15 yo want to get into IB

Always had an interest in finance but was considering going the engineering route because of the amount of hate IB gets in these forums. I recently met up with a family friend who is in PE and suggested me to join IB after discussing with me for a while. The pay seems good and you learn about different businesses day to day which is quite interesting. What could I do right now to make sure I succeed? What is my potenial for making money in this field?

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I'm going to be brutally honest with you -- that ship has already sailed. Most of the people who end up getting offers have been networking since ~7th grade. BB/EB banks hold info sessions at a select group of target high schools (think Exeter, Andover, Choate), usually on an invite-only basis from their shortlist of top candidates they've met with. If you're just having your first coffee chat now, I would recommend setting your sights on more realistic options (lower-tier boutiques, or maybe Big 4 accounting). Good luck.


Welcome to the current state of the world, it's fiercely competitive. Recruiting starts early. Banks lock in candidates 10 years in advance, locking in salaries unadjusted for the next decade of inflation. Anything to cut costs.

Become the best in the country and there's 10 men in China that are better. Start learning modeling now and reach out to MDs on LinkedIn for coffee chats. Don't let them know your parents drove you.


He's 15, so unfortunately Big 4 is also a sailed ship for him. If I were OP, I'll be extremely realistic with my situation and I'll start looking into plumbing or electrical wiring.


I really need help I’m losing focus and i actually think the boat has sailed. Many people are saying for the bulge brackets or the big 4 you need crazy connections ivy leauges and target school to get in please please help 


Ya just echoing above - honestly your best bet at this point is internal audit non big 4. Most ppl Ik have been networking since ~kindergarten and got into top feeders from there. I’m assuming if you’re just now asking about IB then you aren’t in that group. Maybe you can lateral later to Big 4…maybe. Sounds like IB isn’t really an option, but good luck anyway!

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Hey man. People on this forum feel entitled to be weirdly mean to young people who ask questions about this stuff. You will see a billion comments along the line of “just enjoy high school”, “get laid”, “touch grass” etc. Or just straight up troll posts like the one above.

Part of the reason is that working in IB isn’t like becoming a professional athlete, artist, etc. It’s not something you need to aspire to from a young age to achieve. Another part of the reason is that people who are overly into finance from a young age sometimes have misperceptions about how ‘cool’ the industry is or make their aspirations to work in finance the cornerstone of their identity. Not saying this is you - your post and questions are very reasonable. I’m just explaining why this forum is hostile to high schoolers.

The number 1 thing you can do for your career now is to focus on getting into a good college. That’s all you need to think about. Frankly, your job preferences are likely to change in the next 5-7 years before you get a full time job, and it sounds like you’re already considering engineering anyways. A quant major from a good school will give you optionality in both fields, so make that your goal. Maybe read a book or two on finance. Outside of that, just focus on being a well rounded person 


Can you help me network what am I supposed to do I’m 15 and want to get into IB and I’m stressing that I won’t get into an ivy and not enter the bulge brackets because I don’t have any personal connections

what do I do if I don’t make it to target schools 


Dont' listen to that other person. Not sure why that's a top comment because it's outright sarcastic.

Don't set your eyes on just money/IB. The world is your oyster. You're young and high school doesn't even matter. You'll come to learn that college doesn't either. Keep your net wide and think of other things to do outside of IB (like becoming a doctor or advancing technology or figuring out ways to improve healthcare). There's enough bankers in the world and all it does it make money out of money. I'm over it. Money can make you and loved ones happy but only temporarily. Make sure to pursue a degree and major in something truly interesting. Not just finance and making money


Never thought about the issues of not having a purposeful career. Your comment really put things into perspective. Thank you


Don't do it dude. Go the engineering route, I wish I did that. These types of junior finance jobs are on the chopping block because of AI. The pay is good but you can match the pay and have significantly better WLB if you do engineering. Ask yourself do you really need to make more than $500k to be happy, and do you need it so bad that you're willing to work MINIMUM 60 hour weeks for the rest of your life? if the answer is no then reconsider it. The work is also not as interesting as you make it out to be, you can see on this forum that you are doing nothing but mindless tasks in powerpoint and excel. Maybe you would still like finance despite all of this but I would recommend majoring in math/engineering etc and u can still go into finance if u felt like it (but not the other way around)


can you elaborate on what junior finance jobs are on the chopping block because of AI? sounds kind of ridiculous if you mean IB junior jobs.


Yes. IB junior jobs. Look at what Microsoft Copilot can do. It can create a themed powerpoint or word document with a click of a button. The technology is already there, and as it improves, one analyst will have the productivity of five and what do you think will happen then?


disagree with this. I studied engineering at a target in the UK and you will be working 40-50+ hour weeks working with the most nerdy uninspiring people, who struggle with social ineptitude. I can't say for certain but career path seems dead end.

I will admit I can't speak for IBD itself, but after being in finance for 6 years doing quant/risk/IM type roles definitely happy with the choice, yes the hours are longer, but the terminal salary is 10x the engineering terminal salary and you can retire much sooner.

The grass ALWAYS looks greener, and trust me, WFH 3/4 days a week seems great, I did it for years, its wasn't for me personally and I consider myself an introvert


On the contrary to what many here are saying, I started as a computer science major and transferred to a semi target, in tech IB now. It’s stepping stone for me to go to VC/get a top MBA to hopefully get into fascinating startups (that’s a long ways away). Going into this industry forced me to go from being socially inept and anxious to picking up all kinds of skills I know I otherwise would not have, so I’m grateful for that. Also it pays wells, so I can afford a nice lifestyle.

For the time being for you however, I’d tell you to do well in school, pursue hobbies and extracurriculars, make lots of quality friendships and have fun, and generally just grow into a well rounded and complete person. Enjoy time with your family and friends, and take some risks in life. Career stuff will come much later, but it’s nice that you’re thinking of it. Keep it in the back of your mind for now, though. Also don’t spend too much time on Reddit, Twitter, or WSO, etc. People these days online usually always just have extreme viewpoints. 


Just forget about IB for now and do well in school. That will open doors even if you change your mind about what you want to do. Get into a good college that sends kids to banking and pick it back up from there if you’re still interested. When I was 14 I wanted to be a lawyer, then I wanted to study English, then marine bio, finally ended up in econ by the time I was 18. Fortunately took some classes outside my major in college to scratch the other itches. Life is short just try to enjoy being young with few serious responsibilities. You have 60%+ of your life to work. But yes you can break into IB if it’s something you plan ahead for.


First you need pubes and then you need a college degree but just focus on the pubes part first. 


When I went into university I started off as a advertising major & nearly changed my major to history twice. I work at a EB now. You have time man enjoy your youth don’t think about til you get to college


What uni did you go to and what should I do if I don’t get into and ivy or a target school and have no connections with people in this industry. Do you think you could help 

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Study both engineering and finance…I did both, and it wasn’t too bad and has provided a lot of options and different conversations. Your goal at this point should be to get into a good target school. Focus on grades and extra curricular/charity work. Keep all of your options open. If you want to do more, take some online accounting and financial modeling courses. If you do that, you will be way ahead of them game. 


Starting pay right out of college is $500,000. You should be able to get to $10,000,000 by your 10 year mark if you are good. Hope this helps

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Yeah so meant to comment this -

Don’t listen to the discouragement. It’s good to have interests, even if they are career oriented. You don’t need to worry about IB technicals or something like that right now, worry about college.

At the same time, while you focus on grades/extra-curriculars/charity stuff for college, worry about making friends and trying to go to parties and stuff.

When one part of you life is lacking, it’s easy to just find something else to fill it. You want to be successful in IB/PE etc? Go to a good college and have good social skills. Right now there is the risk of becoming a bot, but push yourself to do the things that come less naturally like idk public speaking, sports, and making new friends.

I don’t want to make it sound like I think you’re socially inept. Maybe you are maybe you aren’t idk you. But if you are, focusing on that will help you a lot more than learning accounting right now. If you aren’t, focus on college and not letting tunnel vision make you so.


Just focus on marks for now, when you do get to the age of recruiting, you want to have a good story (or few) to tell about your younger years. You arent going to get them by sat on WSO at 15yo.

You will do well, King


I know y'all are joking but I heard that a certain NY MF has actually started sending people out to private high schools lmao


Yeah do something useful. Try to become a doctor or study engineering/CS. Learn how to code. Develop a hobby if you haven't already. Get really into a sport. Push yourself down a science route and do extracurriculars related to the medical/tech field and do one of those high school extrenships. If you realize by the time that you are 18/19 that you don't like any of those things then move over to finance. Once you do hopefully its early freshman year read books on valuation and different industries and start learning technicals and networking. As for college yes Harvard helps but realistically any US News top 25 college + UNC, UT Austin will be a fairly straightforward path into Investment banking. If you start early enough you can get into VC/PE out of undergrad so you have a lot of options. Good luck!