How to get into the big leagues??

Just wondering. How does a guy from an average Canadian university (of Alberta), with no connections and no work experience and no volunteer experience, get into the wonderful world of finance?

I’ve been firing off resumes to practically anywhere with an equity research division in Calgary (sometimes even by just picking an analysts name off the website and dropping an email), I’ve sent them into all the big banks, etc, but cannot get a single callback. Whats more, I’d like to end up in new york (and sooner rather than later!), but if I can’t get one of these jobs here, what are the odds of getting one there? I keep hearing about these unpaid internships and all that, which I’d be all over if it weren’t for my student loans and other financial commitments. I’m not even concerned about the interviews at this point, because I simply haven’t even gotten that far once yet!

So for all you average joes out there, how’d you find yourself working in hedge funds/assets/private equity/investment banking?

I should say I do have a job lined up as a business analyst with a fairly large oil service provider, but it’s more of an operations thing than finance, so I’m really hoping to find something that’ll count towards my charter… I’m also only a level 1 candidate (dec), though my education is econ major/math minor/finance certificate.

I’m not picky about position, as long as I can get my foot in the door. What kind of positions should I ask for?

I guess another angle I can ask about is, what if I just go in, take this business analyst job for a couple (2-3) years, all while doing the CFA exams, and then try to get into research? At that point I’d have a pretty solid understanding of the oil & gas industry, and Calgary is a big city but I don’t see it being nearly as competitive as say NY or Chicago. Then, do a few years here to get experience as an analyst, and finally THEN contemplate moving to new york, when I’m ~30 (am 25 now).

When it comes down to it, this is probably what I’ll end up doing. Just wondering if it seems like a good game plan.

You asked how the "average joe " is getting into finance and the answer is that he’s not. You have to have something outstanding to offer to get hired in today’s market

It is very difficult, dunno what to tell you, if you have a decent job lined up, the oil services stuff sounds pretty interesting actually, I think you should count yourself lucky and go for it. Dont give up this job in order to chase windmills in ER or IB.

Take this job, then start firing off resumes, at least you’ll have a decent paycheck.

^agree with Palantir. It’s always easier to land a new job when you’re already employed…

Hm yeah, that’s what I’m thinking. Plus it’ll buy me time till I get my level 1 which might not count for much in new york, but in calgary I’d like to think it still has some weight!