F500 FLDP vs IBD

Would any of you guys choose F500 FLDP over Investment Banking if the goal wasn't to be a PE Principal/ HF Manager in the future?

I have to make this decision and I'd like to hear some opinions. I am planning going to a M7 MBA in the near future. Once I'm at a MBA program, I believe IB/MB/ER/F500 career paths are all open no matter the background of the applicant.

FLDP
Pros
- Easy hours/better quality of life. Get to enjoy your early 20s, especially if you are located in a decent sized city.

-More interesting, and not as mind numbing as IBD.

-Better placement into B-School. (Please debate) Few of the admin consultants I talked to think that the FLDP is a better route to top MBA because the top programs are trying to downsize the number of finance people in the classes.

Cons
-No/very little possibility of PE/HF/VC after B-School.
-Less pay

IBD
Pros
-Higher pay
-Exit opps into HF, PE.

Cons
-Hours
-Give up early to mid 20s
-Tougher competition for B-School
-If you don't get into H/S/W (seems like decent population of IB+PE people don't) then almost no chance to continue in PE/HF.

Comments (38)

Apr 7, 2013

I am a junior in college, so I don't have any advice to give to you, but since my aim is B School > Corp Dev, I would pick FLDP.

BTW, can you list out some FLDP programs in the NYC area?

Apr 8, 2013
mongoose:

I am a junior in college, so I don't have any advice to give to you, but since my aim is B School > Corp Dev, I would pick FLDP.

That is a terrible misconception people sometimes get. IB to Corp Dev is much, much easier than internal movement b/c Corp Dev is a much different skill set than any other rotation in the FLDP program. Most don't even have a Corp Dev rotation option (I know Raytheon does, but not sure of anyone else).

Apr 7, 2013
DoctorAndre:

I believe IB/MB/ER/F500 career paths are all open no matter the background of the applicant.

Even though that is true to a certain extent, IB --> M7 --> IB is easier than F500 --> M7 --> IB

Apr 7, 2013
iamUNC:

Even though that is true to a certain extent, IB --> M7 --> IB is easier than F500 --> M7 --> IB

Are you saying IB -> M7 is easier than F500 -> M7?
Or, breaking into IBD from M7 with the two different pre-MBA backgrounds?

Apr 7, 2013
DoctorAndre:
iamUNC:

Even though that is true to a certain extent, IB --> M7 --> IB is easier than F500 --> M7 --> IB

Are you saying IB -> M7 is easier than F500 -> M7?
Or, breaking into IBD from M7 with the two different pre-MBA backgrounds?

Sorry about that. Realized how confusing it looked. I meant breaking into IBD post-M7

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Apr 7, 2013

You've adequately listed all the pros and cons here; however, I would offer the following amendments:

FLDP -

- Definitely wouldn't agree that this is "more interesting than IB", though it's almost certainly less mind-numbing. The work at F500 is very similar, if not more boring than IB work; however, it is definitely improved by the fact that you're not doing it 70+ hours a week.

- Though I can't say for sure, I would be floored if FLDP placed better into B-School than IB. I agree with your friend that MBA programs are trying to diversify, but that should just be a reflection of how dominant former IB applicants are in the MBA world

IBD -

- The idea that you're "giving up your early- to mid-20s" is silly. Bankers (for some reason) try to wear long hours like a badge of honor, but it's often grossly overstated. If you avoid a few sweatshops (which is fairly easy), you will have plenty of time to enjoy yourself and see friends. Outside of those few groups, I would say that the vast majority of IB analysts enjoy plenty of time with their friends. Not being able to travel / leave the city is the primary downside

Apr 7, 2013
NorthSider:

You've adequately listed all the pros and cons here; however, I would offer the following amendments:

FLDP -

- Definitely wouldn't agree that this is "more interesting than IB", though it's almost certainly less mind-numbing. The work at F500 is very similar, if not more boring than IB work; however, it is definitely improved by the fact that you're not doing it 70+ hours a week.

- Though I can't say for sure, I would be floored if FLDP placed better into B-School than IB. I agree with your friend that MBA programs are trying to diversify, but that should just be a reflection of how dominant former IB applicants are in the MBA world

IBD -

- The idea that you're "giving up your early- to mid-20s" is silly. Bankers (for some reason) try to wear long hours like a badge of honor, but it's often grossly overstated. If you avoid a few sweatshops (which is fairly easy), you will have plenty of time to enjoy yourself and see friends. Outside of those few groups, I would say that the vast majority of IB analysts enjoy plenty of time with their friends. Not being able to travel / leave the city is the primary downside

Thanks for your input. I agree with most of them. I'd say that your few years out of college would be "different." F500 would allow me to spend a lot of time with friends, as well as pick up hobbies, travel and pursue interests. With that being said, IBD lifestyle would allow for some quality night outs with colleagues and friends in a large city, which might be more enjoyable, since you are so tired from working a crap ton.

What I really, really, want to know is the FLDP vs IBD placement into M7 schools. I've heard so many people say that there are too many Wall Streeters applying to MBA programs, and it's much easier if you apply from a brand name F500 or top government agencies.

Apr 7, 2013
DoctorAndre:

With that being said, IBD lifestyle would allow for some quality night outs with colleagues and friends in a large city, which might be more enjoyable, since you are so tired from working a crap ton.

I'm curious as to how much you think the average IB analyst works.

Apr 8, 2013
NorthSider:

- Though I can't say for sure, I would be floored if FLDP placed better into B-School than IB. I agree with your friend that MBA programs are trying to diversify, but that should just be a reflection of how dominant former IB applicants are in the MBA world

While the IBD stamp of approval on the resume is great for B-school, from what i've seen, it is actually a tougher path to an M7 than attending a "prestigious" FLDP. At my company's (blue chip big name F500 tech company) FLDP over the past 10 years every analysts that has left to go and pursue an MBA has attended either HBS, Stanford GSB, Wharton, Kellogg, or Booth. There were 2 exceptions with one person attending Berkeley and one that attended Tuck. From discussions with friends that have done admissions work at some of the M7, admissions is all about your peer group. When you are in IBD you are getting compared to the thousands of other IBD joes that have the target school + 2-3 years IBD; if you are in an FLDP your peer group is much smaller and less competitive. So going to a prestigious FLDP gives you a leg up.

Apr 7, 2013
harvardgrad08:
NorthSider:

- Though I can't say for sure, I would be floored if FLDP placed better into B-School than IB. I agree with your friend that MBA programs are trying to diversify, but that should just be a reflection of how dominant former IB applicants are in the MBA world

While the IBD stamp of approval on the resume is great for B-school, from what i've seen, it is actually a tougher path to an M7 than attending a "prestigious" FLDP. At my company's (blue chip big name F500 tech company) FLDP over the past 10 years every analysts that has left to go and pursue an MBA has attended either HBS, Stanford GSB, Wharton, Kellogg, or Booth. There were 2 exceptions with one person attending Berkeley and one that attended Tuck. From discussions with friends that have done admissions work at some of the M7, admissions is all about your peer group. When you are in IBD you are getting compared to the thousands of other IBD joes that have the target school + 2-3 years IBD; if you are in an FLDP your peer group is much smaller and less competitive. So going to a prestigious FLDP gives you a leg up.

Thank you for the data point. I'm just gonna say it- the FLDP will be at General Mills. Is that blue-chip for M7 admissions?

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Apr 7, 2013

I think IBD is a better path from a b-school admissions standpoint. It might depend on the FLDP program, but some of them are basically just accounting roles, and I have a hard time believing that they place that well to business school. And, even though MBA programs are starting to look sideways at bankers, there are a TON of FLDP types floating around, so no matter how many spots are there for them, the odds for any one person are probably pretty slow.

I have one data point to back this up: at my MBB, there are a shitload of people who were banking analysts, went to HSW, and then became consultants. But there are far fewer people who did FLDP-type things and then got a job here, which leads me to suspect that they're not well-represented at M7 business schools. Yes, I work at a consulting firm, but given how many bankers end up here, I think there's something to the analysis.

Apr 7, 2013
2x2Matrix:

I think IBD is a better path from a b-school admissions standpoint. It might depend on the FLDP program, but some of them are basically just accounting roles, and I have a hard time believing that they place that well to business school. And, even though MBA programs are starting to look sideways at bankers, there are a TON of FLDP types floating around, so no matter how many spots are there for them, the odds for any one person are probably pretty slow.

I have one data point to back this up: at my MBB, there are a shitload of people who were banking analysts, went to HSW, and then became consultants. But there are far fewer people who did FLDP-type things and then got a job here, which leads me to suspect that they're not well-represented at M7 business schools. Yes, I work at a consulting firm, but given how many bankers end up here, I think there's something to the analysis.

Agree with the sentiment here. My strong intuition is that FLDP doesn't place as well into M7 MBA programs.

Apr 8, 2013
NorthSider:
2x2Matrix:

I think IBD is a better path from a b-school admissions standpoint. It might depend on the FLDP program, but some of them are basically just accounting roles, and I have a hard time believing that they place that well to business school. And, even though MBA programs are starting to look sideways at bankers, there are a TON of FLDP types floating around, so no matter how many spots are there for them, the odds for any one person are probably pretty slow.

I have one data point to back this up: at my MBB, there are a shitload of people who were banking analysts, went to HSW, and then became consultants. But there are far fewer people who did FLDP-type things and then got a job here, which leads me to suspect that they're not well-represented at M7 business schools. Yes, I work at a consulting firm, but given how many bankers end up here, I think there's something to the analysis.

Agree with the sentiment here. My strong intuition is that FLDP doesn't place as well into M7 MBA programs.

I'll go ahead and "third" this. While FLDP is a less-traditional route which can help in admissions, it still does not make it the preferred route. Way more bankers make it into M7 and I don't think that will change substantially.

Apr 7, 2013
2x2Matrix:

I think IBD is a better path from a b-school admissions standpoint. It might depend on the FLDP program, but some of them are basically just accounting roles, and I have a hard time believing that they place that well to business school. And, even though MBA programs are starting to look sideways at bankers, there are a TON of FLDP types floating around, so no matter how many spots are there for them, the odds for any one person are probably pretty slow.

I have one data point to back this up: at my MBB, there are a shitload of people who were banking analysts, went to HSW, and then became consultants. But there are far fewer people who did FLDP-type things and then got a job here, which leads me to suspect that they're not well-represented at M7 business schools. Yes, I work at a consulting firm, but given how many bankers end up here, I think there's something to the analysis.

What if FLDP is GE FMP caliber?

Thanks for the data point. Do you think former IBD analysts are preferred for MBB recruiting? I feel like a lot of the skills overlap, and they definitely will be prepared for the workload of consulting.

Apr 7, 2013
DoctorAndre:

What if FLDP is GE FMP caliber?

Thanks for the data point. Do you think former IBD analysts are preferred for MBB recruiting? I feel like a lot of the skills overlap, and they definitely will be prepared for the workload of consulting.

GE is certainly one of the best programs out there, but it still won't place into MBA programs with the consistency of IB -> PE candidates. Whether or not it is deserved, this is the reality.

Apr 8, 2013

You mentioned that you're not shooting for PE/HFs, but the best pre-MBA work experience decision is still dependent on what your goals are post-MBA (which you didn't specifically state) because your statement shown below is not entirely accurate:

"Once I'm at a MBA program, I believe IB/MB/ER/F500 career paths are all open no matter the background of the applicant."

An M7 program will have plenty of opportunities and all types of firms coming on campus, but the competition across the board is and always will be very fierce and the industry continues to shrink. Not to mention many MBA student's FT offers come from their 1st year summer internship and recruiting/networking/interviewing for those positions starts immediately in the fall right after the MBA programs start ... so having a certain background and story will make it easier to explore all of these opportunities and have a shot at your top choices.

Apr 8, 2013

IB certainly places better than any FLDP program for any of the top business schools i.e HSW.

Apr 7, 2013
State of Trance:

IB certainly places better than any FLDP program for any of the top business schools i.e HSW.

Thanks. Is 2 years IBD analyst stint enough to get into H/S/W? Would like to hear opinions from all of you guys.

Apr 7, 2013
DoctorAndre:

Thanks. Is 2 years IBD analyst stint enough to get into H/S/W? Would like to hear opinions from all of you guys.

It does happen from time to time, but very uncommon. Most people have one intermediate step between IB and b-school (usually PE). Putting another 2 years in at a PE shop is usually very positive anyways: you can definitely find shops with good work/life balance, you'll be able to save a bunch of money to pay for your MBA, you'll have a more competitive resume and stronger recommendations and you'll have more optionality post-MBA.

Apr 8, 2013
DoctorAndre:
State of Trance:

IB certainly places better than any FLDP program for any of the top business schools i.e HSW.

Thanks. Is 2 years IBD analyst stint enough to get into H/S/W? Would like to hear opinions from all of you guys.

Normally, you would require 2 years IBD>PE>HSW but other routes you could take are IBD>start up>HSW or IBD>F500>HSW. Recently, I know quite a few people who were former bankers that have now moved on to roles in start-ups and this number seems to be growing in recent times.

Apr 8, 2013

Wondering if I can have that list too NorthSider.

Apr 7, 2013

Bump

Apr 8, 2013
DoctorAndre:

Bump

Why are you bumping?

Apr 9, 2013
peinvestor2012:
DoctorAndre:

Bump

Why are you bumping?

He's obviously hoping for more advice.

(free bump)

Apr 7, 2013

Good advices, but just wanted more people's point of views.

Apr 9, 2013

Not great, FDLP boxes you in significantly more. Assuming it's not some sketchy IB firm id give that a go for six months and see how you like it. You could move down to FDLP (with higher pay as well) instantly if you wanted to

Best Response
Apr 9, 2013

You can go back to IB after an MBA. AM to a lesser extend but you'd be better served with a consulting stint at some point than staying corporate, and should consider the CFA if that's a serious goal. PE is a lot harder (almost impossible?) without a straight high finance track. BB IB will open a lot of doors in finance to you down the road.

That being said, if you want to go corporate, have quality of life, manage people, projects, and business units then the FDLP will get you there MUCH faster. IB doesn't set you up for corporate management roles all that well. It's not a crazy decision at all. IB is not for everybody. You'll definitely make less at your FDLP but you'll have awesome opportunities in your industry down the line and many of these programs are very well regarded.

Also, if you can't stomach the thought of the IB lifestyle now, you're not going to want to deal with the PE lifestyle better. PE is far from a cakewalk. Same for hedge funds. Lastly, the people that get those offers, now or later, tend to be obsessive about the deal life or public markets. If you're seriously considering opportunities outside of finance that might not be what drives you to get out of bed in the morning.

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