Keep Dream-Chasing or Network Out of BO? Goal is ER.

I'm a recent finance graduate from a "non-target" with a 4.0 GPA. I've had a WM internship at a BB in NYC and also worked part time at my school's endowment fund doing ER for the portfolio. I was the only person at the WM internship to get a return offer, which I turned down because I knew I wanted to pursue research roles. For the last year, I applied to any relevant job posting that didn't require experience and got 3 interviews (a boutique HF, a MM FoF and a top consulting firm (MBB). In each scenario, I was able to make it to the final round and was passed up. Feedback said I was a perfect cultural fit with strong work ethic, but it came down to tiny details and my lack of real-world experience that held me back. After all of the time I've invested applying and getting through interview processes, I am now 4 months out of school with no job and no research interviews lined up. My connections at the BB have offered me again to come back, but for a BO role.

My question is, do I go for the BO role, take the CFA® (which I was already planning on, just wanted sponsorship), internally network like crazy and try to make the jump? I want to keep following my passion, but I am afraid that if I go through another interview process and get passed up again, I will then be 5-6 months out of school in the same situation I'm in today. I am confident in my ability to work hard and do whatever it takes to get out of BO as fast as possible, but I also know how rare it is and don't want to pigeonhole myself.

Anyone have a similar situation or have any advice for what my best move would be? Much appreciated.

Comments (6)

Sep 30, 2019 - 5:11pm
WSO Monkey Bot, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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  • Intern in Other
Oct 2, 2019 - 10:08pm

Have you been reaching out directly to research analysts/associates even if the firm doesn't have a current opening? Even if they don't - your name will come up when a spot opens up.

Also you do realize that you can still apply for positions that say something like 1-3 years experience. It sounds like based on your post you may not applying to roles that say a couple years experience needed.

To me it sounds like you have good enough experience for an entry level research role. As long as you have a good pitch and aren't constraining your search geographically you should do alright.

  • Intern in Other
Oct 3, 2019 - 10:43am

I guess to answer your question more directly, if you have networked extensively and already reached out to all the research shops - bank and non bank, then I would just take what you can get at this point considering how long you have been done with school.

Most Helpful
Oct 4, 2019 - 12:37pm
moose197, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Appreciate your response. I have reached out and had conversations with a handful of current analysts/associates, but i suppose there is always more I could be doing. Most of the time they will ignore you, but some are willing to hop on the phone, when I can ask them about ways to improve my interview/ask questions about their role, etc. However, most of them also say, if you can't land a role right away, try to work somewhere that has a vaguely similar focus and then leverage that and apply again after you have a year (and maybe Level I) under your belt. I have not been applying to roles requiring 1-3 years because I feel my modeling isn't superior and figure the competition would have an instant clear leg up (as I've missed those previous 3 opportunities for lack of experience). But I agree that it can't hurt right? And yes, I'm willing to work anywhere in the US and have been applying accordingly.

My connections at the BB know where I want to be and just want to get me in the door before there's a considerable gap in my resume. I feel that they will help me get there, but can't say for certain just yet.

I'll continue to apply/network and also start the BO interview process and see what it comes down to. Thanks again for your response, really appreciate the feedback!

Oct 23, 2019 - 2:22pm
TequityResearch, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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