Average age of investment banker MBA

I'm currently an undergraduate and expect to get an MBA. I want to complete a stint as an i-banking analyst for 2 years before continuing on to get my MBA. However, I've noticed that most MBA candidates at the top schools have somewhere between 4-5 years of work experience before attending business school. I don't want to work for 4-5 years before attending business school. Do most I-Bankers on the ibanking -> MBA path work after their analyst stint and before attending business school? Is a 2 year stint at an I-Bank considered sufficient for acceptance into a top 5 program (assuming 3.7+ gpa and 710+ gmat)? Is this too common of an application for the top 5 programs? How much would chances of acceptance increase if I spent another 2-3 years in PE/HF/other financial role before applying for business school?

Comments (8)

Apr 10, 2007

I am in this exact same position, and would desperately like an answer. I mean, if MBAs go on to be associates (those that choose i-banking post MBA), it would be sort of redundant to stay on at your firm longer than two years as an analyst. From my position, I am thinking the best course of action is to do 2 years of banking, quit, study then nail the gmat, and spend a year overseas doing charity work or something else that contrasts 180 degrees from banking; something that gives good international exposure and promotes a sense of selflessness. Does that sound like enough, or would more than two years of actual work be needed?

Apr 10, 2007
xtracurricular:

I am in this exact same position, and would desperately like an answer. I mean, if MBAs go on to be associates (those that choose i-banking post MBA), it would be sort of redundant to stay on at your firm longer than two years as an analyst. From my position, I am thinking the best course of action is to do 2 years of banking, quit, study then nail the gmat, and spend a year overseas doing charity work or something else that contrasts 180 degrees from banking; something that gives good international exposure and promotes a sense of selflessness. Does that sound like enough, or would more than two years of actual work be needed?

That actually sounds like a decent idea. I've been thinking of ways to do something that is the opposite of banking during my 2 years as an analyst, unfortunately I haven't been able to come up with much that would be accommodating to the schedule of an banker.

Any other ideas? Anyone else with experience jumping from analyst to MBA school?

Apr 12, 2007

I'm finishing up right now at a top 3 business school and am going into investment banking. The first poster is absolutely right: the average amount of work experience is 4 or 5 years, and very few have less than 3. Further, I don't know a single person in my class who only has 2 years of Analyst experience.

The first take away is that you need more work experience than 2 years. The next question is what to do after your analyst program.

When deciding what to do, be aware that admissions people will want to see a coherent thread that links what you did after college to why you want to go to business school to what you want to do after business school. Given this, doing volunteer work abroad after IB for the sake of contrast will not do much for your application. It would, however, make sense if you were interested in emerging markets and wanted to work for the IFC after business school. So think about building your career over the medium term and choose a post analyst job that will be a means to helping you get there.

Separately, once you are in business school, I have noticed that the guys who have BB experience followed by top Tier PE or VC experience tend to do especially well in recruiting for their post MBA job.

Apr 12, 2007

Thanks Maiden, very informative post. I don't mind working after my analyst stint. However, as the previous poster stated, i don't want to be a typical candidate with analyst and PE or VC experience. Do you have any recommendations as to what to do either concurrently or after working to round off your application? Do you even need to round off your application if you have 2 analyst years+VC/PE? And I know that sounds shallow, but if it helps get me into a top program while helping others, nobody gets hurt.

Apr 12, 2007

As I implied above, no one can tell you what the right job is after IB. The advice I can give you is that what you choose should be a logical step in the career plan that you will set forth in your business school application. The job needs to be coherent with your story.

I'm not sure what you mean by "round off." If you are referring to some sort of community service or volunteer work, be advised that MBA admissions are not at all like undergrad where you need to collect a bunch of community service experiences while you're in high school. The first question an admissions will ask you in your interview is why you did what you did. If you don't have a good reason for volunteering in Africa after being an analyst, you will simply be perceived by admissions as someone who doesn't have focus. However, if the Africa thing is a stepping stone to what you want to do after b school, then that will work well on the app.

Finally, if you can get into a top tier PE or VC firm after your analyst stint, you will be a very competitive candidate and will be far from typical.

Apr 22, 2007

If 2 years as an analyst in BB is not enough for a top business school, why not to stay at BB for a 3rd year as an analyst? :)

Apr 22, 2007

Go to PE, VC or HF instead for another 3 or so years.

At that time you will have 5 years of work experience, including your BB analyst stint and your PE, HF or VC role and you will be all set to get into a top 10 business school....

provided that you have a decent gpa 3.3 - 3.8 and can score at least a 700 on your GMAT.

Apr 22, 2007
Comment