distinguishing yourself among analysts for B-school

Hey everyone,

I know there's not right or wrong answer here, but I had a question regarding MBA admissions. When MBA programs look at IB analyst applicants, how do they decide who is more competitive? I know the interview and GMAT are important, but as far as what analysts have accomplished the last two years, isn't it pretty much the same for everyone? How important are undergrad school/major/GPA? And what about the prestige of the bank?

I'll be a SA at a decent bank this summer, but it's not a top BB. If I enjoy it I'd like to stay, but would I be doing myself a disservice when it comes time to apply to B-school, not having tried for a more prestigious bank? I'd certainly be trying for a top MBA program.


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Comments (9)

Mar 3, 2008 - 5:57pm

essays are very important. much more than for other types of grad school.

Author of www.IBankingFAQ.com
Mar 9, 2008 - 9:59pm

Sorry, what is a "top BB"? I thought the BB was only top firms. If it's not a top firm, then it's not a BB. And I thought there were only 4 maybe 5 BB firms.

How is the jargon being used now?

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Mar 10, 2008 - 9:21am

As far as business school admissions goes, I don't think it really matters whether you are at MS or Citi or UBS... don't get too caught up in the "tiers".

Think of it from a much larger perspective- they will try to categorize you as a banking analyst and the groups there will look more like something like this:
- "New York, big international firm (BB)"- the list above, may include the elite boutiques (Lazard, Evercore, etc.)
- "middle market firm"- Piper Jaffrey etc.
- "smaller, regional bank"- Harris Brown, Key Bank, etc.

If you can say you worked at one of the banks nystateofmind listed, don't worry too much about marginal difference in the bracket itself. Of course you may want to switch for professional reasons but I would speculate there isn't too much advantage of switching firms JUST for business school admissions.

Mar 10, 2008 - 10:59am

On this point, would B-school's look favourable to you if you worked say 2 yrs in a foreign office of a BB, eg in Hong Kong and then applied for a US school? Would they value the Asian experience more than the NY one?

Mar 18, 2008 - 11:13am

And how do they actually differentiate between so many analysts from BB banks? Everyone's worked on some major project and had a significant impact or leadership role, everyone practiced the GMAT until they could get a competitive score, everyone's knows a few people who will write them great recommendations -- so what gives?

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