FP&A vs Banking Ops

dawgofwallst's picture
Rank: Monkey | 30

I currently have 2 job offers to decide between. The first is as an Operations Analyst with JP Morgan Chase, the second is a FP&A role with a biotech company. The pay is almost identical, so it will not affect my decision. I will have to relocate to Dallas for the Ops role, while the FP&A role is located in my hometown of Atlanta.

I was wondering what opinions and insight anyone could give me regarding the kind of work to expect, future career path/projection, work/life balance and overall enjoyment of work for either option. I have previously interned at both companies, although I would be joining a new team with JPMC than the one I interned with. (I interned in the CIB, but I will be working in the Consumer & Community Bank....)

The main attracting factor to JPMC is the name that I will be able to have on my resume, as I have heard that Ops is not the most prestigious or enjoyable work. Basically I will be using this as a stepping stone to move into a different area of finance once my program is completed. As far as the FP&A role at the biotech company, I feel as if I will enjoy the work more, I will not have to relocate (not that much of a deciding factor however) and I believe I will gain more exposure than I would in a large institution. I do worry that taking a role such as this will make it harder to work in the banking industry in the future, if I decide to.

A little about me, graduating from a reputable state University with a degree in finance, decent GPA and solid resume. Any advice is more than appreciated! Cheers

Comments (7)

Apr 1, 2016

Go where you will enjoy the work more... Ops is not super impressive and the fact that you did it at JPM is not going to change that. At least for FP&A you have a chance to internally lateral to a potential strategic finance/corp dev/IR role.

Regardless if you want to work in the front office of an investment bank (not sure you do, just guessing based on the fact that we're on WSO) you will likely need to network significantly or go back to business school.

Apr 1, 2016

I'd take FP&A for in depth financial statement exposure. You will know the company inside and out. Lot of the skill sets are transferable to other positions. Lateral in to strategy or corp dev later on.

Apr 1, 2016

just left 2+ years of Ops at MS to pursue an FP&A/corporate finance hybrid role and i think it was a solid step up

Ops was just not for me, very limited brain power needed and perhaps only eclipsed in limitations by the upward mobility opportunity

Feb 5, 2019

Trying to make the same move out of Ops now. Any advice? I'm seeing that Hyperion is stressed on a lot of these job postings. I don't have any experience with Hyperion, and the certification course through Oracle costs more than my rent...

Any input would be appreciated

Apr 20, 2016

bump--facing similar choice. would love to hear some opinions

Apr 30, 2016

I think you answered your own question :). First, the hometown preference would be the tiebreaker if you were on the border, but I would say that the FP&A role would be much better. First, OPS isn't incredibly stimulating in terms of the actual work, and i would imagine that you would tire of it in short time (at which point you would likely move on to a strategy/FP&A et al type of role anyway.) Additionally, if your ultimate goal is to get into IBD, it wouldn't really help forward your goal.

FP&A is a catch 22 usually (there are some accounting heavy roles, and some that are involve for ad hoc/strategy work). Given that the company is a biotech (not sure if mature or startup) you may actually find interesting projects within the role. it's a best of both world scenario because you may find that you love the nature of the work and can rotate positions every few years as you progress, or put a solid experience on your resume if you wish to rebrand with an MBA.

Feb 6, 2019