Tech Sales --> MBA --> IB?

Hi all. I'm 26 and I'm an Account Executive working for a cyber security company, in Europe. I worked for Gartner also, as an Account Manager, previously (it's a high profile consulting/research tech firm). I have a Master's in Management & Finance and a Bachelor's in Economics with Politics from two well-respected UK universities.

Total yoe: 2.

I'm feeling let down by tech sales, the WFH culture and the general boredom that comes with the role is catching up to me. Money is great, but I'm just very, very bored, and finance is a huge interest of mine.

In short, I wanted advice on following the MBA path to IB in Europe (London, ideally). However, I don't know if my previous work experience can be considered relevant enough? Especially in Europe, where I understand MBA hiring is not as big as in the US (but please feel free to correct me on this).

Any advice/insight is sincerely appreciated. Thanks a lot.

Comments (23)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 12, 2022 - 11:56am

You don't want a repetitive role but you're aiming for IB...?

My brother in Christ, please.

Aug 12, 2022 - 11:57am
Wondfullo, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I should have edited that. Repetitiveness of life. Working from a desk at home. Eating fucking sandwiches. I need human contact - I need to wear suits to feel good about myself and I need to flirt with the secretary across the hall like Jim and Pam, my faithful brother. Or I'm gonna get depressed and start writing philosophy books none cares about. (Nobody wants that believe me)

Most Helpful
Aug 12, 2022 - 12:47pm
StreetofBulls, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Group dependent, but you can expect to be fairly involved as a paper pusher / execution monkey until a mid-senior VP. My take based on your post is your understanding of IB is very rudimentary / abstract. You like the $$$ and the idea of being a salesman as a senior banker (given some parallels with your previous job), but don't have a fundamental understanding of what the business entails.

Any sales role requires you to be well-versed in the product / service you're pushing to a potential client - you should know this as well as anyone. As a coverage banker, not only do you need to know like the back of your hand the various products the bank has to offer (M&A/ECM/DCM/corporate banking/etc.), but also be able to speak to them in regular dialogue with clients / on pitches when you may not have a product banker on. Furthermore, you need a strong grasp of the industry you cover as well as the key constituents, their M&A / capital markets strategy, etc. All of this comes with reps and time in the seat, and arguably is 10x tougher than selling tech where you're only dealing with one (or a suite of) inanimate products / services.

I'm not trying to knock on your ambitions, but I think you need a reality check in terms of how much work is involved to get into the MD / sales role in IB. IB is an apprenticeship career, and given you don't have previous finance / transactional experience you can expect to start from the ground up as a XLS / PPT monkey (basically as an analyst). If you can't demonstrate that you're able to do the analysis / process execution well, you won't get promoted - full stop. Whether you're willing to grind out the next 5-10 years to get to a position of actually starting to be in a sales role is totally up to you.

Aug 12, 2022 - 3:40pm
NahFAM69, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You ever thought about S&T ?? You could work in Sales on a great desk and rake it in!!! 

Aug 12, 2022 - 3:53pm
Wondfullo, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I did!.. but isn't that very technical stuff? And wouldn't I need an MBA anyways?

I ask cause I never heard of anyone transitioning from Tech Sales to S&T. But, for sure, that'd be a great path

Aug 12, 2022 - 4:03pm
Wondfullo, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Maybe you have desks which you think are relevant to my exp. to suggest me?

Aug 12, 2022 - 6:56pm
NahFAM69, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Usually it's the other way around. After people  gain some viable experience, they usually move to Fintech startups and crush it. I would choose a MBA program in NYC, so you can heavily network with people and go from there. I know several firms  love ex-military. 

Aug 15, 2022 - 10:01am
DatesExcelModels, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Have you thought about getting some SQL and/or Python skills under your belt and moving to an analyst role? I did sales --> Sales Ops --> Data Science in big tech. Being a business person that can work with data properly (which requires at least SQL) opens a ton of doors to more interesting work.

Feel free to DM me if you want advice on how to learn SQL.

  • 1
Sep 22, 2022 - 3:36am
DatesExcelModels, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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