or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › General › General Chat › Pondering my life - MBA, banking
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Pondering my life - MBA, banking - Page 2

post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
It can be done, but you will need to prove that you've completely assimilated into the american culture, and are not FOB.  
I have an honest question: What counts as having assimilated to the american culture and not FOB (fresh off the boat)? Is it a matter of outward appearance, manner of speech, etc? Can we get several examples? Thanks for your advice.
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Investment bankers have a number of functions, including, but not limited to, putting together the financing for mergers, acquisitions, and IPOs, secondaries, new stock offerings, and are generally involved in raising money for companies who need it.  They generally take a flat fee and sometimes a percentage of the deal as well, and in the past were sometimes able to get a percentage of the companies in question although this practice has been stopped as of late afaik.   A MBA from a foreign school is only going to help you if you plan on working for non-US companies, as most American employers know nothing about schools outside the US/Canada (and probably don't know that much about Canadians schools either). I disagree with the assertion that a bachelors degree is not going to do it for some people, I (and many people in my class) got jobs with starting salaries > $100k immediately out of my MIT undergrad class, I did go back and get my MBA later, but it certainly wasn't because I thought I could make more money by doing so.  Leaving the workforce and abandoning the potential of career advancement and forgoing two years of earning potential to pay $30-50k a year is not a decision to be made lightly but IMO if you are looking to change paths and enter the financial world it is the only way to go, and only a top tier MBA with a great internship will really help you.   IB is probably the hardest field to enter for career changers, so good luck if that's what you want to do.
Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario (Canada) has been ranked now for I believe the 5th year in a row as the best business school in the world outside of the US. It is followed by the Richard Ivey school (London, ON), and McGill university (both in the top ten, among places like Cambridge and and the London School of Economics). Add to that fact that McGill this year was ranked among the top 25 universities in the world, has long been considered "The Harvard of the North" and is extremely well respected by Ivy league admissions, Canada can be an excellent place for your education.
post #18 of 27
The above post is interesting. From my experience, Western Ontario / Ivey is by far the most (only?) respected business school as perceived by the investment banking industry. Regarding cultural issues, it is not so much appearance as misunderstanding of cultural norms. It is hard to discuss this without moving into stereotypes, but I've been involved in recruiting enough that I've seen certain things again and again. Here is an incomplete (and imperfect) list of social faux pas in recruiting (note that US students often do the same things, but they are held to lower standards than international students due to visa and other social integration issues). Also, I have no doubt that I'd stand out horribly if interviewing in Asia as I've no concept of their social norms. 1) Being overly aggressive/assertive/overbearing (because foreign countries perceive us as cowboys they find this appropriate...or maybe because they are used to fighting for the 1 in 1 million spot at the local IIT or for a visa); 2) Going up to a banker and, introducing ones self, and launching into an "elevator speech" (60 seconds - 5 minute resume desription) 3) Asking some prepared question or offering a prepared personal anecdote into an unappropriate point in a conversation. We hate prepackaged/generic questions 4) During the Q&A point of a company presentation asking some softball, obviously prepared ahead of time question 5) Coming across as way too technical/nerdy/unpresentable 6) social awkwardness (interacting awkwardly with your peer students or recruiters during these events) 7) Talking too long 8) Emailing me a resume without me asking for it Things you can do to help your case 1) Not doing any of the above-mentioned 2) Being up on US sports/movies/culture/etc. 3) Giving clear, short answers 4) Dress well and appropriately (IMPORTANT: that means ignoring a significant amount of what you read on this board) 4) Remember - while banks hire into number crunching roles, after 3-4 years you will be promoted to a sales-type role -- thus we are really looking not for associates, but for future VPs. You MUST come across as presentable to our clients, many of whom work in old-school industries outside of the more liberal coasts 5) Ask company-specific, relevant questions about current business issues (if one more person asks me about commercial banks buying investment banks and the future of investment banks I will go mad) 6) Appear laid-back (as you will stand out amongst your foreign peers who feel they need to go out of their way to be remembered). As an interesting side point - US recruiting is actually very different from Asia/Europe recruiting in that it is (and this surprises many) more qualitative and less quantitative. Eu/Asian firms are much more focused on GPA/GMAT and even give their own aptitute tests to students to determine who will get an interview. US banks do not do this. It is MUCH more of a fit issue, with intelligence being more of a hurdle (As in - do you meet the requirement or not --- if so, then fit matters; basically, we don't go for the 99-percentile over the 95-perctile candidate). General point number 2: when I go to a recruiting event, there might be 200 people there. I may meet 75. Of those 75, I will remember about 15. Of those 15, 12-13 are candidates I remember because of the HORRIBLE impression they made. Only 2-3 will I remember for good things. The lesson from this is that beginning rounds of recruiting/interviewing are more of a blackball system - your goal is not necessarily to make an impression as it is not to be eliminated. I remember the bad candidates more than the good ones. EDIT: grammar/spelling
post #19 of 27
Quote:
The above post is interesting. From my experience, Western Ontario / Ivey is by far the most (only?) respected business school as perceived by the investment banking industry.
rsp1, I assume you mean something like "the most/only respected business school in canada" or the "most/only respected business school outside the US" right? PHV: Regardless of the quality of those schools, they certainly won't have the name cachet of a top 5 US business school. When hiring MBA level candidates (I am a MD of a fairly large > $250M software company) if they have a MBA that's not from a top 10 or top regional business school (Anderson, Haas) than I don't really pay attention to their school... certainly a candidate from Wharton, Harvard, Stanford, Tuck, Sloan, Kellogg, Chicago (don't remember the name of their school, is it named?) Johnson, etc... will get more attention. rsp1: Is Columbia a top 5 school? I don't recall it that high in my last glance at the rankings... surprisingly to me, Carnegie-Mellon was like 7th though.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
The above post is interesting. From my experience, Western Ontario / Ivey is by far the most (only?) respected business school as perceived by the investment banking industry. Regarding cultural issues, it is not so much appearance as misunderstanding of cultural norms. It is hard to discuss this without moving into stereotypes, but I've been involved in recruiting enough that I've seen certain things again and again. Here is an incomplete (and imperfect) list of social faux pas in recruiting (note that US students often do the same things, but they are held to lower standards than international students due to visa and other social integration issues). Also, I have no doubt that I'd stand out horribly if interviewing in Asia as I've no concept of their social norms. 1) Being overly aggressive/assertive/overbearing (because foreign countries perceive us as cowboys they find this appropriate...or maybe because they are used to fighting for the 1 in 1 million spot at the local IIT or for a visa); 2) Going up to a banker and, introducing ones self, and launching into an "elevator speech" (60 seconds - 5 minute resume desription) 3) Asking some prepared question or offering a prepared personal anecdote into an unappropriate point in a conversation. We hate prepackaged/generic questions 4) During the Q&A point of a company presentation asking some softball, obviously prepared ahead of time question 5) Coming across as way too technical/nerdy/unpresentable 6) social awkwardness (interacting awkwardly with your peer students or recruiters during these events) 7) Talking too long 8) Emailing me a resume without me asking for it Things you can do to help your case 1) Not doing any of the above-mentioned 2) Being up on US sports/movies/culture/etc. 3) Giving clear, short answers 4) Dress well and appropriately (IMPORTANT: that means ignoring a significant amount of what you read on this board) 4) Remember - while banks hire into number crunching roles, after 3-4 years you will be promoted to a sales-type role -- thus we are really looking not for associates, but for future VPs. You MUST come across as presentable to our clients, many of whom work in old-school industries outside of the more liberal coasts 5) Ask company-specific, relevant questions about current business issues (if one more person asks me about commercial banks buying investment banks and the future of investment banks I will go mad) 6) Appear laid-back (as you will stand out amongst your foreign peers who feel they need to go out of their way to be remembered). As an interesting side point - US recruiting is actually very different from Asia/Europe recruiting in that it is (and this surprises many) more qualitative and less quantitative. Eu/Asian firms are much more focused on GPA/GMAT and even give their own aptitute tests to students to determine who will get an interview. US banks do not do this. It is MUCH more of a fit issue, with intelligence being more of a hurdle (As in - do you meet the requirement or not --- if so, then fit matters; basically, we don't go for the 99-percentile over the 95-perctile candidate). General point number 2: when I go to a recruiting event, there might be 200 people there. I may meet 75. Of those 75, I will remember about 15. Of those 15, 12-13 are candidates I remember because of the HORRIBLE impression they made. Only 2-3 will I remember for good things. The lesson from this is that beginning rounds of recruiting/interviewing are more of a blackball system - your goal is not necessarily to make an impression as it is not to be eliminated. I remember the bad candidates more than the good ones. EDIT: grammar/spelling
rsp1, I agree with most of what you've written here. I do have a couple caveats though, I think that foreign students need to be a bit more aggressive than ones from the US, just not overly so, if they are too timid, they will be passed over quickly IMO. The resume thing is also probably true as well, although to some degree if foreign students aren't quite proactive they probably won't find a position.
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Quote:
The above post is interesting.  From my experience, Western Ontario / Ivey is by far the most (only?) respected business school as perceived by the investment banking industry.
rsp1, I assume you mean something like "the most/only respected business school in canada" or the "most/only respected business school outside the US" right? PHV: Regardless of the quality of those schools, they certainly won't have the name cachet of a top 5 US business school.  When hiring MBA level candidates (I am a MD of a fairly large > $250M software company) if they have a MBA that's not from a top 10 or top regional business school (Anderson, Haas) than I don't really pay attention to their school... certainly a candidate from Wharton, Harvard, Stanford, Tuck, Sloan, Kellogg, Chicago (don't remember the name of their school, is it named?) Johnson, etc... will get more attention. rsp1:  Is Columbia a top 5 school?  I don't recall it that high in my last glance at the rankings... surprisingly to me, Carnegie-Mellon was like 7th though.
Columbia's law school and business school boast the largest starting salaries once out of school. That's probably because Goldman Sachs et al are like 2 minutes away. Yes, I realize that certain names invoke a certain amount of respect. But it depends where you go. Things are quickly changing in the status quo as places like Queens are being recognized as comparable to Ivys. Just look at their job offers... that's part of the basis upon which it is ranked so high. But, if I were to get an MBA I can tell you right now that I would do it at no place but Bragging School of Business at Harvard, despite what I know about fantastic schools in Canada. Alan Dersowitz (is that how you spell it) told us when he came to speak at our school that most top law firms and IB houses only know about like 5 schools.
post #22 of 27
I guess Columbia is 6th this year in US News. If I hadn't done a very specialized MBA (Health Care), I would have probably gotten it at Sloan, although I prefer MBAs that are quantatively strong, so I would have done it either there or at Wharton, then again I'm a MIT undergrad so I would never go to Harvard
post #23 of 27
Yes, sorry, I was referring to the only Canadian school that really registers with US banks. Regarding names of MBA schools, there are basically the top six - Harvard, Penn (Wharton), Stanford, Chicago, Columbia, Northwestern (Kellogg).  Close behind, but not the same, are MIT, Duke and Michigan.  Then comes NYU (Stern), UVA (Darden), UCLA (Anderson), Cornell (Johnson).  As an alum from any of those schools you're looking at a $100k+ starting salary. With regards to top starting salary at columbia, those stats are HEAVILY skewed by the % of alums going into banking vs. marketing/sales.  Columbia, being in NYC, sends tons of studenst to banking.  Whereas Kellogg, for example, sends many to marketing/sales.  Not better or worse, just different. Most banks have 3-5 target schools where they invest significant resources in recruiting.  They will then send a smaller contingent of folks to interview at 5-7 more schools.  Then, they will perhaps do targeted resume drops at another 5-10 (depends on where senior alumni are at different firms).  My firm (a very large i-bank) targets 3 schools for 50% of its associate class.  I'll tell you now, Harvard isn't one of them. (e.g., before you say harvard or bust, you better know what industry you want to go into) EDIT: Should definitely have included Berkley Haas with UCLA...
post #24 of 27
rsp, Interesting, as Sloan is consistently top 3-4 in the rankings I've seen, and Haas (Berkeley) is ranked substantially higher than Anderson... perhaps this is industry related, as the majority of MBA level candidates I recruit are in sales/marketing even though I came out of the finance area.
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Yes, sorry, I was referring to the only Canadian school that really registers with US banks. Regarding names of MBA schools, there are basically the top six - Harvard, Penn (Wharton), Stanford, Chicago, Columbia, Northwestern (Kellogg).  Close behind, but not the same, are MIT, Duke and Michigan.  Then comes NYU (Stern), UVA (Darden), UCLA (Anderson), Cornell (Johnson).  As an alum from any of those schools you're looking at a $100k+ starting salary. With regards to top starting salary at columbia, those stats are HEAVILY skewed by the % of alums going into banking vs. marketing/sales.  Columbia, being in NYC, sends tons of studenst to banking.  Whereas Kellogg, for example, sends many to marketing/sales.  Not better or worse, just different. Most banks have 3-5 target schools where they invest significant resources in recruiting.  They will then send a smaller contingent of folks to interview at 5-7 more schools.  Then, they will perhaps do targeted resume drops at another 5-10 (depends on where senior alumni are at different firms).  My firm (a very large i-bank) targets 3 schools for 50% of its associate class.  I'll tell you now, Harvard isn't one of them. (e.g., before you say harvard or bust, you better know what industry you want to go into)
No, I decided a few years ago that I would not go this route. I am a musician and will make my living doing that... could easily go the well paid desk job route but it really isn't for me. Kudos to those who get there, it's a lot of work. My prep school was/is like a free range breeding farm for them, I just cannot see myself doing that forever.
post #26 of 27
Just wanted to let everyone know how helpful this thread has been. I have a nephew who is in college now and has interests in both finance and technology, so he was considering going into either investment banking and working as a technology analyst or going into the tech department. I shared with him all the negatives of working as an analyst or associate (80 hour work weeks, etc.), but I had never spoken to someone involved in the actual IT departments. I was able to balance out some of my previous comments to him using the posts in this thread, so thank you.
post #27 of 27
some other schools that seem to have been neglected and can fetch well into the 6 figure starting salaries : Tuck - excellent for consulting CMU - very good for tech and quantitative banking type jobs
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Chat
Styleforum › Forums › General › General Chat › Pondering my life - MBA, banking