Anyone here with a MSF and find it hard to get job?

Hey folks,
I know from others in the industry that it can happen but if you wouldn't mind I was wondering if anyone who has completed the MSF and has found it tough/impossible to get a job in fnance afterwards could tell me about their experiences?
I'm applying to some MSF programs for September and just want to know what i am letting myself in for, as I know it's a tough jobs market right now.

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Comments (53)

Mar 23, 2012 - 8:57am

I just read an article about how the insurance industry is having a really tough time finding people people for risk management roles. If you have a decent background in risk, i recommend looking to the insurance sector.

-MBP
  • 1
Mar 23, 2012 - 9:32am

Is that down to having MIT on their CV do you think? I'm going to be going to a non-target for mine, smaller chance at getting into a target (In Ireland only one of our universities are a 'target' school). I'm 30, terrified I'll come out with the MSF from the non-target and get nothing.

Mar 23, 2012 - 9:50am

I have known several people (at least 5) who got MSF's at excellent schools and were not able to find employment. I would not go for an MSF unless you're in systems/programming or something support/operations-related. They don't carry much weight for revenue generating roles in banking. Trading, maybe, but that's outside of my purvue.

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Mar 23, 2012 - 11:07am
AVPGuerilla:
I have known several people (at least 5) who got MSF's at excellent schools and were not able to find employment. I would not go for an MSF unless you're in systems/programming or something support/operations-related. They don't carry much weight for revenue generating roles in banking. Trading, maybe, but that's outside of my purvue.
"Purview."

I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.

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Mar 23, 2012 - 11:31am
AVPGuerilla:
I have known several people (at least 5) who got MSF's at excellent schools and were not able to find employment. I would not go for an MSF unless you're in systems/programming or something support/operations-related. They don't carry much weight for revenue generating roles in banking. Trading, maybe, but that's outside of my purvue.

Dam that doesn't sound good..Do you know what MSF programs they went to ?

Mar 23, 2012 - 11:39am
AVPGuerilla:
I have known several people (at least 5) who got MSF's at excellent schools and were not able to find employment. I would not go for an MSF unless you're in systems/programming or something support/operations-related. They don't carry much weight for revenue generating roles in banking. Trading, maybe, but that's outside of my purvue.

Is this because they were looking for roles that didn't align to their skillset? I don't know how different MFins/MSFs are from MFEs (Princeton MFin is basically a MFE program), but I would think that they should easily help you get into market risk type roles, which aren't FO but are still interesting and quite lucrative. At the very safety end of the spectrum, they should be guaranteed roles in enterprise risk management (risk reporting/reg reporting etc.) and even those pay decent enough (70K base with a 15% bonus to start).
-MBP
  • 3
Mar 23, 2012 - 12:23pm

MBP, maybe that's it. One of the folks I was thinking of tried to get a gig in FO/banking. I don't think they were ever called back. As I said, for a support/operational (ERM) type role, an MSF would probably provide good background.

Follow me on insta @FinancialDemigod
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Best Response
Mar 23, 2012 - 12:24pm

Depends what you want to do, if you are international or not, whether you have previous internships, etc.

An MSF provides you with new alumni, new OCR, another year to intern and network, a new brand and a new GPA. It gives you a more in depth financial understanding.

Whether you can get your job or not depends as much on your networking and preparedness as it does on your MSF program. I routinely advise students to start networking before the program starts, get your resume in order, get on the career site Day 1 of the program and make sure your first semester GPA is as high as possible.

Also, caste a wide net. If you have a banking or bust attitude you might need to wait a while to get something. Too many people have this attitude IMO. I tell people to caste a wide net and be open to all opportunities. Plenty of people go into F500 rotational programs, boutique IB's, consulting, valuation, etc.

  • 3
Mar 23, 2012 - 12:57pm
ANT:
Depends what you want to do, if you are international or not, whether you have previous internships, etc.

An MSF provides you with new alumni, new OCR, another year to intern and network, a new brand and a new GPA. It gives you a more in depth financial understanding.

Whether you can get your job or not depends as much on your networking and preparedness as it does on your MSF program. I routinely advise students to start networking before the program starts, get your resume in order, get on the career site Day 1 of the program and make sure your first semester GPA is as high as possible.

Also, caste a wide net. If you have a banking or bust attitude you might need to wait a while to get something. Too many people have this attitude IMO. I tell people to caste a wide net and be open to all opportunities. Plenty of people go into F500 rotational programs, boutique IB's, consulting, valuation, etc.

ANT, when you say it gives you a new GPA, will employers really care about the new GPA rather than the undergrad GPA?

I had 3.0 in my undergrad due to family problems, and now I'm doing my MSF and I have 3.6 or 3.7... should I only mention my MSF GPA or both? And will the MSF GPA help me in a way that my undergrad GPA will not be looked upon badly?

Mar 23, 2012 - 2:43pm
Boreed:
ANT:
Depends what you want to do, if you are international or not, whether you have previous internships, etc.

An MSF provides you with new alumni, new OCR, another year to intern and network, a new brand and a new GPA. It gives you a more in depth financial understanding.

Whether you can get your job or not depends as much on your networking and preparedness as it does on your MSF program. I routinely advise students to start networking before the program starts, get your resume in order, get on the career site Day 1 of the program and make sure your first semester GPA is as high as possible.

Also, caste a wide net. If you have a banking or bust attitude you might need to wait a while to get something. Too many people have this attitude IMO. I tell people to caste a wide net and be open to all opportunities. Plenty of people go into F500 rotational programs, boutique IB's, consulting, valuation, etc.

ANT, when you say it gives you a new GPA, will employers really care about the new GPA rather than the undergrad GPA?

I had 3.0 in my undergrad due to family problems, and now I'm doing my MSF and I have 3.6 or 3.7... should I only mention my MSF GPA or both? And will the MSF GPA help me in a way that my undergrad GPA will not be looked upon badly?

Mention both, but your masters GPA will carry the day. I mean look at it objectively. Does anyone give a shit if you got a B in undergrad when you received a B+/A- in grad school, which is much harder?

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Mar 23, 2012 - 2:56pm

Yeh ANT, my MSF is much harder and more intensive than my BA in Econ, but it's also a LOT more interesting and my mind and energy is not focused on family problems since they have been dealt with.

I mean, my MSF has a total of 16 courses, plus a thesis in just 12 months while my BA Econ had 8 courses per year and 6 courses + thesis in the last year.

Hopefully recruiters will think the same way....

Mar 23, 2012 - 2:59pm

I always viewed MSF programs as a holding pattern for those who didn't get the job they wanted out of undergrad. A "I didn't get the job I wanted so more school must be the answer!" type of thing. At least those were the type of people I saw getting MSFs at the U of I.

Might be different at target schools though. Not really sure.

Mar 23, 2012 - 3:01pm
illiniPride:
I always viewed MSF programs as a holding pattern for those who didn't get the job they wanted out of undergrad. A "I didn't get the job I wanted so more school must be the answer!" type of thing. At least those were the type of people I saw getting MSFs at the U of I.

Might be different at target schools though. Not really sure.

Well I'm in Europe, so here it's different. Most of the time master degrees are actually required. Also, it was always my plan to do Econ undergrad, and then work in finance for a year, and then do my MSF to "specialise".

Mar 23, 2012 - 3:01pm
illiniPride:
I always viewed MSF programs as a holding pattern for those who didn't get the job they wanted out of undergrad. A "I didn't get the job I wanted so more school must be the answer!" type of thing. At least those were the type of people I saw getting MSFs at the U of I.

Might be different at target schools though. Not really sure.

I think that will change over time, but I agree that it is a common stigma. I think more along the lines of a mini rebranding or career advancement. I worked for 3 years before I got mine and used it more of a relocation tool than anything else.

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Mar 23, 2012 - 3:26pm
ANT:
illiniPride:
I always viewed MSF programs as a holding pattern for those who didn't get the job they wanted out of undergrad. A "I didn't get the job I wanted so more school must be the answer!" type of thing. At least those were the type of people I saw getting MSFs at the U of I.

Might be different at target schools though. Not really sure.

I think that will change over time, but I agree that it is a common stigma. I think more along the lines of a mini rebranding or career advancement. I worked for 3 years before I got mine and used it more of a relocation tool than anything else.


That makes sense, especially if you have some work experience. I just cant imagine doing it directly out of undergrad. My "rebranding" out of undergrad will be to go from a student to an employee.
Boreed:
Well I'm in Europe, so here it's different. Most of the time master degrees are actually required. Also, it was always my plan to do Econ undergrad, and then work in finance for a year, and then do my MSF to "specialise".

Don't know much about the process in Europe but I have heard of the important of masters. In that case its an easy decision.
Mar 23, 2012 - 3:34pm

I don't think you should be concerned with what other people are doing TBH [placements]. As in, if its a well-respected MSF [Duke, LSE, HEC, Vandy, MIT, whatever...] then all of the factors that were not in your control at the UG level [school reputation, placement, alumni, etc.] will be solved and it is really about you. With an established MSF you don't have to play ring-around-the-rosy with a tiny pool of alumni that made it, or sit across the table in an interview and justify to some smug arse why you should be there with the 'targets'. You'd be at a good school, you'd be learning more, have plenty of alumni references, and if you still need help there is always OCR. IMO it's about you at the point!

You need to realistically assess yourself and understand whether you can make it to the 'street' and if you have the aptitude, desire, etc. to get there. If you feel like you've got it and want to do it then an MSF shouldn't be a second thought. I'm sure there are the same percentages of overachievers, underachievers, and those just content to 'tread water' in these programs so you choose which one you want to be.

'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'
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Mar 23, 2012 - 3:39pm

Personally, for me I believe that there is much risk in doing a full-time MSF unless you're coming straight out of college. The part time MSF in my city, while I would not have considered it before, seems like the best option for me. No opportunity cost and you can work while obtaining it.

Mar 23, 2012 - 3:41pm

My buddy at MIT most likely will end up getting an MBA at some point in his future. He did his UG at same school as me... worked for Big4 for a year and hated it so then went back to MIT to do 1yr MSF... he was a dual math/accounting major in UG. I wouldn't bother with an MSF if it's not MIT or Princeton caliber (not sure international programs here as I only looked at MBA's). Recruiting at both these schools will still be solid due to the brand and reputation of the school.

Overall, an MSF is going to challenge your math skills and get you prepared for all sorts of analytical work... but problem is that if you want to ascend in your career you need the 'soft' skills that normally accompany the perception of mba graduates. So if you want to be in trading and valuation... the MSF is probably a good bet, but like my buddy whose heading to Wells.. he mentioned that he'll probably get his PT MBA in about 5 years just to round out his CV.

Mar 23, 2012 - 3:54pm
losttraveler:
My buddy at MIT most likely will end up getting an MBA at some point in his future. He did his UG at same school as me... worked for Big4 for a year and hated it so then went back to MIT to do 1yr MSF... he was a dual math/accounting major in UG. I wouldn't bother with an MSF if it's not MIT or Princeton caliber (not sure international programs here as I only looked at MBA's). Recruiting at both these schools will still be solid due to the brand and reputation of the school.

Overall, an MSF is going to challenge your math skills and get you prepared for all sorts of analytical work... but problem is that if you want to ascend in your career you need the 'soft' skills that normally accompany the perception of mba graduates. So if you want to be in trading and valuation... the MSF is probably a good bet, but like my buddy whose heading to Wells.. he mentioned that he'll probably get his PT MBA in about 5 years just to round out his CV.

You are wrong. Coming from bum-fuck-non-target-no-one gives a shit about and going to an MSF target is a huge step up. MIT and Princeton obviously are in a tier by themselves, although Princeton's is a quantyish program so I don't even know if its an MSF. But to say Duke, Vandy, WUSTL, and CMC wouldn't be worth going to is stupid. Sure if you currently go to a semi-target or a target it doesn't make much sense to do an MSF as you've had 4 yrs to break in with all the alumni/OCR that you'd ever want and its a YOU problem. But if you're coming from a non-target access to a new alumni network who work on the 'street', branding, and even OCR are huge advantages that we'eve never had. An MBA would be inevitable anyways, it's not like by doing an MSF anyone wants to avoid an MBA. Don't just say shit that isn't true.

'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'
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Mar 23, 2012 - 4:10pm

An MSF is also a good idea if you went to a non-target and majored in something other than Finance/Business.

If you are worried about getting a job, just take a look at the placement statistics. Schools like Princeton, MIT, WUSTL, Vandy, Villanova, etc. have good placement statistics.

Mar 23, 2012 - 3:56pm

So true. The MSF is a restart button assuming you did the right things in terms of GPA, GMAT and internships but you just went to a nontarget and need some prestige and a new alumni base to kickstart things.

It also can be a way to jump out of the lower paying finance positions that many BA's end up in without an MSF.

Mar 23, 2012 - 4:11pm

Let me second what BepBep said.

You need to really look in the mirror and ask yourself why you are doing the degree. The kids who do not achieve the goals they have after graduating are the ones who have no game plan, have no internships, party in their MSF, don't network or utilize the school, etc.

This is a one year program that goes by extremely fast. You need to have a plan and execute on it. Most mainstream MSF programs are in schools that have alumni on the street, decent OCR and can get you where you want to go. Maybe you can't get BB IBD right out of the gate, but lets be honest. If you could get BB IBD from your UG you wouldn't be in an MSF program.

Cast a wide net, be open to opportunities, network and prepare properly and you will come out of an MSF better than when you went in. I quit a good paying job to do my MSF and am very happy with the decision, even though it wasn't always easy. You need to be committed.

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Mar 23, 2012 - 6:24pm
ANT:
Let me second what BepBep said.

You need to really look in the mirror and ask yourself why you are doing the degree. The kids who do not achieve the goals they have after graduating are the ones who have no game plan, have no internships, party in their MSF, don't network or utilize the school, etc.

This is a one year program that goes by extremely fast. You need to have a plan and execute on it. Most mainstream MSF programs are in schools that have alumni on the street, decent OCR and can get you where you want to go. Maybe you can't get BB IBD right out of the gate, but lets be honest. If you could get BB IBD from your UG you wouldn't be in an MSF program.

Cast a wide net, be open to opportunities, network and prepare properly and you will come out of an MSF better than when you went in. I quit a good paying job to do my MSF and am very happy with the decision, even though it wasn't always easy. You need to be committed.

A little confused ANT. Why would someone be targeting a BB IBD role who is in MSF program, or looking at one? Aren't these programs more geared towards trading/research type roles, not IBD (not that you can't go into IBD). I always looked at them as an MBA for traders etc. (not exactly but some variation of this statement).

What value goes getting an MSF have from the perspective of someone wanting to go into trading & ultimately HF's etc ?

Mar 23, 2012 - 7:31pm
solb22:
ANT:
Let me second what BepBep said.

You need to really look in the mirror and ask yourself why you are doing the degree. The kids who do not achieve the goals they have after graduating are the ones who have no game plan, have no internships, party in their MSF, don't network or utilize the school, etc.

This is a one year program that goes by extremely fast. You need to have a plan and execute on it. Most mainstream MSF programs are in schools that have alumni on the street, decent OCR and can get you where you want to go. Maybe you can't get BB IBD right out of the gate, but lets be honest. If you could get BB IBD from your UG you wouldn't be in an MSF program.

Cast a wide net, be open to opportunities, network and prepare properly and you will come out of an MSF better than when you went in. I quit a good paying job to do my MSF and am very happy with the decision, even though it wasn't always easy. You need to be committed.

A little confused ANT. Why would someone be targeting a BB IBD role who is in MSF program, or looking at one? Aren't these programs more geared towards trading/research type roles, not IBD (not that you can't go into IBD). I always looked at them as an MBA for traders etc. (not exactly but some variation of this statement).

What value goes getting an MSF have from the perspective of someone wanting to go into trading & ultimately HF's etc ?

You don't do an MSF for a quant/trading role at all... I mean just look at the placements and it becomes clear

'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'
  • 2
Mar 23, 2012 - 4:12pm

Exactly, Princeton and MIT. I said 'I wouldn't bother' with any program outside these two... why? Because I'm not going to spend the same damn tuition money to go to a school without top recruiting, period. When I did my b-school applications it was M7 or bust. I personally can't justify the cost if it's not going to give me access to top recruiters. If you want to spend 50K to go to a 2nd tier MSF program to hopefully open up a new opportunity, to later apply to a top business school... go ahead that's your decision. I'd say that saving the 50K and just working on GMAT and your own career progression to build your story for applying to a top b-school is a better route if you're not in at a top MSF.

Feel free to disagree. However, I can tell you confidently that when you start b-school applications that 50K you shelled out for your MSF would of been better saved to cover your MBA.

Mar 23, 2012 - 5:49pm
losttraveler:
Exactly, Princeton and MIT. I said 'I wouldn't bother' with any program outside these two... why? Because I'm not going to spend the same damn tuition money to go to a school without top recruiting, period. When I did my b-school applications it was M7 or bust. I personally can't justify the cost if it's not going to give me access to top recruiters. If you want to spend 50K to go to a 2nd tier MSF program to hopefully open up a new opportunity, to later apply to a top business school... go ahead that's your decision. I'd say that saving the 50K and just working on GMAT and your own career progression to build your story for applying to a top b-school is a better route if you're not in at a top MSF.

Feel free to disagree. However, I can tell you confidently that when you start b-school applications that 50K you shelled out for your MSF would of been better saved to cover your MBA.

This assumption would be valid if you could get the same job from your UG as you could from an MSF. The fact is many students who apply to MSF programs outside of MIT and Princeton come from schools without even decent F500 recruiting. We all know that your job and career factor into an MBA application as much as a top MBA.

So, if your goal is a top MBA and you cannot get into a solid firm from your UG, the money you spend on an MSF isn't wasted if it gets you into a strong career path that you can later on down the road utilize in your B school applications. As I have said before, if you can get a MM banking or top F500 position from your UG, don't bother getting an MSF.

Recruiting quality is all relevant anyway. If you come from a low ranked state school and go to Vanderbilt (as an example) it might not have MIT level OCR, but it is a huge improvement from your UG. Every year, at all the main MSF program, students break into banking which they can leverage into a BB offer or a MM PE position that will ultimately benefit them going into an MBA program. My MSF class saw about 30-40% of the class going into various capital markets positions. The others went into F500 roles or quant roles, etc. I'd say that was worth the $30K in tuition.

Same with Vandy, WUSTL, BC, Claremont, etc.

Not saying that an MSF is ideal in every situation and I am pretty honest in the times it is not worth getting, but if you cannot find a decent job or your UG is so bad with recruiting that you need another boost, one more year of tuition to get a better brand, better OCR and another shot can be worth the money, no doubt in my mind.

  • 2
Apr 13, 2015 - 9:25am

losttraveler:

Exactly, Princeton and MIT. I said 'I wouldn't bother' with any program outside these two... why? Because I'm not going to spend the same damn tuition money to go to a school without top recruiting, period. When I did my b-school applications it was M7 or bust. I personally can't justify the cost if it's not going to give me access to top recruiters. If you want to spend 50K to go to a 2nd tier MSF program to hopefully open up a new opportunity, to later apply to a top business school... go ahead that's your decision. I'd say that saving the 50K and just working on GMAT and your own career progression to build your story for applying to a top b-school is a better route if you're not in at a top MSF.

Feel free to disagree. However, I can tell you confidently that when you start b-school applications that 50K you shelled out for your MSF would of been better saved to cover your MBA.

I think there are some truth to your comments--however, is your school semi-target or target though? just want to see how your situation connects to mine
and just curious... are you done or working on a M7 MBA now?

Mar 23, 2012 - 5:23pm

I said what I said because it seemed as though you were generalizing beyond your own experience as in... other people should take the advice, but if you were just talking about yourself specifically; an apology is in order. That being said, I still believe that an MSF that leads to a solid MM opportunity or F500 opportunity is much better than taking the Enterprise Rent-A-Car positions offered on non-target OCR. There's nothing wrong with waiting for an MBA, I think that's a well trod path that is frequently spoken about even on WSO, but for those that feel like they didn't get a fair shot at IB the first time around an MSF levels the field. No one out of a target MSF has anyone but themselves to blame if they don't break in to IB at that point.

'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'
  • 1
Mar 23, 2012 - 7:02pm

@ANT : You should have said that about a year and a half ago...

I just graduated with a MSF and yes, it's impossible to find anything in Europe, it's very tough here in the US and you better be open (risks, programming, Back office, and all those not-very-sexy-jobs-you-wanted-to-avoid-with-a-MSF) if you don't wanna find yourself doing an unpaid part-time for 6 months!

MSFs suck now. If I had known, I'd have stuck to my job a couple more year and applied to a MBA.

From my class, I'd say that less than 10% went into trading. That fraction is even smaller if you're considering those who have stayed in NYC

Mar 23, 2012 - 7:24pm
nonos:
@ANT : You should have said that about a year and a half ago...

I just graduated with a MSF and yes, it's impossible to find anything in Europe, it's very tough here in the US and you better be open (risks, programming, Back office, and all those not-very-sexy-jobs-you-wanted-to-avoid-with-a-MSF) if you don't wanna find yourself doing an unpaid part-time for 6 months!

MSFs suck now. If I had known, I'd have stuck to my job a couple more year and applied to a MBA.

From my class, I'd say that less than 10% went into trading. That fraction is even smaller if you're considering those who have stayed in NYC

  1. You went in for trading, from my understanding trading does not have a huge place in an MSF or MMS program. You should have done an MFE which would have been much more relevant to the path you chose. MSF's and MMS's seem to place in banking/corporate finance roles. Why did you not know this?

  2. Did you go to a legitimate MSF? There's a lot of them out there, but a few that place solidly on a consistent basis.

  3. Looking at your posts you seem to have gotten interviews... so why are you complaining?

'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'
  • 2
Mar 23, 2012 - 10:14pm
nonos:
@ANT : You should have said that about a year and a half ago...

I just graduated with a MSF and yes, it's impossible to find anything in Europe, it's very tough here in the US and you better be open (risks, programming, Back office, and all those not-very-sexy-jobs-you-wanted-to-avoid-with-a-MSF) if you don't wanna find yourself doing an unpaid part-time for 6 months!

MSFs suck now. If I had known, I'd have stuck to my job a couple more year and applied to a MBA.

From my class, I'd say that less than 10% went into trading. That fraction is even smaller if you're considering those who have stayed in NYC

Where did you go?

Mar 23, 2012 - 7:16pm

@ nonos.. sorry dude. This is why I made my post about MIT or Princeton or bust. People have posted that it can be used to rebrand and such to break into wall street. Problem is.. the jobs that people probably want - trading, etc. are going to be filled with people from the top programs and how many seats are really open every year for 2nd tier and below? Which leaves all the non-sexy-jobs as you mentioned. Again, not everyone is the same but for me... the 50K for a CHANCE to rebrand just isn't worth it. In my opinion, you can get a job at a small company... get involved with community and get some leadership experience in a volunteer organization... get a solid gmat score and turn your volunteer leadership + work experience into why you want an mba essay.

Mar 23, 2012 - 8:01pm

Financial engineering is for trading. MSF's place very limited in the S&T realm.

I suppose each experience is different. All I know is that some kid coming from a really low ranked school can go to a MSF program and get an opportunity that they otherwise could not. I also think it is a stretch to say that you can get into a top MBA program with some weak work experience and community service. Maybe 15-25 ranked programs, but top MBA programs have TONS of apps from people at name brand companies with blue chip experience.

As someone who knows placements at probably most MSF programs, I can say that it is an investment. Not for everyone, but for a lot of people.

Every year all the MSF programs place people into top jobs. And when I say be open I don't necessarily mean BO (which not just anyone can get in this climate). I mean Big 4 valuation, Duff & Phelps/BDO, F500 roles, MM Banks, Credit Analysts, boutique shops, etc.

I look at my class, the class after and classes before and I see countless banking/PE/Real Estate/F500 placements. All name brands that couple with decent GMAT and GPA's can place into top MBA programs.

  • 3
Mar 23, 2012 - 8:38pm

Ant

What is your advise for foreign students that do need a visa to work in the US? Is it a lot thougher to get a good job right now, or it is going to depend of the individual?

I plan on aplying for 2013/14, and when the program start I will have one year of full time experience, either at a small unkown consulting firm or at big 4 valuation.

Do you think that delaying my application for 1 year, and stay at one of those two jobs, would help my job prospects or it won't make much of a difference so I should apply this year right away?

Mar 23, 2012 - 9:10pm

You're a little late, it's the outer rounds now; some factors will be out of your control, but hey a good package should get through in any round right? Your work experience doesn't make you more or less competitive I don't think... I'd say though if you waited a year and didn't have W.E. then that'd be a big problem.

'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'
Mar 23, 2012 - 10:44pm
BepBep12:
You're a little late, it's the outer rounds now; some factors will be out of your control, but hey a good package should get through in any round right? Your work experience doesn't make you more or less competitive I don't think... I'd say though if you waited a year and didn't have W.E. then that'd be a big problem.

No, I mean, I will apply this fall to start only in 2013! Or I could delay one year and apply to start in 2014.

The difference would be one extra year of full time experience in a relatad field to my goal post MSF, which is IBD M&A.

Do you guys know if boutiques and bb banks would value more a gig at Big 4 Corporate Finance in relation to a small unkown advisory shop that does M&A, debt restructuring and valuation? (both are in Brazil)

Mar 24, 2012 - 9:13am
brunoac.s:
BepBep12:
You're a little late, it's the outer rounds now; some factors will be out of your control, but hey a good package should get through in any round right? Your work experience doesn't make you more or less competitive I don't think... I'd say though if you waited a year and didn't have W.E. then that'd be a big problem.

No, I mean, I will apply this fall to start only in 2013! Or I could delay one year and apply to start in 2014.

The difference would be one extra year of full time experience in a relatad field to my goal post MSF, which is IBD M&A.

Do you guys know if boutiques and bb banks would value more a gig at Big 4 Corporate Finance in relation to a small unkown advisory shop that does M&A, debt restructuring and valuation? (both are in Brazil)

I misread your post, but if you're talking about a 2013/2014 matriculation then you wouldn't have to apply this fall because this coming year's applications would be for a 2012 start. So you're actually think about applying the year after or potentially further out. I'd caution against having more than 1 yearish of relevant WE as ANT has said in previous posts, it puts you in an awkward place w/ IBD recruiting as they may have questions about your fit as an analyst [i.e. not quite an analyst, but definitely not an Associate].

For branding, I'd take Big 4 and avoid a smaller unknown shop that may not have good deal flow etc. which could negatively impact your WE. I think it might be easier to explain Big 4 vs. unknown shop as a simple career switch versus 'I couldn't make at a more reputable shop so I had to take something'. I don't know if that perception is true; I just wouldn't want to have to explain it. I'd be much more comfortable talking about well I wanted to work in public accounting blah, blah, blah, and always enjoyed finance, but once I started in Corporate Advisory I learned that I really liked M&A. Easy transition to, I felt like an MSF would give me more experience in finance b/c ... XYZ reasons.

'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'
  • 2
Mar 24, 2012 - 9:28am

Edit: double post

'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'
Mar 24, 2012 - 1:28pm

I think there are several factors not raised here so I thought I will raise them.

The key thing is the branded school, not MBA or MSF. Last I checked in Linkedin, there are tons of Indians with MBAs from India and they want to break into Investment Banking too. So will a bank hire a someone with a Princeton MSF or that person with an MBA from India? I would dare to go further and say the person with the MIT or Princeton MSF will be better placed that someone with an MBA from a non target in the US. If you really want to rank, here it does:
Branded MBA > Branded MSF > Non Target MBA > Non Target MSF > MBAs or MSFs from overseas nobody has heard of.

Now it seems that the branded MBA is the best choice yes? Not necessarily. Certain sectors in banking require you to be young to break in. For example, if you are 35 years old with 10 years of non relevant experience, your chances of breaking in will be less higher than someone younger. The thing is most MBAs require you to have a certain amount of experience to be considered for the program unlike the MSF program which you can even join right after graduation from undergrad. An MBA job applicant will be older than other candidates and the result in the hiring process between someone older with a branded MBA and someone younger with a branded MSF is unclear.

Also, your MBA is the LAST Chance for you to rebrand yourself. You will be surprised that some people are still unclear in their 30s on what they want to pursue in life. If you had taken the MSF, worked a few years and want to move on to something else, you still can take an MBA. If you had taken the MBA, that is your last chance to rebrand yourself. You cannot take another MBA again. There is no such thing as double MBA (well, even if there is, I doubt it is worth it).

Lastly, like what ANT said, there are many factors that affect whether you get the job or not. You need to work on networking. Aggressively. You also need to be open to other job opportunties. There are many areas that pay as well as Investment Banking but not that well advertised, like real estate, commodities trading and energy trading.

Mar 25, 2012 - 8:28pm
Imperialian:
I think there are several factors not raised here so I thought I will raise them.

The key thing is the branded school, not MBA or MSF. Last I checked in Linkedin, there are tons of Indians with MBAs from India and they want to break into Investment Banking too. So will a bank hire a someone with a Princeton MSF or that person with an MBA from India? I would dare to go further and say the person with the MIT or Princeton MSF will be better placed that someone with an MBA from a non target in the US. If you really want to rank, here it does:
Branded MBA > Branded MSF > Non Target MBA > Non Target MSF > MBAs or MSFs from overseas nobody has heard

Imperialian, when you say "Branded MSF" are you only referring to Princeton and MIT or would any other schools fit in here?

Mar 26, 2012 - 1:06am

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'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'
Mar 26, 2012 - 6:16pm

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