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For full-time, yes it does. Working in an industry group will give you access to exit opportunities in that industry and related industries. For example, most analysts targeting private equity after their investment banking analyst stint will try to be placed in the Sponsors Group or Leveraged Buyout group since the MDs in those groups are in direct contact with PE partners.

Networking is a very important part of group placement, and you should have plenty of opportunities to network across your firm. However, a top analyst in a top group at a well-known bank will undoubtedly have his or her pick of post-analyst jobs (assuming they have the interviewing skills/fit the culture).

It's also important to remember that as an IB analyst, you will be in this group for two years. If you get placed with a group that you absolutely despise, this will have a negative impact on your time at that firm. It's important to target industries that you're interested in, learn about them, and show the people interviewing you that you would fit well with them to avoid getting placed into a group with weaker exit opportunities.

Group placement is not as important for internships, mostly because you're trying to gain some experience and learn the trade, as well as add overall finance experience to your resume. You can always apply for a different group or express interest in another group come full-time recruiting.

However, this does assume you don't receive a full time offer straight out of your summer analyst internship. If that is the case, in order not to burn bridges, or lose the offer, you may have to take the group placement and live with it. If you have networked and established relationships across groups, this is where those relationships can be extremely valuable. If you have a strong relationship with an Associate or VP in another group, you can reach out for advice on how to approach switching groups at your firm and to potentially be recruited by another more desirable group.

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