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I'm getting rejected left, right and centre- what am I doing wrong? Watch

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    Basically I applied for Nomura's first step last year and got rejected. Applied this year with an improved CV, did my research on the company and applied early and still got rejected. Then I got rejected for BAML's insight as well. I haven't even got to the spring week stage yet and i'm already failing, the competition's only going to increase further so can anyone give me any advice on how to improve? My extracurriculars are fine but not anything amazing, I haven't got any connections in family members to banking or finance at all so can't get any work experience. I think I can get into a target or a semi, but I'm really worried about whether I can get into banking because I thought the competition for insight days probably won't be as bad as for spring weeks but I'm already getting rejected.
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    (Original post by Elchapojr)
    Basically I applied for Nomura's first step last year and got rejected. Applied this year with an improved CV, did my research on the company and applied early and still got rejected. Then I got rejected for BAML's insight as well. I haven't even got to the spring week stage yet and i'm already failing, the competition's only going to increase further so can anyone give me any advice on how to improve? My extracurriculars are fine but not anything amazing, I haven't got any connections in family members to banking or finance at all so can't get any work experience. I think I can get into a target or a semi, but I'm really worried about whether I can get into banking because I thought the competition for insight days probably won't be as bad as for spring weeks but I'm already getting rejected.
    Which university are you at / going to? Why do you want to go into investment banking?
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    Which university are you at / going to? Why do you want to go into investment banking?
    I am at school and I am applying to UCL, Bristol and a few others for economics. I want to go into banking because:
    - fast paced, ever-changing global environment
    - you can learn a lot about finance and business in two years
    - the wide range of exit opportunities, such as HF, consulting, MBAs
    - chance to work on deals that shape the business world
    - transferable skills gained
    - I have an interest in the financial markets and business
    - The hard-working, intelligent, well-educated people and culture
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    (Original post by Elchapojr)
    I am at school and I am applying to UCL, Bristol and a few others for economics. I want to go into banking because:
    - fast paced, ever-changing global environment
    - you can learn a lot about finance and business in two years
    - the wide range of exit opportunities, such as HF, consulting, MBAs
    - chance to work on deals that shape the business world
    - transferable skills gained
    - I have an interest in the financial markets and business
    - The hard-working, intelligent, well-educated people and culture
    That's a pretty good answer. If you've got the marks to get into UCL and Bristol then you're in the "has a shot" band but, as you say, the competition is pretty intense. They receive so many applications that the people doing the 'paper sift' will look for any reason to throw out an application. Even for applicants with strong academics, unless it's really top academic performance then your extracurriculars need to pull the weight.

    Keep in mind it's a numbers game, a lot of people only make a handful of applications; remember there are dozens of banks in the city. Also consider whether there's an internship scheme with a company that's in an ancillary industry that can provide you with relevant / helpful experience... for example, there are countless extremely innovative fintech firms in the city who are doing important and even revolutionary work on finance industry tech. Getting an internship with a firm like Blockchain, RateSetter or Crowdtube would indicate an interest in the financial products of the future, and evidence perhaps a broader (and shrewder) interest in the industry and understanding of the trends.

    The competition is pretty intense, you need to find ways to really distinguish yourself. If you're not going to Oxford or Cambridge, you need to get your extracurriculars up. Blogging and tweeting is actually a good way to do this; set up a blog and write about finance/banking issues, set up a twitter account linked to the blog and interact with banking/finance people on twitter. It's a really good way to meet people who can help you in your career, maybe even
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    That's a pretty good answer. If you've got the marks to get into UCL and Bristol then you're in the "has a shot" band but, as you say, the competition is pretty intense. They receive so many applications that the people doing the 'paper sift' will look for any reason to throw out an application. Even for applicants with strong academics, unless it's really top academic performance then your extracurriculars need to pull the weight.

    Keep in mind it's a numbers game, a lot of people only make a handful of applications; remember there are dozens of banks in the city. Also consider whether there's an internship scheme with a company that's in an ancillary industry that can provide you with relevant / helpful experience... for example, there are countless extremely innovative fintech firms in the city who are doing important and even revolutionary work on finance industry tech. Getting an internship with a firm like Blockchain, RateSetter or Crowdtube would indicate an interest in the financial products of the future, and evidence perhaps a broader (and shrewder) interest in the industry and understanding of the trends.

    The competition is pretty intense, you need to find ways to really distinguish yourself. If you're not going to Oxford or Cambridge, you need to get your extracurriculars up. Blogging and tweeting is actually a good way to do this; set up a blog and write about finance/banking issues, set up a twitter account linked to the blog and interact with banking/finance people on twitter. It's a really good way to meet people who can help you in your career, maybe even
    Thanks very much for this answer. I will try and get an internship at one of those "futuristic" firms. Unfortunately, I got rejected by Cambridge so i can't do anything about the academic side of my CV but I will take your advice on board.
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    Keep applying
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    (Original post by Elchapojr)
    Thanks very much for this answer. I will try and get an internship at one of those "futuristic" firms. Unfortunately, I got rejected by Cambridge so i can't do anything about the academic side of my CV but I will take your advice on board.
    No problemo. From that I can see of your post, you've only been rejected three times? You could well have been just a point or two below the threshold; if the competition is really intense such that you have maybe a 20% chance of getting in, keep in mind that you might (statistically) apply for five before getting one acceptance. Try making a lot more applications (though, naturally, you want them to be well-written and specific rather than just copy-pasta, though I'm sure you already know that) and, as discussed, broadening your search parameters to include industry innovators rather than heavyweights (it's the experience with those innovators that might well stand you in good stead with the established heavyweights).

    Anyway, best of luck to you.

    (Oh and read the FT. Ask your school if they have, or can get, an academic Financial Times subscription. That will really push up your knowledge of the industry)
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    Don't worry that much at this stage. Keep applying, keep finding things to put on your CV and do extracurriculars that you are passionate about.
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    The competition is pretty intense, you need to find ways to really distinguish yourself. If you're not going to Oxford or Cambridge, you need to get your extracurriculars up. Blogging and tweeting is actually a good way to do this; set up a blog and write about finance/banking issues, set up a twitter account linked to the blog and interact with banking/finance people on twitter. It's a really good way to meet people who can help you in your career, maybe even
    Very good advice but I don't think you're right on the Oxford or Cambridge part. The 'target' universities for banks are Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, UCL, Imperial and Warwick and all of these are targeted equally and represented fairly equally in the profession. LSE actually produces the most bankers (although this is because of a larger proportion of their students applying to banks). So the OP does not need to go to Oxbridge and neither will the universities ignore the other parts of his application (extracurriculars, work experience) if he does go there.

    The Oxbridge advantage is more true for consulting, investment management and law than for investment banks.
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    (Original post by Harold98)
    Very good advice but I don't think you're right on the Oxford or Cambridge part. The 'target' universities for banks are Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, UCL, Imperial and Warwick and all of these are targeted equally and represented fairly equally in the profession
    I did say he was in the band of "has a shot". But I think it is fair to say that if you're at Oxford and Cambridge, you will get more leeway in terms of your extracurriculars. I don't think it's controversial to say that Oxford and Cambridge are more highly regarded than redbrick unis and pretty much all employers credit an education from those two universities as signifying a candidate who will be highly intelligent and hardworking.

    LSE actually produces the most bankers (although this is because of a larger proportion of their students applying to banks)
    I don't doubt it produces the most bankers, though in the brackets you've provided the reason.

    So the OP does not need to go to Oxbridge and neither will the universities ignore the other parts of his application (extracurriculars, work experience) if he does go there
    As I said, he doesn't have to go there. Going to Oxbridge means you have a better shot, I don't think I'm going out on a limb to say that.

    The Oxbridge advantage is more true for consulting, investment management and law than for investment banks.
    I think it's true for everything. A degree from Oxford will always be more highly regarded than a degree from LSE. I'm not saying LSE isn't a good university; it clearly is. I'm just saying that Oxbridge means you can pretty much write your own ticket and go into any industry you want if you have even a modicum of social skills. That's not as true for the other universities.
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    I did say he was in the band of "has a shot". But I think it is fair to say that if you're at Oxford and Cambridge, you will get more leeway in terms of your extracurriculars. I don't think it's controversial to say that Oxford and Cambridge are more highly regarded than redbrick unis and pretty much all employers credit an education from those two universities as signifying a candidate who will be highly intelligent and hardworking.



    I don't doubt it produces the most bankers, though in the brackets you've provided the reason.



    As I said, he doesn't have to go there. Going to Oxbridge means you have a better shot, I don't think I'm going out on a limb to say that.



    I think it's true for everything. A degree from Oxford will always be more highly regarded than a degree from LSE. I'm not saying LSE isn't a good university; it clearly is. I'm just saying that Oxbridge means you can pretty much write your own ticket and go into any industry you want if you have even a modicum of social skills. That's not as true for the other universities.
    Yes, that is fair and I agree with you on that. I kinda misread what you wrote, to be honest.
    Did you study at Oxford/Cambridge yourself, just out of interest?
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    if its of any motivation, i also got rej'd for nomura/rbs insight days in y13, now i'm due to start an analyst position at a bb later this year.

    rejection is just a norm of the industry, it sucks and hurts but in reality, says absolutely nothing about you as a candidate given the sheer compeition in the industry.

    goodluck
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    (Original post by Harold98)
    Yes, that is fair and I agree with you on that. I kinda misread what you wrote, to be honest.
    Did you study at Oxford/Cambridge yourself, just out of interest?
    No, I went to University of Sydney (in Awwstralia) and I'm moving from finance (which I went into on graduation) into the legal profession. But I think I have a healthy respect for the institution and a realistic sense of how it is perceived by employers. But you're 100% right that the other target universities are considered perfectly respectable (perhaps LSE particularly because it usually correlates to other skills, particularly language skills, that are highly-prized in such an internationally-oriented industry)
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    No, I went to University of Sydney (in Awwstralia) and I'm moving from finance (which I went into on graduation) into the legal profession. But I think I have a healthy respect for the institution and a realistic sense of how it is perceived by employers. But you're 100% right that the other target universities are considered perfectly respectable (perhaps LSE particularly because it usually correlates to other skills, particularly language skills, that are highly-prized in such an internationally-oriented industry)
    Definitely. Oxbridge is by far the best of the best when it comes to universities and prestige among employers- and I'm a post-interview Oxford reject myself.
    Best of luck in your career. Why did you decide to switch careers?
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    (Original post by Harold98)
    Best of luck in your career. Why did you decide to switch careers?
    Cheers! I found that finance was filled with a bunch of backstabbing turbo-khunts who would sell their own grandmother if it would translate into a bigger bonus :lol:

    In all seriousness, I didn't like it and I didn't fit in (and I gave it a fair go; five years and I didn't do too badly either). I found a lot of people in the industry were both highly intelligent and completely lacking in intellectual curiosity, which to me is awful. I found the acquisitiveness and the arrogance offputting. There was a lot of incompetence where the stars and the talent were essentially carrying the company and other people who couldn't nonetheless managed to do well because they were connected or cunning (and a low cunning, at that).

    The law (and the bar in particular) is a bit of a refuge for misfits and eccentrics. I think there is nobility in the law, and I enjoy its intellectual purity. I'm something of a writer and I love the English language (from a literary perspective); as Lord Denning said of the legal profession, "English is the tool of our trade". I'd rather work with words than numbers, and I revel in the battle of wits, the intellectual combat, when it comes to litigation and advocacy. There's also room for elegance and flair in legal writing and advocacy that I couldn't really get in finance (not being one of the rain men)
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    (Original post by gr8wizard10)
    if its of any motivation, i also got rej'd for nomura/rbs insight days in y13, now i'm due to start an analyst position at a bb later this year.

    rejection is just a norm of the industry, it sucks and hurts but in reality, says absolutely nothing about you as a candidate given the sheer compeition in the industry.

    goodluck
    Do you think these programmes rely on having contacts at yr 13? I know a lot of very smart ppl getting rejected
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    (Original post by knightchildish)
    Do you think these programmes rely on having contacts at yr 13? I know a lot of very smart ppl getting rejected
    not really, just have w good cv layout and cover letter which you can find on mergers & inquisitions as guides and hope for the best
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    I'm in the exact same position as you lol, I just got rejected from nomura first step as well
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    lol got rejected for steps and hsbc 2 times when I applied in my final year of school and gap year. still got rbs, jpm and credit suisse insight days. just keep plugging away bro, the rejections don't ever end.

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    (Original post by gr8wizard10)
    if its of any motivation, i also got rej'd for nomura/rbs insight days in y13, now i'm due to start an analyst position at a bb later this year.

    rejection is just a norm of the industry, it sucks and hurts but in reality, says absolutely nothing about you as a candidate given the sheer compeition in the industry.

    goodluck
    Thanks, that's really reassuring. Did you get into any other insight days/work experience in school?
 
 
 
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