Is it worth it - Investment Banking Advice

Lateral thinking about coming into IB. Know it's not going to be a good fit and frankly don't want to get grinded 9a-1a Monday-Thursday, 9-9 Friday, and a whole Sunday. I could use the finance experience, but don't want to stick it out two years and if placed on a shitty team, not sure I could stomach a year given my last few years. Is it worth it for 6 months or should I try to move internally in big four finance transformation consulting to one of their strategy arms and then exit to Corp Dev, Strategic Finance or similar. Will 6 months do more harm than good or can I get out of there if it's unbearable? I'm sure I could get placed on a solid team and have a good experience, but I don't know till after placement and have never worked in IB. It sounds like some people have reasonable teams and hours, and sometimes isn't as fully encompassing as it's made out to be - though maybe they're in the minority.

Seen the threads of people being a slave to the CV and want to avoid that if it's as bad as some of the people on here make it out to be. The goal isn't to get MF PE or make a bag like most - just could probably use the deal experience to get to Corp dev or more interesting jobs

Given this mindset am I going to get cooked in this job or is a 6-month stint better than no stint?  Always viewed B school as a way to reset if I need it and don't want to have to slave to a CV to make it happen if it becomes unbearable. Ultimately not dying to do this I just think it could be useful and also trying to figure out if this is the type of job that if you don't have a burning passion to be there and do the two-year program you shouldn't even bother. Unsure given this sentiment and potential ramifications if I should avoid altogether.

Comments (9)

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Cov
Jun 29, 2022 - 11:25pm

Don't bother. 6 months will do you no good and everything in your post points to the fact that you'll be miserable in the role. You're either all in on IB (climb the ranks or hardo for PE) or you'll be miserable and become a slave to CV.

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  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Cov
Jun 30, 2022 - 12:04am

This is helpful to hear. So you don't think it's worth a try to see what it is like and that I could land into a group that's less demanding than the schedule listed above? I'm looking to break into Corp Dev and maybe get into VC one day, but definitely not looking to do traditional PE or rise up the ranks. In theory the job sounds pretty interesting and it's clearly the quickest route to what I want, but I could see myself being one of the OPs of the threads regretting they went into this if it becomes unbearable. Maybe I'm just psyching myself out, but definitely don't want to be in one of those situations if it's going to be career-ending. A lot of doors are closed for me right now and it's tough to want to take a Big Four consulting job over an IB job, but I think if I just outshine everyone else it's probably possible to move into strategy consulting and then access a lot of those same ops albeit it may take a year or two longer but a year or two of my life I'd be able to enjoy.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Cov
Jun 30, 2022 - 10:17am

The Big 4 gig I am looking at is pretty mediocre & irrelevant to what I want to do honestly, but I don't think it'd be too difficult to crush it and move into a Big 4 strategy arm and then access the Corp Dev/VC/Strategic Finance ops from there if I paint the right story. This path obviously isn't guaranteed. I was thinking if banking is as miserable as it is portrayed to be I make it till January 2023, log the 7 months (2 of which are training), and I find an exit better than Big Four and lock that in for a while. In this scenario, was thinking I could get the 2022-2023 on the resume and as long as I find my next job was thinking I might be okay. Is this still a stupid way to think about it and am I setting myself up to fail here?

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Cov
Jun 30, 2022 - 11:56am

Anyone have any additional insight/advice? Is my thought process one way or another pretty stupid?

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Cov
Jun 30, 2022 - 4:57pm

I assume this IB lateral opportunity would be your 2nd job out of school? What're you doing now?

Again, personally don't think people will give you any credit for doing 6 months at a shop and it's nothing less than a CV stain. I do sympathize with your goals of going into Strategy/CD/VC and if you're truly into that goal then IB will likely be better than some irrelevant Big 4 consulting role, but then you need to be willing to put in the time and grind it out like others.

Alternatively depending on your current CV I've seen people get into CD/CS/VC roles directly, without IB. You can try that as well if you really don't want to take your chances with IB.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Cov
Jun 30, 2022 - 5:05pm

Yep, I currently do Operations type work at a startup so both of these ops are pretty big step-ups for me from my current gig. I was thinking maybe the B4 consulting job could lead to a Big4 strategy arm job which could maybe get me to CD/CS/VC with the safety of knowing there's not a chance I leave my job after 6 months or get a really shitty situation. All in all, is naive to assume IB as a A1 could be on average a 9a-10/11p Mon-Thur, 9a-7p Friday, and a few hours on the weekend? Obviously varies by group/team and per week but in terms of an average, is it typically worse than this? And then as someone who hasn't done IB and made the ridiculously large leap from Ops to IB, you still think a July-January (2022-2023) could stain my CV and I couldn't write it off with I wanted to try finance and it ended up being a lot worse than I expected?

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Cov
Jun 30, 2022 - 5:12pm

I suppose you could write it off if it was your 2nd job out of school. But why even start a job if you think it'll likely be a write off within 6 months? Just remember you'll have to tell this leg of the story in all of your interviews in the foreseeable future. People may understand but again, no one's gonna give you credit for it. 6 months of exp is nothing, I'd stick it out a year at least. Also are you sure you can't leverage your current exp to go directly where you want to go? 

RE: hours yea first year is pretty bad, for me personally I worked until 3-4am pretty often, 1am sleeping was considered "early" lol. 2nd year gets a lot better though. YMMV teams vary as you said but sellside m&a analyst life isn't supposed to be easy, you get what you sign up for.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Cov
Jun 30, 2022 - 5:28pm

Yeah my job right now is a dead end. I think the story of hey I worked at a startup then got some finance exposure and if it's really that bad write it off as "I tried it and got the job from my position", which isn't easy to do, I was hoping people would understand and it'd make a good story and it'd give me a bit more mobility than I have now. But yeah I mean if that schedule is pretty normal across the street I probably should try to bust my ass in the other route. Were your weekends usually safe or were those wiped too?

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Cov
Jun 30, 2022 - 8:14pm

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