How To Get Into Investment Banking Without A Perfect GPA

How does a group of juniors from a non-target school take down ivy leaguers and make it to the finals of Harvard’s Stock Pitch competition?

How are students from non-targets with low GPAs landing jobs and internships at top investments banks, private equity firms, hedge funds and venture capital firms?

Makes no damn sense right?

Wrong. You’re just approaching the job market the wrong way.

Unless you come from a top ivy, you’re not going to get handed a job at an Investment Bank on a silver platter.

ESPECIALLY if your GPA is terrible like mine was.

Luckily for you, there’s still a way to break into your dream field.

Through Invest Like The Street’s Analyst Program, we’ve worked with hundreds of students in this exact position (non-target or lower GPA) and helped them get into the fields they want.

So how can you do the same?

First, you need to understand EXACTLY what these firms look for in an ideal candidate.

Download This Resume Template To Increase Your Chances Of Landing The Job


What’s the #1 most important thing some of these big firms look for in a candidate?

They want to see that you know how to do the job ahead of time.

If you don’t have any sort of relevant experience on your resume, some of these top jobs are nearly impossible to get.

So what can you do if you don’t have that relevant job or internship experience?

There’s actually a very effective way to get around it.

You simply need to learn how to highlight other ‘relevant’ experience on your resume to grab a company’s attention.

Here are some things you should highlight:

#1 – Any Internship-like Classes

The way we have the Invest Like The Street Analyst Program structured is basically a mix between an online class and an internship.

We teach students what they need to know for these investment banking jobs, buy-side, research, etc but at the same time make them do real world work on companies so they can highlight it on their resume as experience.

It’s an extremely effective way to grab an employers attention, and give a student with no experience, something extremely tangible to add to their resume.

It looks like this:

#2 – Student Investment Clubs aka Managing the School’s Money

A lot of schools have programs where they let a select group of students manage the school’s money.

Sometimes it’s anywhere from $50k to millions of dollars.

Having this kind of experience on your resume is extremely effective, as managing the school’s money all year is basically like a part job.

This is probably the best experience you can have on your resume aside from a real internship in the career you are looking at.

You also wanted to highlight examples of the work you did and your thesis like in the sample below:

#3 – Stock Pitch Competitions / Case Competitions

These are huge, especially if there hosted by some of the top schools.

If you placed as a finalist or even won the whole damn thing, that’s even better.

Obviously, you won’t be pitching stocks all day at an investment bank, but these competitions show them that you have experience analyzing companies, doing some modeling, valuation etc. All valuable skills these employers want to see.

Ideally, you want to use sub-bullets to highlight the company you worked on/pitched and explain your thesis. We will talk more about this later.



Half the reason some people aren’t able to get these highly desired jobs is because their resumes are just plain ugly.


Don’t put your part time job as a waiter close to the top of your resume.

If your internship was mainly bullshit administrative work, don’t tell me that. Make it seem like it was the most analytical, hands on internship ever!

More importantly, don’t take one resume and try to apply for 100 different jobs. You’re totally wasting your time. Each resume needs to be customized based on the job you’re applying for, and it needs to have the right keywords.

Trick #1 – Get the Keywords Right

When you apply online, software basically scans your resume for certain keywords based on the job description.

So if you’re applying for an investment banking role and you don’t have keywords like ‘investment banking’, ‘financial modeling’, ‘M&A’, etc, you’re already at a disadvantage.

In the first part of the Invest Like The Street Analyst Program, we take students through a mini Wall Street Career Bootcamp course. One of the lessons shows you how to use this software against itself to increase your chances.

For example, we took a resume from a 37% match for a Goldman Sachs Investment Banking job, to an 80% match using some of these tricks.

FYI: Applicants of our Analyst Program get free access to our Wall Street Career Bootcamp course after applying. Get access for free here.


Trick #2 – Highlight the RIGHT Things On Your Resume And Be Specific

If you worked a summer job recently that wasn’t an internship (think Waiter, Caddy, Construction, etc) it should be NOWHERE near the top of your resume, even if it was the most recent thing.

You need to highlight relevant things that banks, funds, etc will actually give a fuck about.

If you were in a finance club/investment club at school and you pitched stocks, put that up there.


Even if you shadowed someone for a few days and have nothing else relevant on your resume, put that up there.

More importantly, be specific. Employers want to see specific things you worked on or accomplished.

Like you saw in the screenshots above, using sub-bullets are a great way to highlight specific deals, companies or stocks you pitched, and are a surefire way to catch an interviewers eye when looking at your resume.

Need help putting together a cover letter? Check out our investment banking cover letter template and guide here


get into investment banking part 3

How many of you love getting spam emails?

No one!

How many Managing Directors or Portfolio Managers do you think love getting cold emails or calls from people asking for jobs?

None of them!

Did you guys honestly think that would work?

Want to know the secret on how to network effectively?

Give before you ask.

Mind-blowing right?

If you want to network effectively, build a relationship first.

Get them on the phone by asking good questions about their career, day-to-day, etc.

Make them feel like you value them, not just the job.

No one is going to help you out if the first thing you try and do is ask for a job.

The more value you can provide to them or, at minimum make it seem like you are genuinely interested in their career, the better results you’ll get.

They might not be able to help you get a job, but there’s always the chance they know someone who can help you out.

We have a script you can use when doing that first initial reach out in the Wall Street Career Bootcamp.

Invest Like the Street applicants get access for free.



So think about it like this.

Most people in high up positions (MDs, PMs, Founders, etc) grew up before the internet even existed.

The majority are just plain… old. Crazy right?

Meeting of the managing directors

So what’s a clever, old school but damn effective way to connect with them?

Letters. Physical Letters in the mail.

If you want to stand out, get past their inbox, past their executive assistant, just write a damn letter.

This is what I used to get my last job.

50 different letters to different funds. 8 different interviews. 4 job offers.

It’s a very effective method.

Here’s how it works:

Step #1:

One page. Typed up. Printed on nice resume paper.

And no, don’t include your resume in the letter.

Don’t act desperate.

We go more into detail on how to write the letter in the Wall Street Career Bootcamp.

Step #2:

Find a full-size envelope to put it in. Should be the size of the letter

Step #3:

Write the person’s address on the letter, but put Private & Confidential at the top

That way the executive assistant won’t open it

Step #4:

Go to USPS, FedEx, or UPS and mail it in one of those big envelopes

They look like this:

Why put your letter (already in an envelope) in ANOTHER envelope?

Simple: Everyone opens a FedEx


Want More Examples and Templates To Use?

Apply for the ILTS Analyst Program, and get our Wall Street Career Bootcamp For Free Here