B-school chances?

Hey guys - want a second opinion on this. Former NYC BB analyst here. Near the end of my second year as an analyst I was approached by some folks in a top group at an EB (Centerview / LAZ / EVR etc). As I wanted to be a career banker, they basically encouraged me to lateral and join them by promising a lot more deal flow, autonomy, potential for upward progression etc.. Once I got there it was very evident that they had misconstrued the role and the group had an awful culture (this is coming from someone who had spent two years in BB banking and knows the hours / demands of the job).

Two opportunities have come up for me - one is at a top BB on the west coast and the other is a top ranked MM in chicago (where I'm from). Both would keep me on my current career track (i.e. get promoted to associate this coming summer). There have been some health problems in my family lately and ideally I would like to go back home to be closer to my family, so the MM offer is tempting. Do you think these circumstances could harm my application if I ever want to go to bschool? Kind of feeling discouraged by the circumstances tbh.

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Comments (21)

Best Response
Oct 22, 2017 - 4:06pm

If the family situation is terminal illness (or something that is potentially so or could be on its way there i.e. a cancer diagnosis), make that a priority. Regardless of the career opportunities, you will hate yourself years down the line if you realized you put your career ahead of family situations like this. And that may not rear its ugly head right away. That kind of pain and regret is not something I'd wish on anyone - you can get through just about any career/job decision that went wrong (i.e. even your current situation where you took the job that you now regret). But you'l have a much harder time coping with regrets when it comes to family. Again, as a young person you may not even feel this right away, but can come back to haunt you years later in ways that no career decision can.

So let's say the BB offer is better objectively for your career, b-school admissions, recruiting down the line, blah blah blah.

But if that is the case, think long and hard whether it's worth making that trade off based on what's going on with your family.

Now, I know that some folks out there will try and justify it with "well the family situation isn't really that bad..." which may or may not be true in your case (but if the family health situation wasn't that important, then you probably wouldn't have mentioned it).

Here's the thing. I think if you take away the family situation, most people based on the info you provide would say take the BB offer on the west coast. So it's not really a career decision, but factoring in your family situation, which comes down to how important is it for you to be closer with your family at this time given their situation.

Alex Chu

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Oct 25, 2017 - 3:33pm

It's hard to see early in your career, but put family first for your long term health and your family relationships. This is easily explainable on any future b-school applications. If you pursue banking as a career, you can always jump back to a BB in NYC from a MM in Chicago. I never worked for a MM firm, but I worked at 2 BBs and a boutique in a 2nd tier market. I liked boutique life way better and had more than sufficient earning potential.

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Oct 22, 2017 - 10:24pm

you can address it in your optional essay. Make sure to crush the GMAT given you're from a nontarget (the people at the M7 I attended who went to nontargets generally had 3.9+/740+)

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Oct 24, 2017 - 12:54pm

I think it's dependent on a lot of things, but I don't see any reason (barring any huge changes in admissions standards or school reputation) that you shouldn't be competitive at Wharton/Booth/Columbia/etc. I agree that H/S would be a stretch, as it is for almost all pure banking candidates without an extra hook (URM, significant and influential volunteer work, compelling personal story, etc.). I would think the FT would only be necessary for a career switch, in which case you'll need to really sell your career switch goal

Oct 25, 2017 - 5:13pm

Take the MM offer. When it comes to writing b-school essays, weave into the story how family circumstances motivated you to choose the offer so you could balance your career with personal commitments.

In the end, it may end up making you come across as a more well-rounded individual, instead of the success at any cost type of individual that seems to dominate banking.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw
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