First Job-Offer: Looking For Advice

What's up everyone? I haven't really posted on this site, but have utilized it significantly over the years as I tried to decide which career path to follow. I have wanted to go into Investment Banking since I was a Sophomore, but came from a Non-Target school which limited me greatly. It was still a Top-100 Business School, but the alumni network for Finance was nonexistent. I played D1 football during my undergraduate (in the FBS), and graduated with above a 3.9 cumulative G.P.A. majoring in Finance and Accounting. With only a Big-Four Audit job-offer in hand, I decided to leave and go get a Masters of Finance from a better school where I could use my 5th Year of eligibility for football.

So over the past six months, I have been playing football in the Big Ten, and getting my Masters of Finance. I have been pursuing Investment Banking Analyst jobs, but have had no luck at all. I've had no IB internships, so understand how much that limits me, but was hoping my football career and strong academic performance would give me a shot.

I applied to work as a PWM Analyst at BAML (NYC), and recently received the job-offer. This is the only offer I have gotten so my hand is kind of forced to accept it, as I will be graduating in May. I am wondering what people who understand this industry think about starting in a role like this? The official title is a Portfolio Manager Assistant, and I am afraid that it will be more administrative than it is financial. The base pay is decent, and it comes with a nice signing bonus.

What do you think the Exit Opportunities would be for a position like this? I still want to work in IB, so would there be any chance at laterally moving after a year? As odd as it may sound, I do not want to work a 40-hour week while I'm in my 20's, considering I am already used to 65+ hour weeks with Football/School. Also, does anyone know if performance bonuses would be typical for PWM? Thanks in advance for any insight or advice!

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Comments (6)

Most Helpful
Dec 10, 2018 - 4:25pm

You may be selling yourself short taking the PWM job. "Assistant" in the title is a killer. At best you'll be grinding out account reports for private banking clients. At worst you might be doing cold calling or acting as a secretary.

With a top GPA (although non-target), a MSF, and D1 football experience, you have plenty of options if you're patient and persistent. Have you thought about institutional sales? That's a very jock-friendly line of work.

Have you gone over your career goals and potential with the career advisory office for your MSF program? If you have, and all they can point you toward is Big Four audit and PWM "Assistant" jobs, that's pretty pathetic.

Back in the day, a guy in your situation would go teach math and coach football at a prep school for a year or two, while waiting for something better to come along. My asst. crew coach ended up years later as CEO of Vanguard.

Dec 11, 2018 - 12:35am

Thanks for your reply! Yeah I fully agree with you about the "Assistant" in the title, and the job description is super open-ended which worries me.

I honestly haven't given much thought to Institutional Sales, but will definitely look more into it immediately as I have been that same thing before.

My MSF program is terrible with career advisory, and are not helping anyone in the program (it is relatively new). I wish I would have known how unhelpful they would have been before I got here, but a lot of my decision was weighted on where I had the best opportunity to start for football. What are your thoughts on continuing to apply/search for other jobs if I accepted this position? I truly do feel like I am selling myself short with this job, but am hesitant to deny my only offer when I have nothing else promising.

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Dec 10, 2018 - 4:53pm

Have to agree with the above in the sense that you may be selling yourself short but without looking at the position description, I'm almost positive that it wouldn't be an administrative role, especially if they are giving you a nice bonus. If you were to not accept the role, you can still reach out to boutique IBs. Most do not follow the traditional recruitment timeline and you will always find a place that is looking to hire.

Looking at your profile, I think you are definitely at an advantage compared to the field but you may have a problem with how you go about networking. Do you consistently reach out to new people everyday to set up calls? I had a similar friend in my program that was an athlete and had a great profile but would just hit the apply button for IB Analyst jobs instead of reaching out directly to team members.

Dec 11, 2018 - 12:46am

I have applied to a bunch of boutiques, but haven't really heard back. I have been working pretty hard with networking, but instead of cold-emailing hundreds of people like most do, I instead tried to make a limited amount of really good connections. I personally know a couple Wall Street MD's and get a lot of advice from them, but it hasn't seemed to help with jobs. I'm also going out to breakfast soon with a recently retired CEO of a major division at a large bank, who is an ex-football player at my current university.

I will definitely take your advice and begin to consistently reach out to Alumni for calls. What is the best way to reach out while not completely looking like I'm desperate for a job? I am appreciative on any advice I get from connections, but truly just want an IB job at the end of the day, as I feel like that is the best place for me.

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Dec 11, 2018 - 1:09pm

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