Will sales keep me out of top MBA?

I am a senior finance student who was unable to get an Asset Management analyst job. I have received multiple sales offers as internals for top AM firms and want to know if a couple years in AM sales would hurt my chance at a top 25 MBA? My ultimate end goal is Asset Management after school. Plan to get my CFA while in sales. Appreciate any help.

Comments (30)

Apr 15, 2017 - 10:09am
Blank999, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You haven't graduated or worked and you're already worrying about an MBA? Jesus Christ.

How about you either hustle and get a better gig or accept the option you have and do the best job you can at it. A sales gig in AM is both awesome and extremely lucrative if you don't suck. If you're not the person to realize this, you're probably not going to do well in sales anyway.

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Apr 15, 2017 - 11:21am
snakeoil, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You'll see top pharma salesmen at Top B Schools sometimes.

Apr 16, 2017 - 12:54am
abauscher, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Ive worked full time through school in finance I understand the industry and I don't know that I will definitely get an MBA but would like to leave the option open.

Apr 16, 2017 - 6:21pm
BreakingOutOfPWM, what's your opinion? Comment below:

CFA + Asset Management sales is a good background for a top 25 MBA. I'd be selective about where you enroll; your background should get a foot in the door from the right schools, but at a program where only a few people go to the buy side every year you will likely not be the standout they're looking for. For the big finance programs, it's much more about your performance in stock pitch competitions, ability to network and the CFA certainly won't hurt.

Apr 20, 2017 - 5:06pm
rj1443, what's your opinion? Comment below:

TFW op doesn't realize that investment banking really is just a sales job on a bigger level. Learn to pitch well, learn to network, learn to be a leader, move up into sales management, start working on the GMAT, and never look back. Personally you should be looking at tech sales though. Every CEO i've spoken with originally has some sort of sales background... front office of regular industry

Apr 20, 2017 - 5:23pm
Mikey450, what's your opinion? Comment below:

why not get the MBA and stay in sales. That's where the most money will be made. There are so many different sales desk at AM's. I know someone that started in a licensed call center for a major bank advising lower network clients. He did that for 4 years then became a mutual fund internal wholesaler and was making close to 100k. Now he is a hybrid wholesaler where he travels once a month to his territory but makes close to 300k. He is only 27

Apr 24, 2017 - 10:41am
abauscher, what's your opinion? Comment below:

ya if i get in there and like it I could end up staying in sales or moving up into management. Do you think i could get into a decent MBA without the CFA? or should i do CFA first? problem is my gpa is about 3.3 with 3.7 major gpa from non target. worked full time while in school

Best Response
Apr 24, 2017 - 11:27am
BreakingOutOfPWM, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The CFA will do nothing but help you in all things. It will help you learn a lot, quickly, about not only your funds strategy but the investing world in general which will help boost your early career. When applying to b-school from Asset Management, it will put you in the chunk of AM applicants that have the CFA rather than those that don't. When recruiting during your MBA, it will be a big boost if you're applying to research roles but it certainly isn't going to hurt for sales roles either. If you lateral later in your career it's the same. Getting promoted to management - at some point it's going to be really difficult to move into roles where you might have some sort of dotted line that puts you over anyone research oriented, the CFA is a validater there, though certainly not the be all and end all.

Long story short, it's a lot of work, but if you're in the industry I see no reason not to check the box. And, you'll learn a lot along the way.

Apr 24, 2017 - 11:39am
abauscher, what's your opinion? Comment below:

@BreakingOutOfPWM thank you for your response. those were my thoughts exactly but happy to hear someone agree.

Apr 24, 2017 - 11:49am
DeepLearning, what's your opinion? Comment below:

To add something to the conversation here, if you're going into Asset Management sales, consider becoming aware/knowledgeable about advances in quantitative strategies, machine learning, AI, etc. At my firm, we are aggressively looking for sales people that have the ability to 1) be normal, friendly, and communicative with clients and 2) Have the ability to answer questions about our algorithms from sophisticated institutional clients. I don't know what exactly our sales people make $ wise, but I do know that the market is very competitive for people like this. This might not be your interest but I think this could be a great career for people who have an interest in quant strategies but don't necessarily want to be a practitioner.

Apr 24, 2017 - 12:00pm
abauscher, what's your opinion? Comment below:

that's a good point. I do have some knowledge of algos, we currently run an algo strategy where I am now.

Apr 24, 2017 - 12:01pm
onmywayup, what's your opinion? Comment below:

investment sales to MBA or other positions (Originally Posted: 04/27/2016)

Hey I was wondering how common it is to move from an investment sales role in a place like Marcus and Millichap(unpaid/100% commission) to a good MBA program(if this is your only postgrad experience for 2-3 years). Or how common it is to move to other real estate areas such as working for an insurance company/reit/repe. Obvious not everyone will be successful in investment sales, especially when 100% commissions based. I wanted to see what options moving on would be, and how valuable the experience is.

Apr 24, 2017 - 12:02pm
fez, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It's difficult to go from any investment sales role to a good MBA program. MBA programs love to see promotions and solid work experience. Investment sales (with any company) will not offer that. If you're set on a top MBA, I suggest you work at M&M, learn the business, improve your modeling skills on the side, network, and land a job at buyside shop. Your chances will drastically will improve (assuming your GMAT is above 700, you went to good UG, your GPA is high, etc.)

Apr 24, 2017 - 12:03pm
onmywayup, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Any idea of how fast you can move after starting? Or typical roles that one could roll into afterwards?

Apr 24, 2017 - 12:04pm
sfcre, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If I was you. I'd just go hard as possible in Investment Sales. Out earn all your buddies, and start investing for yourself. Skip the MBA. Are you doing well at M&M? I compete with them here and there. They offer a shitty split imo.

Apr 24, 2017 - 12:07pm
C.R.E. Shervin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Please don't' do this. Any job with attrition like IS, where you are working on your own as a 1099, if you are 22-25 nobody is going to give you any business unless you have serious connections. If I were you I would work as an associate or analyst at M&M or similar and gain experience underwriting deals and learning the market. You are too young to steak it out on your own, and where we are in the cycle will hurt you tremendously.

Apr 24, 2017 - 12:06pm
OttoReadmore, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Do you have any other offers? Usually people in sales roles don't get MBAs - not that selling isn't useful. It just doesn't require schooling necessarily and is a very "learn as you go" role. An MBA doesn't relaly have value add here. I would try to find something else if you can - even if its a F500 Financial analyst role. Top schools take plenty of those as well as people in rotational programs. Or maybe you can see if you can get a job in investment research or equity research right now. If it's all you have and you have other obligations (debt) I'd take it - but I'd try to leave after the year or year and a half mark.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there" - Will Rogers
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Apr 24, 2017 - 12:09pm
sfcre, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I didn't mean you. I meant the kid considering M&M. Great sarcasm on your skills btw.

Of course initially he will do better with a salary. He can afford to live on his own and etc. But I've been around when things were slow. Of course the relationships help in a down market. But that is why you join a team that already has these. He needs to find out what team he is going for. If the goal is the MBA then go analyst route. If the goal is to invest on your own, or be a syndicate, I'd go the IS route.

Is there something specific you want to accomplish that you feel an MBA is necessary for?

Apr 24, 2017 - 12:11pm
Non-PC Broker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Take it from a young broker - Investment Sales is not a good path towards a top MBA.

It's not a "sexy" profession and your ability to be hired isn't quantifiable. What I mean by that: MBA business schools">M7 schools want a candidate that has played the game in the way they want it to be played. For example, the ultimate safe candidate is someone at GS or another top bank/consultancy/tech firm that has put in 3-4 years, has a good salary but nothing crazy, and, upon graduation, will immediately be hired by a top company at a higher salary than they had before graduate school. This is very important to schools since it plays into their marketability. It's a business.

Everyone assumes IS professionals are dumb (most are). You'll also be stereotyped by adcoms in the sense that they'll assume you weren't considered desirable by institutional shops and therefore ended up at M&M.

If you want to be in brokerage and end up at Wharton or somewhere comparable then your best shot is at an institutional shop in a major market. You need a top brand on your resume and M&M is the "Boiler Room" of publicly traded brokerages.

The flip-side is that if you're very smart and personable you can make more money at a younger age in IS than almost any profession out there. The only problem with that is you're probably not getting into an MBA business schools">M7 program.

Apr 24, 2017 - 12:13pm
onmywayup, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for all the advice. I do have one job offer but its really out there in left field and not really finance related. It is supposed to be a way to enter finance in the company, but it takes a while to get there. So i'm trying to look at other options at this point.

Apr 24, 2017 - 12:14pm
ElizabethDragonKiller, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Is it hard to apply to MBAs from a Sales and Trading background? (Originally Posted: 11/15/2016)

I heard that a lot of the MBAs programs prefer a IBD background to a trading one. Is it truth or myth? I understand that it is not necessary to get an MBA degree if you are in trading. But is it really hard to get into one of those top MBA program coming from a trading background?

Apr 24, 2017 - 12:15pm
PGx2, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Apr 24, 2017 - 12:16pm
hockey34, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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