PWM your sophomore year to IBD junior year....an argument for working for free?IB
Its been about a week since I got my BB IBD offer and I have been reflecting on it and trying to process it all. It was definitely an uphill battle coming from a non-target and I've been trying to pinpoint the single most important thing I did on my journey to get the offer.
I really think the best decision I made was working with a no-name PWM firm for free.
Obviously, if you are a rockstar and get some sort of banking internship your sophomore year disregard, but I think when it comes to working for Smith Barney, UBS, (insert big name PWM firm) vs working with even a single independent financial advisor, the no name wins hands down.
Because I worked for free with one guy, I think that I got a far more meaningful experience. When I sat down for the first time with the guy he said something to the effect of, "I cant pay you and want a serious commitment from you to boot....what can I possibly offer your." I told him that I wanted to have meaningful experiences I could talk about in my interviews next summer. He agreed and this is exactly what I got. I talked about the experience in almost every single interview and I could tell every interviewer was relatively impressed by the experience. Its far easier to talk about takeaways when you ACTUALLY had a meaningful experience (ie basic modeling, sitting in on client meetings, making recommendations that were actually implemented).
When I talked to my friends who worked at UBS or Smith Barney, they said all they ended up doing was building portfolios, filling out paper work, and even doing janitorial work at times. Now obviously I am biased and this is only a small sample of people that I have talked to, but I feel like other people may have had similar experiences working with the "big name" pwm firms.
So what do you guys think? Am I completely off base when I say working for the big guys in PWM leaves one without meaningful takeaways to talk about ? In my mind, working for free gives you the leverage to DEMAND meaningful tasks.
my 2 cents.
**My lease on campus included summer months as well which made working for free essentially cost me nothing in return**