Does it matter what B-school I attend for investment banking?

mikewagner's picture
Rank: Baboon | 133

I have conducted a 5 week M&A internship at a very strong boutique bank. This internship made me realize that I want to be in investment banking long term.

I recently have accepted an offer to work to work for a government organisation. It is something I'm really passionate about and it seems like a good time to do this now for 2-3 years rather than be an analyst in investment banking as I want to be in investment banking long term.

I want to study for an MBA and join investment banking as an associate.

Does it matter where I do my MBA to get into investment banking if I already have experience in investment banking?

Comments (30)

Best Response
Jun 5, 2017

Yes

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Jun 7, 2017

Lol -- does it matter what MBA? This is the definition of a stupid question.

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Jun 5, 2017

Yes. Most of the mid-sized and major investment banks only recruit from a select group of schools. Not attending one of these will make it exponentially more difficult to land at a top firm.

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Jun 5, 2017

Yes. If you don't have OCR recruiting is extremely difficult. It can still be doable if you have other advantages going for you (usually one of previous finance experience/diversity candidate/vet) but why make it that much more difficult if you don't have to?

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Jun 6, 2017

I understand. Guess it's all about maximising your chances.

Jun 6, 2017

Out of interest does ocr generally tend to be very competitive?
Im hoping that this internship will help me.

Jun 9, 2017

MBA OCR is extremely competitive. 1/4 of my entire MBA class. Only half received summer offers. Of those, maybe 75% received return offers.

Having a 5-week internship you did in undergrad as your selling point in MBA recruiting is laughable. Focus on developing a good story at the job you've accepted and go to an M7 b-school.

Jun 6, 2017

As a vet, does being a vet really give me a leg up? I always see it as a PR thing with no substance.

Jun 7, 2017

It helped me much more with networking. Found that vets were much more likely to answer cold emails/ linkedin messages. Its useful if you leverage the veteran focused events

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Jun 5, 2017

It absolutely matters. You basically need to go to a top 15 MBA program or a few select other top 25 schools that place well regionally (i.e. Rice in Houston, USC in LA, etc...).

Also if you're counting your 5-week internship as "investment banking experience"....don't. College internships won't even be on your resume (or shouldn't be) when you are recruiting for a post-MBA role. If anything, it will hurt you, as you'll need to explain why you didn't pursue the career out of undergrad.

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Jun 6, 2017

Why wouldn't college internships be on your cv?
Surely if it's related to the industry you want to go into then it's useful.
I have a good story for not going straight into investment banking

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Jun 7, 2017

"Why wouldn't college internships be on your cv?"

Because everyone knows that the value of that internship for an associate level position is brass razoo. Better to highlight some other strengths of yours.

You killed the Greece spread goes up, spread goes down, from Wall Street they all play like a freak, Goldman Sachs 'o beat.

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Jun 6, 2017

Not sure why you are getting MS'd, this is pretty accurate. When you are applying to associate gigs in 3-4 years, a 5 week internship (which is basically half the length of a real internship program to begin with) is not really going to matter/factor in.

In fact, career switching at the MBA level is all about story. Frankly a story that talks about you doing an internship 4 years ago, getting an interest in investment banking, and then picking an entirely unrelated career makes no sense.

Keep the experience on your resume, but don't expect it to really help you and in fact it will probably open you up to more questions if anything.

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Jun 7, 2017

Yeah...this is what I was saying, but articulated better. No idea why I'm getting MS for suggesting that in terms of prioritizing valuable and limited space on an MBA resume (which should be one page only), a 5 week internship before graduating college would be the first thing to go for someone with 3 or 4 years of work experience at the time. If one can still fit it in, great, but all it really does is demonstrate interest...which can be done a million other ways. Banks would more interested in the leadership / responsibility you had at a real job.

As someone that has probably reviewed a couple hundred MBA resumes in my lifetime, I've never once seen one with a college internship on there. Everyone fills it up with full time work experience, volunteer work, or current extracurriculars.

What do I know though?

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Jun 6, 2017

1) Yes, school you go to absolutely matters. The better the school the higher chance of getting IB and/or a better firm.

2) If you go to a school that sends a lot of people to IB, OCR is somewhat competitive but more in terms of getting the best most sought after firms then vs getting a job. At the finance focused M7s and some of the finance focused t15s or so roughly 75%-85% of people who want banking get it. But there is a lot more variation on number of students going to the best firms and that's competitive.

3) Your 5 week internship will basically be meaningless. You shouldn't have any bullets about not even a full summer internship on your MBA resume. You likely shouldnt have any pre graduation work on it, unless you can't fill up your one page resume with post graduation WE (which is another problem). On top of that, there is almost no way you learned anything useful in that timeframe. You, quite frankly, shouldn't talk about it because the more you play up technical expertise the harder you will get grilled on it and you'll be competing in an arena where firms are totally cool with complete career switchers.

4) You need to go focus on having 3 years of impressive work, getting promoted, getting a good brand name on your resume and killing the GMAT, then worry about recruiting.

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Jun 7, 2017

This for your reply and the good advice.
And I agree about not having any stuff from before college graduation.

I suppose I should have made it clear that the internship was 8 months after graduation and after I had already worked somewhere.

Jun 7, 2017

Thanks for your advice.
Its good to hear from you, especially as you say you have reviewed mba resumes.

Anyway I should have made it clear in my original post that I did the internship after graduating and after my first job. So it was well after graduating.

Jun 6, 2017

obviously keep the internship on your resume if it's from a well respected boutique. Just don't play it up more than it is. I think the convo about why you didn't do ib post undergrad could be pretty interesting and memorable. Keep in mind you want as many variables in your favor as possible

Jun 7, 2017

While the target schools will make it easier to break into the industry, a lot of the opportunities and experiences available at non-target schools will certainly build character. If you really do want to be in the industry, it seems like hard work can pay off and a non-target school will just force you to build your work ethic for the long run.

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Jun 8, 2017
jbstar23:

While the target schools will make it easier to break into the industry, a lot of the opportunities and experiences available at non-target schools will certainly build character. If you really do want to be in the industry, it seems like hard work can pay off and a non-target school will just force you to build your work ethic for the long run.

what

Jun 8, 2017
Comment
Jun 9, 2017