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I am a 30 year old female working as an engineer in the Silicon Valley for the past 8 years. I will be giving my GMAT next month. I plan on going to UC Berkeley for a Part-time MBA if I get in. Unfortunately, I can't leave my job and go for a full-time MBA since I am an immigrant and I am still waiting on my green card. My aim is to start my MBA and the minute I get my green card in 2 yrs, look for internship/Full-time positions in IB.

How do I go about trying to break into I-Banking in my 30s doing a Part-Time MBA from Berkeley. I live close to SF so I can tap into the industry there.

Please help.

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Comments (37)

  • Soccerguy728's picture

    Make some friends in your industry, and go work for a firm that services the types of companies that you know a lot about already. Going to B-school is great for meeting those types of people, but also start going to whatever big-name local university is near you (stanford / berekley) and attend lectures, events, and conferences related to your interests.

    If you want to do something like this, you have to go and get it, it won't come to you... on the flip side, you should go for it! You just have to be proactive all the way, from start to finish.

  • monikajudd's picture

    Thanks a lot Soccerguy728,

    Is it possible to break into I-Banking doing a part-time MBA from Berkeley vs full-time MBAs? Is my age a barrier?

    My close friend is an I-Banker. So I can ask him for help. But, what credentials do I need before I approach him. Starting a part-time MBA, giving a CFA exam etc?
    Thanks

  • Soccerguy728's picture

    I dont know, I wouldn't even worry about the age barrier. You must know a lot about your industry already because of your experience working in a company. I'd say get into the best part-time MBA program you can that also is very big within your current industry. When you start the MBA, learn as much finance as you can. I would even go for an MSF instead.... the MBA isn't always the best answer anymore.

    That being said, attend the best school you can get yourself into.

  • Soccerguy728's picture

    Step 2: once youre in a graduate program, either join the investment banking club, or if they don't have one, start your own student organization. Then, you get involved with attending conferences, inviting speakers, alumni, etc, and you see where this leads eventually...

  • monikajudd's picture

    Thanks a lot. It really helps. I was concerned about being 30+. Looks like I shouldn't lose hope without even trying. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Soccerguy728's picture

    you too. if you "go with the heard", its much harder, but if you stick to your industry and what you're already good at, then it would be very hard for other people to compete with you once you learn the finance side of things.

  • SanityCheck's picture

    I'm sorry but you haven't been given direct and clear answers.

    1. Most ibanks require a green card at minimum. It's hard to get in if you're looking for a sponsor.
    2. Part time MBA is doubtful to get you hired as an associate. So you'd be looking at analyst positions which I don't think you'd want.

    Soccerguy I have no idea why you're suggesting a MFA for her. It will do absolutely nothing for investment banking recruiting.

    You can PM me if you have further questions. I did 2 years BB IBD and recruited for 1 of those years. The few MBAs we would hire in this market would be from SAs which are recruited ONLY from full time MBA OCRs (on campus recruiting) which I don't think you'd have access to as a PT.

  • monikajudd's picture

    Hi SanityCheck,

    I will have a green card in about 2 years. I am already 30 today. I know that age is a huge barrier to get into finance jobs.

    What options do I have as of now? Would it help to get my part-time MBA and maybe CFA out of the way within the next 2 years so by the time I have my green card, I am well-positioned to break into finance?

    Thanks a lot

  • SanityCheck's picture

    If you were serious about getting into IBD forget about any part-time MBAs. Those are solely for the purpose of advancing at your current job while working.

    Quit in 2 years after you get your green card and then apply for a full time MBA at a top 10-15 MBA school. Obviously go to the highest ranked MBA program you get into but no need to go as high as M7 since even bulge brackets hire their associates from non-M7 like Tuck, Cornell, Michigan, Stern, UVA, etc.

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  • monikajudd's picture

    Sounds good. But wouldn't my age be a barrier after 2 years?

  • MD8's picture

    Your age is not the key issue here. The majority of new associates are ~29 +/- two years and this can really go up to 35.

    I have seen a couple part-time students break in from Kellogg and Booth; however, these people really beat the odds w/out full-time recruiting, internships, etc.. No reason to reduce your chances by attending a part-time program (i.e. you need to do an internship to get a full-time offer in this environment).

  • monikajudd's picture

    Thanks MD8. I will do that and hope like crazy that in 2 years I get my green card. Immigration law is so unpredictable. Thanks for the help.

  • MD8's picture

    No problem, a few more comments:

    Please do not say "giving" your GMAT. Say taking.

    We see a lot of engineers and you will want to differentiate yourself from this pack somehow. You may think about getting involved with something finance-related now while you are waiting. This doesn't necessarily mean finding a new job, you just want to start building up a credible story for why IBD.

    Consider going to school on the east coast. All of the major banks have a presence in SF, but it usually consists of only 1-2 groups (such as HC). This means fewer opportunities. It would be a mistake to not focus on NYC if you are truly set on breaking into IBD.

  • monikajudd's picture

    What kind of stuff do you recommend getting involved with? Yes, I am open to NYC as well.

  • esbanker's picture

    wow - for your own sake please scrap whatever crap soccerguy wrote. that person has no clue about the industry's recruiting dynamics.

    Capitalist

  • Macroecon's picture

    I have NEVER heard of a part-time mba student getting into banking, not even those from booth part-time. MBA banking recruiting follows a very structured recruiting process where most full-time offers go to summer interns. And internship ocr is not available for part-time students.

  • In reply to Macroecon
    angelinajolie's picture

    Macroecon:
    I have NEVER heard of a part-time mba student getting into banking, not even those from booth part-time. MBA banking recruiting follows a very
    structured recruiting process where most full-time offers go to summer interns. And internship ocr is not available for part-time students.

    What about MBB calibre consulting?
    Would you say the op would have a shot if they were to try that? Maybe as industry specialists?

  • In reply to angelinajolie
    Macroecon's picture

    angelinajolie:
    Macroecon:
    I have NEVER heard of a part-time mba student getting into banking, not even those from booth part-time. MBA banking recruiting follows a very
    structured recruiting process where most full-time offers go to summer interns. And internship ocr is not available for part-time students.

    What about MBB calibre consulting?
    Would you say the op would have a shot if they were to try that? Maybe as industry specialists?

    No. MBB consulting and BB follow very structured recruiting processes. A part-time MBA student has no shot at those.

  • In reply to Macroecon
    angelinajolie's picture

    Macroecon:
    angelinajolie:
    Macroecon:
    I have NEVER heard of a part-time mba student getting into banking, not even those from booth part-time. MBA banking recruiting follows a very
    structured recruiting process where most full-time offers go to summer interns. And internship ocr is not available for part-time students.

    What about MBB calibre consulting?
    Would you say the op would have a shot if they were to try that? Maybe as industry specialists?

    No. MBB consulting and BB follow very structured recruiting processes. A part-time MBA student has no shot at those.

    Do you know this for a fact or are you assuming? Kellogg pt sends a handful to McKinsey every year. Obviously less than the 30+ the ft sends, but I wonder if that's down to the quality of the students more so than any specific recruiting policy

  • In reply to angelinajolie
    Macroecon's picture

    angelinajolie:
    Macroecon:
    angelinajolie:
    Macroecon:
    I have NEVER heard of a part-time mba student getting into banking, not even those from booth part-time. MBA banking recruiting follows a very
    structured recruiting process where most full-time offers go to summer interns. And internship ocr is not available for part-time students.

    What about MBB calibre consulting?
    Would you say the op would have a shot if they were to try that? Maybe as industry specialists?

    No. MBB consulting and BB follow very structured recruiting processes. A part-time MBA student has no shot at those.

    Do you know this for a fact or are you assuming? Kellogg pt sends a handful to McKinsey every year. Obviously less than the 30+ the ft sends, but I wonder if that's down to the quality of the students more so than any specific recruiting policy

    I'm basing this upon talking to friends in the program as well as people in career services and admissions.

    Did those kellogg people work in mckinsey before? Any idea what their backgrounds are like?

  • In reply to Macroecon
    angelinajolie's picture

    Macroecon:
    angelinajolie:
    Macroecon:
    angelinajolie:
    Macroecon:
    I have NEVER heard of a part-time mba student getting into banking, not even those from booth part-time. MBA banking recruiting follows a very
    structured recruiting process where most full-time offers go to summer interns. And internship ocr is not available for part-time students.

    What about MBB calibre consulting?
    Would you say the op would have a shot if they were to try that? Maybe as industry specialists?

    No. MBB consulting and BB follow very structured recruiting processes. A part-time MBA student has no shot at those.

    Do you know this for a fact or are you assuming? Kellogg pt sends a handful to McKinsey every year. Obviously less than the 30+ the ft sends, but I wonder if that's down to the quality of the students more so than any specific recruiting policy

    I'm basing this upon talking to friends in the program as well as people in career services and admissions.

    Did those kellogg people work in mckinsey before? Any idea what their backgrounds are like?

    It/finance/engineering. I actually think it's quite believable because even McKinsey themselves say that they're made up of less than 50% MBA's. so in that sense what difference does a pt to a ft make?

  • In reply to angelinajolie
    Macroecon's picture

    angelinajolie:
    Macroecon:
    angelinajolie:
    Macroecon:
    angelinajolie:
    Macroecon:
    I have NEVER heard of a part-time mba student getting into banking, not even those from booth part-time. MBA banking recruiting follows a very
    structured recruiting process where most full-time offers go to summer interns. And internship ocr is not available for part-time students.

    What about MBB calibre consulting?
    Would you say the op would have a shot if they were to try that? Maybe as industry specialists?

    No. MBB consulting and BB follow very structured recruiting processes. A part-time MBA student has no shot at those.

    Do you know this for a fact or are you assuming? Kellogg pt sends a handful to McKinsey every year. Obviously less than the 30+ the ft sends, but I wonder if that's down to the quality of the students more so than any specific recruiting policy

    I'm basing this upon talking to friends in the program as well as people in career services and admissions.

    Did those kellogg people work in mckinsey before? Any idea what their backgrounds are like?

    It/finance/engineering. I actually think it's quite believable because even McKinsey themselves say that they're made up of less than 50% MBA's. so in that sense what difference does a pt to a ft make?

    There's a fundamental difference in caliber of students between FT and PT. And top firms obviously know this. Getting into booth/kellogg PT is pretty easy whereas for FT you have to be cream of the crop. If you deny this, then I don't know what else to say.

  • In reply to Macroecon
    angelinajolie's picture

    Macroecon:
    angelinajolie:
    Macroecon:
    angelinajolie:
    Macroecon:
    angelinajolie:
    Macroecon:
    I have NEVER heard of a part-time mba student getting into banking, not even those from booth part-time. MBA banking recruiting follows a very
    structured recruiting process where most full-time offers go to summer interns. And internship ocr is not available for part-time students.

    What about MBB calibre consulting?
    Would you say the op would have a shot if they were to try that? Maybe as industry specialists?

    No. MBB consulting and BB follow very structured recruiting processes. A part-time MBA student has no shot at those.

    Do you know this for a fact or are you assuming? Kellogg pt sends a handful to McKinsey every year. Obviously less than the 30+ the ft sends, but I wonder if that's down to the quality of the students more so than any specific recruiting policy

    I'm basing this upon talking to friends in the program as well as people in career services and admissions.

    Did those kellogg people work in mckinsey before? Any idea what their backgrounds are like?

    It/finance/engineering. I actually think it's quite believable because even McKinsey themselves say that they're made up of less than 50% MBA's. so in that sense what difference does a pt to a ft make?

    There's a fundamental difference in caliber of students between FT and PT. And top firms obviously know this. Getting into booth/kellogg PT is pretty easy whereas for FT you have to be cream of the crop. If you deny this, then I don't know what else to say.

    Not denying it, if you read my post you'll see I actually state it. My question was, does MBB not hire out of pt because of this, or because of their recruiting policy?

  • ping's picture

    @angelinajolie the big consulting firms and banks have a really rigid MBA recruiting process and it only involves full-time students. having gone through a PT MBA program at a top 15 school, i can tell you that it is almost impossible to weasel your way into this funnel as a PT. our school monitored the networking events and interview schedule like hawks.

    basically, the big firms outsource part of their HR to the admissions departments at target schools. the first stage of the funnel is getting into the right FT MBA program. it's a shame because these firms are missing out on some great people who can't afford to stop working for 2 years for whatever reason, but overall it's more efficient for the firms in question. they end up with a very finite pool of candidates who appear to be effectively pre-screened.

  • In reply to ping
    angelinajolie's picture

    ping:
    @angelinajolie the big consulting firms and banks have a really rigid MBA recruiting process and it only involves full-time students. having gone through a PT MBA program at a top 15 school, i can tell you that it is almost impossible to weasel your way into this funnel as a PT. our school monitored the networking events and interview schedule like hawks.

    basically, the big firms outsource part of their HR to the admissions departments at target schools. the first stage of the funnel is getting into the right FT MBA program. it's a shame because these firms are missing out on some great people who can't afford to stop working for 2 years for whatever reason, but overall it's more efficient for the firms in question. they end up with a very finite pool of candidates who appear to be effectively pre-screened.

    thanks for your insight! So its bassically easier for them to go through FT cause of the HR/admissions arrangement. That makes sense. Booth/Kellogg/Haas allow OCR for PT students, I wonder if that affects the calibre of students they let in to the program.

    Were you satisfied with your choice of PT? did it allow you to make the move you wanted

  • MD8's picture

    Need to jump back in here.

    Yes, it is possible to break in from a part-time program. I have seen investment banking associates that attended part-time programs at Stern, Booth and Kellogg.

    At school we used to get annoyed at the part-time students who would go after full-time recruiting as it seemed like a loophole, but I understand that people have their reasons now that I am on the other side. In general, part-time students are less qualified, but those at the top of the range seem to be equally credentialed.

    So yes, it is possible, but these are outlier situations. The original poster should not attempt to take this route, but I wanted to clear that up for those who may have thought these people do not exist on wall street.

  • Whiskey5's picture

    soccerguy you are fucking clueless. stop talking

  • In reply to MD8
    angelinajolie's picture

    MD8:
    Need to jump back in here.

    Yes, it is possible to break in from a part-time program. I have seen investment banking associates that attended part-time programs at Stern, Booth and Kellogg.

    At school we used to get annoyed at the part-time students who would go after full-time recruiting as it seemed like a loophole, but I understand that people have their reasons now that I am on the other side. In general, part-time students are less qualified, but those at the top of the range seem to be equally credentialed.

    So yes, it is possible, but these are outlier situations. The original poster should not attempt to take this route, but I wanted to clear that up for those who may have thought these people do not exist on wall street.

    @MD8-you seem to know your stuff...what do you think about people who work in an industry and want to make a transition into the same industry but a different capacity? many of the people here are engineers in energy and want to go into IBD energy/MBB energy groups....what do you think? huge transition?

  • In reply to angelinajolie
    Macroecon's picture

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