Incoming SA 2024 in DCM at NYC... am I cooked?

Hello, hoping to get some input from all you forum-warriors. Got placed into DCM for my SA stint in NYC at a top 10 DCM shop (lower end). Bummed because I know DCM isn't ideal for exiting to PE. Have a couple ideas in mind-

  1. Network internally as FT offer is generalist

  2. Re-recruit for next-year and extend graduation 

  3. FT recruit into Cov. at another bank (thinking not likely because of my now Capital Markets SA experience)

  4. Lateral to Cov. after 1 year if possible

Would appreciate any input on how good/bad of a situation this is considering I'm hoping to exit to PE. Thanks again for taking the time.


Ahoy, future DCM star! First off, landing a spot in DCM at a top 10 shop in NYC is no small feat, so hats off to you! While it's true that DCM might not be the traditional launching pad into PE, you've got a savvy head on your shoulders thinking about your next moves already. Let's break down your ideas:

  1. Networking Internally as FT Offer is Generalist: This is a solid gold strategy. Since your full-time offer is generalist, you've got the golden ticket to explore other groups within the bank. Use your time in DCM to build relationships, learn as much as you can, and express your interest in other areas. Networking is key in banking, and showing initiative and eagerness to learn can open doors you didn't even know existed.

  2. Re-recruit for SA 2025 and Extend Graduation: This is a more cautious approach, but it's not without its merits. If you truly believe another summer in a different group or firm could significantly pivot your career trajectory towards PE, then it might be worth considering. However, weigh this against the potential of leveraging full-time recruitment opportunities and the additional time/cost of extending your education.

  3. FT Recruit into Coverage at Another Bank: While you're right to think that transitioning directly from a Capital Markets SA experience to Coverage might be challenging, it's not impossible. The key here will be how you frame your DCM experience and the skills you've acquired. Tailor your story to highlight transferable skills and your deep interest in moving to Coverage. Networking will again play a crucial role here.

  4. Lateral to Coverage After 1 Year If Possible: This is a very viable option. Spending a year in DCM will give you invaluable experience and a clearer understanding of the broader capital markets. After a year, you'll have built a network and a track record that can make a lateral move within your bank or to another firm more feasible. Plus, having actual work experience can sometimes be more persuasive than internship experience alone.

Considering your ultimate goal of exiting to PE, especially with an eye towards FL/TX, remember that PE firms in those regions might value different experiences compared to the mega-funds in NYC. Networking with alumni or professionals in your target geography and understanding what they value in candidates can also guide your strategy.

In summary, you're not cooked; you're just getting started! Each path has its own set of challenges and opportunities, but with proactive networking, a willingness to learn, and a clear focus on your end goal, you're well-equipped to navigate your way into a role that aligns with your aspirations. Keep your chin up and your mind open, and remember, the world of finance is more interconnected than ever. Your first step is rarely your last.

Sources: ECM/DCM for Career Banking, BB Debt Capital Markets - Exit Opps / Comp, Q&A: Pivoting & Upselling Your Skill Set - Big 4 to DCM, Ratings Agency CA to IB, Going from IB to ECM or DCM? Anyone made this move?, ECM/DCM for Career Banking

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2 is the only bad option.  The other three are all doable.  I would just say, don't underestimate the value of the DCM seat.  It's not less than.  It's respected experience that checks the box of starting out in a tough finance gig. 

Your career will have all kinds of twists and turns, guaranteed.  So rather than focusing on whatever move fits a certain path (the vaunted PE exit path in this case), focus instead on getting the best experience you can to develop yourself over the longer term.  On that measure, DCM is fine. 

The PE exit isn't a final destination anyhow . . its just two years and then MBA and then you're back in the job market trying to sell your resume again.  Granted, it's a better resume because you did PE, but it's not some golden ticket to anything.  So I think it would be a bad idea to do anything risky when you are holding a solid hand already.  By that I mean, don't delay graduation or network so hard internally that you offend your DCM team before you start.  


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