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Non-target university: 3 SW offers and 1 first year summer offer - AMA Watch

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    Hi, I was asked to do an AMA thread on here about me receiving offers from a non-target university.

    Grades: GCSEs were not good and neither were my a levels hence why I ended up at a non-target.

    ECs: I did not want grades to be the reason why I didn't land offers so I went to multiple networking and insight days with various investment banks and worked extremely hard on my applications. I also did volunteer work during university and joined various societies.

    In the end I managed to receive multiple interviews and landed 3 SW offers in IBD and a first year summer internship offer in commercial and corporate banking.

    So yeah, glad I made the first step, and hopefully can continue the hard work to receive what really matters, a penultimate year summer internship.

    If anyone has any questions feel free to ask!
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    (Original post by Breakingbank)
    Hi, I was asked to do an AMA thread on here about me receiving offers from a non-target university.

    Grades: GCSEs were not good and neither were my a levels hence why I ended up at a non-target.

    ECs: I did not want grades to be the reason why I didn't land offers so I went to multiple networking and insight days with various investment banks and worked extremely hard on my applications. I also did volunteer work during university and joined various societies.

    In the end I managed to receive multiple interviews and landed 3 SW offers in IBD and a first year summer internship offer in commercial and corporate banking.

    So yeah, glad I made the first step, and hopefully can continue the hard work to receive what really matters, a penultimate year summer internship.

    If anyone has any questions feel free to ask!
    How did you prepare for your interviews? What would your advice be for other people from non-targets?

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    (Original post by Breakingbank)
    Hi, I was asked to do an AMA thread on here about me receiving offers from a non-target university.

    Grades: GCSEs were not good and neither were my a levels hence why I ended up at a non-target.

    ECs: I did not want grades to be the reason why I didn't land offers so I went to multiple networking and insight days with various investment banks and worked extremely hard on my applications. I also did volunteer work during university and joined various societies.

    In the end I managed to receive multiple interviews and landed 3 SW offers in IBD and a first year summer internship offer in commercial and corporate banking.

    So yeah, glad I made the first step, and hopefully can continue the hard work to receive what really matters, a penultimate year summer internship.

    If anyone has any questions feel free to ask!
    If you don't mind me asking, what university is it? A non-target uni could be everything from Exeter to London met. Just how non-target your uni is?
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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    How did you prepare for your interviews? What would your advice be for other people from non-targets?

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    I firstly started with the basics and went further in detail for preparation so, I initially began with competencies, I went through almost all the possible competency questions and prepared ideas (bullet points) on what I would talk about for each one. Then, I moved onto motivation questions and prepared ideas on what I would talk about for these e.g. why IBD (this is almost a natural response for me as I know why I want to do it, and if you're applying you should have a natural reason as to why too) etc.. I spent a lot of time on the "why us" question, for this I read through their annual report, rankings and awards they've won and contacted people via linkedin to learn more about the bank. I also related back to what I learnt during networking events and insight days. Also, this may sound strange but some of the banks have youtube videos which are actually really insightful. Other prep included reading the FT, the economist and keeping up with the markets (crucial). For each bank I did in depth research for any deals they worked on in case I was asked (I'd defo advise to do this if you're applying to IBD).

    Most my interviews were motivational, strength and commercial based (competency questions were rare but always best to prepare just incase) and 2 of my interviews involved technicals. I prepared technicals for IBD however word of advice, take a look at a few technicals for different divisions, nothing too in depth (they don't expect you to know much for a SW) just a rough idea as in 1 of my interviews I was asked technicals for a division I wasn't interested in - which as you'd expect, I flopped it. I think it's rare to receive technicals at SW stage, but it's always good to have a rough idea on them.

    Advice would be do everything you can to stand out, I am the only one in my university year to land a SW that I am aware of. Sacrifice some of your social life especially at the start of uni to ensure applications are up to standards and are submitted on time, earlier the better for most banks imo.

    Apply to every insight day and networking event, join societies, do EC's, sport teams, go above and beyond really. Research online, talk to friends who also are interested in the industry and are applying. Contact people via linkedin who did SW's last year etc.. hear their thoughts. Contact alumni etc..

    Hope this helps
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    (Original post by Breakingbank)
    I firstly started with the basics and went further in detail for preparation so, I initially began with competencies, I went through almost all the possible competency questions and prepared ideas (bullet points) on what I would talk about for each one. Then, I moved onto motivation questions and prepared ideas on what I would talk about for these e.g. why IBD (this is almost a natural response for me as I know why I want to do it, and if you're applying you should have a natural reason as to why too) etc.. I spent a lot of time on the "why us" question, for this I read through their annual report, rankings and awards they've won and contacted people via linkedin to learn more about the bank. I also related back to what I learnt during networking events and insight days. Also, this may sound strange but some of the banks have youtube videos which are actually really insightful. Other prep included reading the FT, the economist and keeping up with the markets (crucial). For each bank I did in depth research for any deals they worked on in case I was asked (I'd defo advise to do this if you're applying to IBD).

    Most my interviews were motivational, strength and commercial based (competency questions were rare but always best to prepare just incase) and 2 of my interviews involved technicals. I prepared technicals for IBD however word of advice, take a look at a few technicals for different divisions, nothing too in depth (they don't expect you to know much for a SW) just a rough idea as in 1 of my interviews I was asked technicals for a division I wasn't interested in - which as you'd expect, I flopped it. I think it's rare to receive technicals at SW stage, but it's always good to have a rough idea on them.

    Advice would be do everything you can to stand out, I am the only one in my university year to land a SW that I am aware of. Sacrifice some of your social life especially at the start of uni to ensure applications are up to standards and are submitted on time, earlier the better for most banks imo.

    Apply to every insight day and networking event, join societies, do EC's, sport teams, go above and beyond really. Research online, talk to friends who also are interested in the industry and are applying. Contact people via linkedin who did SW's last year etc.. hear their thoughts. Contact alumni etc..

    Hope this helps
    Thanks for this

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    (Original post by 0123456543210)
    If you don't mind me asking, what university is it? A non-target uni could be everything from Exeter to London met. Just how non-target your uni is?
    I think Exeter is a semi-target?

    My uni is ranked in the 30s on various UK uni ranking websites
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    lol did you get any tier 1 banks?
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    no questions, always been very impressed
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    (Original post by wasteman shoes)
    lol did you get any tier 1 banks?
    yep
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    Good job! I am from a non-target university too but, unfortunately, did not land a SW offer. I was not able to attend any insight days as I am an international student and my university if far from London. I did a few internships and have loads of ECs (sport, business, class rep, other societies, genuine interest in my division). Probably I should have applied a little bit earlier. Nvm,

    - What do you think was the aspect that helped you the most throughout the whole application process?
    - When did you apply?
    - In regards to ECs, do you think quality > quantity (focusing on 2 and going really in-depth or having lots but at a basic level)?
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    congrats mate! its good to see people traditionally labelled as "underdogs" by others thriving. if you have that burning desire to gain access to your chosen profession, nothing can stop you.
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    (Original post by FiiL)
    Good job! I am from a non-target university too but, unfortunately, did not land a SW offer. I was not able to attend any insight days as I am an international student and my university if far from London. I did a few internships and have loads of ECs (sport, business, class rep, other societies, genuine interest in my division). Probably I should have applied a little bit earlier. Nvm,

    - What do you think was the aspect that helped you the most throughout the whole application process?
    - When did you apply?
    - In regards to ECs, do you think quality > quantity (focusing on 2 and going really in-depth or having lots but at a basic level)?
    Don't let the non-target name worry you, make it become your motivator! My university is a fair distance from London too so I understand the pain and the expense of traveling to London try not to worry about the past too much and focus on the future and present.

    You seem to have some good work exp/EC's behind you!

    -There's nothing I can think of that was the main aspect but I think something that helped me was my motivation and personality, my motivation is what carried me to work harder than I've worked before on the entire application process, even at the end of the interviews they said I was a very motivated person and they liked it, also said they enjoyed speaking with me and so I guess having an easy to talk to personality makes the interview feel more like a conversation than an interview and so it's more relaxing and you can think clearer. Not all interviews went like this ofc, I have had some really bad interviews. A lesson I've learnt which I'll share with you is I guess you need to adjust the way you interact with people based on each individual.

    -I sent off most applications early November
    -think everyone will have different views on this, but I think quality. As if they ask you about it, you can talk about it in depth and make a conversation out of it. I was asked about an EC on my CV in an interview and had a good 5 minute convo on it, where as if it was quantity>quality then I wouldn't have had much to say about it which can look bad. I'd mixture it with relavent EC's and then having 1 that is different and unique that can make the interviewer interested to learn more about it.
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    (Original post by Breakingbank)
    Don't let the non-target name worry you, make it become your motivator! My university is a fair distance from London too so I understand the pain and the expense of traveling to London try not to worry about the past too much and focus on the future and present.

    You seem to have some good work exp/EC's behind you!

    -There's nothing I can think of that was the main aspect but I think something that helped me was my motivation and personality, my motivation is what carried me to work harder than I've worked before on the entire application process, even at the end of the interviews they said I was a very motivated person and they liked it, also said they enjoyed speaking with me and so I guess having an easy to talk to personality makes the interview feel more like a conversation than an interview and so it's more relaxing and you can think clearer. Not all interviews went like this ofc, I have had some really bad interviews. A lesson I've learnt which I'll share with you is I guess you need to adjust the way you interact with people based on each individual.

    -I sent off most applications early November
    -think everyone will have different views on this, but I think quality. As if they ask you about it, you can talk about it in depth and make a conversation out of it. I was asked about an EC on my CV in an interview and had a good 5 minute convo on it, where as if it was quantity>quality then I wouldn't have had much to say about it which can look bad. I'd mixture it with relavent EC's and then having 1 that is different and unique that can make the interviewer interested to learn more about it.
    My university being a non-target never worried me. I was so motivated and wanted to prove that people could get offers from non-targets and worked my a** off. I had relevant work experiences, relevant business and ECs and I cannot explain to myself why this happened. I will try my best during next year. For now I am waiting for a 2nd round interview with a PE firm for an internship, which I hope to get (even though my real passion is probably to another division).
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    (Original post by Breakingbank)
    yep
    which ones
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    Keep up the solid work!
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    (Original post by wasteman shoes)
    which ones
    Why are you trying to find anything to put him down? Geez...



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    Breakingbank -May sound like a noob questions but what does ECs mean?
    -Could you provide tips/insight onyour cover letter, how did you try and make yourself sound superior/same level as people applying from target schools. (I hope you get what I meant )

    Good job btw!
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    (Original post by benedictblue)
    Breakingbank -May sound like a noob questions but what does ECs mean?
    -Could you provide tips/insight onyour cover letter, how did you try and make yourself sound superior/same level as people applying from target schools. (I hope you get what I meant )

    Good job btw!
    EC = extracurricular
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    (Original post by TrojanH)
    EC = extracurricular
    *Facepalm* I knew that :P
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    (Original post by wasteman shoes)
    lol did you get any tier 1 banks?
    Instead of being bitter over the fact you were only able to get one interview for a FO SW (albeit Goldman), you should utilise the fact that somebody who has had more success than you in gaining interviews and offers is going out of their way to help you and other people. He/she doesn't have to use their time doing this so instead of trying to put them down, show some decency.
 
 
 
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