Dropping out of Analyst program after 1.5 yrs, MBA impact

neilol's picture
Rank: Orangutan | 276

Been searching around the forums, cant find much discussion around this topic.

I'm trying to determine if there is a stigma attached to working as an Analyst at a boutique bank for 1 year and 6 months rather than a round two years. I'd be dropping out in June, taking a month or so off, and then starting with an "interesting" position (think a start-up incubator) for a year or two both to relax a bit, and hopefully look better for top 25 MBA's.

Any thoughts on this? Before the "stick it out for 2 years bro", it makes sense for me to drop. Small boutique, waning deal flow, no room for expanded responsibility etc. Basically I'm wondering if it will look super negative not to have finished out the two years.

I'm going to try and negotiate a stub bonus...wonder how that's going to go.

Comments (11)

Mar 20, 2013

There have been several threads recently, about people leaving their jobs less than a year. If you already have an offer in hand then go for it. I know I would unless I was at a BB, elite boutique.

Things to Consider:
Pay, will it be less and are you okay with that?
Do you see this start up going anywhere, and how will it have an affect on your MBA application?
Will you get equity at this start up?

Where's your boutique, can I takeover your position when you leave? lol

Mar 20, 2013

If the money is good and the new job title/responsibilities won't mess with your MBA application, I'd go for it. You can always explain the move as a consequence of your desire to get in on the ground floor, handle more responsibility, etc...

This is assuming the start up has potential, no significant issues, isn't shaky, etc...

Mar 20, 2013

I honestly think that the start-up will look better for MBA apps than the boutique bank anyway, in addition to the better hours. If you're pegged as a 'banking' candidate, you're up against the rest of the finance applicants who work at BBs, elite boutiques, and exit to PE/HF. It'd be tough to get in when your peers have brand names, Ivy backgrounds, etc and a lot of school have a set number of finance guys they're gonna take. Better to be the start up guy, where the competition is lower and you're a more diverse/non-traditional applicant (in a good way though).

Mar 20, 2013

Are you going through the incubator program as a startup or working for the incubator directly?

If you are working on a startup going through an incubator, your hours won't be much different than banking.

Mar 20, 2013

Thanks for the input, pretty spot on and how I felt about the situation. Second opinion always helps.

Tech - Working at the incubator, small possibility of working with a specific company.

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Mar 20, 2013
neilol:

Thanks for the input, pretty spot on and how I felt about the situation. Second opinion always helps.

Tech - Working at the incubator, small possibility of working with a specific company.

The biggest question is how high profile is the incubator? We've been going through an incubator bubble, and I think there are a lot of low quality ones out there that won't make it. If it's Y-Combinator, TechStars or similar, it could be an awesome experience. If it's a small one with little institutional leverage and low quality companies, that is a different story. One way to analyze that is to look at their VC and corporate partners.

Mar 20, 2013

It looks good for the application, but there certainly is a risk. When people say that most start-ups fail, that's no joke. Is this a solid start-up opportunity? If it isn't, and when your resume says "Intern start-up A, 6 months; Intern start-up B, 3 months; Intern start-up C. current", it looks weird. If you are successful, the hours are long, the pay will be less, you may have equity in the company, do you think you can leave just like that? My real question is: what do you plan to do with your MBA?

Best Response
Mar 20, 2013

Hey,

As a bit of background: I worked at MBB and then did biz dev at a start-up, which ended up becoming a portfolio company for a big-named P/E shop. I then attended an M7 school and am now in banking.

I'll say a few things:

1. Story matters most. Provided that your GPA is good and you went to a decent school, Adcom is concerned about whether the line you've drawn between where you've been and where you'd like to go is clear. They admit based on three policies: how enthusiastic are you about our program (to max yield), how much sense does your story make (will you get a job?), and are you smart (will you drop out because you can't handle the workload?)

2. If you don't like where you are, there's no point being there provided you're not jumping ship to another position just to leave your current position. If you are REALLY passionate about the job or what it does, then there's no questions asked. DO IT.

3. Forget comp. You're young, and I'm assuming you don't have a family. This is the perfect time to try new things, provided, of course, that they make sense.

4. Top bschools value the untraditional paths. Trust me. I applied to CBS/W only and got in to both. I'll be honest, my stats were OK (GMAT was good, GPA sucked), but schools were interested in having me because "I wasn't part of a niche that was already filled").

5. Be smart about applying to bschool. I tell kids this all time. If you're smart, you'll reach out to program directors (not AdCom or professors), talk about your background and ask important questions. You'll be surprised how much influence these cats have (and they'll tell you upfront, btw). Business is about selling. Getting into Bschool is no different - it's about knowing how to market yourself. No better way than directly targeting those who affect decisions.

Taking risks is tough. Leaving your job is tough. In the grand scheme of things, you have so much ahead of you, but don't worry about whether leaving 6 months early will affect your bschool admission chances. Anyone can get into a decent bschool, it's a matter of spinning a story and telling that girl - who, btw, is as insecure as you are - that you love her.

Hope that helps. Feel free to PM me. What does everyone else think?

    • 2
Mar 20, 2013
bankbanker101:

Hey,

As a bit of background: I worked at MBB and then did biz dev at a start-up, which ended up becoming a portfolio company for a big-named P/E shop. I then attended an M7 school and am now in banking.

I'll say a few things:

1. Story matters most. Provided that your GPA is good and you went to a decent school, Adcom is concerned about whether the line you've drawn between where you've been and where you'd like to go is clear. They admit based on three policies: how enthusiastic are you about our program (to max yield), how much sense does your story make (will you get a job?), and are you smart (will you drop out because you can't handle the workload?)

2. If you don't like where you are, there's no point being there provided you're not jumping ship to another position just to leave your current position. If you are REALLY passionate about the job or what it does, then there's no questions asked. DO IT.

3. Forget comp. You're young, and I'm assuming you don't have a family. This is the perfect time to try new things, provided, of course, that they make sense.

4. Top bschools value the untraditional paths. Trust me. I applied to CBS/W only and got in to both. I'll be honest, my stats were OK (GMAT was good, GPA sucked), but schools were interested in having me because "I wasn't part of a niche that was already filled").

5. Be smart about applying to bschool. I tell kids this all time. If you're smart, you'll reach out to program directors (not AdCom or professors), talk about your background and ask important questions. You'll be surprised how much influence these cats have (and they'll tell you upfront, btw). Business is about selling. Getting into Bschool is no different - it's about knowing how to market yourself. No better way than directly targeting those who affect decisions.

Taking risks is tough. Leaving your job is tough. In the grand scheme of things, you have so much ahead of you, but don't worry about whether leaving 6 months early will affect your bschool admission chances. Anyone can get into a decent bschool, it's a matter of spinning a story and telling that girl - who, btw, is as insecure as you are - that you love her.

Hope that helps. Feel free to PM me. What does everyone else think?

Liked everything you said. Solid advice. (FWIW though, MBB--> Biz Dev isn't that out of the ordinary, so I dunno if you're 'non-traditional.' Isn't MBB Wharton and CBS' most common feeder?)

Mar 20, 2013

^Very fair point. MBB business analysts can go on to do biz dev/strategy (some at small, some at large co's) and PE (Golden Gate as an example). Many of them (especially in the EU offices) stay for a few more years and then head to Bschool. So while a fraction of MBB guys go to start-ups, it's a small proportion of the whole.

For CBS/W (not sure about Booth), a large chunk of kids there were McK/BCG/Bain from Europe. I think with the US structure, there were considerably fewer sponsored guys from the US (I remember just a couple, and they were both Bain). Others who've had MBB experience went on to do something else right before Bschool (middle-east / PE / start-up).

Regardless, start-up experience is valued because it's a riskier venture, and gives you a lot of things to talk about with your Bschool application. You can leverage it and say "having been in an operating role, I'd like to go into consulting and advise clients, and not just my team, on how to create operational efficiencies/hone strategic vision"; or "having worked at an incubator, I'd like to do VC", etc, etc.

Mar 20, 2013
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