Breaking into Banking Strategy

Hi all:

I just recently graduated from a tier one (per U.S. News, ranked in the 30's) American university with a GPA circa 3.5 and a GMAT score of 740. Given the recent economic downturn I am unemployed, my ultimate goal is to do investment banking. I've more or less figured out that I am going to have to get an MBA before breaking into banking, but of course I need to get work experience before getting an MBA. Therefore, I've come up with the following two strategies for getting that prerequisite work experience:

1) Masters of Accounting Degree from either Texas or UNC- I get the degree, do Big 4 accounting (pref. within an M&A or transaction advisory group) for a few years, then get my MBA. Given that the MBA degree primarily serves as a career changer, I am assuming that BB recruiters won't mind that I did accounting before MBA. If anything, they should like that I have in-depth knowledge of the financial statements blah blah.

2) Masters of Finance Degree from HEC in Paris, Erasmus in Rotterdam or Bocconi in Milan- There is a good chance this avenue may get me into banking right away, since these are all top-tier European finance programs. Don't anyone tell me Oxford or LSE,I know they are the best, but my quantitative GMAT score isn't above the 90th percentile as they would prefer it ( only low 80's: thanks american education system) The only thing that makes me hesitant about choosing this strategy is that I don't know how the recruiting process works in Europe. Specifically, I am unsure if these schools have a dedicated career center that brings recruiters on campus. One would think they do, since their recent grads boast 90%+ employment rates but its impossible to say for certain since their websites don't provide the cut and dry salary data that I am so used to seeing for American programs.

I would really appreciate any insights on the feasibility of these strategies, insights on the schools I mentioned (and their recruiting), and any other tips you might have.

Cheers

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Comments (7)

Nov 11, 2009 - 6:39pm

the above two posts are obviously high school spammers. I like your first choice the most. Having a solid accounting background will differentiate you from the other MBAs and within the Big Four you can move to a transactional role as well giving you a pitch for banking. Trust me, an MBA who actually knows financial statements will open a lot of doors for you later. You may be able to use the Big Four as a platform to an analyst role as well.

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Nov 11, 2009 - 8:49pm

get the macc. audit financial services companies or get into M&A/Transaction work (idk if they place into this after 1st year though). maybe get a cfa as well. from there you'll be well positioned for recruiting out of mba or to go into something else good (hedge fund controller, fig equity research, etc).

Nov 11, 2009 - 9:11pm

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