If you don't beat the exemplary candidates to get into banking first time, you might be inclined to give up on your financial services fantasy. After all, there are other jobs out there where you won't have to work so hard and might get greater job security.
If finance is resolutely your thing though, there's no need to give up that easily. Our own CV database suggests there's another route into front office careers in finance. And that is: the Big Four.
Of the M&A CVs uploaded into our global system in the past three months, 21% come from people who've previously worked for PWC, EY, Deloitte or KPMG.
It helps that banks are crying out for junior M&A staff and are therefore unusually willing to hire people with Big Four backgrounds.
Don't assume that a stint at the Big Four will always land you a front office finance job, however. As the chart below, also taken from our figures shows, the most popular destinations for ex-Big Four employees in financial services are....accounting and finance jobs.
(Photo credit: Lori L Stalteri)