Crossing over from Wealth Management to Capital Markets via Grad School

Hello All,

I'm fairly new to WSO, though I have browsed through the site a few times in the past. I've always had a strong interest in finance & capital markets, but until recently I never realized what it really takes to break into a coveted "front office" role with an investment bank, b/d, or even a boutique firm. That being said, I'm 24 years old & trying to transition my career path from a wm route to a capital markets route. I'm considering using grad school as a platform to jump from wm to capital markets.

I attended a non-target, private University in southern Florida for undergrad (BS finance). While it would be considered a non-target school by street standards, it's not uncommon for alum to land jobs with mm southern banks (think rayj, suntrust) or smaller M&A, pe shops, as well as WM b/ds. I enjoyed the perks of going to school in so. fl, and as a result I didn't excel as much as I am capable of academically during my undergraduate degree. I graduated with little over a 3.0, and my resume was nothing special.

Despite not doing as well academically as I should have, I was a persistent networker and was able to get in front of the right people and I knew who to reach out to. I was able to supplement my less than stellar gpa by landing two summer internships with UBS Wealth Management. Say what you will about wm internships, but being able to work under a team managing $400+ million in client assets is beneficial if you immerse yourself. Those internships are what you make them and often time the firm really wants young people to be excited about wm and as a result will show you some cool things.

After graduation I was able to turn those internships into a full time opportunity with UBS supporting financial advisors. The game changer for this opportunity was being able to obtain my investment licenses (series7&66). In my first few months I banged those out and being a fully licensed securities broker has opened up a few doors & gotten me in front of the right people. Mostly other b/ds (bulge bracket, Morgan, Merrill, etc) wanting to bring me on as a junior advisor. I've also interviewed for roles in Alts. w/ the big regional player (rayJ) and interviewed for a position in their fixed income trading desk as well. Also interviewed with a boutique IB & a boutique PE shop and through interviewing realized how important the understanding of accounting and corporate finance are for these positions.

I think what I've come to discover is that PE/IB=highly technical, high understanding of corporate finance needed, & WM/trading=sales, understanding of markets & securities.

Anyways, I was wondering if anyone on here has used a graduate degree (Mba, MsF) as a platform to landing a front office job in capital markets (IB,S&T,PE,etc). I'm going back to the same school to start my MsF in spring because there's more about finance I'd like to learn and I also really would like to knock it out of the park academically (3.5+gpa). I'm hoping that this along with a couple of solid internships can land me in IB or equity research with one of the bigger regional players down here. May even consider NYC but my school doesn't carry weight in NYC.

I don't want my Securities licenses to lapse (2 years) but the sales role of being a financial advisor isn't my cup of tea. For me it's been a good introduction to the industry but just the tip of the iceberg. Curious to here your thoughts and experiences.

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Dec 4, 2018