12/2/17

There are so many stories of unhappiness and lack of fulfillment, but does anyone really enjoy their job in IB? And, more specifically (at the Analyst/Associate level), do you enjoy the benefit of teamwork and camaraderie? Is there are a long-term mindset at your work, focused on collective success, or are your fellow Analysts and Associates always trying to out-work/out-sacrifice for personal recognition and gain? I am seriously considering a job in IB (post-MBA), and am not necessarily worried about long hours, but more about collective mindset and its effects on my moral.

Also, do you get to work with intelligent clients, whom you admire and respect? I constantly hear about the negative sides of client service, but surely not all senior executives can be moronic and demanding beyond reason?

Looking for some positive anecdotes I guess...

Comments (16)

11/30/17

Although post-undergrad banking offers better exit opps (i.e., PE and HF) than post-MBA banking, I think the latter is seriously underrated.

Post-MBA banking has taken a prestige hit due to the overall decline of the financial sector and the rise of tech. There is also a lifestyle issue of course, as people are not as willing to work the brutally long hours. In my opinion though, post-MBA banking at a top firm is still a damm good gig, and I DEEPLY regret not doing it.

  1. The money is pretty good. Your stub base salary is $125K+$50K signing+year-end bonus at the bulge brackets while the elite boutiques are even higher. Your first full fiscal year, you usually get $150K base+year-end bonus of $50-$100K. Just 2-3 years out of b-school, you are easily clearing $300K+. And although the hours are bad, it's fairly stable, as banks usually don't fire associates unless they really screw up or there is a massive economic downturn.
  2. You acquire strong branding and very transferable skillsets. Banking exposes you to every side of a business: it's a combination of financial modeling, biz dev, presentations, competitive analysis, etc. This in turn allows you to pursue a wide array of jobs afterwards. Every interesting finance and corporate development job I've looked at, requires banking or consulting. Those 2 industries are your entry level into the truly sexy interesting jobs.
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11/30/17

Damn. I feel bad for you man. When did you graduate from MBA? I will be attending a top mba in near future, and I will be recruiting for both consulting and banking. Crazy, I know.

I've been working a chill, laid back back office / mid office job at a hedge fund and I can't stand working a bull shit job anymore. I am doing a top mba so that I can transition into 'elite' / competitive jobs, where I can learn the most and gain the credibility / network. My thought process: If I get MBB + ATK / LEK / OW consulting offer at MBA OCR -> I become a consultant. If I don't get a top tier consulting offer, I will pick BB / EB IBD over Big4 consulting / other lower tier consulting. My reasoning is that in consulting, only select top few players give new hires good opportunities in quality of projects, mentoring / skill set development, exit ops, and job stability. (shit consulting firms fire consultants left and right when partners can't sell work)

I'd prefer consulting over banking since I'd find the former more interesting in terms of project quality, but I guess banking still beats out lower tier consulting in terms of skill-set development, network, career progression, exit ops and job stability. And, I will never do tech straight out of MBA. (corp fin, ops, marketing, etc at tech companies are largely support roles with boring work / weak exit ops, as I hear from friends)

12/2/17
Rejected Monkey:

Damn. I feel bad for you man. When did you graduate from MBA? I will be attending a top mba in near future, and I will be recruiting for both consulting and banking. Crazy, I know.

I've been working a chill, laid back back office / mid office job at a hedge fund and I can't stand working a bull shit job anymore. I am doing a top mba so that I can transition into 'elite' / competitive jobs, where I can learn the most and gain the credibility / network. My thought process: If I get MBB + ATK / LEK / OW consulting offer at MBA OCR -> I become a consultant. If I don't get a top tier consulting offer, I will pick BB / EB IBD over Big4 consulting / other lower tier consulting. My reasoning is that in consulting, only select top few players give new hires good opportunities in quality of projects, mentoring / skill set development, exit ops, and job stability. (shit consulting firms fire consultants left and right when partners can't sell work)

I'd prefer consulting over banking since I'd find the former more interesting in terms of project quality, but I guess banking still beats out lower tier consulting in terms of skill-set development, network, career progression, exit ops and job stability. And, I will never do tech straight out of MBA. (corp fin, ops, marketing, etc at tech companies are largely support roles with boring work / weak exit ops, as I hear from friends)

I exactly have the same plans as you in terms of post MBA career goals. I just wanted to ask you about your Banking vs Consulting recruiting strategy since you can get a Consulting job even if you don't intern there, but that's pretty much impossible for Banking from what I've read. So, I guess the correct strategy is to do a summer internship in Banking, get a return offer, and then try to recruit for MBB full time?

12/3/17

Yup, I think my strategy is just to bust my balls during my 1st year MBA. Network with bankers during my fall semester to make sure I am locked for 1st round MBA OCR banking interviews. At the same time, prep the hell out of consulting case interviews.

Getting a banking interview at MBA OCR is more driven by networking getting your name out there. Consulting = a function of gmat score, MBA school pedigree, and some networking to ensure 1st round interviews. Consulting firms care more about your case performance / polish, banking interviews care more about 'why banking?' / fit / networking. Someone who's diligent enough can for sure make it through both consulting / banking recruiting at a top 15 MBA.

My strategy is just to just to bust my a$$ and see what offers I get. If I score MBB / OW / ATK / LEK = I drop the ball with banking and just become a consultant post MBA. If I strike out from above firms, I'd pick BB IBD over Accenture / Deloitte consulting any day.

12/2/17

FYI - getting a solid investment banking gig post-MBA is still competitive and a lot of work. You don't just "pick" one after failing consulting recruiting.

If you wait to see whether or not you get MBB/ATK/LEK/OW consulting offers, this will be in January when banking superdays are happening as well. Your classmates recruiting for banking will have been preparing and networking for banking interviews for the past several months.

I am a second year at a top MBA program and don't know of anyone who has successfully executed on your proposed strategy.

12/3/17

Correct me if I'm wrong but I had always though banking at b-school is much less competitive than UG because not as many people are PE or bust and consulting/PE/HF/AM/etc is a more desirable field for b-school. Several mentors of mine have gone to non-M7 schools (Stern, Cornell, Ross, etc.) and had no problem getting multiple interviews. I think it's as competitive as you make it since being BB/EB or bust is really fucking stupid.

12/3/17

Sorry, I might not clearly stated my plan.

Step 1: Recruit for Investment Banking Summer Internship. Work your ass off. Get a return offer. (No consulting recruiting for summer at all).

Step 2: Recruit for MBB/LEK full time offers with the option of returning to banking full time.

Does this sounds workable?

12/3/17

That is more reasonable, but again very difficult. I know of one person who successfully did this.

You have to take into account that every consultant who worked in tier 2 consulting will likely be re-recruiting for MBB for full-time, so that is a very difficult conversion.

Also, consulting recruiting is a whole different beast than banking recruiting. I know when I finished my banking internship and got my full-time offer, the last thing I would have wanted to do is start casing as soon as I got back to school. Best of luck!

12/3/17

Thanks for your perspective. I am sure it isn't cakewalk to get both consulting and banking offers at MBA OCR, but it can be done. I had many friends from college who managed to get 2nd tier consulting AND I-banking analyst offers, as juniors / seniors at a target undergrad. No reason to believe that someone can't execute on similar recruiting strategy at a top 15 MBA school. After all, banking and consulting get a ton of cross applicants. (at least at undergrad level)

What I am thinking is I spend some energy and time on recruiting for banking my 1st year MBA via networking. At the same time, I prep the hell out of cases. Consulting recruiting is much more a function of your performance during case interviews, which require higher command of subject matter, logical thinking, and technical know-how than banking interviews. Banking interviews tend to be more network driven; the interview itself ain't nearly as difficult / selective as top consulting interviews. Just being objective here, someone who can snag an MBB consulting offer (both at undergrad and mba levels) will have no problem getting a BB banking offer.

12/4/17

You will see as soon as you start business school that your plan is ridiculous. Undergrad recruiting is very different from MBA recruiting. You don't have any cross applicants between banking and consulting. I go to a top 15 program, and NO ONE got a BB or EB banking offer unless they were 100% focused on banking recruiting from the start. Just trying to set realistic expectations for everyone before they start business school. Take time now to refine your plan and pick either banking or consulting.

12/3/17

You won't have time to recruit for banking and consulting in b-school. And those that do try to recruit for both, recruit for consulting as a backup (not banking as you plan to do). Many banks and consulting firms will hold events at the same time, and if you miss the bank's event, you'll get cut.

12/4/17

This is correct. Some people start recruiting banking and plan on having consulting as a back up in case they are not successful with banking. It does not happen the other way around.

Best Response
11/30/17

Just from my perspective, and in the order you brought them up:

  • Yes, there are some people who really do like the work, or at least enough to stay in the industry. No one likes cancelling plans, skipping sleep or doing pointless work, but there are those that really do get a kick out of the deal process, building complex models, etc. Whether you're one of those people can only be determined after you've tried it
  • Yes, assuming there's a good junior banker culture (ie: people are friendly, not stabbing each other in the back, etc). The camaraderie and the friends you make are some of the best parts of banking. Frankly, i think banking would be unbearable if you didn't like the people in your class
  • I wouldn't say most analysts/associates have a "long-term" mindset from a work perspective, at least at large established banks. If you're working at a new/up-and-coming boutique or a lean environment with great culture from top down, then perhaps, but i'd say that for most, the view of the work doesn't extend much beyond the next book. That being said, I don't think people are trying to "out-work/out-sacrifice" either. "Collective success" just isn't that interesting/useful/important for junior guys planning to leave anyways
  • Yes, there are definitely impressive, reasonable clients, but the problem is that the incompetent and unreasonable ones are going be the ones that take the lion's share of your time. And, regardless of the level of management competency, you also have to deal with a layer of MD demands. Don't forget that it's a services industry and you could be working with the nicest management, but your MD may be entirely unreasonable in trying to impress them

That's all to say that there's no escaping the bad parts of banking, but your experience can vary tremendously based on your team (not bank, but specific team). Speaking in generalizations, you'll get great experience and branding with IB and probably make some lifelong friends, but be prepared for a fair share of stress and frustration. The two most important things you should try to gauge before accepting an offer are: (1) the quality of deal experience and (2) the culture

12/1/17

Awesome, thank you all for the comments!

12/3/17

There are times when the job is enjoyable....like bonus day.

"Anything less than the best is a felony"

12/3/17

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