Should I accept full-time at GS/MS/JPM or pursue a master's?

I recently finished an off-cycle internship at a large European office (think Paris/Frankfurt/Milan) at GS/MS/JPM and was given a full-time offer. My goal is to work at a leading growth equity or tech-focused PE fund in London. However, I am not sure that I would be able to recruit very well for PE positions in London if I did my banking stint at a European office. 


My original plan was to pursue a master's when I finish my bachelor's this summer and I've been accepted to LSE / LBS. The way I see I have a few options.


• Pursue the master's at LSE / LBS and focus all my efforts on 2024 full-time recruiting for growth equity / PE / IB in London 


• Accept the full-time offer and hope that recruiting for growth equity / PE in London works out


• Accept the full-time offer and move to London after 1-2 years, either by internal mobility or by joining another bank


• Ask the bank if they would be willing to offer me a full-time position in London instead


Given my goal of ending up at a leading growth equity or tech-focused PE fund in London, what would be the best path forward?


 

I'm very glad to hear that. How difficult is it compared to recruiting from London? Is it possible to reach leading funds or only less reputable funds? The office I would be joining full-time is a very strong office for this bank. It's their strongest office in Europe after London. 

 
Most Helpful
  • Accept your offer work in your regional office for a couple of years, after that it should be very straightforward to move to London internally
  • The masters is a risky move, analyst position for Growth Equity are extremely limited and after the masters is very difficult that you get something better than JPM/GS
  • You can ask for a role in London, but they will not offer you simply because the London team doesn’t know you
 

Thanks for the input! I would recruit for IB, PE, and growth equity if I decided to do the masters. I figure that I will have a pretty strong profile with LSE / LBS + internship at GS / MS / JPM and thus be well positioned for recruiting. Meanwhile, as you say it would be very difficult to get anything better than what I currently have. PE analyst positions are extremely limited and many banks in London might just convert internships and skip FT recruiting if the economic situation continues to be bad. 

 

Iwould add my voice to the previous comments that you should accept full time.

1) It will not, in my view, be difficult to recruit for roles in London from Milan / Frankfurt / etc. with a strong bank brand name; you'll need to just reach out to recruiters and apply for roles and speak to the right people (which you'd be doing in London anyway).

2) it should also be possible to rotate internally within one of these larger banks to London (assuming that all your internal reviews are robust).

3) Doing a Masters does not guarantee a future role; on the contrary, those reviewing your CV at face value might interpret your non-return as a non-offer. It adds uncertainty in my opinion, unnecessarily.

 

Many thanks for the detailed reply. I think I'll go ahead and accept the offer as recruiting in London might not be as difficult as I thought. I also agree with you that recruiting for FT positions does pose a pretty large risk that I end up with something worse in London, especially given the current market for recruiting. 

 

Think folks are missing the fact that you are European. If this were the US, I'd say it's an easy decision (take the full time offer).

My understanding was that almost everyone in finance in Europe typically do 3 year bachelor + 1-2 year masters and basically get school out of the way. I work at a UMM PE fund and most of them have MSc in Finance/Management from schools like HEC, Bocconi, etc. Will not having a masters degree hinder your longer-term career outlook?  

 

You're right. A master's is very common in Europe. I don't think that not having a master's will hinder my long-term career outlook, but I do think that the LSE / LBS brand name would benefit me long-term as I'm doing my bachelor's at a non-target. 

 

Accept the offer. I'm pretty sure that you can get into GE/PE from an IB background. Even if it doesn't end up happening, you still can fall back on your IB job. On the contrary, if the Master's degree and recruitment don't end up going as you expected, then not only you have lost 2 years of income (+ education and rent costs), but you may also have trouble recruiting again for a BB. So I don't see much potential upside to justify the risk.

All comments seem to agree on that because it's the most reasonable decision, but I understand, receiving an acceptance from LBS or LSE is an experience/opportunity/accomplishment that doesn't happen every day. The fact that you're thinking about doing the Master's is perfectly understandable, but it wouldn't be a rational move.

 

It seems my view is rather contrarian. 

I would suggest you pursue the masters. My thinking is based on personal experience of working in a firm / location I didn't actually want to be in and it made me miserable which inevitably affected performance. I ended up completing the mfa at LBS and got into the position I wanted upon graduating. Of course my scenario is not guranteed but I feel life is too short to do shit you don't want to. 

Good luck!

 

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