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The "Am I good enough for Investment Banking/Consultancy?" Thread

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    How much extra weight would a Big 4 CorpFin internship add to a grad application?
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    (Original post by The_Don_123)
    Are you a second year on a 4 year course? If yes, then yes.
    So if you are on a four year course you should apply second year? if yes then you have helped me out so thank you
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    GCSE's: 2 A*'s, 3 A's, 4 B's, 1 C (A in Maths)
    AS Level: French (A), Economics (A), R.S. (A), Maths (B)
    Predicted A Level: French (A*), Economics (A), Maths (B) - but I think I can get an A in Maths.
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    (Original post by kunie)
    GCSE's: 2 A*'s, 3 A's, 4 B's, 1 C (A in Maths)
    AS Level: French (A), Economics (A), R.S. (A), Maths (B)
    Predicted A Level: French (A*), Economics (A), Maths (B) - but I think I can get an A in Maths.
    Great - no one on here can say whether you are "good enough for IB" because you may be socially inept.
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    Hey everyone!

    I’ve been looking through this forum recently and was wondering if someone could offer some advice. Either on this thread or via PM. I’m very confused about what to do with my life at the moment. I want to work at a top tier firm in the IBD/M&A division as an analyst but it doesn’t seem to be working out. Here’s an outline of my current situation:

    Good points:
    - Ivy league UK university
    - Leadership experience outside and inside university (president of a good society etc)
    - Founder of several investment banking events
    - Captain of a sports team
    - Awesome CV (recruiters who come to my school say this) and quality answers to application questions (again –recruiters have checked these)
    - M&A experience in two boutiques (London and New York)
    - Awards/challenges etc – several of these inc top in class, student of the year awards, finalist in bulge bracket competitions etc.
    - Finance is a core part of my degree and ill definitely get a 2:1 /good a levels (all A’s)
    - Valuation and financial modelling training in NYC while doing my internship
    - Voluntary work (for 3+ years) while studying + doing ECs

    Bad points:
    - I’m in my final year so have to choose between summer/grad roles which is difficult as some firms only allow you to apply for one - I’m guessing lots of places are full?
    - No languages other then English ( ie no other European language). But I know people who don’t know EU languages who get in. I also know people with 5 EU languages and nothing else who get in. I’m willing to learn... but fluently in < 1 year?
    - I don’t play a musical instrument? (apparently that’s a bad thing….)
    - I did apply for spring weeks – 0 interviews. Summer internships last year – 1 interview at DB but then they became ‘full’ so I got rejected. Straight rejections from everywhere else.

    Can someone please advise me what to do? I don’t really want to work in a mid-market bank ‘and work my way up’ as really think I wont enjoy working their – long term - at all. I was reconsidering IBD given my bad luck but I really don’t see myself do anything else because of the way I work/my interests etc. I may sound crazy but long nights etc is a norm for me given the amount of stuff I do so not doing that will just feel weird.

    The most bizarre thing is that I apply early, do the tests (and don’t fail – I checked), and then my application remains on hold forever. Then I get rejected on the basis that the program is full rather then I suck. I’ve used all my contacts to get interviews (mostly didn’t help), attend loads of presentations, basically tick every box I can think of. I do chase it up with HR and get automated messages. I did go to the careers service and they are clueless why I get rejection after rejection.

    Is it just bad luck? What would you advise?

    Sorry for the long post… needed to relieve myself (and don't bother googling me because this is a made up username!)
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    All comments/feedback most appreciated:

    Brief profile:
    - International (Belgian)
    - undergrad in finance/business at best Belgian university with excellent grades and some extracurriculars; exchange at top business school in France
    - Masters at LSE (international political economy - basically focuses on the politics of the world economy), graduated with distinction
    - generally good at doing standardized tests (e.g. scored maximum on quantitative part of GRE)
    - Importantly, I'm sort of handicapped due to my wide interests: after graduating from my MSc in September 2010, I (foolishly?) decided to focus for a bit on my interest in international relations, and I've been interning/working for a year in politics and in the EU institutions in Brussels and in Nepal. However, I now aim to get back to my original interests of finance/investment banking, and I'm working on some applications for current graduate programmes at the big IBs.

    A few questions:
    - Is my lack of professional experience in the sector a decisive drawback? I can try to sell my internships in multilateral institutions as demonstrating a passion for global challenges etc., but I'm anxious IBs will prefer candidates who can demonstrate more of a focus on finance/banking.
    - Is it worth it to apply for grad programmes, or will they give preference to current students?
    - How big of a disadvantage is it to be based on the continent rather than London for the moment? Would banks be reluctant to fly me over for interviews?

    Many thanks!
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    (Original post by charles-perry)
    Hey everyone!

    I’ve been looking through this forum recently and was wondering if someone could offer some advice. Either on this thread or via PM. I’m very confused about what to do with my life at the moment. I want to work at a top tier firm in the IBD/M&A division as an analyst but it doesn’t seem to be working out. Here’s an outline of my current situation:

    Good points:
    - Ivy league UK university
    - Leadership experience outside and inside university (president of a good society etc)
    - Founder of several investment banking events
    - Captain of a sports team
    - Awesome CV (recruiters who come to my school say this) and quality answers to application questions (again –recruiters have checked these)
    - M&A experience in two boutiques (London and New York)
    - Awards/challenges etc – several of these inc top in class, student of the year awards, finalist in bulge bracket competitions etc.
    - Finance is a core part of my degree and ill definitely get a 2:1 /good a levels (all A’s)
    - Valuation and financial modelling training in NYC while doing my internship
    - Voluntary work (for 3+ years) while studying + doing ECs

    Bad points:
    - I’m in my final year so have to choose between summer/grad roles which is difficult as some firms only allow you to apply for one - I’m guessing lots of places are full?
    - No languages other then English ( ie no other European language). But I know people who don’t know EU languages who get in. I also know people with 5 EU languages and nothing else who get in. I’m willing to learn... but fluently in < 1 year?
    - I don’t play a musical instrument? (apparently that’s a bad thing….)
    - I did apply for spring weeks – 0 interviews. Summer internships last year – 1 interview at DB but then they became ‘full’ so I got rejected. Straight rejections from everywhere else.

    Can someone please advise me what to do? I don’t really want to work in a mid-market bank ‘and work my way up’ as really think I wont enjoy working their – long term - at all. I was reconsidering IBD given my bad luck but I really don’t see myself do anything else because of the way I work/my interests etc. I may sound crazy but long nights etc is a norm for me given the amount of stuff I do so not doing that will just feel weird.

    The most bizarre thing is that I apply early, do the tests (and don’t fail – I checked), and then my application remains on hold forever. Then I get rejected on the basis that the program is full rather then I suck. I’ve used all my contacts to get interviews (mostly didn’t help), attend loads of presentations, basically tick every box I can think of. I do chase it up with HR and get automated messages. I did go to the careers service and they are clueless why I get rejection after rejection.

    Is it just bad luck? What would you advise?

    Sorry for the long post… needed to relieve myself (and don't bother googling me because this is a made up username!)
    If you're not getting interviews there is simply something wrong with your CV or less likely your cover letter and answers. How did you check you haven't failed the numericals?
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    (Original post by I'mSet)
    If you're not getting interviews there is simply something wrong with your CV or less likely your cover letter and answers. How did you check you haven't failed the numericals?
    i got 3 different careers advisors to check my CV's... they all loved it.
    i got 5 different careers advisors to check my cover letters/answers (and then a recruitment agency like SEO to check it).. altered and send
    i called up/emailed to check that i passed the tests - didn't get any automated rejections. most recruiters confirmed that my application has been passed onto the business area (meaning that i must have passed the test). and some places, like GS, don't have tests. when i called them up they told me they are looking for a 'very specific skill set' but idk what I'm lacking...

    Edit: rejection from GS - no interview - and within 2 weeks. Asked them what I lacked and they said they were looking for a 'very specific skillset' - has anyone else end told that?

    I'm not really sure what to do ATM. From what I see here are my options

    1) apply for more grad schemes and hope for the best - but loads of places are full?
    2) defer my year, apply for summer internships and off-cycle ones... Go from there
    3) masters - I have no money though as I don't come from a rich background...
    4) change career but everything is M&A focused and I have researched so many other professions and don't like anything else...
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    Hi, Ive sent of 5 applications mainly for trading and structuring.

    Im currently in my second year at warwick studying maths got a high 2.1 in my first year, Ive got quite a lot of experience i.e. helped up with a start up of a pub, mentoring, captain of a sports team etc but what I'm worried about if my gcses will affect me, i got 6A*s 4A's and a F, will that affect my applications? Ive definitely got a passion for the markets know the different products I know whats going on and all that stuff.
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    (Original post by Banker91)
    Hi, Ive sent of 5 applications mainly for trading and structuring.

    Im currently in my second year at warwick studying maths got a high 2.1 in my first year, Ive got quite a lot of experience i.e. helped up with a start up of a pub, mentoring, captain of a sports team etc but what I'm worried about if my gcses will affect me, i got 6A*s 4A's and a F, will that affect my applications? Ive definitely got a passion for the markets know the different products I know whats going on and all that stuff.
    GCSE's are a long way down (if they feature at all) on a recruiters priorities. It wont stop you from getting interviews. Yours are better than a few people I know who have had interviews at banks.
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    Currently in my second year of Politics at Queen Mary. I got a first last year and am on track for another however I'm worried my a levels (ABC in English, History & Economics) will work against me. Specifically looking to go into either strategic consultancy or sales, was wonering if my grades combined with going to a non-target uni would leave me with no chance. I have a strong cv (all careers advisors I've shown have been impressed) but not sure how much non-academic aspects fator into their decision.

    Thanks
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    (Original post by JD.27)
    Currently in my second year of Politics at Queen Mary. I got a first last year and am on track for another however I'm worried my a levels (ABC in English, History & Economics) will work against me. Specifically looking to go into either strategic consultancy or sales, was wonering if my grades combined with going to a non-target uni would leave me with no chance. I have a strong cv (all careers advisors I've shown have been impressed) but not sure how much non-academic aspects fator into their decision.

    Thanks
    Network, network, network. Your A-levels might mean being autofilitered out in a number of places so networking is going to be your best bet to get interviews. Failing that you could also apply to 2nd tier banks or boutiques where there will be more emphasis on experience and less on grades.

    You definitely have a chance (If your CV is as good as you say) but the non target uni and A-level grades make it very hard. Don't give up though as then you really would have no chance.

    As a completely shameless plug check out the conference in my signature, every applicant is considered for one of nine internships we recruit for, its screened by the cornell partnership and we dont autofilter based on A-level grades, no numerical tests either
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    (Original post by jamz0770)
    Network, network, network. Your A-levels might mean being autofilitered out in a number of places so networking is going to be your best bet to get interviews. Failing that you could also apply to 2nd tier banks or boutiques where there will be more emphasis on experience and less on grades.

    You definitely have a chance (If your CV is as good as you say) but the non target uni and A-level grades make it very hard. Don't give up though as then you really would have no chance.

    As a completely shameless plug check out the conference in my signature, every applicant is considered for one of nine internships we recruit for, its screened by the cornell partnership and we dont autofilter based on A-level grades, no numerical tests either
    Thanks for the reply, a few more questions. I was wondering if you could still get interviews at firms who autofilter through networking alone. What are the entry routes into bigger firms (McKinsey, Bain etc.) if coming from a smaller boutique firm?

    Also does the same apply for applications into sales divisons?
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    (Original post by JD.27)
    Thanks for the reply, a few more questions. I was wondering if you could still get interviews at firms who autofilter through networking alone. What are the entry routes into bigger firms (McKinsey, Bain etc.) if coming from a smaller boutique firm?

    Also does the same apply for applications into sales divisons?
    Usually a couple of years experience with great performance and/or an MBA. Afraid I can't give massively specific information because as a 2nd year I don't know. But I'd network hard for the big firms that autofilter and apply to smaller ones in the hope you can make the jump across later.
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    Hi guys, first post. I'm in the process for applying for grad positions at consultancies, and am getting very worried about rejections. Got a rejection from Accenture this morning without even tests etc. Have already been rejected from others, including Capgemini, PWC, KPMG etc. Just wondering where I'm going wrong. Outline of my experience is below:

    Uni: Edinburgh, Mathematics, got a 1st last year, and predicted a 1st this. Dissertation on 'Evaluation of Transfer Evidence in Forensic Science'.
    Work Exp+ Clubs etc: Bank of England summer internship, Consultant at university consulting society (FreshSight), helped set up a homelessness action society, roles in the theatre, producer/actor/work with youth project, and volunteer at Crisis charity.

    I've had my CV and Covering Letters looked over by careers advisers a few times, and they've all liked it.

    My main problem seems to be getting over the numerical and verbal tests. I'm good in interview, but can't seem to get any because of the testing problem. Any suggestions? Thanks for help
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    Also add I have AAB at A level. B at AS, 5A*s, 4As and a B at GCSE.
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    Hi guys, I was wondering if I was good enough for management consultancies like Mckinsey, Bain etc. I am at York atm reading History. Got a first in my first year so aiming for a solid one again this year.

    as well as that I am also on the debating team, a freelance writer for the campus newspaper, on the committee of a charity organisation and on the university squash team.
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    A*A*A* predicted in economics, biology , geography, got a B at AS maths.

    Durham Bsc Geography

    However, not to sound up myself, but I have learned how to trade; I am consistently profiting and know how to make money- I trade daily charts on currency pairs and have put several thousand hours over the last 3 years into forex.

    If I show them account statements showing my trading ability, along with a top degree, would that compensate for lack of mathematical aptitude? I am seriously passionate about trading, i'd put money on it that i'm more passionate about trading than 99% of the people on this thread.
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    (Original post by law-bug)
    A*A*A* predicted in economics, biology , geography, got a B at AS maths.

    Durham Bsc Geography

    However, not to sound up myself, but I have learned how to trade; I am consistently profiting and know how to make money- I trade daily charts on currency pairs and have put several thousand hours over the last 3 years into forex.

    If I show them account statements showing my trading ability, along with a top degree, would that compensate for lack of mathematical aptitude? I am seriously passionate about trading, i'd put money on it that i'm more passionate about trading than 99% of the people on this thread.
    You sure squirt?
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    (Original post by Hackett)
    You sure squirt?
    You've no idea

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