A T10 Mba 1st year student. Female. Trying to get Investment Banking internship. Please advise.

A T10 Mba 1st year student. Female. Tech background before Mba. Trying to get into Investment Banking. Location Agnostic. Got traction from some banks but could not clear the technical round/ Superday interview. Where all can I apply now? How can I use Dec to save my IB dream?

P.S. - Please comment on the post only if you have useful and positive advice. Thanks!

 

Disagree with this, may be a poor choice of words, but OP’s exp warrants an Associate role. 
- He/she has significantly greater maturity than entry-level analysts

- Won’t be as teachable as a fresh head in an entry level position

-Have better management and communication skills 

That said, it’s not frequent to go from non business to IB Europe. Someone at my firm made a similar move to Analyst 3. Obviously starting below his level but he’s now actually sourcing as an associate (ie single handedly brought several clients) - his circumstances are a bit different though and you shouldn’t be expected to source. 

 

Why do you even want to go to IB? I'm a European (German) and I find this US MBA associate model of "working at a corporate job and then joining an IB as an associate" so damm weird. How is that supposed to even work out. I interned in IB and have loads of friends in IB and most who went that route did tons of corp fin internships (i.e. B4 transaction advisory, MM banking, PE, BB banking) before even landing a full time analyst stint. Then being completely grinded to the bone incl. weekend work almost as standard for 3-4 years before being promoted to assoc (well most leave before). 

What I am trying to say: the banking assocs I know live and breath finance since their late teenage years and have dedicated almost their whole adult life working in finance. How tf does the US model work where some people with "tech background, cannot clear technical round" join an IB as an associate?

 

because the entire idea behind an MBA in the US is to network, and this doesn't apply to your promotion class, but also to past promotions (you reach someone and say 'Hey we were in the same MBA with 3 years difference, let's meet' and they will mostly agree), this means that those guys, once they reach senior roles, will be able to bring more business because of those relationships. In Europe there isn't the same grind in bringing business and is seen more as a corporate job even at higher ends, it's less dealmaking-focused, that's also why EU/UK MDs comp is lower relatively to the US. 

to expand more, there are high chances that one of your classmates from your T7 MBA class will build a successful business, so they'll come at you when they may plan an IPO/M&A if you maintain the relationship, but in Europe that's hard to imagine. In Europe people do an MBA because they want a cushy corporate job. Is a totally different mindset and culture. Further, in the US MBAs are usually pursued by veterans, people that want to pivot from other industries, etc., so it's more versatile in backgrounds and there are higher chances for those people to get into different industries. In Europe, on the contrary, MBAs are pursued by people that are already wealthy or people that also come from an Economics/Finance background just do it to break into IB/Consulting, meaning that it's extremely homogeneous in backgrounds and maybe less useful because you already build relationships with people from those industries by simply working in the field.

I always advised to Europeans that want an MBA to do it in the US, Europe is a big no for me.

 

Ok, figured that would be the issue. 

Going to assume your T10 is Haas. The West Coast offices recruitment timeline is slightly later, so you may still have time get in a SF or LA office (more advisory/MM versus full service that tend to do a central superday/general offer and then placement in spring). NY may be too late now unless you already have traction and they haven't finalized invite only events. Charlotte or Chicago may also still be possible, but less likely to have Tech coverage groups. I would be checking with you second-years about what they know, who haven't had superdays or finalized their invites. You should know which banks aren't sponsoring by now, so that would isolate where to focus your efforts and which offices. As noted, you networked enough to get technicals and superdays, so between remaining networking I would be drilling technicals and doing as many mocks as you can, incorporating the feedback. 

If you don't have any ongoing leads after winter break I would begin to screen some smaller boutiques close to your program,work with career svs for some help and try to find a touchpoint. List in your outreach you're an international -- 'Afternoon ___, I am an international MBA candidate at ____ interested in...' to save time if they will not sponsor. If nothing has materialized toward mid-end of January, I'd begin to pivot and just hope some banks re-open additional spots in their summer programs.

 
Funniest

Male. As2 in PE. MM. Undergrad at semi-target. Advice: learn how to use the search function and write like a human. Transmission over.

 

You got traction but did not clear the technicals. That would mean your Dec is best spent expanding your internship search, perhaps outside the high profile banks, while strengthening your technical skills. Needing a visa sponsor puts you at a disadvantage.

 

Not clearing Superday is one thing - as it is more about fit with the group, but not clearing technicals is a whole another story.

Your December needs to be spent with having gratitude, drilling on technicals, and networking like a maniac with humility. 

 

All right, if you haven’t already turned bitter basis the comments above, here’s my 2 cents

As far as summer associate intern at a top 10-15 bank goes, that’s out of your hands now, ‘23 was by far one of the toughest years for recruiting and with the season more or less over, fluke luck is the only hope (not a plan), keep your eyes and ears open for rumours on any spots opening due to people reneges or some thing else

Now your best bet is regional / sector boutiques (I don’t mean EVR or Moe co) who are generally more open to hearing out from a t10 (you mention of t10 makes me think you are not a M7) vs a M7, typical examples are clearsight advisors, growthpoint partners, union sq advisors, Berkeley Noyce etc.

Let’s say ur at one of these - Dartmouth, NYU, Duke, UVA, UCLA, Haas etc. - (great schools!) Many regional boutiques have a special relationship with these regional schools (either because the founder or a senior banker is from there) and are more open to hearing you out. It’s for you to research basis ur geo / sector, Also note recruiting will be on cold until Feb end; March end will be a good time for aggressive reach out (esp to alumni)

now they may ask awkward questions like why here and not baml, what happened during sept/oct cycle ?
up to you to be smart about answering that (after all ur a MBA and deserve a ASO)

Some ppl find a cozy balance with these boutique while some use it as a spring board for FT recruiting later on

Forget doing this out of US (if you think cracking London would be easier) the dynamics are very different across the pond

Alternatively do corp fin, corp dev, strategic finance, boutique consulting, big4 IB - can also spring board from these - know plenty of juniors who did this

Last but not the least, if you cudn clear technicals in regular cycle, buck up during the December break, you have work to do…

Am a bit surprised (have done campus recruiting for multiple years from many campuses, ignore the title), cause as a female, esp from a campus hiring perspective, you have all the advantages and special quotas being given to you in IB recruiting these days (no offense, or may be get offended, I don’t care, it is what it is today), and if you crashed, you have lot more work to do than the median candidate

If the above doesn’t stroke the fire in your belly, I don’t know what will

 

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