EB post-MBA recruiting w/o pre-MBA experience

I'm under the impression from reading various threads on this site that if you're qualified enough to be at a top MBA program and have a reasonable level of aptitude, then you can expect to land at least one BB associate offer. Assuming you're the type of person that falls into this category, is it much harder to land an EB offer all things being equal?

For context, I was engineering undergrad and am going crazy rotting away in B4 technology consulting. I'm matriculating to NYU Stern and am very interested in the EB model. To me it would make sense that EB's would put more emphasis on pre-MBA experience than BB's, but I'm hoping I'm wrong about that. Looks like Stern placed candidates at tons of EB's but wondering whether that is typically saved for those with pre-MBA banking or finance experience.

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Comments (29)

Apr 3, 2020 - 6:07pm

Going from CBS to EB this year, so similar situation. Similar background to yours as well.

The actual truth is that there are very few people with pre-mba finance experience who actually recruit for IB. If you want to stay in IB, generally you just skip the MBA.

The biggest thing for EBs is that you get their model and want to be at an EB. They will ask multiple times "where else are you recruiting", and if you are late in the coffee-chat process and still saying to Guggenheim that you are recruiting at JPM and GS, it is going to set off some flags.

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Apr 3, 2020 - 7:39pm

that's fair, obviously there are people who are top candidates for various reasons and the firms overlook it(an offer from JPM and EVR sounds like your buddy was the real deal). in my experience, just in general, being able to articulate an BB v EB preference is a data point banks use.

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Apr 3, 2020 - 6:20pm

Congrats that's exciting. What was your reasoning about desiring the EB model? From what I gather it sounds like a much more diverse experience (industry coverage sounds dreadful) and I've heard that EBs are also more cash focused in late career compensation and focus less of deferred comp, although I obviously wouldn't mention that in an interview. Bigger reason of the two is wanting diverse work experience.

Apr 4, 2020 - 1:52pm

Biggest thing is saying that you just want to focus on Advisory/M&A. That's generalizing, of course, but the Associates that I spoke to during the recruiting process seemed to emphasize how gung ho they were about only wanting to do M&A and get a lot of reps.

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Apr 5, 2020 - 10:47am

My personal view (others may disagree) was that going to an EB would be better if I want to be a banker long-term, which is my goal. The firm I am headed to really seems to have an amazing culture which prioritizes hiring the right people and keeping them. Most EBs also have the counter-cyclical Rx practice, which provides deal flow when times get tough. For me, this showed additional job security, along with an extremely smart team that was (as far as I could see) light on facetime culture.

All of that is in addition to the great deal flow that the EBs all have (hopefully it will continue) and the chance to really dig into non-bread and butter M&A. It sounds kind of lame, but I really do enjoy finance, and I talked about how I wanted to work on things like RMT transactions and hostile deals involving PR issues, political votes, legal issues, etc etc.

Edit to say - Oh and the pay (while again, this may change this year) - 200k was standard A1 bonus this past year according to classmates currently at EBs.

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Aug 25, 2020 - 4:04am

Thank you for your inputs. Does the above apply to internationals too? Or are the expectations from them higher since they'll need sponsorship etc. Anecdotally, all the people I see getting into EVR/MoCo have IB/Transaction Advisory background. Is there any sound reason behind this? Would love to hear your inputs. TIA

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Aug 25, 2020 - 9:56pm

I wouldn't say that being transparent on recruiting at other firms is a red flag. Most of my peers and myself have revealed that openly, and it seemed to be the BBs that care even more about asking "where else are you recruiting" question. GS, JPM, MS, and BoA in particular asked multiples times all the way through the Superdays. Evercore and PJT seemed more confident of converting their offers. The actual conversion ratios for Evercore and PJT were 100% for my program (M5 MBA Program) while much lower for GS, JPM, MS, and BoA (and like 0% for other banks).

  • Associate 2 in Acct - Other
Apr 4, 2020 - 8:00am
Pichael:

For context, I was engineering undergrad and am going crazy rotting away in B4 technology consulting.

Similar position, so bump for interest. Tempted to do an MBA to switch into IB.

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Apr 4, 2020 - 1:42pm

It's very possible to recruit to top EBs via MBA without any relevant finance experience. Banks care more about your commitment to IBanking, school name, technical aptitude (which will be harder at EB than BB in my experience), and relevant industry knowledge. For example, it makes a lot of sense for folks who were in biotech or healthcare industries to be recruiting for post-MBA IB positions in the banks' healthcare coverage groups.

I have a couple friends who went to Stern for MBA and received offers from the top banks in both EB and BB. There are 2 or 3 Stern MBAs joining Evercore this year, from which two of them rejected offers at both GS and JPM. My understanding is that one had no relevant finance background, but killed it in the technical interviews and coffee chats.

The "where else are you recruiting" is asked not only by EBs, but BBs. Pretty much every bank will be asking this question in addition to asking if you have any exploding offers from any other banks.

Apr 4, 2020 - 6:14pm

Not to make it sound like I'm underestimating things by any means, but the impression I get from seeing various posts about MBAs is that doing one at a good school puts you in a position where you're almost courted by BBs/EBs, and all that's left to do is nail technicals. Is that at all right?

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Apr 5, 2020 - 2:10am

I wouldn't say you're almost courted by BB/s EBs. Although popularity for IB has definitely gone down in recent years, competition is still extremely tough no matter which top M5 MBA you attend. If you don't mind ending up at any bank, sure you will likely get a gig somewhere. But if you're targeting the top BBs/ EBs, you have to compete within your school and with candidates from the other MBA programs as well. I know of several top candidates even with respectable backgrounds at top MBA programs failing to secure offers from the top banks (GS/Evercore) and ending up at BofA/DB/CS/UBS. Not knocking off these banks here, but really saying that nothing's a given.

Apr 4, 2020 - 11:18pm

Likeability is the more important element in the recruitment process. That'll get you to interviews - then the technical kick in.The counts are inaccurate however- currently a first year at Stern, and we are sending 6 to Evercore (7 total offers IIRC)

Aug 25, 2020 - 4:04am

Thank you for your inputs. Does the above apply to internationals too? Or are the expectations from them higher since they'll need sponsorship etc. Anecdotally, all the people I see getting into EVR/MoCo have IB/Transaction Advisory background. Is there any sound reason behind this? Would love to hear your inputs. TIA

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Aug 25, 2020 - 11:56am

How big are high-level connections at EB? I'm assuming MDs and other seniors are vital just given the headcount and amount of open spots or lack of along with the type of culture they look to cultivate. Kind of a dumb question I know, but I would have to imagine they are more impactful than BB. Also, to those who have interviewed at EB, are the technicals as intense as people make them out to be? Guess it's a personal opinion, but I've heard mixed things from current EB associates. I'm trying to prepare myself, but I don't think that the 400 questions are going to cut it.

  • Associate 2 in IB - Gen
Aug 25, 2020 - 12:26pm

aren't you in S&T? are you looking to get an MBA and pivot to IB?

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