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Jun 21, 2008 9:09 pm

So how are you guys doing?
First post so here goes:
I had a really big question. I am trying to get into this industry but was curious how my past might come back to haunt me. Let me hit you all with some background:
       I am 22 and just graduated from college recently with a degree in finance (which I know does not mean much but just giving the details). I have 5 years of sales experience. I also have been arrested 4 times.

Before you all start to tell me how irresponsible I am you should know the details concerning my arrests.

I have been arrested four times for silly college fraternity things like underage drinking, open house party,and 2 disorderly conducts. I have never been convicted on any of these charges because in actuality, I did nothing wrong. The police on our campus had it out for fraternity members and I was the unlucky stool who took the fall. Like I said though, I have never been convicted and all the charges against me have been dropped. I did a diversion program once but besides that I had a solid lawyer. Even though I have never been convicted though, all of these arrests theoretically (because I do not know for certain) would appear on my FBI background check that they do, right? Or is that FBI background check just a ruse to get you to divulge information about yourself? I know on my regular background check nothing comes up because I have already looked. I have a clean criminal background they say.

I am not a liar. I also consider myself a person of honesty and integrity so if asked, I wouldn't want to lie. I also know how much I want this job and do not want to taint my image by saying too much.

Would a place like Merrill or Smith Barney take me even though I have been arrested before? Normally I would think no, but I believe I have extenuating circumstances (like I did not do anything to really deserve these charges to begin with).

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated

Thanks a ton!!


Jun 21, 2008 9:55 pm

I think you're ok.

Jun 21, 2008 10:48 pm
Jun 21, 2008 11:27 pm
nottheone:

I also have been arrested 4 times.

 
 You're 22 with 4 arrests?  Funny shit.

Would a place like Merrill or Smith Barney take me even though I have been arrested before? Normally I would think no, but I believe I have extenuating circumstances (like I did not do anything to really deserve these charges to begin with).
 
Doesn't everybody in the slammer say they didn't deserve it or that they are innocent?



 
Honestly, since the charges were not brought forth, you're probably ok.  I think your bigger problem is that you want to start in this business as a 22 year old kid just out of college.
Jun 22, 2008 11:42 am

No shot whatsoever.

 
With all the solid candidates out there looking for jobs in our industry, who havent been arrested once, whats so special about you that would induce any manager in their right mind to put their name on you?
Jun 22, 2008 1:15 pm

Being arrested doesn't imply guilt.
For example: A man has wife who is off her rocker....she throws herself down a flight of stairs and then calls the police claiming domestic abuse. The man gets arrested. Man did nothing wrong. Man beats the charges. Man still has an arrest record but no convictions.

Prato...that is why I think I should be given a shot. Granted, maybe that circumstance is a little extreme but it shows you can be arrested, have an arrest record, and do nothing wrong. I feel like my situations are a lot like this. A 4 time victim of my environment and circumstance. I always felt we should abide by the innocent until proven guilty aspect of the law.
Also, because a situation could have been avoided does not mean I'm guilty of committing the act. I just find it funny how being arrested and never convicted could hurt my chances(its not really funny but you get my point). That's saying that because I was arrested, then I have some character issues that would make me a bad hire. I don't get it.

But keep the replies coming, I appreciate ALL of your input.

Oh and I have only been put in handcuffs twice. The other two incidents were just notices to appear. (in reference to snaggs comment) Not that it matters I guess but just a little FYI.

Jun 22, 2008 1:22 pm

Also, what if I am a more solid candidate than all the others? What if I am a person who would be an incredible asset to any one willing to hire me? I do not see the correlation between getting arrested w/ no convictions and being a less solid candidate. (do not get me wrong though, I do see a correlation between hiring someone who is irresponsible and worrying about the financial investment they will make on said candidate) I am not the one. That person is not me.

I have family and friends in this industry who are really successful (I know, who cares). My point being, what if I use them as references to attest to my character and integrity. Also, I know other successful professionals and such who would be more than willing to give a reference to any hiring manager attesting to the same. Would this have any impact?

Jun 22, 2008 8:45 pm
the wife couldnt possibly throw herself down the stairs and accuse the husband, 4 TIMES, and get away with it.
2. Victim? Victims dont succeed in our business
3. You would be surprised how many highly qualified candidates there are out there. And a lot of them dont make it. Any manager of any major firm will have to explain to his or her Regional Director AND legal dept why he wants to hire you. Put yourself in their shoes - why would they put themselves out there if they didnt have to?
 
I dont mean to be harsh, and I'm not judging you, but you asked a question, and what I am giving you is reality. Maybe you need to let a few more years pass, or go work for an insurance co for a while, if they'd hire you, establish a track record, then give it a shot.
Right now, our industry is not in the mood for any appeaance of irregularity (i'm probably using the wrong word, but you get my meaning.)
Jun 23, 2008 12:16 am

Your taking the wife example far too literally...it was only meant to serve as a representation of what I meant when I said because you have been arrested does not mean you are guilty.

I just don't understand what there is to explain. As a hiring manager, I would see this person (of course I'm biased) as an individual who has gotten the short end of the stick too many times. Nothing more, nothing less. Especially considering the nature of the charges anyway. These things happened in college, were fraternity related incidents, and there is nothing to suggest these are problems that I would find myself taking the heat for again anytime in the future.
I do agree however with your victims statement. My only problem hiring said person would be that fact that he allowed himself to be put in a situation that got himself arrested four times. That kind of person does not look like he has the ability to think on his feet and be savvy, something that is needed in this industry. I don't think it would be a deal breaker for me though. (and I'm incredibly savvy but campus cops don't care...they do what they want, how they want, and when they want-no remorse)

I feel almost as if I'm arguing with you and that really is not my intention. I understand your just trying to tell me how you feel about the situation. That is what I asked for and you did that, so thanks.
It just boggles my mind how some harmless things in college that never amounted to anything more than an arrest could be the reason why I am unable to fulfill what I had in mind when I set out for college to begin with.

Jun 23, 2008 1:51 am
Jun 23, 2008 3:34 am

Guys, I understand what your telling me. I also said nothing about not caring about the rules. I agree that rules should not be broken. However, being arrested is not necessarily indicative of rule breaking.
The fact remains that I got in trouble when I in fact was doing nothing wrong. The fact that I was not convicted on any of these charges is proof of that.
Like I said earlier, it seems like I will be labeled immediately, just by the fact I got arrested. So in essence, guilty until proven innocent.

Maybe that's just how it works in this industry.

Joe..."would you like some fries with that?" Not necessary buddy. If this does not work out I can promise that I definitely won't be
asking paper or plastic...or any other variation of the question that
those less educated, less intelligent, or in some cases less fortunate
will have to ask.
I worked my ass off in school and I did pretty well minus these few situations. Fraternity life was kind of crazy at my school; it was a top ten party school where most of the people were Greek. The cops came down on everyone really hard regardless of whether or not there was any evidence of wrong doing. It did teach me to network like a pro though. I always thought that would come in handy for this profession.

I guess this is going to start being like beating a dead horse. Someone tells me what I do not want to hear and then I say that is BS and ask again. I guess I got my answer. It depends...
Maybe more importantly...is there anyway that someone can see these circumstances and give me the benefit of the doubt or are they always going to automatically assume the worst?


Jun 23, 2008 7:07 am

I guess this is going to start being like beating a dead horse. Someone tells me what I do not want to hear and then I say that is BS and ask again. I guess I got my answer. It depends...

Good observation.

Maybe more importantly...is there anyway that someone can see these circumstances and give me the benefit of the doubt or are they always going to automatically assume the worst?
If you are lucky (really really lucky) you might find someone who needs to make a number (number of trainee hires for the year), and has a legal dept that doesnt ask too many questions, and hires you.
 
I'm really sorry to bust your bubble. And I understand where you are coming from. Every once in a while i think back to some of the things I did in college, and i cringe! I did stuff that now, when I see someone else doing it, i am completely unforgiving. Yet thinking back, I chalk it up to the foolishness of being a kid. So I understand.
Unfortunately, in our business, you are very often allowed 1 "situation" (i'll give you the benefit of assuming it wasnt your fault). But almost never 4.
The best thing you could do for yourself, if you really want into "our fraternity", is to find a back door. As I think ice said (or was it Joe) get hired as a Sales Assistant, ops clerk or some other job in a branch, and spend two years, demonstrating that your character is what you say it is, not what your arrest record says it is. If you do that, someone will probably give you a shot. But you have to invest a couple of years.
 
Or go out on interviews and prove us wrong!
Jun 23, 2008 9:39 am

Your biggest issue isn't your arrest record, it's your age. You are very young and come off as such in your posts. For example; not taking responsibilty for your actions by saying things like the campus police had it out for you. OK, just because one really is paranoid doesn't mean that people aren't really out to get him. Which is my way of saying that even if it is true that police had a hard on against you and your frat brothers you sound wholly irresponsible in blaming them. Thus Prato calling you a victim.  Not seeing your part in the problem, you sound like my kids, who are about your age. "Yoh dad, the jerk cop pulled me out of a line of cars and let the other guys go!" Were you speeding? "Well yeah, but that's not right!" notheone, you sound exactly like this. It's a maturity thing. Not to worry, it will change rapidly now that you are out of school.

 
That said, you've got an excellent education and are now looking at putting the childish ways behind you. This is not the business to start with. This is one of the hardest sales jobs on the planet. You are too young and bring nothing to the table. That doesn't make you a bad person, it just makes you one who needs to get some experience and age a little. My advice as always, find a professional sales job and track your progress. Keep all your records of accomplishment, and most of all don't eff off. Get serious, get experience and come back and see us in five years. There are many organizations that love to have well educated 22 year old go getters working for them. Finding a job with one shouldn't be difficult.
 
Just so you know, one of my mentors in this biz was a multi million dollar producer. He passed away before his time a few years ago. When he tried to get in the biz he was about thirty, had no sales experience. Most managers wouldn't even talk to him. One did and told him "Get a sales job, any sales job, and come see me in a year." My mentor went from company to company trying to find a sales job, but couldn't get thru the front door. Finally, desperate, he applied at a Ford dealership. The manager turned him down, but he went back the next day to ask for another chance. A different manager hired him. Within three months he became the top salesman at the dealership. Every month he sent his sales reports to the Branch Manger at Dean Witter who had told him to come back in a year. After 13 months that manager let him in. He went on to become a 2 million dollar producer. I tell you this story to let you know that it is hard to get into this business, and that it has always been hard. Everything you do from this point forward counts. It's up to you to make it count as a positive.
 
As for your arrest record, in my opinion it's a non event as long as the behavior that caused it is behind you. The suits are for the most part only interested in convictions. However, this is where experience will again help you. Right now if you say all the arrests were just silly kid stuff we have to take your word for it. Putting years of trouble free accomplishment between you and your legal track record can only help.
 
Good luck!
Jun 23, 2008 10:58 am

Hey man,



If it helps at all, I was hired at EDJ @ 22. I had a chance to ask why I was hired...



"Demonstrated Sales Experience, Confidence, College GPA, and Solid Communication Skills"



You mentioned that you had sales experience, what EDJ will look for is "rising responsibility/income". Can you prove that?



Confidence.. well, confident or not, I'm sure you could fake it with a few beers



College GPA.. how did you do in school? Perhaps you can show "rising productivity" if your grades were slightly better your senior vs. freshman year etc.



Solid Communication Skills - I had accidentally mentioned an under-the-table job I had during an interview. As soon as I mentioned it, I was cut off and the woman informed me I just made and told me that she must direct me to compliance. I asked her what my chances were, and she said, "In my experience, not impossible. But close." Anyway, I wrote a letter explaining my situation (some of the stuff in my other post) and related that to why I would avoid Uncle Sam, and them described how I have grown as a human and how I have proven that fact in my life. I got through, was hired, and, well, I am now taking a different route in life.



My letter was actually passed around. I've had a few random people in my course of training tell me, "I really liked your letter". You have good written communication skills, so my advise would be to formulate yourself a 1-2 page essay explaining why you were arrested 4 times, admitting your mistakes, and showing how you are no longer that person. Perhaps someone will be willing to read it and give you a shot?



My 2 cents from my very limited experience.

Jun 23, 2008 1:51 pm

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I just don't understand what there is to explain. As a hiring manager, I would see this person (of course I'm biased) as an individual who has gotten the short end of the stick too many times.


As a hiring manager, I would look a a 4 time arrest record (nevermind no convictions) as indicative of a person who makes poor judgements in life, in friends and isn't smart enough to stay out of trouble the after the first arrest.
 
Getting hired at age 22 for a business like this that generally has a high rate of burn outs and failures is tough enough.  A manager is going to look at not just your financial expertise qualifications but also at what your character is. 
Jun 23, 2008 2:35 pm

I am not even going to address the other statements since my last post. I understand and am heeding what your saying. While it won't stop me from still trying, at least I know I am in for an uphill battle.
Babbling, that is what you think and I understand you are entitled to that viewpoint. But like I have said so many times already, I do not feel it says anything about my character. Granted, maybe four times seems a bit excessive but some people are truly that unlucky. I can honestly say that two of those times, I had absolutely no business getting in trouble for, at all. The other two, while I didn't do anything to really deserve getting arrested, I also put myself in a position where there was a likelihood that something bad could happen. Chalk it up to being young and dumb. Again though, your just validating what I said about guilty until proven innocent. I think it does matter that I have no criminal record, only arrests, but you seems to be in the party that feels otherwise. All the others things I have said still apply.

I also have really good friends. The problem is that the few that were not so good (ie did not have my best interest at heart as I did them), amongst the tons of those who were good friends, happened to be part of the reason I got in any trouble to begin with. A wolf in sheep's clothes, if you will. You live and you learn. I think the biggest thing is that all of this is behind me. So now I look to moving forward.
I will do my best to get hired at one these great firms. If this does not pan out, my first inclination when thinking about a career path was law and I killed the lsat when I took it. So I will have no problem getting in to a great school. What is it that they say, "when one door closes, another door opens."

Thanks for the advice. Sometimes blunt, sometimes harsh, but never misleading and I appreciate that.

Jun 23, 2008 2:47 pm

I don't think he gets accepting responsibility for his actions.  Last time I checked, the law is the law.  You follow it, you're ok.  You break it, you get punished.

 
I have done some stupid things, but not stupid enough to get arrested.  And the fact that he says, "Granted, maybe four times seems a bit excessive but some people are truly that unlucky" shows how naive he is.
 
If you get arrested, whether guilty or not, 4 times by the age of 22, you are not just unlucky, you are stupid.  You have to put yourself in bad positions to even have the chance of getting arrested.  So you have created your own "bad luck". 
 
The same thing goes in this business.  You have more luck when you have more activity, which is as a result of something you do.
 
I think going the law route would be better...at least you already have some "inside" experience.
Jun 23, 2008 3:35 pm

If you get arrested, whether guilty or not, 4 times by the age of 22, you are not just unlucky, you are stupid. Not [guilty] being the operative word...

It matters that you understand what I mean by unlucky:
I am living in the fraternity house and they are like apartment style buildings. If you are familiar with college campuses, you understand what I mean. I have a friend who is upstairs watching a movie with this girl (trying to get some but no such luck for him). The way our house works is that fraternity members have dibs on apartments but if we can not fill the house then an outsider (ie not affiliated person) can move in. This girl who lives on the seconds floor doesn't really like our fraternity because we are very loud at night (she probably should have thought about that when moving in but whatever...that not important). She calls the cops about a noise complaint. Two of my other brothers are running around the house making all types of noise. I am in my room watching tv with my roommate. My buddy, after realizing he isnt going to get any, comes downstairs and while he is on his way down he is approached by police who tell him there is a noise complaint and tell him to return to his room. Mind you, he was not the cause. So, he is staying in my apartment that night...sleeping on the couch, and he makes his way down to my room. I am unaware any of this has happened. He decides to smoke a cigarette so he goes outside. I have a balcony area (I live on the first floor but it is still like an area outside my room that we can put patio furniture and stuff. He is telling me about this girl and how he didn't get any and then tells me about the cops (maybe he made a reference to pork). Well, this whole time the cops are waiting in the hall area around the corner and then bum rush us. I get thrown to the ground as does he (mind you, I saw them coming and I put my hands behind my back when they told me, didn't argue or anything like that). They booked us for disorderly conduct because "we" were told to go inside. I pay over 500 a month, which is expensive for college apartments and I am not allowed to be on my balcony, a floor below, and across the building from where this complaint is made? I'm stupid? I will always have this arrest on my record, even though I was guilty of nothing. My stories go on like this but maybe now you can grasp what I am saying.

It really is not so cut and dry and for someone who really has no experience with my situation (ie you have never been arrested), you can not really make a valid assessment. As someone who has not been arrested, you do not really know how stupid one must be to do so. I know that maybe sounds silly but the degree to which one must act out of line, or be perceived to act of line, can be so minute that you could have very well found yourself getting arrested when you were younger had you been 1 degree off. Like I said, I take responsibility because I could have created my own bad luck as you say. That, however, is not a testament to my character or integrity. Because I may have found myself in a compromising position, still says nothing about whether I actually did anything wrong. Which, according to my "criminal record," is clearly stated by the fact that it is void of anything.

And I get taking responsibility for my actions. The fact that this will bar me from probably most places I have considered working is responsibility enough. I will continue to pay for my actions, or lack thereof, long after people stop responding to this post.

If your going to call to me stupid, your better of just not saying anything. You do not further the discussion or help it anyway. It is not even helpful criticism. It is attacking me as person and there is no need for that. I think I have been gracious about some of the assumptions made about myself (granted I came to you all asking you your opinions). Thats all I got...no clever sign off or anything like that


Jun 23, 2008 5:34 pm

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Granted, maybe four times seems a bit excessive but some people are truly that unlucky. I can honestly say that two of those times, I had absolutely no business getting in trouble for, at all. The other two, while I didn't do anything to really deserve getting arrested, I also put myself in a position where there was a likelihood that something bad could happen. Chalk it up to being young and dumb. Again though, your just validating what I said about guilty until proven innocent. I think it does matter that I have no criminal record, only arrests, but you seems to be in the party that feels otherwise. All the others things I have said still apply.
 
Oh for crying out loud.   Grow up and quit trying to make feeble excuses for yourself.  Once is unlucky,.....four times is a pattern.  A bad pattern.  All of us were young and dumb at one time, but most of us learn from our mistakes.  How do you know none of us were ever arrested or hung out with a bad crowd?  The difference is that your goofs are too recent to be overlooked.
 
If I were interviewing you and you came up with these lame excuses I would consider you a whiner and unreliable as a potential employee who will be handling people's life savings.  What are you going to do when you blow up someone's retirement plan....ooops bad luck?

Jun 23, 2008 6:08 pm

Apples and oranges babs...and you say when I blow up someones retirement plan. I don't expect that will happen if the necessary precautions are taken. A lot can change relatively quickly. I am far from the person I was during my those days when all these things happened. I can hedge my future clients investments against risk but as for my past, it is already done.

I am not making excuses...I am telling how it is. Your right though, I should have just locked myself away in an effin ivory tower and done college like that. I am not about making excuses but there are two sides to every story. If telling my side means I am making an excuses than so be it.

Additionally, I did not begin to assess any ones situation other than my own. I made a comment about snaggs because he offered me that information. I don't begin to know or make assumptions about anyone and neither should you. When I originally asked this question, it wasn't to find out if you thought I was making lame excuses, if I was naive, or any of the other assumptions you would like to make. It was simply to know if this would stop me from working in this industry. Jumbled in everyone's rants, I see the answer rather clearly. So I will be working my tail off to make sure I get to where I want to be. I am not whining about my situation. It sucks. However, it is what it is. My question has always been, giving that it is what it is, would there be a possibility?

I guess this is my fault that you feel this way but I as I have no real desire to go into the specifics of each individual situation, not that it would matter anyways, I will take what your saying in stride.

Again, contrary to my tone, I do appreciate everyones input. Instead of answering the various questions that I have asked though, some would rather judge me and take hits at me regarding my character. It's cool, I just do not see the need.