Accountant trying to break into IB

I am a CPA and have been working for a tech startup for the last two years. Before this I was an auditor for about 2 years at a national firm, not Big 4. I am starting the Georgetown MSF program this month with the hopes of breaking into investment banking or corporate development. My target would be boutique banks in the DC or NYC area. Do I need a banking internship to secure these kinds of roles or is it more feasible to move directly into a full time analyst role? 

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Comments (8)

Most Helpful
Aug 3, 2021 - 6:34am

Leverage the Georgetown network. I'd be flexible in terms of looking beyond IB, a lot of multinational banks have small or nonexistent advisory practices, but have capital markets. I'd also look at corporate banking, corporate development and FLDP programs. Internships only make sense if you have a summer to do them in, if you don't just target full time roles and have lots of informational interviews with alumni.

Aug 3, 2021 - 10:41am

Typically, MSF programs do not feed into investment banking roles but rather equity research / asset management as a general rule of thumb. At my alma matter, the MSF kids primarily placed into ER, Hedge Funds, and PE analyst programs.

That's not to say you can't do it -- you certainly could. I just don't think most investment banks recruit from MSF programs formally - I could be wrong though. Network and you should be fine. I went to a semi-target (maybe non-target, a highly regarded state school in the same realm as UT Austin) and broke into a very well regarded bank just from networking -- and I had no real connections to the industry prior to starting. 

Georgetown is a great school -- structure your master's program to take M&A / IB / Corporate Finance courses as much as possible as opposed to markets. There's nothing wrong with financial markets classes, but gearing your curriculum towards IB-related material will help with your technical skills and sales pitch / story when you go to interview with banks. Best of luck.

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