Lost half a year - MSc, grad roles or what now?

Hi there,

I hope you guys can give me some advice on how I can best proceed towards my career goals given my current rather suboptimal situation.


2 internships at AM boutiques in tier-3 cities (Milan, Stockholm, Munich etc.) in 2020 and 2021

1 internship at a BB in Economic Research in a tier-2 city (Zurich, Frankfurt, Paris etc.) in 2022, no FT offer because... hey it's been economics research at a struggling BB...

Graduated with a (low) First-Class from a target uni in the UK (UCL, LSE etc.) with a joint degree (humanity/ social science + economics) in Summer 2023

Goal: work for a few years at a BB in a research/ strategy role (i.e., FX, rates or perhaps Multi-Asset) in London and then transfer to a macro hedge fund in London. I'm passionate about macro and my goal is to do research and eventually take risk for a macro hedge fund. I'm not super quanty, but I'm an analytical mind who likes to code and work with data.


I was quite optimistic about my future career going into 2023. My plan was to concentrate on graduating with a First-Class and then apply for graduate positions in more macro-oriented research roles for 2024. The first part of the plan worked out, the second however didn't. I got off track in summer 2023 due to private issues. As a consequence, I couldn't apply for grad roles. Now, I'm slowly but surely trying to get back on track, but it really is an enduring problem, at least for the mid-term. Essentially, I now have lost half a year in which I didn't make any progress at all (i.e., internships, formal education or applying for and securing a FT role).

Now, I think that I have 3 viable options.

Option 1: MSc in Finance or in Financial Economics

I should be able to get into tier-2 Finance programs (SSE, HSG etc.), assuming that I'll get a reasonable GMAT score. With a master, I could buy time to solve my private issues until September 2024. Then, I could try to land a relevant internship in the summer of 2025 with a clear goal of converting to a FT role. An obvious downside is a significant delay (I'd already be 26 years at the time of completion of a 2-year master). I never wanted to do a master but it seems the best option right now.

Option 2: try hard for a grad role in 2024

I could still try to land a role starting in the summer of 2024 even if that might not be the 'perfect' role for my skill-set and goals. I would really need to get my act together now when it comes to preparation. I doubt I can do it in the next few weeks though...

Option 3: go for an unconventional route

I could go for an unconventional route. For instance, I could start at an AM boutique at some point next year and see how things work out. I figure it would be hard to transfer to a macro HF from there, however. I could do a master later on to re-accelerate my career.

What option should I go for? Is there anything that I missed in my reasoning? I'm seriously worried about my future career right now. I hope you can give me some valuable advice.


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