Long-time WSO user, created a new account for this AMA. I got a lot of help from this forum during my recruiting process and I owe a lot to WSO. Wanted to try and give back by offering some insight into, recruiting, exit opps and general life at a think ( /MS/ / ).
Ivy, 3.75 GPA, some work experience and leadership in extracurriculars but no finance experience before junior summer.
Knew I wanted to be involved in the public markets and finance and eventually become an investor. Knew I wanted to work hard but not go sleep deprived and gain the 15 pounds in a hate my life kinda job in IB. So I pursued at top BBs and ended up with a few offers in my junior summer. Got a return offer after 10 weeks and that is how I ended up in my current job.
Very team specific, but in general you're doing a lot of modeling (~40%), writing reports (~30%), speaking to sales force and buy-side clients (20%), and other misc stuff for the team (10%- attending conferences, organizing primary surveys, etc etc). Again, this is highly team specific.
This break-up will change as you progress through the ranks (higher you get, more you'll be on the phone). But in general, you're getting a lot more client interaction first year in ER than in IB. The lead analyst will often refer clients to you when its about a specific piece of analysis that you did so you can walk them through it.
Very very team specific. Generally need to get to the desk by 7-7:30, before morning meeting or morning call with sales force. Leave generally by 6:30-7:30pm and during earnings season hours will be 6/7am- 10/11pm or later. Lifestyle is shitty compared to a 9-5 job but for finance and for how much money you're pulling in it's definitely a perk of the job. You can easily make the gym 4-5x/week, happy hour friday and Knicks/Yankees games when you're able to cop tickets. Limited weekend work, maybe few hours on Sunday but I don't think that happens every weekend for the average team. People might also log in from home.
Taking time off is also a lot more chill in ER, no ongoing deals that might blow up so the unpredictability that everyone hates in IB isn't as much of a factor in ER. People definitely can take time off in a more flexible way and it's not very likely you leave the office at 7, take your girl for a nice dinner and get called back to the office in the middle. Knock on wood, but I don't think that's as much of a problem in ER from my experience. Obviously there will still be exceptions and general stress/timelines especially during earnings.
First year at my firm will look like 85 base, 10 signing/relocation 30-50k bonus= 130-140k. Obviously this has changed just this year and I also I can't be certain since bonus season isn't here yet. Can't speculate how this will develop given the changes in comp on the street, 85 base is confirmed though.
Most popular exits are HFs (Surveyor, , etc) or top AM shop (T Rowe, Capital, Neuberger, etc). Other buy-side opps will be start-up HFs that most other people won't have the opportunity to interview for.
I was surprised by how many people jump to industry- Investor Relations or Biz Dev roles in their sector.
Top MBA is also a decently popular exit- I don't think I can name a person that went the MBA route go to less than a top 5 ranked school. Hopefully this continues though, and note I have a very limited sample size.
Hope that helps, feel free to ask anything else I didn't cover and I'll try to get back and answer questions whenever I can.