to pitch and demonstrate your passion in it!

  9. Grant says

    I’ve been seeing adds for the “new york institute of finance.” what is your opinion on this?

    Also, would a wealth managment internship for Morgan Stanley or an internship under a portfolio manager at Franklin Templeton look better to ibankers?

    • says

      We endorse the program because it has delivered solid results for clients in the past (if you sign up and say that M&I referred you, you’ll also get free access to one of our courses). It is helpful if you don’t have the required work experience but you are extremely interested in getting into finance.

      The PM internship would probably look better since they usually don’t regard wealth management too highly.

      • Grant says

        Thank you for the response. It almost seemed to good to be true. I definitely will take courses there if I can find work in NYC at the same time.

        Thats good to know. Right now I am interning in their fund accounting department. How can I make this back office job look good to Ibanks?

  10. Zubair says

    I am a fresh grad with a GPA of 2.6. I wish to switch from economics (Pakistan) to finance (MS). Is there any top university in the world that doesn’t give weightage to GPA please refer or advice me in this regard.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      I think most universities care about GPA. You may have to improve other areas of your application to make you stand out. I’d suggest you to speak to undergrad admissions consultants to help you with your situation.

  11. H.W. says

    I’ve always been interested in pursuing a career in finance, but I’m 28 and my resume is very academic. I have a MA in the humanities, worked at museums and universities, and teach high school. With no business or managerial experience, I think an MBA might be out of the question. Is there anything I can do to break in to finance, and where would I have the most luck? I have a very strong network to work with, but no qualifications.

  12. Sophia says

    I’m currently an International Relations major with a focus on International Political Economy. I also have a minor in Economics. My GPA is a 3.2 and my Major GPA is a 3.4. I have an interest in Global Management consulting or Global Compliance Law. However, I have some fear in applying to firms because I do not have a strong mathematical background. Any advice? I know internships help but most internships that I look at strictly want a strong background in Finance, Marketing, and Accounting. I have applied for some but have received rejections.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      - Best if you can boost your GPA to 3.5 to increase your chances
      – You don’t really need Maths background to succeed in finance. Yes you do need to know simple maths and how numbers work, but this doesn’t require a math degree. Don’t let this fear stop you. I know liberal arts major who succeeded in finance. With the above being said, if you’re stronger on the qualitative side, I’d suggest you look for more qualitative/communication-based role such as equity sales, investor relations, asset management sales, legal.
      – I can see why a Finance/Accounting knowledge would be useful to some roles (not quite sure about marketing itself). What you can do to overcome this is demonstrate your passion in and knowledge of finance i.e. joining an investment club, trading your own portfolio, having finance internships, working on finance projects

  13. Ryan Koehne says

    I was one of the unfornate people to graduate in 2009 with a finance degree. It was unfornate because the market tanked, and no matter if you had a 4.0 or a 2.0 no one was hiring, infact more companies were downsizing. Anyways I used that time and did some traveling, and found myself working in the hospitality industry. Now 4 years later, I want to get back into the finance industry. I didn’t have the greatest grades, 2.8 GPA. But I also work 3 jobs to pay for tutition… family didnt have the money. Anyways 4 years of hospitality work, how can I relate this to finance? How can I get into the finance sector? Barriers to enter are really hard and competitive now!! Any advice

    • says

      Talk about client relationship skills, any business/sales development you did, any financial analysis or analytical work and explain how you grew the business and how that operational knowledge can help in IB.

  14. Kyle says

    Hello. I am a freshman at a Valencia Honors college. In two years I’ll be transfering to UCF honors (As long as I keep a 3.5+). I am very interested in finance and would love to break into IBanking/PE. I currently have a 4.0 and I am the President of the Investment club. I have a few questions for you . . .
    Should I begin internships this summer?
    What would the best internship to get be?
    With a tippy top GPA, high GMAT scores and terrific extra curriculors, would I be at able to get into a top 10 school?
    Would getting into a top business school for a Masters help me break into the Bulge Bracket?
    Any other tips/advice?
    Thank you!

    • M&I - Nicole says

      If you can find a relevant internship, sure. That maybe too early but yes you can do that
      Ideally in IB but IBs rarely accept freshmen unless you have some sort of connection with the firm. Roles in finance which involves the markets and transactions may help
      Yes it depends on the rest of your application

  15. Kyle says

    Am I at disadvantage because I am at a non-target undergraduate school even if I go to a top 10 grad school in the future?
    Would being multilingual (English, Italian, Afrikaans, Mandarin Chinese) help me at all?
    If I can’t get into a finance internship is it worth to get one elsewhere?

    • M&I - Nicole says

      If you can gain some relevant finance internship even though you aren’t from a target this will help
      Yes being multilingual will help

  16. Ben says

    I am in my junior year of college and I am an applied mathematics major at georgia tech. I’ve decided I want to get into investment banking in NYC, ideally leveraged finance or m&a. I have interned at a small boutique in Atlanta that focuses on ECM especially private placements and these funds that were set up to buy shares of private companies. The firm is a broker dealer and I was on the ibanking side even though the money maker for the firm is the retail side. I haven’t done much of any valuation. How can I best sell my experience to ideally get into a elite boutique or bulge bracket? Also my GPA is a 3.52 but I think it’s going down after this semester. Like to a 3.4 or maybe worse (I have really hard classes and I’m working part time at this same firm). Thanks for your help.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Try to make sure your GPA stays above 3.5 to increase your chances. Perhaps you can talk about valuation experience outside of work, and talk about how you’ve made an impact at work and what you’ve done there i.e. helping out with pitches, setting up meetings, etc

      • Ben says

        Okay, I will try my best to keep my GPA above a 3.5. Also, at work I honestly do a lot of administrative work like scanning in subdocuments (think subscription agreements and internal firm documents that we can show to finra that the client is accredited and has a speculative account at the firm)and saving them accordingly and updating excel sheets with the new information. I did once go through some valuation some other firm did (book runner for a second offering) that we had to understand somewhat and tell to our brokers and clients. Also, at least at the firm I work at the process works where we sell like almost everything through the brokers at our firm and their respective clients (they get a sales commission based on how much money they individually raised). I thought that was odd since I’ve never read about that process here at this website. Also at my firm none of the bankers work nearly the hours that are described here which I thought was odd since our deal flow is relatively strong (maybe it has to deal with the fact that our retail side is so large and most of our investors come from broker’s clients). I have sat through a couple of pitches by companies actually who are trying to convince us to raise them money for us but we have never actually pitched to companies (or at least that I’ve seen at my level) which I thought was also odd and never described here at this website. Many of these companies are actually brought through our brokers who email us all the time about new deals they have heard about through clients or friends or something.

        I was just wondering if my experience is just a weird one or is this common at a boutique firm with a much larger wealth management side that specializes in small private placements (less than 20 sometimes 10 million dollars) and smaller deals in general (I’ve been told we do reverse mergers but I have not worked personally on one).

        • M&I - Nicole says

          Since your firm deals with small private placements and deals, it explains the above. I am not sure if it is quite the norm but I would’t say it is weird

          • Ben says

            That makes a lot of sense. I was worried it was going to be too bizarre to tell recruiters too many details.
            Thanks for your help Nicole. If I can get on up to NYC it will be largely due to the advice from you and Brian :)
            I wish you guys the best.

  17. Hesitant Applicant says

    Hi, I am a student from Malaysia and entering my second year at university studying Economics and Finance in the UK this October. I am interested in applying for summer internship in the UK in the corporate finance/investment banking field. However, I am not from a top school and I am wondering which kind of firms should I focus on applying to. Thank you in advance. :)

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Do you have a visa to work in the UK? If not you may want to expand your reach to your home country to increase your chances. You may want to focus on 2nd and 3rd tier firms and networking

  18. Bill says

    I think I have a unique experience. I just graduated from a top 3 school. I took a few years off in the middle and joined the Army. I have deployment experience. My GPA is low, 2.7. My degree is in Poly Sci and I dont have much of a back ground in Finance. Ideas/chances for getting an IB Analyst position?

  19. David says

    Hi, I’m interested in a career change to IB. My end goal is to work in healthcare IB.
    I’m 26 with no financial background. I graduated from a non-target undergrad. with a GPA of 3.5. I have a dual degree in sciences. I’ve worked 2 years in a clinical lab.
    Is it possible? Any advice? Thanks.

  20. Andrew says


    I am currently a student at the McCombs School of Business (UT-Austin), majoring in Corporate Finance & I-Banking with a minor in Accounting. My prior experience/activities include leadership positions in my fraternity, membership in a couple business and finance clubs, and selection to join a very highly regarded and prominent leadership and service organization on campus. In addition, I will be studying abroad in the Spring and have solid work experience, including a ‘back-office’ internship with a major bank and owning my own small business. I would also like to say that I have developed a strong personal network, which I plan to leverage to crack into I-banking.

    But, here’s the catch: My GPA is only slightly above a 3.0.

    While I do attend a solid business school, show active participation in leadership and service on campus, have decent prior work experience, and have created a network amongst people in the industry – my low GPA and lack of an extremely relevant, investment banking internship concerns me.

    This leads me to ask 2 questions:

    1) Is it really still possible to land a full-time investment banking job at a reputable firm with a low GPA and no directly-related finance internship?


    2) How much do top-notch Master’s programs weigh undergraduate GPAs into the admissions process after having a few years of solid work experience?

    Any insight that you could provide on my situation would be greatly appreciated.


    • says

      1) It would be tough to do that unless you network like crazy and get an internship more closely related to finance. Not impossible, necessarily, but it’s going to require a ton of work and some luck.

      2) GPA factors in but you can still get into top programs even with a lower GPA if you have good test scores and work experience. A Master’s program would be a good way to fix the issue with your lower GPA and get another shot at recruiting if it doesn’t work out this time around.

  21. David 007 says

    Hi Brian,

    I was wondering if you can help me out and shed some light on my situation for me.

    I am currently in my final year of college in India. It’s a non-finance major – I do English.

    I have interned in Operations for one of the big WS banks. I however wish to work in the front office. However being in a traditional recruitment place like India, I understand that this is a uphill battle for me with my current qualifications. Do you suppose a CFA would help my case?

    Also if I take the Ops role at the bank I interned in, will that make the future hop to the front office more difficult? Your thoughts please. Thank you.

  22. Aaron says

    Hey man I was hoping to get your advice on something so I transferred to a school in jan. 2013 and got great grades, now coming into this semester I am taking some hard courses and I think my gpa will go down significantly. If I apply for a SA in November and then interview in January can I still use that gpa on the resume i submitted in november or will it have to be my new one I report? As in If i go to the interview should i bring my new gpa resume or can i still use the old one? Thanks for any help man.

  23. Antony says

    Im a recent grad from a top 20 school in undergrad – I have had 3 summer internships and one paid 3-month work experience, but nothing directly related to finance or IB. As a recent alum, can I still take advantage of the recruiting at my school – and is my best bet the internships that seem to be reserved for juniors or seniors, or should I go after boutique jobs? I imagine I need relevant finance experience in order to have any chance for me in the next full-time recruiting round?

    In short, as it’s the middle of October, any advice for the best job opportunities to focus on as a recent BS in Econ grad can do in NYC without any relevant experience and a limited personal network in the field would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks so much for your time,


    • M&I - Nicole says

      I am not sure if you are eligible for internships for juniors or seniors. You may have to check with HR. I may go after boutique roles and focus on networking

      • Antony says

        Thank you – is there a rough timeline, outside of the standard recruiting schedule for BB firms, for applying to potentially more attainable analyst or internship positions at smaller firms, whether they be buy/sell side firms or IB firms?

        Thank again for your time,


        • M&I - Nicole says

          There isn’t really a rough timeline after the standard recruiting schedule. You may want to establish relationships before bonuses so when people leave after bonus, you can start landing jobs. Different firms have different cycles; some payout in end of year/Jan.

  24. Dozie says

    I’m a recent law graduate in Nigeria where we have to attend a 5year undergrad law program and a year of law school. My final GPA is 3.1/5.0,I plan to do better in law school. I wanna land an IB offer with local or foreign firms. With no finance knowledge, I read textbooks and plan to take online courses. As soon as I graduate law school I will intern to boost my experience, also I’ve been advised to take the CFA exams by a corporate banker. What am I doing right or wrong considering my finance spark occured 2months ago? My average GPA really bothers me as firms in Nigeria only wanna deal with students and recent grads with GPAs of 3.5/5.0 and above. Whilst foreign firms look for the best available.
    Your assistance will be most appreciated. Thank you!

  25. Bryan says

    Hello, I am interested in doing credit risk and maybe even IB. I am currently a junior with 3-4 semesters left depending on if I extend my graduation. My school is pretty competitive and I feel as I am not on par with networking and with technicals.

    Currently, I am a tax intern at a BB. The money is great, but I feel as if I am not adding any value to my firm and vice versa. I do not have any job lined up, but I am debating on quitting my internship and spend the winter catching up by starting to network and learning as much as I can.

    So the question really is – should I stay at my current internship or should I focus on the long-term goal?

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Can you do both? If the work really drains you and you can’t focus on networking, then focus on the long term goal and take the risk.

  26. Angela says

    Recently graduated with an MBA at a university from east coast, not a top school. GPA is 3.69. My background is mostly working with customers/clients- thus good at networking. Last two years I’ve networked a for finance industry- ended up in an internship at Morgan Stanley. Unfortunately, during my last term relocated to the west coast before graduation. Now I’m stuck not knowing anyone. Still I’m good at networking and a lot of companies like NY Life, Guardian, Country Financial, Mass Mutual, AXA Advisors, etc are approaching me. They are willing to sponsor me for licenses but its up to me to build a client book with no base pay.

    Here are my questions:

    1. Is it worth it to work for a insurance company for the first few years in effort to get licensed and gain more experience in the field? Do boutique firms frown upon an insurance background?

    2. What licenses should I get to work towards working in merger & acquisitions?

    3. Since my MBA concentration was Finance, I learned a lot. Is there a book or website you can recommend to revisit the important aspects of the finance basics? For example, my terminology is rusty, can you recommend a solution solely for the finance terms or the different methods?

    • says

      Just to jump in and respond to your comment: I’ve gotten that request about 500 times over the past 6 years since I started this site.

      And yet, I still refuse to add dates unless the article is specifically tied to an event such as annual bonuses, where we obviously have to include the years.

      Why? Am I trying to torture you or make the site unhelpful?

      No – it’s because including dates on articles reduces site engagement even when older content is still perfectly relevant (yes, I am OCD and have tested this and have the data), and it also penalizes us in terms of search engine traffic (“fresh” content is boosted even when it is horrifically bad and even when older content on the same topic is much better).

      Some of the articles here, especially those with videos and other templates, take 20-30 hours to write (not this one you’re commenting on, just using this as an example) – if I put in that much time and effort, the last thing I want is for it to be deemed “not relevant” just because it’s a few years old.

      So I hear what you’re saying, and I agree that there are some borderline cases (such as this article) where the dates are somewhat relevant, but in general I would rather just remove all references to dates and specific events when possible vs. adding dates to everything.

      • D says

        I see. So basically you’re saying it’s better for you and that’s what matters. Of course adding dates would be better for the reader, or at least more helpful. But I don’t mean to be snide when I say that. Your maximizing Your efficiency, if anything I trust you a little more after reading this. Business is about maximizing profits (at least that’s what I’ve learned in school so far) and you’re applying that mindset exactly. Good for you.
        Also, I’d just like to say that I appreciate that (” take 20-30 hours to write”) you put time, effort and IMO passion (because you need to have it to continually work on something so rigorously, and often with good efficiency) and because it seems to have become so uncommon these days (at least in my experience thus far, hopefully that changes once I get into a more professional atmosphere (as it already has a little since I entered university))
        I don’t usually care for people on the internet, viewers, moderators or owners – but to be honest in the short time I’ve spent on your site I’ve met one very kind and helpful moderator M&I – “Nicole” (believe me, that’s not very common on the internet) and now you – the site owner – who’s also uncommonly honest.
        And for those reasons listed I felt compelled to write this. I’m not sure what you do for a living (besides maintain this site) but you must be at least somewhat successful (based on your reply, and attitude in replying) compared to the miserable, simpletons that usually run, moderate or visit websites.
        Sorry to be the 600th to ask though lol, but thank you the reply.

        • says

          Thanks for your comments. And just to clarify, the lack of dates is not just to help us – it also helps you.

          Why? / How?

          Because a lot of what’s written here applies regardless of the year we’re in. So if we listed dates, you would be biased against older articles as well, and may not read them even if they are still relevant (not saying you personally, but we’ve noticed that as a general trend before). In particular, lots of networking / interview strategies stay the same year after year… so we would prefer to see those used to their full effect.

  27. D says

    not sure if these comments are recent or not but ill give it a shot and hope for a reply.

    I think I may be able to attain about a 3.2 to 3.3 GPA by the end of my university degree (i know it’s low, I started off badly). My question is, do financial recruiters right out of university look for a cumulative GPA’s or just the last two years like some MBA schools do?

    My plan is to work for a 2 years (at most 3 – hopefully) at a financial job (no clue as to where yet though) then apply for a MBA and afterwards go into investment banking and ultimately private equity or a hedge fund if possible (not completely sure about these last two steps since they’re still such a long way off for now).

    I live in Canada and the top MBA schools here only look at your last two year business-related courses GPA.

    So I have few questions really, 1) will financial recruiters look at my cumulative GPA and 2) what else will they be looking for? 3) What would look good on a resume (besides the obvious, an internship)? 4) Also, after attaining my MBA, will they look at my MBA GPA solely or still the university MBA, or perhaps both? 5) Will getting an investment banking job be easy, moderate or hard after attaining an MBA (I’m aware of naive that question makes me sound)?

  28. D says

    follow up:
    1) Which work experience will they look at from a student out of university? (few students will have work experience related to finance, unless I’m mistaken? Part time jobs definitely would not be considered, correct?)
    2) the link you provided mentions an MBA won’t guarantee a job at goldman sachs (obviously), so then what will bigger firms look at to determine who they hire? What is the difference between someone who gets a job at a small firm oppose to someone a larger firm hires?

    My school is no harvard, but it is ranked among the top in Canada. At worst, I plan on going to one of the best MBA schools in Canada (at best, Harvard BS, or somewhere along those lines). Can you, then, elaborate on what you mean by “it depends on your school and credentials”?

  29. D says

    I usually don’t like using my name and e-mail online on websites to comment.

    But thank you for help. I’ll be doing some reading and likely be back for more questions later on.

    The more and more I read, the less likely it seems I’ll be getting the salary I’ve been dreaming of, although I am saying this purely from a outsider and still somewhat far away point of view. I have high hopes but perhaps that’s shows naivety.

    I want to (more early on in my career than later) end up in a bigger firm but a more target segment of it. A small team in private equity or a hedge fund that tackles big and difficult projects and ultimately get paid a great salary/benefits for it. The problem is that everyone wants to do that, and it would be absurd to think something like that would come easy. I want to tell my self as long as I work hard stay focused that will be enough, but it’s becoming more and more clear that it will not be. There are many others that do the same, the real objective is to stick out so far from the rest that you’re an obvious choice. Unfortunately I am no genius :(.

    To my knowledge I don’t believe Canada has any target schools, there are some universities that stick out as being very bad but other than that it seems to be a fairly even listing of universities. Same with the MBA programs except there are also a few OK ones (averaging about a 675 on GMAT scores) but even being accepted in those would only feel like mediocre accomplishments.

    I might be foolish for saying this but I feel as though all the opportunities for IB and forward (PE and HF’s) are in the united states of america, what with the huge population. 1) is this true? for a high salary IB and forward, are there any strong opportunities in Canada as well?

    2) By cultural fit I assume you mean finding a job you feel comfortable working in, enjoy the company environment, and are generally happy with the job overall, correct? (I believe we went over this in my organizational business course). Then you say it isn’t too common to select a job based on this factor, are you then suggesting that most IB and forward are happy within their companies and with their jobs and are also able to maximize their potential wherever they work, even in bigger less personalized firms? If so, how is this possible?

    3) given the information I’ve provided, if possible, what would you suggest are some realistic goals for me to strive for in this career path? and if possible, even suggest specific firms to strive to work in?

    I’m really just puzzled. It’s hard to understand what needs to be done from an outsider point of view, and there are always differing opinions from advisers. I think it’s best to extract all the information you can from all sources and put it together yourself really, but even then it’s still confusing (at least in my opinion). It’s hard to see the bigger, whole picture (again, at least IMO).

    Sorry for the long reply, these will likely be the last few questions I have for now.

    • says

      1) There are still opportunities in Canada, but yes, pay is generally lower and there are not as many exit opportunities.

      2) Yes. Most people pick IB for the wrong reasons, i.e. money/prestige, so I think that is what Nicole was saying. This is something you should avoid.

      3) Best thing to do is boost your GPA as much as possible – if you can’t, get into a top Master’s program and use that to re-brand yourself, completing a part-time / school-year finance internship along the way, and leverage that to recruit for roles at bigger firms afterward.

  30. D says

    above all I think I may be over analyzing and over complicating my life by worrying so much about all this.
    In my experience of competitive goals thus far, I’ve come to realize only a handful of people really get to reach the competitive goals everyone sets out to achieve.
    Almost as if they were born to.
    More realistically, for everyone, else it seems as though an honest goal would be shooting for an “85%” goal (not achieving exactly what you dreamed of, but doing better than most other people – which would convert to about an 85% in school (i made this up, sounds silly lol)).

    But I definitely could be wrong in this case though, because all other goals to this point in my life I was not solely striving for them. While I was working on one goal, I would also be working on 3 others (like getting good grade in school as one example).

    So it’ll be interesting to see what can happen when I put 100% effort into achieving my goals.

    I mean, it’s not like anything else in life is going to get in the way from ages 25-35 (35 being the age by which I hope to have achieved greatly in my field of work (w/ a good salary, benefits, hours, life, house, money, car, family, etc., etc.)…right? (sarcasm lol. terrible joke.)

  31. Sagnik says

    I have a few questions. Right now I am junior at Baruch College with a 3.288 GPA I am determined to bring it up to a 3.6 before I graduate I have 124 credits required and 48 left. I just applied to a Morgan Stanlet Bank Resource Analyst with a minimum of 3.0 but I know that realistically they are looking for a 3.5 or above probably. I interned at a local accounting firm this past summer, and other than that I have worked at payless where I impressed the DM by raising sales and giving ideas for increased sales but I have been told to leave a retail job off my resume which would leave my resume pretty empty. Few questions : with my current gpa of 3.288 should I leave it as 3.2 or round up to 3.3 I don’t feel I should cheat the system but I have heard of people doing this. Next, is Baruch a target school? I am also studying for the GMAT’s right now. My end goal is to be a CPA but I want to get a few internships under my belt. I just need a professional gauge of where I am on this site. I would appreciate some feedback and also if can email my resume just for a glance. I know there’s money behind everything but I would just appreciate a one word comment if that’s all I get.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      You can leave it to 3.2. Baruch is not a target. If your end goal is to be a CPA, you may also want to check out Accounting. We don’t offer resume reviews for readers in fairness to our paying clients. With the above being said, feel free to raise a few questions you may have on the forum and our staff and community will help you in the best way we can.

  32. Alek says

    Hey there, was wondering if I could get some advice based on my current situation. I graduated from a non-target school (UCSC) with a degree in Economics, but i have a low GPA (3.0), however my major GPA is above 3.5.
    I’ve always wanted to work in finance because i love the economic and analytical aspect of it. I’m currently working for the LAFD as an accounting clerk, however my duties would more closely reflect those of a management analyst I, and auditor I (I mostly work on government audits of expense accounts, perform analysis of financial figures shown on the budget and do trend analysis and forecasting of expenses, and writing reports for management and sworn members of LAFD).

    I’ve been at this job For about 6 months (was able to land the job due to my father’s influence)

    What are my chances on getting into a BB, boutique, or banking in general? Would love to get into an analyst-type position.

      • says

        The CFA may help a bit, but won’t be enough by itself to overcome a lower GPA and less relevant work experience – so your best options are extensive networking with boutiques and/or go for something else less competitive first and then go for banking after that.

    • says

      With a 3.0 GPA it will be tough – your best bet is to go for Big 4 TAS roles (or something else related like doing valuation work at an accounting firm) first, maybe, and then try to move into banking from there. You could try for boutique banks right now as well, but you would probably have to go through an incredible networking effort to have a good shot.

      • Alek says

        Thanks for the advice! I’ve been doing a lot of research lately on finance jobs, and also have a friend from school in New York right now working as analyst, and I just realized that investment banking sell-side isn’t what I’m looking for.

        I explained to her the kinds of things I’d like to do in my potential finance job and she said what I should start looking to do in the future is Equity Research Analyst (Buy-Side).

        For a position like that does the same advice still apply? (As it pertains to lower GPA, non-target school, experience, etc.) and would it still be just as hard to break into the buy side as a research analyst with at least a CFA?

        I’m an Alumnus of the 4th largest national fraternity, so I suppose I could also try to get in contact with other alumni that are in those type of positions.

        Also, as far as Equity Research Analysts are concerned, where do the majority get their jobs at? My friend doesn’t work at a bank, more like a consultant firm it appears at Aksia.


  33. Scott says

    I just recently graduated from a non-target school and have landed an internship at a boutique investment bank that will be ending in a month. Prior to that I worked as an analyst at one of the top banks in the wealth management division. I would want to explore other opportunities such as a bulge bracket firm, however my GPA is less than 2.5 for reasons of taking on numerous extra-curricular activities and worked 20 hours part-time (however I suspect the reasoning wouldn’t be good enough). Persistence to reach out every couple of weeks granted me this position. However, I’m worried the GPA question will eventually pop up. I’m thinking of pursing my MBA down the road to re-qualify myself and also to pursue the CFA designation. So my question is, what options do I have after this internship? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      I’d really focus on acing this opportunity. Once you do well there, you can either progress within the company or leverage that for other roles externally. You may also want to start cold-emailing people via LinkedIn/email over the summer and start exploring opportunities at other firms

  34. Massimo says

    Love the article, plus reading the comments section with solid advice is VERY refreshing, makes me think there might be a chance.

    As far as my situation is concerned, I have the same problem most here on this article have such as low gpa (4 year cumulative 3.3, major gpa 3.6), NON-target school, non-finance background (No internships, recently graduated, etc etc, working as an accountant currently for the LAFD).

    However, I feel I MAY have a good way to land an interview or informational meeting, but I need your advice M&I experts!

    So, I have an insanely unique story, so I want to know if emailing this/putting it on my cover letter would help or be a bad idea. Story is this, however I want to structure the narrative as the “American Dream” story rather than a pity party “Oh hire poor me” story. Here’s the gist of me:

    Grew up extremely poor, at times my family lived in abandoned buildings. Rarely went to grade school so I could take care of my siblings, and consequently dropped out of High School in the 9th Grade so I could work full-time and help my family buy food. I failed just about every subject in elementary, middle, and my first year of high school because I rarely went.

    I worked 3 jobs at one time sleeping 2~3 hours a day just to break even for months. Fast forward 7 years after the 9th grade (I was about 21~22) I decided to grab that good ol’ GED, however I didn’t even know how to add fractions or do long division. So, I went to the library and studied math paying change in late fee’s, and went from basic arithmetic to Pre-Calculus within a couple of months. Passed the GED, and signed up for Community College.

    Fast forward a bit more, I was actually able to do well (transfer with a 3.8 surprisingly) in classes I thought I’d never be able to take. I got into top schools like UCLA, but mistakenly transferred to a UC farther North because of it’s beauty. From there I joined a social fraternity for networking, but the next two years became rough when family issues came up. I was sending most of my scholarship money back home to help with family, working part-time jobs here and there, and sometimes having fraternity brothers help me just so I could eat. It was rough, but instead of quitting I graduated, and became the first person in my family to graduate.

    —– now obviously I’d have to figure out a narrative way to tell my story, and explain why I think I would be a good fit for investment banking, and why I want to do it, but should I leave my story out? I don’t have the pedigree to get an interview or be noticed, but I realize my story is a story of perseverance and the drive for the American Dream coming from a poor ass Italian family.

    Advice, suggestions, comments, anything? (Should I email bankers directly, etc.) Thanks.

    • Massimo says

      I forgot to ad, my degree is in Economics, more so relevant to IB. Coming from a guy who 5 years prior to getting that couldn’t even add fractions i’d say not bad!

    • says

      You should not recite that whole story because bankers have ADD and will not care that much no matter how impressive it is – you could maybe use elements of it, but your story can’t just be, “Look at me! I worked really hard and suffered through a lot and became the first person to graduate.”

      Bankers will see that and think: “So what’s in it for me? How will you help me earn more money, save time, or make our firm better?”

      So you need to connect what you’ve done to that and show what’s in it for them… and the skills you have that you could apply right away to the firm’s business.

      • M says

        Ok, I think I got what you’re sayin’.

        I’ll condense my story into something that’s easy and interesting to read (If they even look at it), and I’ll tie the ideas of perseverance, not giving up, persistence, etc into my story. I want to be very humble about it though, but I have to do it in a way that gets one of them thinking “He could do this”.

        I figure the “What’s in it for me?” part could be answered with saving them time and hiring someone who is used to hard work and struggle, which brings more money for dealing with clients.

          • M says

            Hey guys so through Linkedin Alumni I was able to find 2 alums, one VP and one MD at a bulge bracket in my area. I’m going to give it a shot and prepare an email.

            The only positive I see is that the LA area has only a handful of Alumni from my college, almost the entire network is in the bay area so it might be helpful for me.

            Interestingly enough both the MD and the VP work at the same bank.

            Any pointers or advice before I plug away at an email?


  35. Aspiring banker says

    Hi, I am from a target school with a first class honours in the UK but I have bad networking skills. I have no idea how to find an internship. How do I break into the banking sector? Not looking for i-banking specifically, but probably the equity /sales/fixed income etc. Planning to get into an even better school for Masters.

  36. Paul says

    I am about to graduate in May looking at a 2.8 GPA from Virginia Commonwealth University which is not top tier I am also multilingual Spanish and German. I want to become a financial analyst. Is getting additional certifications like MS Excel, Financial Modeling and CFA designation help improve my chances in getting in as a financial analyst.

    Thank You

  37. Joe says

    Great no-nonsense article,

    I have an architectural degree, have been working as a project engineer onsite for a development firm for over a year. I am great networker and sociable character and know i could be a great at sales and willing to do what it takes to get there! what is the best approach to take to transition my skills and breakthrough into the Finance industry?.


  38. Don says

    I am a junior studying accounting and finance with a low GPA 3.3. I really tried hard to get an internship and finally got one in a global Investment Bank in another country (Since I’m an international student). I have really tried to obtain a lot of knowledge about investment banking and participated in many valuation programs. I would indeed like to get full-time offered. Could you please give any advice to one international student so that he can be outstanding among competitive candidates.

    Thank you.

  39. Derek says

    I am currently attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and I was attending on doing a mathematical emphasis in Economics, which I really enjoy. Although, I want to get into Investment Banking after graduation. Should I apply to our business school and major in Finance or Accounting instead, since Madison is not a target school for Investment Banks?

    • M&I - Nicole says

      In terms of choosing majors for your undergrad, yes Finance & Accounting majors can help. So yes if you go to the business school there for undergrad it can potentially increase your chances.

      • Derek says

        Would being an economics major hinder my chances compared to someone who has a degree in Accounting or Finance from a school similar to Wisconsin? Thanks for your help.

  40. Cyrus says

    Hello. I am upcoming junior in Boston College with a poor gpa of 2.8 double majoring in finance and accounting. I have just finished my university cores and have not taken any finance nor accounting major courses. If I do well on these major courses and obtain a major gpa of 3.5+ for both accounting and finance major, would I have a chance at securing a job outside of school. I’m very worried as I did not try at all the first two years but I am planning to try extremely hard for the next two years. I believe that a 3.6 is very obtainable if I don’t slack. In addition I have had no internship opportunities thus far.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Yes, a 3.5+ will increase your chances significantly. I’d focus on improving your GPA and gaining work experience. This is doable if you really want to break into banking. You would just have to cut down your social life and prioritize your tasks. Try to take easier & less demanding classes in school (Forget about challenging yourself with harder classes if you’re looking to boost your GPA). And if an accounting/finance class is too hard for you to pull off, I’d go for an easier course, even if it is in liberal arts etc just to get your grades up

  41. says

    Hey guys! I am Vinz from the Philippines. My situation might be totally different from you guys since I’m from a developing country. However, I really want to know your opinion. Anyway here’s mine. I graduated BSC Management from a reputable school in my city but with a terrible GPA. I failed some accounting subjects before. I have been working for almost 5 years in customer relations (not related to management or business). The thing is I really want to be in the business industry especially banks. I love stock investments . I’ve read a lot of books and have my own portfolio. To add, I recently finished my MBA with 92% average. I handed out some resumes to some banks already but I haven’t heard a call from any. I was applying for an entry-level position. What’s wrong? I hope somebody can help. Thank you so much!

    • M&I - Nicole says

      If you’re really interested in investing I’d compile a list of 20 funds (buy-side firms) and banks in your area and start contacting people via LinkedIn as well as cold-email. You’ll have to be persistent and send as many cold-emails/messages as possible. Submitting resumes to banks online is one of the most challenging ways to break in, especially if you’ve only submitted your applications to only few firms

  42. KKO says

    Hello. I’m rising junior at an Ivy league with a big financial industry network, but I’m an Economics & Psych major and know very little about finance. I’m working on developing some basic knowledge in finance, but most other kids in my position have already done many finance courses/have been involved with finance clubs. How much does this affect me? Should I be taking more finance/math-based classes next semester or would it be as useful to become proficient in a third language – like French?

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Yes taking finance courses and landing an internship in the field would set you apart. If you want to work in Europe, yes knowing a second European language can potentially help though given time constraint I’d suggest you to focus on landing yourself an internship; being a beginner in a language wouldn’t be too useful for recruiting, in my humble opinion

      • KKO says

        I’m an international student from India and will probably go back over December break — would time spent at a manufacturing firm in India over winter break be of any help? Or any other kind of specific internship? I’m looking at consulting and marketing as potential careers at the moment.
        I’m also planning on taking multivariable calculus next semester — does that help prove analytical skills or can it be put off for a basic finance course?
        Thanks a lot! I know I have very specific questions but I’m not sure where else to get a useful opinion from.

        • M&I - Nicole says

          An internship in finance would be most useful. Yes, calculus can help but not significantly. I’d aim for finance/accounting courses. Or you can take derivatives course if that’s what you’re interested in.

  43. Scott says

    Hi. Im 30 years old and looking for a career change to finance from broadcast meteorology. Having filed for bankruptcy earlier this year is it a good career change? When I finish I will be 33.

  44. Adrian says

    Hi there, been a big fan of your site all these while! Anyways, Im from asia and a recent graduate in Economics and Finance at a semi target in the UK. Well, the thing is, I’ve got an offer from a boutique in London (a small one) doing M&A in Consumer/Retail however my aim is to move into a BB. Im currently considering applying for summer internships next year (2015) followed up by a Masters in Finance for a year (which is pretty much compulsory as summer internships are open for “penultimate year” students, where in this case doing a Masters will mean that I will graduate in 2016. so technically I qualify as a “penultimate year” student).

    However, as the ONLY reason for me to actually consider doing a Masters is to attend campus events and “qualify” for the penultimate year thingy for internship, are there any ways to break into a BB without actually needing to do a BB internship? Just fyi, I have also completed a corporate finance internship last year. Do you have any relevant articles about breaking into a BB from an unknown boutique? Thanks!

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Good question, we don’t have an article on how to break into a BB from a boutique. But yes many BBs prefer people who’ve done internship at other BBs, though I think your experience will be useful to BBs too. In terms of breaking in, it’s really about networking and connecting with people outside the firm through deals while you’re at the boutique

  45. Jerry says

    I am a senior finance major from a non-target state school near Chicago. I have a 3.75 cumulative and a 4.0 major GPA. I worked as a commodities broker for a year prior to starting school and have had an internship in corporate FP&A. I’m also involved with managing our school endowment and have partnered with some faculty members to perform academic research. It’s approaching November and recruiting season for IB is coming to an end. I have only had one phone interview so far and that was for an equity research position. Do you think someone in my position still has a chance to land a full-time analyst role at a boutique investment bank, even though I have no IB experience thus far?

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Yes, though having IB experience would certainly help. If there’s any way you can gain some sort of finance experience now be it through an investment club or part time at school that maybe useful

  46. Kay says

    Hello, I’m 24 and graduated from a non-target university in history with an overall 2.7 GPA. I chose to major in such because I originally thought about going to law school. I didn’t become interested in finance until the later part of my college career which by that time, I was practically finished with my liberal arts degree. I have no financial experience, at least not with banks and other fancy firms. At this point, what can I possibly do to get started in a career in finance? Thanks!

  47. Scott says

    Here’s my question(s), and I’d be very appreciative if you’d respond with your best possible advice:

    I literally just got my BA in Finance from University of Michigan Dearborn (cousin school), but my GPA is not good (2.5 overall, 3.5ish on finance focused courses). I’m 28, no experience working in finance, but I have 5 years of avid stock trading that I’ve done independently, and I’m great with spreadsheets and whatnot. I subscribe to and read financial and economic news.

    Right now I’m a laborer at Ford, and have been throughout school.

    I took the CFA in December 2013 and failed it. It’s not that I’m not smart, I just hadn’t applied myself for about the last 3 years.

    I want to get a job in finance as a financial analyst. I’ve looked at some job postings… very competitive… I don’t really know where to start and have an honest chance given my “on paper” credentials.

    I thought about registering and taking the CFA in July 15′. What I’m wondering is: Can I make bigger strides in a shorter period of time in order to land an entry level job as a financial analyst? Given my position, what is my best course of action, in your opinion, to gain credentials and land a job as a financial analyst? Finally, given your recommendations are followed “to the T”, what amount of time do you think it would take me to land this position?


  48. Lisa says

    Hello, I am a junior at Mount Holyoke College with a 3.24 cumulative GPA and no prior investment banking experience. (I am the C.F.O. of a business I started with a few friends, an economics tutor, and a biology tutor, however, and am the president of a school club and an SGA senator.) I have applied to many internship programs and have gotten no further than the “second round” of a Deutsche Bank application, i.e. taking the math and logic exam.

    I go to my school’s career development center about once a week and am becoming very frustrated because I have yet to even have an interview. Could you please give me some advice?

    Thank you.

  49. jimmy wingert says

    I am about to be a junior and attend a non-target school. I will be graduating with a 2.9 GPA. Where could I try and get internships at with a low GPA? What else could I do to try and get some interviews at banks as an Analyst? Would getting an MBA or Masters help me? Thanks for any info you could provide.

    • says

      You could go for normal companies that are hiring for business development / finance / sales roles and use that to eventually get in. Otherwise, yes, eventually an MBA or Master’s degree may help you but only if you apply to and get into schools that banks recruit at.

Leave a Reply