Fed Reserve Research Assistant to top MBA?

I'm a junior at a West Coast university (top 40) and I've been considering the federal reserve research assistant program since last year. It's 2 years and it's mostly pure economic research with statistics, econometrics, etc. Right now, I have a 3.75 GPA and have taken Calc and linear algebra. Will be taking real differential eq and real analysis series through this year and senior year. Familiar with STATA and R.

I don't have any finance experience. I worked as a sustainability consultant and IT help desk just to pay the bills. However, I do have about a 6 months of econ research assistant on my resume.

The reason I'm asking is because I've lately been attracted to finance because of the really lucrative salaries but I don't think I can secure a good internship or job especially b/c I don't have finance experience plus being a nontarget. With a good GMAT score and 2 years of that under my belt, what do you think my chances would be at an M7 school? Overall, dumb plan or doable?


Comments (4)

Oct 24, 2018

Hi Bill-gates, whoops, looks like nobody chimed in here.... maybe one of these discussions below is relevant:

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If we're lucky, maybe I can guilt some users to help you out: @lyonjournal @apshort25 @Alexander-Bianco

You're welcome.

Nov 8, 2018

While I wouldn't say 'dumb' very few applicants with just 2 years of work experience are accepted into M7 schools. Go for the Federal Reserve 2 year program with a plan to transition to another role and apply 3-4 years out from undergrad. I would encourage you to take your GMAT between your junior and senior years while you are in study mode - it will be good for 5 years.

You could consider applying to some deferred entry programs during your senior year - HBS 2+2, Stanford, UVA.

Experience at the Fed could differentiate you from the more 'typical' finance folks as you will have a completely different perspective.

Good luck!

    • 1
Nov 9, 2018

Don't waste your time with an MBA. With your background you should take the Fed role (if you can get it) then try for some kind of quantitative focused masters such as Princeton/MIT MFIN, certain MA econ's and other stuff i'm not qualified to comment on (you could tailor an MBA at Sloan or Booth to this via coursework). Then with that recruit for quantitative/macro hedge funds or econ research focused investment roles at asset managers or banks. You could literally do anything from US economics, developed market interest rates or currency strategy, mortgage based investment, international/emerging markets fixed income research (or any flavor of the aforementioned. Good luck.

Nov 9, 2018