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Student with Low GPA Worries about Landing a Career in Investment Banking

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Summary: In this Q&A article, a college student asks how to land a career with a low GPA but extensive work experience.


Question: My question relates to my GPA and my future job choices. I have a 2.8 GPA (it’s low because I focused more on my jobs than school), with four internships under my belt. I’ve gained a lot of exposure in these internships. I’m looking to enter an investment bank, or a credit analyst position. I’ve interviewed for the latter with no success. I’ve busted my butt in college by paying my own way through, moving across the country to do it, and having no support. To say the least I’m feeling some negative pressure. What do I do to get the positions I desire, or to make myself more attractive in an interview? What kind of advice could you give me?

Answer: Many investment banks look at GPAs, and your relatively low GPA isn’t going to impress them. I-banks are used to hiring 4.0 students. (If you’re going into a sales and trading position, however, the GPA won’t hurt you as much.) Don’t let that discourage you. What you need to do during the interview and application stage is stress your work experience and the extenuating circumstances regarding your college work. Specifically, play up the fact that you supported yourself through school without help, and your internship experience. That’s real, tangible dedication you’ve shown, and a smart employer will recognize it. Leave your GPA off your resume and don’t bring it up unless asked to. When you do, put it in context: You were working full time (or however much time) but still managed to come close to a 3.0. That’s impressive.

Student with Low GPA Worries about Landing a Career in Investment Banking by
Authored by: Andrew Ostler

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