I have been reading this board for a while now, particularly the "break intofrom XYZ" threads. I thought I would share my own story, although I am still working towards my goal. I currently work in accounting advisory/consulting, mainly helping companies with financial restatements and accounting investigations. I have been there 5.5 years and promoted twice, now a Managing Consultant. Fairly early on I decided to pursue a career in investment management, although I had only a basic understanding of what that meant at the time.
Hoping to learn more about investing while developing my skillset, I began studying for the CFA exams. I also read thewhich piqued my interest in Value Investing. I went on to read the recommended books by Greenwald, Klarman, and Greenblatt, which solidified my belief in this approach. I have applied these principles to my own investments, both in equity and real estate, and have greatly enjoyed the experience. In speaking with connections I made in the industry, I was given consistent advice: if you want to break in, go to a top business school.
Coming from a non-target with a 3.3 GPA, I knew it would be tough to get in to any of the top 10 business schools. Based on my desire to become a value investor, I was especially interested in Columbia and their Value Investing program. I was fortunate to score 760 on the GMAT, as well as pass the Level III CFA exam this year. I believe these two factors, along with clearly articulated career goals, allowed me to overcome my early academic mediocrity and secure a place in Columbia's MBA class of 2017.
I am extremely excited for this opportunity, but realize that landing a job with a value fund will still be a challenge. Now that the CFA exams and MBA application are behind me, I am focused on positioning myself for buy-side internship opportunities. I hope to intern during the school year as well as summer break, but understand how competitive these opportunities are.
My immediate goal is to secure a pre-MBA internship in order to gain experience and make connections in the industry. I don't know how realistic this goal is (even if unpaid), but I am determined and have a decent network. I would greatly appreciate any advice on this front. Should I be targeting boutique hedge funds? Mutual funds? What options are realistic and will best position me for an eventual investment analyst position with a value fund? I am located in San Francisco and will be targeting firms in the Bay Area and NYC. Thanks!
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