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Young Finance Professional: Need some Career Advice

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi Gentlemen,

I graduated from college in 2009 from a relatively well known university, but not necessarily a "target school" for recruiting for Investment Banking. That being said, I really have a strong desire to break into Investment Banking to gain some solid experience to work in a mid size private equity firm. I am currently working as an Operations Analyst in the Fixed Income Group of a prominent Investment Management firm. I am highly considering returning to Graduate School to puruse my Masters of Science (MSF) degree to make myself a little more competitive. I have a few questions regarding the degree:

1) For those that have an MSF, is it typical to have an internship upon completion or during the degree? Given that it is only 10 classes, I am guessing people usually just secure a full time position immeadiately after.
2) For those in the Banking industry, does the MSF add any value to a person's candidacy? Better yet, my real question is that do I have a better chance of securing interviews when I am back in school or working as a Operations Analyst?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
post #2 of 11
If you haven't broken into IB yet, the best path is to work a few years, get into a good MBA program and try to make the switch. As far as PE, forget it.
post #3 of 11
Would agree with above that best path into banking is MBA then enter an associate program. PE would be a very long shot with this path though. I would suggest trying to network your way into a first year analyst spot now at a boutique.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hanker565 View Post
Would agree with above that best path into banking is MBA then enter an associate program. PE would be a very long shot with this path though.

I would suggest trying to network your way into a first year analyst spot now at a boutique.

Thanks so much for the advice guys, in terms of seeking out firms and contacts, what avenues should I explore besides Capital IQ?
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by jays978 View Post
Thanks so much for the advice guys, in terms of seeking out firms and contacts, what avenues should I explore besides Capital IQ?

Can't really offer you any helpful pointers in that regard since I do not work in the industry. Are you absolutely certain you wan't to do finance?
post #6 of 11
Depends, what is an operations analyst?
post #7 of 11
A few thoughts from someone a few years ahead of you in the industry... Use that ops seat to try to break into a street- or client-facing role at your current employer. It's often easier to try to move laterally within your existing institution than to try to make a move before you've had real investing responsibility. Don't focus exclusively on trying to get into PE. Think about what you believe you like about private equity, and try to find jobs that either expose you directly to folks in PE or interface with them more directly - in addition to IB, think about leveraged finance generally. You're on the right track if you're already thinking about M&A banking to get closer to transactions. An MBA is a reasonable way to 'hit the reset button' and shift segments within finance. Since you're already on the buyside, though, consider the CFA. It will bolster your chances of making a move internally. Also, it's worth thinking a bit about what quality-of-life sacrifices you're willing to make. IB and PE are not known for their friendly hours, lovable senior management, easygoing colleagues, or low-pressure job responsibilities... and that's presuming you can get your foot in the door in the first place.
post #8 of 11
Also in both IB and PE you're looking at sacrificing (and I don't use this term lightly) years of your life before getting into any type of decision making role. I think these industries are for people who's only goal in life is to be as close as possible to the mega-wealthy. In terms of your actual job and quality of life, both are terrible for a long, long time.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
eeks this is even worse than WSO..lol
post #10 of 11
I'd recommend the MBA route though while you are at it getting your CFA isn't a bad idea. As long as you are reasonably competant, any top 15 MBA school will land you in a decent IB job. As above, certain areas make more sens and better connections but al can lead to PE. Also note that certain practices at a few consulting firms recruit well into PE (PE/due diligence practices at McK, Bain, BCG, LEK, 2-3 more)
post #11 of 11
no one really gets a MSF considering 3 levels of CFA is pretty much the equivalent of it. If you are quantitatively talented, get a MFE or Master of Comp/Mathematical Fi. Otherwise, get a MBA. It wont be easy to break in to top 10 MBA as a Op though. Did you just realize you want to do IB recently? I'm asking because you are still asking these questions two years in to the job market, it seems that you have not been preparing to break in to IB. just read M&I, it covers everything you need to know in order to break in to IB.
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