Breaking back into IB...?

Hi All,

I was wondering if I could have some advice on my particular, peculiar situation as it relates to breaking back into IB after 4-5 years.

  • Graduated from a top 20 university with a degree in Business, Finance in 2015. Was apart of a sports team that won the ncaa national championship (I was a bench warmer though). Also interned at a hedge fund and then a MM investment bank my senior year.
  • Instead of accepting and going full-time with the investment bank, I had an offer to help coach a pro tennis player on the tour. I ended up "taking my shot at my dream" and going to (assist.) coach a friend and player at the U.S. Open, among other tournaments.
  • Player was hovering around 100-150 (and then a little bit lower) in the world so couldn't afford to pay, so it was kind of out-of-pocket for me. So I had to build up my own private tennis coaching business to support myself. 
  • Ended up building a full book of private clients and just worked with (and still do) the pro player when he is in town or has tournaments around the area (unfortunately he's quite a bit lower in the ranks now, although doing well in doubles...but this does not matter to the story lol)
  • Tired of being in the sun all day and also unfortunately at least half of my clients end up being kids, half (or more) of whom don't really want to be there, so it ends up kind of being babysitting.
  • I guess my story as I try to break back into i-banking is that I "went for it/went for my dream" but am now looking to get back into the industry. 
  • I'd also like to believe that being able to coach at such a high level and compete at such a high level would maybe be a compelling and different thing to see on a resume? 
  • The problem is it's been like 4-5 years now. I'd think that like 2-3 years would look better. 4-5 and I'm starting to look like an old man now at 28 years old.
  • Currently in an accounting and modeling and valuation course just to refresh my skills and knowledge.

Anyway that sort of covers what I'd like to think my "story" is. Do y'all think I have a shot? I'm not really sure how I have a chance because I'm kind of out of the loop as far as recruiting goes. I-banking has a very specific way of recruiting and I'm waaay removed from that now so nobody cares about me. I guess I was just thinking to go around to boutique or middle market banks in the area, maybe try to grab coffees with people, apply to some places. Also try to leverage some connections that I have. Etc...

Any thoughts or input at all is appreciated. I know it's going to be tough but I know I can do it.



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Comments (6)

Aug 11, 2021 - 11:04pm



Wow I actually hadn't thought of that. I wonder, given my lack of work (business type work) experience, if I'd be able to get into an MBA program? 
Damn, thanks for this thought though man! I was more of the thinking that if anything I'd do a few years in banking and then maybe do an MBA. But I hadn't thought about that doing an MBA could be a good bridge to get back into the business/finance world. You da man!

Aug 11, 2021 - 11:20pm

You dont need "formal" corporate work experience to be accepted into a solid MBA program.

Your story sounds like it could be a great sell. Hows your network? Hopefully some of your clients attended or had parents who attended some of the top schools. Given that you had prior IB SA experience I would say that you look pretty good on paper. Crush the GMAT and get some solid letters of rec and you should be good to go.

Would advise against telling MBA admissions that your interested in banking though. Get admitted based on pursuing entrepreneurship. It's a better fit for your story.

Aug 11, 2021 - 11:29pm

Okay. Yeah my network is pretty damn great. I teach a lot of really successful people. As it relates to where they went to school etc., I even teach this Stanford professor who has started and sold multiple businesses. Damn I didn't think about that I'd be able to get letters of rec from my tennis clients? You think that's OK? Lol. I know I sound like an idiot but this is the first time I've even thought about MBA being a potential and now all of a sudden I think it makes the most sense!

Thanks again bro!

Aug 12, 2021 - 12:10am

Ur story is cool and you seem pretty chill. Best of luck man. I'd say maybe try networking a little with banks just to see if breaking into a MM bank is a possibility. MBA is a huge time and cost sink but is def a great option if you can't directly break in

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Aug 12, 2021 - 12:23am

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