11/23/12

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.

Comments (37)

11/22/12

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.

The WSO Advantage - Investment Banking

Financial Modeling Training

IB Templates, M&A, LBO, Valuation +

IB Interview Prep Pack

30,000+ sold & REAL questions.

Resume Help from Actual IB Pros

Land More IB Interviews.

Find Your Perfect IB Mentor

Realistic IB Mock Interviews.

11/22/12

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

11/22/12

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.

11/22/12

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...

11/22/12

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

11/22/12

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.

11/22/12

oh. one more question. which ones pay better? I-Banking, portfolio mgmt or equity research?

11/22/12

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.

11/22/12

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

11/22/12

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.

The WSO Advantage - Investment Banking

Financial Modeling Training

IB Templates, M&A, LBO, Valuation +

IB Interview Prep Pack

30,000+ sold & REAL questions.

Resume Help from Actual IB Pros

Land More IB Interviews.

Find Your Perfect IB Mentor

Realistic IB Mock Interviews.

11/22/12

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

11/22/12

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).

11/22/12

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.

11/22/12

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.

11/22/12

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

11/23/12

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

Capitalist

11/23/12

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.

11/23/12
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?

11/23/12
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.

11/23/12
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

11/23/12
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?

11/23/12
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?

11/23/12
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.

11/23/12
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?

11/23/12

@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.

11/23/12
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

11/23/12
angelinajolie:
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

Most part-time programs don't publish acceptance rates, but i heard that booth's is around 50%.

Part of the reason HR does this is convenience, as the poster above articulated. But also, they have complete confidence that the top full-time programs are accepting the most impressive young professionals from all across the world. Fairly or unfairly, the perception is that part-timers don't have what it "takes," which is why they had to attend pt programs.

11/23/12

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.

11/23/12
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?

11/23/12
angelinajolie:

@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?

Industry/sector experience can be helpful, but to be honest it's really not the most important thing. People always start talking about their experience in healthcare, technology, energy, etc. as a reason for wanting to join a certain coverage group, but we really just want to bring in the best people regardless of their background.

It helps to have an interest in your coverage area in order to read through filings and research, but analysts/associates are not expected to have industry expertise coming in as this is something that develops over time.

Primary role is to function as an investment banker, not to be an industry expert. Hence, using this experience as the basis for lateraling into a group would likely not be enough. We would rather hire someone with a banking/finance background than an energy background.

11/23/12
MD8:

Industry/sector experience can be helpful, but to be honest it's really not the most important thing. People always start talking about their experience in healthcare, technology, energy, etc. as a reason for wanting to join a certain coverage group, but we really just want to bring in the best people regardless of their background.

It helps to have an interest in your coverage area in order to read through filings and research, but analysts/associates are not expected to have industry expertise coming in as this is something that develops over time.

Primary role is to function as an investment banker, not to be an industry expert. Hence, using this experience as the basis for lateraling into a group would likely not be enough. We would rather hire someone with a banking/finance background than an energy background.

^^^ This is very true.
You can spin your industry experience as the reason to join a specific group, but in the bigger picture it does not matter much for hiring into junior positions.

11/23/12

soccerguy you are fucking clueless. stop talking

11/23/12

Your main problem is immigration. If your future GC is EBGC, you need more than 2 years (probably around 3), since if you jump ship right away, you run the risk of your GC being revoked when you will try to apply for citizenship 5 years later (since GC is done for your current position/occupation, you need to work in that capacity for a while after GC is granted). If it's FBGC, you are fine.

After you are done with immigration, full time MBA from one of the top schools should help. Part time - maybe, but lower odds.

Then your age will be a problem, since you will be 35 when you are done with GC and MBA - borderline passable for Associate positions.

Do you have a graduate degree? You can try your luck with an experienced hire route at MBB without an MBA (even though an MBA would help a lot).

11/23/12

Thank you both, very helpful. Does this thought process also hold true for consulting?

11/23/12

Thank you both, very helpful. Does this thought process also hold true for consulting?

11/23/12

To unlock this content for free, please login / register below.

Connecting helps us build a vibrant community. We'll never share your info without your permission. Sign up with email or if you are already a member, login here Bonus: Also get 6 free financial modeling lessons for free ($200+ value) when you register!

What's Your Opinion? Comment below:

Login or register to get credit (collect bananas).
All anonymous comments are unpublished until reviewed. No links or promotional material will be allowed. Most comments are published within 24 hours.
WallStreet Prep Master Financial Modeling