Trying to break into IB

Posting for a friend: 

I am a 3.4 non-target finance major with one summer internship in Wealth management. My ultimate goal is to break into Investment banking (small boutiques and MM are okay). I was able to get into TCU's Masters in Business Analytics program, and I am waiting on responses from schools I applied to for MSF. What advice would you give me? Is the TCU master's in Business Analytics a good option? Is it worth it to have another year of networking? Please let me know what you guys think. 

Thank you

Most Helpful

I would get 2 years of experience in any finance type job (FP&A, corp fin) while you work on GMAT and MBA application. Or apply now for those 2+2 MBAs.

I assume you're a senior, I'd say it's kind of not happening at this point. Internships sign over a year out and even FT is wrapped up 9 months before graduation. Small boutiques might have a spot or two in the late fall, but you're a month out here... MSFs are useful for people who get close + barely strike out and just need that last chance for FT, I don't think your profile is competitive and a bit of networking is not going to do it for you. And there's really only a handful of MSFs worth going to - Vandy, MIT, one or two others. You can look up how many people have exited to IB from that TCU program on LinkedIn, but I'd guess it's pretty close to zero.

MBA will drop you right into Associate 1 spots, so you're not losing much time in the end, and given the cost of a random masters degree it wouldn't be all that much more.


Hey man; really appreciate the feedback you gave and I’m very curious what you think of my situation. I just got laid off after 1y3m in IB, and I’m very close to going back to school for an MsF. I know with conviction what kind of finance I want to do long term, and am split between pursuing a role that would give me more exposure to this kind of modeling, or to go back for an MsF. Leaning towards not doing an MsF since I feel like I could just go back and get an MBA if need be, but at this point I’m exploring all options.

3.8 from Non-Target (Big East Coast School with okay banking presence)

Junior Year Wealth Management Internship
3 Senior Summer Real Estate Private Credit Internship (was accepted to MsF but pulled out, did this in between)
6 months Private Equity Analyst
1y3m Investment Banking (Debt Derivatives Capital Markets)


An MSF is not going to help you, those are strictly for lateral grad roles which you're not eligible for. If you're spending $70k on MSF, might as well pull the trigger and get into the ASO seat from MBA... take an FP&A job or similar "fill the gap" job for a year and get yourself to 2 years work exp for an M7 MBA.

Also what kind of finance are you interested in? You said you know but then did not say it in the post.

I would also look to lateral, even if a huge downgrade, before going back to school of any sort. But if you're set on school, it really should not be MSF.


I'm at a BB recruiting team and most MBA Asos we hire are 27-29, so 3ish years of experience pre-MBA. Lots and lots of IB folk come from 2-3 years in Big 4 accounting actually. Corp folk (engineers, sales people) do tend to go later I think.

I think an IB layoff would explain the quick turnaround, but your experience may vary too


Probably right on the MsF, at this point the chance feels like it’s past

Energy banking and Project Finance. Dream is to be on a Renewables team at an Infra Fund. Have pretty solid modeling skills for Project Finance, and if I can’t land anything back in banking, I was thinking that the next best thing would be to go and get a Project Fin role to get deal and modeling experience. Could try to use those to break back into banking, and if it doesn’t work, go back and get an MBA


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