Holding Out For A Front Office Position?

Here's the deal - I completed undergrad in 2008. Top-25 school, 3.5, varsity athlete, ran a successful business in college. Last December I passed CFA Level I.

Right now I work in a dead end job. It's financial reporting, nobody has ambition or has gotten raises in forever, and 2 of my coworkers didn't even go to college. Literally, it's a bunch of soccer moms and they are all (including my boss) lifers.

This week I got passed over for a Front Office position in Asset Management (I made it to the final round). A friend of mine says he can get me into the door of a BB for credit risk management - they really need people and my skillset fits their need exactly. My comp would be higher (40%+ all in), and the people I'd be working with would be much smarter than my current coworkers. The exit opportunities would be much better as well, but not Front Office. I would not be working with Traders or PMs, but I'd be working with Research Analysts - I don't want to do research.

Obviously I want to be in a Front Office position, but I am reaching that dreaded 2 years of experience, after which, I wouldn't be considered for any entry level analyst roles in the Front Office. Should I take the risk management position if offered? Or should I hold off for a Front Office position? I interviewed and made it to the final round for the one I just got dinged for, so I do believe that I am a competitive candidate for Front Office positions.

Also note that I just started my current position in February and it may look like I would be job hopping if I went from Position 1 --> Current Position --> BB Position, and then applied for a Front Office position all within a year. On the other hand, the economy is improving, so maybe I can land a Front Office position after all!

Comments (15)

Jun 11, 2010 - 11:13pm
Recap, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Can't you work for this firm and apply for FT roles at the same time?

Jun 11, 2010 - 11:14pm
cc2210, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I would definitely interview for it. The economy and job market aren't getting any better. At worst, you can apply to a top bschool and get BB position after

Jun 11, 2010 - 11:50pm
AndyPettitteIsGreat, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I wouldn't want to get this role just to leave for the Front Office 5 months later.

Although it is logical (I guess?), it is job hopping, and ruins my friend's reputation with his superiors. ("You brought this guy on and he leaves in 5 months! How can we trust your judgment?!") I don't want to ruin this relationship since this guy has helped me a lot over the past, with respect to being a reference and career advice.

Jun 12, 2010 - 5:47am
isic, what's your opinion? Comment below:
AndyPettitteIsGreat:
I wouldn't want to get this role just to leave for the Front Office 5 months later.

Although it is logical (I guess?), it is job hopping, and ruins my friend's reputation with his superiors. ("You brought this guy on and he leaves in 5 months! How can we trust your judgment?!") I don't want to ruin this relationship since this guy has helped me a lot over the past, with respect to being a reference and career advice.

yeah i know how it feels like,

if u do take the job, just pray that your friend will leave before you get a FO position..

Jun 12, 2010 - 12:01am
Recap, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm not advocating walking all over your friend's reputation, but you have to also think about yourself in this situation. Banks win and lose people all the time, like an above poster said. They can easily replace people.

Jun 12, 2010 - 7:20am
JohnnyCage, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Honestly you should jump ship. Best case- you lateral to a FO spot within the firm or leave to another respected firm. Worst case- you work 1-2 years at BB and boost your B-School all the while making contacts at your new BB.

Risk managent is respected don't kid yourself. You will have viable exits opportunities, probably much better than the (soccer) mom and pop joint you're at now

Jun 12, 2010 - 8:23am
Hmmmmm, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I agree with above posters that you should jump ship instead of counting on something may or may not happen. You either work in risk management for 1-2 years and go to b-school or jump ship again to an FO. Both much better places than the current one.

Jun 12, 2010 - 8:36am
BashPolley, what's your opinion? Comment below:
AndyPettitteIsGreat:
Here's the deal - I completed undergrad in 2008. Top-25 school, 3.5, varsity athlete, ran a successful business in college. Last December I passed CFA Level I.

Right now I work in a dead end job. It's financial reporting, nobody has ambition or has gotten raises in forever, and 2 of my coworkers didn't even go to college. Literally, it's a bunch of soccer moms and they are all (including my boss) lifers.

How did you end up stuck in this situation with uneducated colleagues in the first place?

Definitely interview for the position and apply for bschool. Don't let yourself get stuck in this situation for any longer than you have to.

Best Response
Jun 12, 2010 - 12:22pm
AndyPettitteIsGreat, what's your opinion? Comment below:
BashPolley:

How did you end up stuck in this situation with uneducated colleagues in the first place?

Took an IT internship at the end of Junior Year, decided I didn't want to do IT, graduated in a recession. I didn't even know what the differences / career paths / comp / exit opps were between FO and BO until during my IT internship. Also, when it came time for fall OCR, my GPA was a 3.3 due to health issues. Took a bunch of easy classes my senior year to boost it up. Firms were cutting back on OCR at my school during 2007, one BB who usually had 5-6 analyst positions open for Trading only had 1, and gave it to a masters student.

Jun 12, 2010 - 12:53pm
Blank999, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Ill tell you right now. I have referred people and all I care about is if they stay long enough for me to get paid my referral bonus. After that do as you please. Take the credit job, make more money and keep networking. Best case you break into IB and you are happy. Worst case, you make more money and build your resume for a top 10 MBA.

  • 1
Jun 13, 2010 - 7:51pm
AndyPettitteIsGreat, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Maybe it is, maybe it isn't - I've only done it for two companies, none of which were F500:

Company 1: Good experience, terrible exit ops. You get called by headhunters for jobs in...financial reporting. I did learn a shitload because there was no formal training program and had to teach everything to myself. Company 2: Current company, see above.

I have yet to work with someone who graduated from a top-50 school (exception: 2 people from NYU).

After a while, I just automate everything in Excel, and my bosses are (and were) scared of giving me more because they knew that their jobs could be in jeopardy.

Jun 13, 2010 - 10:39pm
proforma, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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