Is it possible to go straight to IB Associate after MSc Finance?

Plan is to go to a MSc Finance grad program after college. The program is one year of academic training, then another year of work experience in order to graduate. So by the time I complete the degree, the plan is that I'll have had a total of about two years in cumulative IB, PE, and AM internship experience, plus other professional experiences in addition to those two years.

After all these years of experience, I wouldn't want to start as a first year analyst. I'd want to recruit for the Associate position at top banks (BBs, EBs). But if that isn't possible, would top banks accept me as a senior analyst (second/third year)?

For context, my undergrad and the MSc program that I'm aiming for are both target unis in the US/UK.

Comments (5)

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A

Nope, not going to happen. 

IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

MFin comes in as An1.

Typically MBAs have 3-4 years of work experience under their belt. 


  • Prospect in PE - Other

It does happen in Europe out of UK MScs. Have a connection on LinkedIn who came in at the VP level from one of Imperial's specialised finance MScs, for what it's worth. That said, it's pretty rare and not something to bank on unless you have a specific value add.

From your post, it sounds like you have no FTE? If so, you'll be starting from AN1.

Most Helpful
  • Associate 2 in IB - Cov

It's probably hard to see now, but it's truly in your best interest to start as a first year analyst.

Given turnover in the group, the learning curve has gotten incredibly steep for new associates. If you can almost do the associate level as an analyst, you'll get great feedback and will be a hero to the group. If you an almost do the associate job as an associate 1, you'll get grinded until you quit. 

(e.g., "hey sorry, I know it's not reasonable to expect you to play the analyst, associate and VP role all at once 3 months in but we just don't have anyone else who can help. This isn't how it should be, but the seniors are stretched thin so please try to avoid asking try to limit questions to them so they can focus other projects. If you need anything, ask your peers. BTW, this is a super important client so everything you send needs to be perfect and you need be completely confident and flawless when presenting to them")

If your peers are too busy to help / resent they have to teach you while getting paid the same:

"sorry, but it's your job to develop relationships with them so that they'll prioritize your questions. If you can't even develop relationships internally, how can we trust you with a client."

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