Aiming for not NYC?

Currently a junior at a target school (in the NE) for IB, realizing more and more that I don't like NYC. Internships/grades/clubs all align, assuming I continue w the grind I would expect to end up at a BB/EB, ideally LevFin or Industrials group are my favorites. All my friends have similar goals, IB/PE/MBB in NYC, but I'm starting to doubt the path.

I'm from a mid-size city in the South, and I love the lifestyle: big house, country club, low taxes, no visible poverty. This is gonna be a controversial opinion, but the more I go to the city, the more I hate it, specifically Chicago, NYC, SF, LA, literally the main hubs for IB. I want to end up in DFW, Houston, Charlotte, Miami, or Tampa, or most ideally, a smaller city in one of those areas, think Jackson, Birmingham, Asheville, Charleston, maybe even my hometown (though, closest thing to finance there is my local money-from-the-teller bank, lol.)

What would be the best course of action for me? Should I target one of those offices from the start, or do my analyst stint in NYC and then start targeting the buy-side or smaller shops to get in as an associate, or even just wait until VP and try to lateral? 

The main factors here would be 1. maximizing comp: I understand comp will be in line with where I live, but still looking to maximize.

  1. my friends will be in NY (granted I doubt we'll have much time during our analyst stints to hang): Being from a NE school, NYC is the dream for most of my friends, so they'll probably stick around, maybe migrate to surrounding areas but definitely not S/SE as they go to buyside. And, if I have to leave, I'd prefer not to have to uproot myself at age 30 and be some weird friendless dude trying to mingle, would want to leave now and give myself time to develop friendships.

  2. parents want me to find a "nice, educated, Christian girl": I have a few years on this one, but still a consideration. NYC's nightlife is top-tier, but in the long run, doubtful that a smart girl in NYC would want to move to the South, she probably moved to NYC with the purpose of living the lifestyle, even if not in NYC, in Boston, Philly, DC, something like that. 

Do y'all have any thoughts on this? 

Comments (4)

Jan 16, 2022 - 8:48pm
Fast Starfish, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Follow what you want out of life. You said it yourself, you don't like NYC. Houston, Dallas, Charlotte, etc. are all good cities. Some firms even pay street comp at those cities.

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  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jan 16, 2022 - 9:01pm

I come from a similar background as you and ended up doing my analyst rotation and am currently working in a large city (not NYC). I guess I'll start and say nobody on here knows your situation, interests, etc. and can just tell you what to do with your life. I have plenty of friends that wanted to stay in the southeast and worked at respectable banks and then buyside firms in many of the cities you mention (DFW, Houston, Charlotte, Miami, Atlanta, Austin). So if that's what you want to do there are opportunities available. You will be hard pressed to find many opportunities in Birmingham, Asheville, Charleston, and your experience as well as future opportunities will be vastly different compared to bigger cities. Nothing wrong with those smaller cities, but if I were you, it sounds like you should try to target like a Dallas or Charlotte type city where you aren't engulfed by the big city hustle but are still around other young people and things to do. I'll just go out on a limb and say there's no such thing as "maximizing comp" and then choosing to live in Birmingham. Maybe we have different perceptions, but Bham is a shithole compared to other smaller cities I'd rather settle down in. If you want elite compensation and a wide range of opportunities, you'll likely need to be near or in a financial hub.

Jan 16, 2022 - 9:16pm
THROWAWAY1231312, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for your insight, probably will just stick it out in NYC for the analyst years, then target the southeast. When I think about it more, it might be nice to stick with the crowd for a bit while we're all still somewhat in the same place.

And you're probably right on Birmingham. Currently have done no research into their industries (focused my research on NYC like everyone else until now), mentioned it because I have fam down there that live like absolute kings, think gated community with lots of toys. Granted, they're in the medical field which obviously has totally different opportunities than finance.

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jan 16, 2022 - 9:18pm

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