Ask Me Anything: Post-MBA IBD Associate at BB (NYC)

LotusBlue's picture
Rank: Senior Baboon | 187

WSO,

I've been a long time lurker, but just recently started posting on this site. So to give you a little background: I graduated UG from a semi-target college (think UVA/UMich/CMU) with a humanities degree (think Political Science/Philosophy). However, I also had a sub 3.0 GPA and no idea in terms of career/ what I wanted to do with my life upon graduation. Funny to think how this was almost 10 years ago....

Right out of college, I started working as a temp in the BO of a BB (yes, if you think working in BO is bad, picture being a temp in BO. It doesn't get any lower than that). Then after around a year, managed to switch over to another BB, but within the MO for a FT opportunity. Spent a couple of years there, then subsequently went to get my MBA at a top 20 school (think Duke/NYU/Yale). Managed to secure an IBD internship at a BB during the summer of my first year, graduated the year after, and am now working FT as an IBD Associate with the same firm.

I have always enjoyed reading the threads on WSO. And as a more 'seasoned' professional, I have also come to understand exactly how hard it is to break into the world of FO Finance. Understanding that I could not have possibly gotten to where I am today without the help of those around me, I would like to give back by helping to answer any questions that anyone may have on IBD recruiting at the Associate level. So please, feel free to fire away, and I will answer to the best of my abilities.

Cheers,
LotusBlue

Region: 
United States - Northeast
United States - South

Comments (95)

Nov 22, 2013

Are you planning on becoming a career banker?

speed boost blaze

Nov 22, 2013

As of this time, the answer would be yes. Although the hours are at times overwhelming, I do feel it provides a good opportunity to learn more about the particular industry that I cover.

However, the last thing I also want to do is say I'm not open to outside (and more attractive) opportunities should they present themselves.

Nov 22, 2013

Thanks for doing this!

What kind of hours do you work, and what kind of comp?

Nov 22, 2013

Hours are really dependent on the amount of deal flow - as of now, I would say that I'm putting in anywhere between 75 - 100 hours a week. Things are picking up, so I'm also anticipating more time working during the weekends than usual.

In terms of comp, I don't want to get too specific here. However, you can think of first year (base) comp around the 100 - 140 range. Stub bonus (as far as I've heard, applicable if you are in year 0) is, at this time, probably around the 35 - 55 range.

Nov 22, 2013

What type of outside, more attractive opportunites? I hear they are more difficult to come by at the post-MBA level. Do you think you would be able to transition to PE, VC, HF etc?

Nov 22, 2013

You are correct - at the post-MBA level, you don't really have that many HH reaching out to you about positions in PE/ VC/ HFs, etc. As a post-MBA Associate, the expectation is for you to stay put and progress up the ladder (unlike the 2 year analyst programs that are essentially feeders into PE/HFs).

The reasoning here is simple - as an Associate, I am open to admitting that kids at the Analyst level just have better modeling skills (at least most do!) than us because that is essentially what they do, day in and day out. And that is exactly what a PE/HF is looking for on the more junior levels. Plus, there is no reason why they would pay almost double for someone who is older...

Granted, that is not to say that the move is impossible. I do know of a couple of people who have done it (IB Associate -> PE/HF). However, they were more the exception than the rule.

Nov 22, 2013

Hopefully this thread is a hit because I think this is one of the few post-mba IB associate threads.

1. Can you explain the factors you believe helped you get into a top 20 school with a sub 3.0 gpa? GMAT? URM? etc.

2. Can you explain how recruiting works for the summer internship during your first year since you probably don't know that much once things get going? How does the school help?

3. Were the interviews as technical as the analyst ones typically are?

4. How did recruiting go for everyone interested in IB at your school?

5. What's the current salary of a post-mba first year associate? Sign-on? (Shouldn't be a problem to be specific since you are at a BB)

6. What MO function?

@AndyLouis Frontpage this so we can get some good questions?

Nov 22, 2013

(1) Can you explain the factors you believe helped you get into a top 20 school with a sub 3.0 gpa? GMAT? URM? etc.

If you are worrying about a glaring negative when applying for your MBA (e.g. bad GPA), the best way to get past it is to realize that not everyone is perfect when you are building your application. Spin a story that ties everything together. For example, although I had a sub-3.0 GPA during my UG years, I scored decently enough on my GMATs for them to understand that I was probably just lazy, but not incompetent, during my UG years. Then subsequently, I worked my way up from temp to FT MO BB, while in the meantime, also passed levels of my CFA, had my boss write me amazing letters of recommendation, and ECs which showed my leadership abilities outside of work. The subsequent positives was what I used to spin off the historical negatives, so to say.

In essence, the key is to tie all of these things together into a coherent story in your application essays, and really show how you have learned from your past experiences. Those admissions websites are not lying when they say the MBA application is a self-reflection process at times.

(2) Can you explain how recruiting works for the summer internship during your first year since you probably don't know that much once things get going? How does the school help?

It really depends on what schools you go to. Some schools are targets for all banks (think UChicago, Wharton, etc.), whereas some schools are targets for some banks, and semi-targets for others. My school falls in the latter category, so I was fortunate enough to still have numerous banks come on campus to give us presentations/networking events. When recruiting for a summer internship, this is where it all begins. You sign up for these corporate presentations on campus (your career center sets these up and informs all students - this is the beauty of going to a bschool that is a target/ semi-target), then when it ends, everyone goes off to a 'social' event in order to get the opportunity to chat with the bankers that came on campus. Now these so called 'socials' are, as you have probably imagined, not really 'socials.' Rather, they are arenas where the bankers can start picking up on who may be their target summers. It is key to really network and get a chance to speak with these guys, so that subsequently you can reach out to them later on in the game for 'informational interviews.' (I won't get into too much detail here cause doing so will blow this post out of proportion, but if you want me to elaborate please feel free to PM me.)
You can really think of the whole process as a popularity contest. The more traction/ visibility you get from the firms, the more likely you are to secure that first round interview.

(3) Were the interviews as technical as the analyst ones typically are?

You can expect Associate interviews to be just as technical as the Analyst interviews; after all, it is the job of the Associate to check the analyst's work at the end of the day, so a solid technical foundation is absolutely crucial. Associate are also expected to be more 'polished' - essentially, Associate are expected to answer the behavioral and fit questions in a much smoother way than the analyst counterparts. After all, associates are expected to stay on for the rest of their career, so they need to define why they really want to do banking, for example.

(4) How did recruiting go for everyone interested in IB at your school?

Recruiting wasn't bad for my school/year - most people who wanted to get an internship in IBD managed to get one. The ones that didn't were usually just not prepared enough.

(5) What's the current salary of a post-MBA first year associate? Sign-on? (Shouldn't be a problem to be specific since you are at a BB)

Although somewhat surprising, there are actually slight differences between BBs.
To give you a range:
Base: 100-125k
Sign-on: 40-55k (Inclusive of moving expenses, misc. expenses, etc.)

(6) What MO function?

Risk Management on the asset management side of a BB.

Nov 22, 2013

Excellent, thanks. May follow up with a PM later on or some more questions for the thread.

Nov 22, 2013
yeahright:

@AndyLouis Frontpage this so we can get some good questions?

thanks, just put on frontpage

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Nov 22, 2013

Always been curious: What are exit opps for IBD Associates? Obviously, not everyone can (or wants to) stay to work towards MD. Is there a formalized recruiting timeframe? Do you guys get hit up regularly? What sort of roles are available?

Nov 22, 2013

You are correct - in fact, more Associate leave than stay to work towards that MD position. Given the pyramid structure that is banking, it is simply not possible for all Associates to eventually 'graduate' to become MDs.

In terms of exit opps, the most I've seen is into Corp Fin/ Corp Dev. I have also seen some jumps into the buy side, but that is definitely not common. There isn't really a formalized recruiting time frame at this stage - if you decide you have had enough of being an Associate, you simply start looking for opportunities yourself. You do get the occasional HH hitting you up from time to time, but it is definitely way less structured than analyst IBD -> PE/HF.

Nov 22, 2013

OP,

Can you tell us a bit about your path to MBA? What kinds of things did you do to set yourself apart, even with a lowish GPA?

Nov 22, 2013

Hi rhen,

You posted before I had a chance to reply back to yeahright, but take a look at my reply to his post. I believe it should answer your questons.

Thanks,
LotusBlue

Nov 22, 2013

I'm not interested in IB, but how important is the summer internship during MBA recruiting?
Can you do an irrelevant or no internship, but still land a FT Associate role from a top 20 school?

Nov 22, 2013

The summer internship experience is crucial. It is mostly unheard of for a 1st year MBA to simply skip out on the whole summer internship experience, as summer internships are feeders into FT positions for most programs (with the exception of small buy side shops).

In terms of irrelevant internships, well that will really depends. If your internship is somewhat related to IBD (Internal M&A at F50, etc.), then you still have a chance for FT Associate positions. However, if it is completely irrelevant (e.g. marketing), then the chances are pretty much slim to none.

Nov 22, 2013

Thanks for taking the time to do this.

1) Can you compare your hours relative to the analysts? Are you consistently working as late as the analysts or do you get to leave earlier than they do?

2) What kind of backgrounds do the associates have? Are most of them people who haven't done banking before?

Nov 22, 2013

(1) Thats hard to compare, given that it really depends on the type of deal you are working on, as well as the group you are working in. However, for generalization sake, an Associate usually puts in around 75-100 hours a week. As for Analyst, they usually put in slightly more, perhaps around 85-115 hours a week. Again, just generalizations here. These are by no means true for everyone/ every firm/ every group. However, usually Associates do get to leave before analysts do.

(2) Depends on the bank. However, it is true that most associates don't have banking backgrounds, as analyst usually move on to the buyside after their 2 year stint. As a result, the majority of associates are usually people who did something different pre MBA, then moved onto banking after their MBA

Nov 22, 2013

Thanks. That's helpful to know.

Nov 22, 2013

I often hear of the stereotypes of post-MBA associates that relate to how they do not know nearly as much as their counterparts who used to be analysts. Has this affected you at all? If one wants to do IB post MBA, do you think any of the top 20 schools is good enough for this?

Thank you!

Nov 22, 2013

If you are an associate and have experience as an analyst, then there is no doubt that you will be much more familiar with IBD than associates that have no IB experience whatsoever. However, it is also important to bear in mind that the skills required for IBD are in no way rocket science. True, it takes time to pick up financial modeling/deal intricacies/internal procedures, etc. But that is definitely something that any smart individual is capable of as long as they spend enough time on it. So no, I wouldn't say that has affected me at all. And besides, associates without analyst experience usually outnumber associates with analyst experience quite substantially...

If you want to do IB post MBA, I would say that a top 20 school definitely gives you an edge. However, the more crucial thing to check is if the school is a 'target' for the banks that you want to recruit at, as well as location. For example, if you want to do IBD in NYC, then Stanford GSB (as amazing a school as it is) may not be the best place to go, given the difficulties logistically when it comes to getting yourself into the game with the East Coast kids (who will no doubt have an advantage given their proximity and opportunities for networking with the bankers they want to work with in the future).

Nov 22, 2013

What is the 'traditional' career progression for someone who reaches the MD level in banking (ie, usually how many years before someone becomes an MD- not the exceptional 28 year old MDs, the 'regular' ones). What are MD hours/compensation like (generally)- again, for a middle-of-the-road, 'average' MD?

Nov 22, 2013

If you want to get to a management role in IB at a bank (eg group head, division head etc) is an MBA essential, or at the least helpful? What about a JD, would that add any value if you're not working in something like restructuring where knowledge of the law is logically especially helpful?

Nov 22, 2013

Hi notthehospitalER,

I'm only an associate, so it will be hard for me to give you an exact answer here. However, given what I've seen on the street (in general), here is what I have gathered from my experience so far:

(1) In terms of traditional career progression, it usually goes something like this:

Associate: 3 - 4 years
VP: 3 - 5 years
Director: 3 - 5 years
MD: Well, until you get fed up I guess :-)

(2) MD hours/compensation for 'average Joe" MD

Hours are pretty good - the MDs I have worked with usually come in at around 9:30 - 10am, and leave by 7pm (latest). No weekends unless there is a huge deal that is about to close, and their presence is absolutely crucial. Comp will be harder to answer, but I think it also depends on the group/ bank, etc. If you are in a coverage group, for example, and are bringing in deals, you can easily expect to make a couple mil easy. And a firm that is in better shape will obviously provide more upside potential in terms of pay (think about when firms like Citi/UBS ran into trouble, and subsequently had to cut bonus drastically)

(3) Management role in IB (Group head, etc.)

I think as long as you are past the analyst stage, you really don't need that MBA in order to progress down the road. For example, I can think of numerous MDs that don't have MBAs/JDs/Advanced degrees that are doing just fine. As long as you can bring in deals (essence of sales), you are good to go. Just as an FYI - my group head doesn't have an MBA

Nov 22, 2013

Hey man thanks for doing this, this is exactly what I was looking for since I'm going to apply R2 and am looking to jump into IBD afterwards, I currently work in oil trading for an oil major doing mid-office work, I'll be looking to jump into O&G banking. I got a few questions for you:

- Can you give us the your GMAT range (if you don't want to give us your actual GMAT)?

- How many years of experience did you have before your MBA and how important is the age factor when it comes to recruiting at the Associate level?

- I'm considering UCLA but will want to move back to Houston post MBA, can I intern at a BB in LA and then ask for a spot in Houston if given the FT offer? How much flexibility is there when it comes picking a different office than the one you worked at? Or would LA recruiters be ok with me wanting to intern in Houston?

Once again, thanks for doing this. This is why WSO is awesome.

Nov 22, 2013

Sure no problem. Glad to help.

(1) My final GMAT score was in the mid 700's. I am a firm believer that practice makes perfect when it comes to GMATs. I took it twice; first time, I scored in the high upper 600's.

(2) I had accumulated a total of 5 years of experience prior to the start of my MBA. When it comes to recruiting for associates, age is not really taken into consideration. However, I guess if you are well above the average age range of the typical MBA (think typical range as 25 - 35), then they might well question you a little more as to why you want to switch over to this role now (the reasoning being that most people at this stage will probably have/ or are looking to start a family, and being an associate is not going to make that easy given the hours required)

(3) I actually have a couple of friends who work in the energy IBD group - and as you mentioned, Houston is the place to be for that. I think most banks actually have their O&G/Energy groups solely in Houston, so if you are targeting that group, you are most likely going to end up interning there anyway. UCLA (Anderson) is a great school, so as long as the bank you are trying to recruit for actually comes onto campus, then I don't think you will have a problem expressing your interest and subsequently working at the Houston office. However, you will need to position yourself in a certain way. For example, you will need to express your interest in working for that particular group early on in the game, so that your contact points will revolve around those bankers in that particular office. There are just too many factors to consider here, so I'm not going to dive into too much details on this post. However, please do feel free to PM me if you want to discuss further. I understand the who MBA application/admissions process is intense, as well as the IB recruiting process once you are a first year, so if you do have any questions, feel free to ask.

Nov 22, 2013

If you plan to go to a top-MBA like INSEAD or LBS with banking experience to do more banking (like from a MM to a BB) at a better bank do you have an advantage over other MBA candidates with no banking experience when recruiting comes around?

Nov 22, 2013

Absolutely. As someone who is aiming for an associate position after the MBA, your analyst experience is going to differentiate you from the rest of your peers. As I had mentioned previously, most of the people that recruit at the associate level (MBA) will most likely have minimal experience in IB. And as someone who has the analyst experience, you will be miles ahead of the pack.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind. As someone who has had experience in IB, expect more technical question when you recruit during your first year as an MBA. Unlike your peers, you are expected to know the technical cold before your peers even have their pitches ready.

During my MBA, the people who got the top firms at the top groups were usually the people with prior banking experience. So you are definitely in an advantageous position.

Nov 22, 2013

Could you talk about why you decided to pursue I-Banking, as opposed to MBB consulting/F500 general management roles?

Also, why BB versus MM, and why NYC versus SF/Chicago?

Thanks.

Array

Nov 23, 2013

(1) I was actually pretty set on banking when I first started my MBA, as I have a lot of friends who are also in investment banking, so I pretty much knew what I was getting myself into. However, I would be lying if I said I also didn't consider consulting as well.

The 2 career paths do have their similarities (Transaction/engagement based, wide exposure to different firms, etc.); however, there were also 2 major components that made me settle for banking in the end. (1) As a guy in a committed relationship, it would have been impossible for me to maintain it with all the traveling involved in consulting, and (2) Although both are project/transaction based, thereby giving you a lot of exposure to the industry you are working in, I was definitely more drawn towards results you could quantify. (For example, a consultant who implements a new strategy for a firm may find it hard to quantify the results of his actions, whereas when you close a transaction in banking, the results are more concrete).

(2) In terms of F500 management roles: I didn't really consider them at all to be honest, as I wanted to maximize my exposure to the whole industry (as opposed to doing a deep dive into one particular firm, which is what a F500 role would have done)

(3) I actually went for interviews with both BB and MM's, but decided to go with the BB I am working with solely because of fit. I had a chance to meet a lot of bankers across a large number of firms, and it was merely a matter of finding the right people to work with. And in terms of NYC vs. Chicago, well, once again its really because of the committed relationship I'm in

Nov 23, 2013

Thanks for doing this. I'm a sub-3.0 ug as well and have a few R1 apps out there one of which is Duke.

How much do you think your GMAT helped in terms of getting your internship? Is a large part of the screening process for recruiting in general for IB?

    • 1
Nov 23, 2013

Although I did get asked about my GMATs during a couple of informational interviews, it really isn't a big component when you look at the summer recruiting process as a whole. Unlike consulting (esp. MBB), bankers simply don't put that much emphasis on your GMAT scores. Just score decently, and you should be fine.

You are right in that it IS used as a screening tool; however, I think as long as you don't score below, say, a 680, you should be absolutely fine. I would say the main focus when it comes to recruiting is being able to give your 'pitch.' In essence, be able to deliver (in under 3 mins) a run through of your resume, while explaining at the same time why your background will lead you to become a great banker in the long run. If you can do that, you will be well ahead of the pack.

Good luck with your R1 apps!

Nov 23, 2013

**Is it a large part

Nov 23, 2013

Great insights, thanks for posting

Nov 23, 2013

@LotusBlue Awesome thread - thanks for starting it. As a prospective MBA student (cross you fingers for round 1!) and potential future banker, this is a valuable resource. Some questions I have:

1) Did you look at corporate development jobs post MBA? I'm thinking that is where I would like to end up long term, so if I could skip the 2-3 years of banking hell, I'd do it. The problem is, I'm not sure those jobs are really attainable out of a top MBA program, especially to someone without prior IBD experience (My background is very similar your MO experience). I know @harvardgrad08 has a great thread of corp dev, but it doesn't focus as much on entering it from the MBA level.

2) Knowing that associate recruiting occurs basically once you step foot on campus, is there anything you wish you did before arriving to your school? (modeling courses, etc?)

3) How is morale at the associate level? I imagine overall morale on the street has been down for quite some time now, but analysts can usually shrug that off since they are leaving after 2 years. How are you feeling about the outlook of banking as a career?

4) How helpful was it to have "finance experience" in your interviews, even though it was MO AM? I know the best case would've been that you were an IBD analyst, but did you feel that your experience put you ahead of say..engineering/TFA/marketing/etc people who were also gunning for IBD, or is that not an important point?

Thanks, and congrats on the offer!

Best Response
Nov 23, 2013

Hi Hamm0 - thanks! And best of luck on your apps...I know its tough, but stick with it :-)

In terms of your questions:

(1) I cant say I really looked at Corp Dev jobs post MBA; as you had mentioned, it is hard to get those jobs straight out of an MBA program unless you have had some type of Corp St/FO role prior to doing your MBA. As your role pre-MBA is similar to mine (MO), it will be very hard to transition straight into Corp Dev - I think a stint in investment banking will definitely help if Corp Dev is your long term goal (I have a lot of friends at the Associate level that made this transition after a year or 2 in banking). Although this may be, don't let that deter you if you are determined. I have seen some pretty crazy career transitions during my MBA programs, so never say never. All I'm saying is that it will definitely be easier to do your associate stint first, then apply for Corp Dev (instead of straight into it post-MBA).

(2) I think it would definitely have helped if I brushed up a little on my finance/ accounting. Although I had taken levels of the CFA prior to the MBA, I was a little rusty at first, so I definitely had to spend more time reviewing technicals. A modeling course would probably have helped; however, I think it is important to keep in mind that most bankers don't expect you to me a modeling whiz for the summer (unless you were an analyst pre MBA). So focus more on general accounting/finance knowledge during recruiting season, as well as behavioral/fit questions, and you should be fine. The bank will provide you with training if you get the offer for summer.

(3) Morale is definitely down - there is no doubt about that. The banking industry has recently undergone a drastic transformation during the past couple of years, as we saw a drastic dip in pay, followed by increased regulatory scrutiny across all areas within investment banking However, if my experience in the financial services industry has taught me anything, it is that these ups and downs are all part of the evolving cycle that is this industry. There will always be bad times, but things always pick up in the end. So to sum it up, I'm not that concerned about a long term career in banking, as there will always be a need for this particular service in the business world. The only thing to keep in mind is that this the IB industry is extremely volatile compared to others, so job security (at least stability with just one bank) is not something that you should expect.

(4) I would say that it really wasn't that important. What is more important is how you can spin your past work experiences into a story that will allow your interviewer to understand your rationale behind why you want to do investment banking. It is crucial to understand that at the Associate level, bankers are looking for people who are more polished (e.g. articulate, sales type guys with leadership potential). And these traits can exist in anyone no matter what field they were in pre-MBA. Remember, an MBA is essential a venue for one to reinvent one's career, so recruiting at this stage usually revolves around the personality and fit, rather than technical knowledge (which can be taught on the job). This is also why bankers love scouting ex-military guys from MBA programs.

Nov 23, 2013

Thanks for the detailed response. Confirmed a lot of what I was thinking, but definitely helpful. +SB for you.

Nov 23, 2013

Real question! Do you own a blue Lotus car?

Nov 23, 2013

Haha, I don't. Not really my style :-)

Nov 23, 2013

kind of an open question, but do you like the people you work with?

I'm not concerned with the very poor
-Mitt Romney

Nov 23, 2013

I certainly do. One of the things that made this particular firm stand out is the people. As I had mentioned earlier, I had the opportunity to meet with a lot of bankers across a spectrum of different firms (BB/MM/Boutiques) during recruiting season, and by the end of it, I knew that I wanted to work for this particular firm because of the culture (although the group takes the work very seriously, they do not take themselves too seriously, etc.). Given the hours in the office, I think the people around you should always be the number one consideration when deciding upon an offer.

Nov 23, 2013

Hey, another question:

Thanks for your first response. There is obviously a huge gap between the hours analysts/associates and MD's work- what kind of hours do positions in between (VP, director etc) work? Am I correct in assuming that when you go from MD to a higher management role (group/division head etc) your hours jump again?

Nov 23, 2013

Not a problem ER, glad to help.

It will be hard to give you an exact range for the number of hours worked by VPs and Directors, but from what I have experienced, most VPs and Directors don't put in that many more hours than your typical MD. As they are (especially Directors) at that stage in their careers, they are mainly responsible for bringing in new business, which doesn't really occur during the wee hours of the day. VPs are usually still 'coordinators' when it comes to QBing transactions internally, so they usually stay a little later than their Director counterparts. However, most VPs on my floor usually go home at around 8-9pm every day.

I wouldn't say your hours necessarily jump again when you go from MD to a group head/division head role. What does change though is what your responsibilities entail. For example, the average MD will be responsible for bringing in new business through pitches and developed relationships. However, if you were a group head that oversees a bunch of MDs who are doing this, your responsibilities will shift towards making sure that your men are doing their part in bringing in sufficient business for that particular subarea of your group, while coordinating with executive management to make sure your group is focusing on the right areas, etc.

Nov 23, 2013

Thank you for doing this! My questions are:

1. You described a typical MD's hours, but how about for VPs and directors? Do they tend to be closer to associates' hours?

2. You mentioned a committed relationship as a reason for picking banking vs. consulting. But wouldn't working banking hours most likely have allowed you to see your significant other only as much as consulting?

3. For MBA students who don't have any experience with IBD, with the recruiting starting so early, how do they develop necessary technical skills?

Nov 23, 2013

Not a problem redpringles, glad to help.

(1) You posted this as I was answering this exact question for ER...I believe my answer to him should answer your question :-)

(2) The hours for banking are brutal, that's for sure. However, unlike consulting (where you are away 'on-site' during the weekdays, and most likely staying at a hotel if you have to fly out of state for your client hence not being able to go home), I still get to go home at the end of the workday. And as I live with my GF, that allows me to spend time with her at least every day.

(3) If you don't have any knowledge of finance/accounting prior to the start of recruiting season, bankers will understand this and will not drill you on technicals initially. The questions you will get are most likely fit/behavioral based. However, as you progress through your first semester, you will be taking finance/accounting courses, so by the time you go in for first/final rounds, you will be expected to have a solid base in both of these principals.

However, aside from just taking classes, it would be wise to also do some prep on your own. Most MBA programs will have finance clubs that teach you the best ways to approach this. Personally, I did a lot of mock interviews with my peers by using a lot of the technical guides that are available online.

Nov 23, 2013

What do you think are the key things that you need as an M&A analyst to get promoted to an associate?

Also, how did you approach your GMAT preparation? Did you take a course? Any tips would be appreciated.

Nov 25, 2013

I can't say I have too much experience with the recruiting/ promotion cycle over in London (assuming that is your area of interest given your username). I do understand that there are many more analyst to associate promotions over there than in the US. And as most analysts jump ship to the buyside (in the US) after their 2 years, I may not be able to give you the most accurate answer here.

However, I am assuming only the top analysts get promoted to associates, so I would say there has always been one thing that makes an analyst really stand out for me. The top guys are obviously well versed with the technical aspects of the job (building models, etc), but they also understand the intuition behind what they do. Its one thing to be able to build out a 3 statement model; its another thing to know exactly what you are building, and be able to articulate the reasoning behind the assumptions, etc.

In terms of the GMAT, I approached it by doing a bunch of practise questions. Although I didn't take a course (it may have helped, but I didn't think the cost was justified), I did follow a structure in that I made sure I did sets of practice questions each day in order to keep myself sharp for when the actual test day came. Although there are a lot of prep books out there, I actually just stuck with 3 - all published by GMAC themselves. As my memory serves, it was one book that solely has past verbal questions, one with past quant questions, and one big one with both verbal and quant.

Nov 23, 2013

thanks for doing this thread!!

1. How does group selection work at the post-MBA level? Do you rank the groups and they try to accommodate your request or is it random? Also, if you have pre-MBA non-IBD experience in a certain industry say financial services, are you automatically going to be put into the FIG team?

2, Any idea what kind of F500 opportunities were available at your school?

3. How big of an adjustment was it from working in MO where the hours can be tough but nothing insane to now working 75-100 hour weeks every week?

4. Will having a CPA help me in recruiting?

Nov 25, 2013

Not a problem audit, glad to help.

(1) At the post-MBA level, group selection really depends on the bank in question. For example, I know DB puts all summer associates in rotational programs across 2 different groups, and Citi used to do the same (although I believe they have scrapped it and gone with direct placement now). Most banks, though, will just directly place you in one group for the whole summer. However, if you do land a superday at a bank, you will most likely be asked to rank 2 or 3 groups, then actually interview with these groups to see if they are willing to make you an offer, so the process is in no way random.

Experience in financial institutions pre-MBA is not going to automatically put you into FIG (nor is a manufacturing role going to automatically put you in industrials, for example). You are free to choose whichever groups you wish to recruit for. However, do bear in mind that there will be an advantage if you do stick with the same industry, as (1) you will be in a better position when it comes to industry analysis when actually on the job and (2) you have a better story as to why you want to do IB with that particular group, given you history. However, don't let your past experience determine which group you ultimately recruit for. There were numerous people in my class that when into TMT, for example, but had financial services backgrounds.

(2) In terms of opportunities with F500, most were within corporate finance (heavy on FP&A and Treasury). There were also a lot of product development and marketing roles. And of course, there were the FLDPs as well (rotation programs across the different departments in the firm until you finally settle for a role in a year or 2).

(3) The adjustment was huge. I have to admit - when I was doing my summer internship, I had consecutive days where I was only able to sleep 3 hours per night and it was a struggle just trying to keep my eyes open (I was fortunate enough to be staffed on 2 transactions that actually closed over the summer). It was my unhealthy relationship with caffeine that pulled me through.

(4) A CPA definitely helps. Part of being an investment banker (at least on the lower levels of the hierachy) is being able to rip apart a set of financial statements and understand what is going on. A CPA basically puts a label on you telling your interviewer that you are more than capable at doing that.

However, do keep in mind that as a CPA, you are bound to get hit (hard) with accounting technicals once you start interviewing. I have a couple of friends who have CPAs who recruited for banking, and they were asked accounting technicals in day 1.

Nov 23, 2013

Do you think hours are better at MM , and at regional offices (SF/Chi)? Im assuming you have friends at other banks.

Array

Nov 25, 2013

I think that really depends on the bank and group you are in. For example, some MMs (e.g. Jefferies/Houlihan) definitely work their associates just as hard (and at times even harder) than your average associate at a BB.

However, your point about regional offices are in some ways true. For example, I have friends at Citi in both NYC and SF, and the SF guys do seem to be a little more lax in terms of hours.

Nov 24, 2013

How many weeks of vacaction do you get, and are you able to actually use it? The big salary and bonus is great, but I would hope you can spend some of it on something enjoyable you could do with your GF.

Nov 25, 2013

On average across most firms, you get 3 weeks (15 business days). Unfortunately, you don't really get the chance to use it (during your first year at least). What is interesting though is that different groups can also have different vacation policies. In essence, it is firm policy that everyone gets 3 weeks - however, your particular group may also have rules about how you can use it (for example, one group may not let you use more than a week at a time, whereas another would, etc.)

Its inevitable in banking - you are just not expected to take days off when you first join. I guess its kind of like a hazing process...

Nov 24, 2013

1) Do MD's have sales (revenue) targets, and are they set independently for each MD, or are they group/company wide?

2) How does staffing work at the associate level? Do you get to choose what projects you're put on? Do you work with the same MD/VP etc regularly, or is it more random? Do you get to choose the analysts that get staffed on your projects?

3) Is it ever tough working with some (2nd or 3rd year) analysts who have been there for at least a year when you join, given your lack of IB experience pre-MBA? From your personal experience or stories/what you've seen, are any associates given a hard time by "more experienced" analysts who have a hard time working under someone without IB experience, and how are these issues usually resolved?

4) You mentioned top 20 schools for IB recruiting. Do you think there is a marked difference in ease of entry into post-MBA IB coming from an M7 school over a top 20?

5) In your experience/based on what you know, would IB's ever pay for an MBA if you're an analyst and go to get one after your analyst stint and commit to returning to the same bank post-MBA? Could something like an MBA give you leverage in moving to another office of the same IB? To tie it all together in a hypothetical example, if you work in Hong Kong or something, and do an MBA at Stanford- would it be relatively easy to work at the SF office of the same IB following your MBA, and would the IB ever pay for your MBA?

Thanks for doing this, I'm heading into IB and am seriously considering it as a long-term career, and there isn't too much info in one place/that's very easily accessible about IB post-analyst.

    • 1
Nov 24, 2013
notthehospitalER:

1) Do MD's have sales (revenue) targets, and are they set independently for each MD, or are they group/company wide?

2) How does staffing work at the associate level? Do you get to choose what projects you're put on? Do you work with the same MD/VP etc regularly, or is it more random? Do you get to choose the analysts that get staffed on your projects?

3) Is it ever tough working with some (2nd or 3rd year) analysts who have been there for at least a year when you join, given your lack of IB experience pre-MBA? From your personal experience or stories/what you've seen, are any associates given a hard time by "more experienced" analysts who have a hard time working under someone without IB experience, and how are these issues usually resolved?

4) You mentioned top 20 schools for IB recruiting. Do you think there is a marked difference in ease of entry into post-MBA IB coming from an M7 school over a top 20?

5) In your experience/based on what you know, would IB's ever pay for an MBA if you're an analyst and go to get one after your analyst stint and commit to returning to the same bank post-MBA? Could something like an MBA give you leverage in moving to another office of the same IB? To tie it all together in a hypothetical example, if you work in Hong Kong or something, and do an MBA at Stanford- would it be relatively easy to work at the SF office of the same IB following your MBA, and would the IB ever pay for your MBA?

Thanks for doing this, I'm heading into IB and am seriously considering it as a long-term career, and there isn't too much info in one place/that's very easily accessible about IB post-analyst.

Hey - I know Robert W. Baird has a program that sponsors analysts for their MBA. It's called Baird Scholars. I don't think any other top MM / BB have similar programs though.

Array

Nov 25, 2013

Not a problem ER, glad to help.

(1) As an associate, I am not in the best position to give you the most accurate answer here. However, what I can tell you is that each MD is judged independently on his or her ability to bring in revenue, and if you fall behind your peers when it comes to bringing in business, you will mostly likely be out of the door in no time. On the flip side, your upside potential (bonus pay) is purely dependent on how many transactions you bring in (and subsequently close). So if you are a good relationship guy, than IBD is definitly a good way to go careerwise.

(2) You don't really get to pick and choose your projects. For example, if you are a fresh MBA associate, your staffer will dictate which transactions you work on (and consequently, which senior members you will work with). If you work in a coverage group for example, your staffer will most likely staff you across all the different silos, so that you can develop exposure to all areas within your group. Then as you progress into your 2nd/3rd year, you will by that time have developed certain relationships with the more senior guys, at which point they will (if they like you) start requesting your staffer to staff you on their transactions. So lets say if you were in FIG, and you want to specialize towards the insurance silo, then it would be in your best interest to shine when your staffer puts you in a transaction in that area in the beginning of your associate career.

(3) I personally didn't have much trouble working with the more seasoned analysts when I first joined (I was fortunate that none of them were out to get me, for example). I think the key to developing a good relationship with them is to acknowledge that when you first start, you are there to learn from them, and not the other way around. And as part of the wider incoming associate class, I didn't really see any of my peers disrepecting their analyst at all. I guess I really did luck out and made a good choice when it came to picking this firm because of its people :)

(4) I think an M7 school does make a difference, as most of these schools are target schools for most banks. However, I believe the difference is really not that great. Most top 20 schools will have some sort of connection to all the BBs. And even if they are semi-targets, you still have a good shot as long as you are willing to put in the work and prepare well for the recruiting season.

(5) I think blueshirt beat me to the punch here with his example of Baird. In my experience, I know consulting firms (especially big 4 consulting departments) love giving out sponsorships and sending their kids to MBA programs. I can't say I've really seen many banks do that, as most analysts in the US don't really plan to go back into IB after their analyst stint (bear in mind though that my sample only revolves around the MBA class that I graduated from). However, I'm sure exceptions do occur; for example, if you are a top analyst in a top group, and are willing to sign an agreement to come back as an associate post-mba, then I don't see why a bank wouldn't consider sponsorship. Your Stanford MBA to IB in SF also sounds plausible; however, I think things run very different across different banks, so I really can't give you a straight answer here.

Nov 24, 2013

Hey LotusBlue,
Thanks for the AMA. Very useful for a career switcher like me.
Based on what you have seen, what is the % of bankers who make it to the next level.
Associate -> VP, VP->Director and VP->MD ? Is it safe to say, it's about 50% at each level.
Also how's the comp for associates 2,3,4 (you have already mentioned the comp for associate-1 earlier in the thread)
Thanks again man for taking the time.

Nov 24, 2013

To add to this question, what happens to people in banking who want to do it as a career but aren't successful at making it up the ranks? For example, a VP who doesn't get promoted to director- can s/he stay in banking as a VP, or are they forced out in a way?

Nov 25, 2013

That's a great question - unfortunately, I don't think you're going to like the answer. Banks only keep people on at certain positions for a certain time frame. If you haven't been able to prove your 'worth' during (and therefore not worthy of promotion), you will more than likely get let go (or perhaps get 'asked' if you would like to transfer to another department, etc.) For example, if you are not VP material by the fourth year as an associate, you can pretty much be assured that your career as a banker at that particular bank is over. That is also the reason why you sometimes see people transferring to different banks - if they feel their career path has become 'stale' at the bank they are working at, they usually move to other banks in order to hopefully move up the ranks there.

Nov 25, 2013

Not a problem someusername, glad to help.

In regards to your question about % of bankers who make it to the next level - that is actually very dependent on the group, as well as the general economy. Given the nature of IBD, you will tend to see a lot more people progressing through the ranks when times are good, as there will naturally be more transactions in the pipeline (more business to go around). And when times are bad, not only will not see people progressing through the ranks, but the likelihood of people getting let go becomes extremely high. But if you wanted some kind of generalization, I guess it would be fair to say the hardest progression would be from VP to Director (because if you can make Director, you have basically proven that you are capable of bringing in business, which is the core function of an MD). The likelihood of going from associate to VP are also pretty good if you actually managed to live out your whole associate tenure without getting let go.

In terms of comp, you can assume a steady increase in base of around 30-40 (once again - this is extremely generalized, as it will depend on how well the firm, etc. is doing). Bonus, of course, will be purely dependent on the amount of deal flow that goes through the pipeline throughout the year, as well as your overall performance as an associate.

Nov 24, 2013

Some of you guys should scroll up, I think OP has answered some of the questions you're asking in earlier posts.

Nov 26, 2013

To build on the earlier comments about advancing to MD... when you look at the senior bankers, do you think that the skills necessary to become a MD such as client-relationship management and sales are something that can be developed and learned through hard work, or do you think it's more an innate quality and people either have it or don't?

Array

Nov 27, 2013

I would say a little of both.

For example, there are some MDs who are just naturally smooth talkers, and have been throughout their whole careers - guys who are simply inherently built for the job. They have no problems with calling up clients on the fly and just chit-chatting with them off the bat, etc.

However, as I had previously mentioned, I do believe that it is also a trait that can be developed. Speaking from personal experience - I used to be an extremely quiet and shy person prior to the MBA, and had my doubts about going to all those social/networking events that are crucial when it comes to recruiting for IBD. However, I was determined to get into IBD, and as I forced myself to attend these networking events, I gradually got better versed at the 'schmoozing' aspect of it all. So yes, some people just have it in them. But if you don't, don't despair. Its also something that can be developed over time.

Nov 29, 2013

I am a CFA charterholder with some research experience, do you think there is a way to become an Associate without going for MBA? You mentioned that you went through CFA as well, how much is it valued in IBD?

Dec 2, 2013

Although the material covered in the CFA does help when it comes to the technical side of banking, the designation itself is actually not that highly valued given its association with portfolio management/ research. I think that it does show you are technically sound around financial statements if you have it; however, it will not be a big factor when being considered for the job itself.

However, I think the research experience you have will help if you decide to transition into a coverage group (or essentially to cover the area that your research experience falls under). A large part of being a good coverage banker is to be able to understand the industry - so if you have research experience in that area, you will definitly be viewed favorable vs. somebody that doesn't.

In terms of becoming as associate without doing an MBA - that really depends. For example, if you have been an equity research associate in a BB for a couple of years, then the transition into IBD within the same firm is definitely a possibility (I've definitely seen that happen). However, as I mentioned, it really depends on your background & experience.

Nov 29, 2013

I am a first year MBA and have an impending "informational interview" in the IBD of a "bulge bracket" for a Summer Associate position. I do not have a finance background but a wealth of experience (5+ years) as an analyst in another similar high-tempo industry. Should I expect technical questions or "fit" questions? If technical, how technical should I expect?

Nov 30, 2013
BankerElitist:

I am a first year MBA and have an impending "informational interview" in the IBD of a "bulge bracket" for a Summer Associate position. I do not have a finance background but a wealth of experience (5+ years) as an analyst in another similar high-tempo industry. Should I expect technical questions or "fit" questions? If technical, how technical should I expect?

informational interviews are typically you asking the banker questions. I would make sure you prepare accordingly and brainstorm a strong list of thoughtful things to discuss. I wouldn't be too concerned with getting technical questions outside of an interview.

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Nov 30, 2013

Thanks!

Dec 2, 2013

Mossy is right - don't be too concerned about technical questions at this stage. informational interviews are meant to give a candidate the opportunity to ask questions about the firm/group he or she may be interested in.

However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

(1) Do your research beforehand. Its fair to ask questions - however, bankers expect you to have done your due diligence before meeting with them, so don't ask questions that are already answered on, say, the company website.

(2) Although informationals are arenas that allow a candidate to ask questions, be prepared to give your 'pitch' (essentially a run down of your resume, and why you are a good fit for banking, in under 3 mins). Also be prepared to answer very basic behavioral questions in areas involving teamwork,why banking, why a particular group, etc.

(3) Although an 'informational interview' is not really an interview (as in officially), you should treat it as an interview in every single way. Remember that you are not the only person who he/she may be talking to, so always bring your A-game. Doing well in an informational is a great way to stand out from the crowd.

Dec 2, 2013

Awesome. Thanks for the response! I am fully prepared for the behavioral side of the interview and have conducted extensive research as well as reaching out to individuals in IB. I have also been developing a list of questions to ask and conversational pieces.

The part I have been focusing on vigorously has been the technical side. These responses have put me at ease a little, but I'll still have my "A" game no matter what. Thanks again!

Nov 29, 2013

I am in a similar position as you are when you are right out of college. I am currently a temp in a back office role. And it is the most horrible job, but I'm determined to get out of it. Like you I also enrolled the CFA and passed level 2.I saw that you moved onto a middle office role and stayed there a couple years before you eventually went on to get an MBA. I wanted to move to a equity research role, but is it really impossible to move to front office without obtaining an MBA. When you were in the middle and back office role, was it impossible to network into front office?

Dec 2, 2013

Its definitely not impossible to network your way to a front office role from MO/BO - in fact, I've seen people do it back when I was in MO/BO. However, it will also depend on what type of role you currently play, as well as how transferable the skills are when it comes to using them for the FO role you want to transition into.

For example, if you are currently doing risk management in MO, and want to transition into equity research, then the chances are extremely slim. First off, its going to be very difficult getting to know the research guys given the lack of interaction between the 2 groups (vs. say a guy who does risk in trading, wants to move into trading, and who will have constant exposure to traders thereby making it a lot easier, etc). Second, even if you do manage to network your way into getting an interview, the skillsets you bring onto the table will be hard to justify them hiring you vs. someone who may already have research experience, for example.

In essence, it really depends on what you do now (as MO and BO roles span a wide array of different opportunities, so it is hard to say without more details). But also, never say never. Feel free to pm me with more details behind your backgroud if you want to discuss.

Nov 29, 2013

Hey LotusBlue,

Thanks for taking the time to do this thread--really cool stuff here. If Investment Banking seems unattainable out of undergrad (non-target school, wasn't sure this was going to be my career path, etc.), what would be the next best thing to do? I.e. corporate finance role, commercial banking. I'd still like to do investment banking, but I feel it may be easier to jump in out of graduate school with a more prestigious reputation. Anyway, I'd love your opinion on the 'second best' type of job to go after straight out of undergrad. Thanks again!

Dec 2, 2013

Thanks bryce - glad to help.

I would say it really depends - however, I feel the best pre-MBA roles that will prepare you well for a career in IB post MBA are things such as:

(1) Transaction advisory (big 4, etc)
As you are essentially learning the ins and outs of what needs to be done during a transaction (DD, etc.). Also, you will have actual transactions that you will have worked on to talk about during your ibd interviews.

(2) corporate finance roles for a firm that you have an interest in covering sector-wise as a banker
For example- if you want to join a TMT group in IBD, working at a Intel/ Dell corporate role will allow you to spin a story that makes sense, while giving you a solid knowledge base of the industry).

In terms of commercial banking - this would be good if you plan on going recruiting for a FIG group in IBD (Financial Institutions Group). Working at a bank will put you in an advantageous position because it will allow you to understand how banks make money - a way of revenue generation that differs drastically from any other industry in the market.

Nov 30, 2013

Hi, thanks for the great thread and your constant responses.

Just the one question.

Can you give us some stats from MBAs who went in straight from undergrad? How were their placement results for internship and FT recruiting? From those in your program and those in other top programs.

Dec 2, 2013

Not a problem G-izzo, glad to help.

Exact Stats will be hard to give, seeing that they vary depending on the particular MBA program you are referring to (as well as what type of internships/FT opportunities you are also referencing). If you want to look into specific schools, their websites should show you their specific breakdowns. However, what I can tell you is that it is generally very hard to get into an MBA program straight from undergrad. The most valued aspect of any MBA candidate is their work experience, so 'straight through' students will definitely have a hard time competing for a spot.

However, there are of course exceptions (those being guys who have extremely strong summer experiences during their college years, as well as leadership positions inside and outside of school, etc.). If you do decide to go down that route, the undergraduate GPA and GMATs will also become a much bigger portion of the whole application process, as you will have less work experience that can be used for consideration. (for example, most of the straight through guys that I did my MBAs with were close to 4.0's with near perfect GMATs).

Finally, from a banking perspective: if you do you MBA straight out of your undergrad, you will not get placed as an associate. Although your peers will be recruiting for the associate positions, you will not be allowed to participate (you will most likely be placed into the analyst pool at this stage).

Dec 1, 2013

Hi Lotus,

Thanks for answering all these questions. Not sure if you addressed this one, but what group are you in, and are there any marked differences between your group and the others at your bank?

Thanks,
TS

Dec 3, 2013

Tangent - not a problem. Glad to help.

I would rather not give the group I work in - I did promise myself to keep anonymity, so just don't want to go down the slippery slope. However, I do work in a coverage group, so I cover a particular industry (rather than a product group like M&A, Lev Fin, etc., where things are more execution focused)

In terms of marked differences - as I mentioned , coverage groups do differ quite drastically from product groups. For example, working in coverage entails a lot of pitching, for example. So a lot of time is spent actually putting together material for books vs. actually focusing on executing a transaction once it gets parsed through. However, what I do like about working in coverage is how it really allows you to learn about the industry. For example, if an M&A transaction gets through, the M&A group will be responsible for the deal mechanics behind the transaction (accretion/dilution/M&A models, etc.). However, the industry analysis and growth/synergistic assumptions behind the transaction will be based from the coverage group. So a deep understanding of the companies and industry is of vital importance.

Dec 2, 2013

Lets say you are staffed on a book with a first year analyst. Do you expect the first year to do all the work while you shop / facebook / youtube when waiting on the analyst?

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Dec 2, 2013

If a college junior interested in banking and SA position calls you up to network, what can they do to make a favorable impression on you? Are there questions or talking points that you think are excellent for this case? In addition, what kind of things should they never do / talk about when they talk to a banker?

Array

Dec 3, 2013

In terms of things to make a favorable impression, I would say the following:

(1) Always do your own due diligence on the firm. It's fine to ask questions about things that can only be answered by drawing on one's experience (e.g. what type of transactions have you been working on most recently, etc.). However, never ask questions which have already been answered on, say, the company's website. For example, a lot of prospectives make the mistake of asking me about the structure of summer internships/rotational programs, etc. Answers to these types of questions are usually already on the website, so stay away from asking questions of that variety. Understand that time is a valuable resource for the person on the other line, and respect it by shying away from questions that you can easily find the answers for by yourself.

(2) Know (and be able to elaborate on) why you want to do banking. I have done informational interviews with a ton of people who, when asked why banking, could not even come up with an answer that made sense. Understand that there are thousands of people out there vying for an SA position, so you need to be able to come up with why you/why banking. You simply will not be pushed further into the process if you don't have a good answer. It is also extremely frustrating when a prospective calls and has no idea what banking even is. So once again, brings back to the point on due diligence (not just the firm, but also what investment banking is, and why you want to do it, etc.)

(3) Do some research on the industry that you are interested in (TMT, Industrial, or whatever) and be able to speak of certain transactions that have recently occurred in that space which you have found particularly interesting (additional points for transactions that the firm has actually worked on). Have an opinion on whether the transaction made sense (e.g. if it was an acquisition, was it expensive? Are the proposed synergies realizable? Etc. You don't have to be right - you just have to have an opinion). Doing this will not only show that you are interested in IB, but that you have actually made a conscious effort to try to understand what has been going on in that particular space. A lot of informational interviews I have done end up being extremely similar - they always ask the same 'canned' type of questions. If you can differentiate yourself by conveying a sense/idea of the industry, you are a winner in my book.

(4) Never be arrogant. Be humble. Although this should be a given, it still surprises me how some people still don't get the hint that the world doesn't revolve around them

(5) In terms of things you shouldn't talk/ask about (most of these should be pretty obvious):
a. Compensation (a definite no-no)
b. Hours (you should know what you are getting into)
c. Culture (never ask what the culture is like. It is such a broad question, and simply close to impossible to answer objectively)
d. Exit opps (we all know analysts come in for their 2 years and leave - however, you have to realize that banks don't care about that. They want to know what you will be like during the actual 2 years as an analyst, not after. And by asking, you will hardly be showing any dedication to what is right in front of you)

Dec 2, 2013

Sub 3.0 to Top 20 MBA. Congratulations!
I'm aiming for Yale..hopefully I get there.

Dec 3, 2013

Thanks pphi - I really appreciate it.

Best of luck with your apps to Yale!

Dec 3, 2013

What's your outlook on compensation in the industry? There was another article in FT today about investment banks tending towards cutting bonuses to employees in favor of higher shareholder returns. Do you think this is going to be the new normal in a post crisis era? Or is this a temporary setback because of a lackluster economy and deal environment?

Dec 6, 2013

Although compensation has taken a hit in recent years, I think it really is a temporary setback rather anything too permanent. The street always has its ups and downs, and I believe things will recover to the norm given time.

And in terms of bonuses - banks always find ways around this issue. For example, there's always ways to keep total comp the same at the end of the day - e.g. increasing the base to compensate for a smaller bonus, etc.

Dec 8, 2013

Thanks Lotus!

Mar 15, 2014

Hey LotusBlue - going to bump this back up with another question.

In choosing among which firms for your internal ranking, what was your criteria? I know on here, analysts have a hotly disputed ranking of "the best" firms - MS M&A, GS TMT/FIG, etc. - but that seems to be based mostly on exit ops and prestige. Was any of that a consideration at the post-MBA level though? Since associates don't have the same opportunities to exit like analysts, is "prestige" even a factor?

Thanks!

Mar 17, 2014

Im really confused as to what a perfect profile is for an Associate , naturally somebody with 3-4 yrs experience as an analyst is the order of the day but how many associates like you who do not have that profile make it as an IB associate? How do you manage analysts ,review their work etc because i think without prior relevant experience i think you are far less desirable for the associate role

May 26, 2014

Hi LotusBlue. A bit late coming across your thread but awesome nonetheless. I went through the majority of the posts here but might have missed a couple so this might have already been asked before.

I have a sub par GPA but am interested in a T14 MBA. Currently working in a rotation program at a F500. Other than good recs from my current job and participating in extracurriculars, is there anything I can do in regards to making my GPA look slightly better? Extension programs at schools such as Harvard or Berekely perhaps or is that the wrong approach ? Appreciate any feedback, thanks.

May 27, 2014

Thank you so much for doing this thread. I'm in a somewhat similar situation and this was/is very helpful.

Opstar lifestyle, might not make it

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