9 months off work before next gig - best use of time?

Hey y'all, I have just quit my asset management job of 2 years (mostly doing equity research work) and will be starting at big4 TAS (Transaction Advisory Services) in September as I look to make the switch into IB/PE further down the road (2/3 years later).

So far, I have the following ideas of what to do in the next 9 months, I would love to hear everyone else ideas:

  • Move to Mexico/South America to do a Spanish language course and aim to become conversationally fluent.
  • Travel through India, as have some friend travelling there and have never experienced life in a 3rd world country.
  • Hike the Pacific Coastal Trial with a friend who is doing it (I would probably only want to do 500 miles out of the whole route of 2,600 miles)
  • Move to a cheap developing country and learn how to code / build own projects. I have some coding experience and have some projects I want to work on in fintech and digital advertising.
  • Stay in London and try to find a 6 month internship in an area I find super interesting (VC / ecommerce / digital advertising) but not necessarily related to IB/PE path I am aiming for in the future.
  • Do a 6 month internship / full-time work in a foreign country (I am speaking to some startups in Philippines currently)

I managed to save enough money to be able to live in a low-cost developing country for all of that time if I stayed in London or any high cost city I would need to work, any other interesting ideas out there?

What would you do with 9 months free time?

p.s I am single and just turned 24 years old!


Comments (20)

Jan 16, 2020


Jan 16, 2020

Something where you sleep with lots of women.


Jan 16, 2020

Sounds like Mexico then

Jan 16, 2020

1.) I would travel, fuck the internship (although the Phillipines startup idea sounds interesting). I am partial to Mexico/South America, I think you'd enjoy that experience more than India. And tbh Mexico is not far from a 3rd world country.

2.) Why tf did you quit your job as an ER analyst on the buyside for TAS!?

Most Helpful
Jan 16, 2020

1) yeah defo leaning more towards Mexico/ South America trying to learn Spanish and surfing as much as I can.

2) Left because it was in a super niche area with little to none progression and a lot of the work was sales/marketing our fund rather than actually doing fundamental ER. It was essentially a start up fund.

Did a solid 4/5 months interviewing and all of the Corp Dev / Strategy roles I was applying for wanted transaction based work experience so either IB or TAS. Given I'm 2 years out of college, IB analyst route was pretty much shut so decided on Big 4 TAS. Do the ACA exams for 2/3 years and try and work on a range of industry verticals. I'm based in London and the jump from TAS to IB / Corp Dev / PE (mid-market and lmm) is a lot more common than in the States I think.

Yeah obviously not ideal as I'm kinda starting again from scratch and feel like I'm behind most of my peers but hopefully should play out better in the long term

Jan 16, 2020

Yeah just to add to this. How much do you think learning Spanish to a business level (hopefully) would help me in recruiting from TAS to Corp Dev / IB / PE down the road? I only speak English atm

Jan 16, 2020

None unless you work for a company with significant operations / acquisition targets in a Spanish-speaking country.

Jan 16, 2020

Everyone that I know who has been to India hates it.

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Jan 16, 2020

Yeah tbh I'm not that keen on India, it just is very cheap but think I would get super bored of doing fuck all but travelling for a solid 9 months

Jan 16, 2020

Do an Ironman

Jan 16, 2020

Yeah the training and race just doesn't seem like best use of 9 months. I have toyed with idea of some random endurance challenge. E.g cycle length of South America. As a way to raise money for charity and to explore/ travel. But just doesn't seem like doing an Ironman for sake of doing one is the best use of this time?

Jan 16, 2020

You don't need to train for 9 months to do an Ironman. Also, you can really do the training anywhere as you build up slowly. Travel too...just something that if you have the time and are fit now, fit it in around everything else

Jan 16, 2020

@throwaway_recruiting I assume by saying Big 4 TAS you mean EY? Recruiting for London into CD/IB from their teams has been rife recently if you're in the CF or TS teams, trickier if any of the others.

Jan 16, 2020

Nope not for EY, another of the big 4. Met with a few guys who have been in TAS for 2/3 years at the firm I'm going to and they have seen a lot of their colleagues go to Corp Dev / IBs (mostly boutiques) / strategy roles / consulting once exams are competed. Apparently another common route is to do TAS and finish accounting exams there and then to move to the internal CF or M&A team, work there a year or so and then move to IB hopefully at associate 1 level. But this does mean you need to do 3/4 years at big4 which obviously restricts your earnings while you're there. Why do you think so many people have managed to make the switch from EY's team ?

Jan 16, 2020

Yeah all common. I have a couple of pals across all of them, all in TS, best exits have been from EY e.g. MM IB, one to MBB and a few to LMM PE. Not sure on reasoning, but evidence has been strongest from there.

Jan 16, 2020

I'm biased, but I think Mexico and then random travel throughout Central/South America would be the most interesting. A lot of cool stuff to do down there and you have a lot of spending power so you can experience a lot and not break the bank. Also if youre based in London, when would you realistically have enough time to be able to explore that region once you start working.
I was in CDMX recently for work and on my flight back I ran into a lady who mentioned she spent 2 weeks at a spanish immersion school (in Oaxaca I think) learning spanish after which she traveled a bit throughout the country, it sounded pretty cool.

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Jan 16, 2020

Yeah good shout mate. Defo leaning more towards this option.

I did GCSE Spanish so would need to do a solid 2/3 month language course to get my Spanish up to speed and then can travel/surf through Mexico and South America and maybe get a random bar job or something to pay for food etc...

Mar 23, 2020