From Back office to Front office!?

Rank: Gorilla | 702

Hello guys and gals,,,

I do not even know.. if I am in a back office, I am currently working for a financial data vendor;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_data_vendor

My salary is low and my moral might be lower. Everyday people see my pissed off face.. IF you are in the same position as me and have an interest in research anaylst, IB, or PE.

Which option(s) would you pick to increase your salary, move up in life and get to the end goal.

A) Apply to another financial data vendor (factset looks great on glassdoor (so you know Im in the struggle))
B) Apply for other jobs in finance (give me ideas please)
C) get a masters in finance from baruch
D) get a CFA
E) study about investment banking/ Research analyst by yourself and then apply/ network your way to a Research/IB job.
H) hit the lottery
I) Select Your Combination

MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTION MUST BE ANSWER PER COMMENT. please and thank you =)

Comments (40)

 
Sep 30,2014

B or C.

You should be doing E regardless if that's what you want your end result to be.

make it hard to spot the general by working like a soldier

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Sep 30,2014

2nd this. plus CFA if you want to do buyside or ER.

as far as specific ideas, it will probably be entry level stuff unless you went to a target and have a relevant major, so I'd cast a wide net. back office banking/trading, back office Asset Management.

 
Sep 30,2014

Didnt think CFA was that important, I guess I need it too.

Also thanks for the job suggestions

 
Sep 30,2014

working towards ER or AM it's critical I think. less important for HF but you'd have a helluva time breaking in there with your background.

 
Sep 30,2014
Skinnayyy:

B or C.

You should be doing E regardless if that's what you want your end result to be.

true,

 
Sep 30,2014

Short-term find a better job. Next, start studying for your GMAT and applying to good MBA programs.

These guys should have some good advice. @"CompBanker" @"OpsDude"

 
Sep 30,2014
ArcherVice:

Short-term find a better job. Next, start studying for your GMAT and applying to good MBA programs.

These guys should have some good advice. @CompBanker @OpsDude

What about just a masters from baruch?

MBA seems like too much of a $$ and time commitment

 
Sep 30,2014

Read the employment reports, it is more than likely worth it; especially if you are unhappy with your current career.

 
Sep 30,2014
LeverageMill:
ArcherVice:

Short-term find a better job. Next, start studying for your GMAT and applying to good MBA programs.

These guys should have some good advice. @CompBanker @OpsDude

What about just a masters from baruch?

MBA seems like too much of a $$ and time commitment

MBA.

You're going to have trouble getting into IB through any of the strategies except getting a MBA. You're FAR back office, and it's not really feasible for you to network to front office IB from where you are at. I haven't looked at the data, but I doubt Baruch is a good enough school to get you into front office IB after your masters (someone correct me if I'm wrong).

Top MBA's are expensive, but assuming you go to one and decide on front office IB, you'll have $125k salary and $100k bonus (probably more by then), so it's well worth the costs - plus its fun.

The 2nd best option is CFA, although I don't know if it'll be as useful to you without any front office experience.

 
Sep 30,2014
OpsDude:
LeverageMill:
ArcherVice:

Short-term find a better job. Next, start studying for your GMAT and applying to good MBA programs.

These guys should have some good advice. @CompBanker @OpsDude

What about just a masters from baruch?

MBA seems like too much of a $$ and time commitment

MBA.

You're going to have trouble getting into IB through any of the strategies except getting a MBA. You're FAR back office, and it's not really feasible for you to network to front office IB from where you are at. I haven't looked at the data, but I doubt Baruch is a good enough school to get you into front office IB after your masters (someone correct me if I'm wrong).

Top MBA's are expensive, but assuming you go to one and decide on front office IB, you'll have $125k salary and $100k bonus (probably more by then), so it's well worth the costs - plus its fun.

The 2nd best option is CFA, although I don't know if it'll be as useful to you without any front office experience.

I definitely disagree with you here. Baruch's Masters in Finance program is ranked no.4 in the country. So perhaps an MBA at that school wouldn't be a feasible option for him to get in front office IB as an associate. It seems like he/she needs to pick an a specific path like. Either ER, and then HF or just IB to PE by networking at his MFE program at Baruch. If he/she does good there then can get recruited at a quant role or equity derivatives role at GS, or MS.

 
Sep 30,2014

What he said. Minus the CFA part. CFA won't help you at all in your case.

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Sep 30,2014

@"ArcherVice" @"thebrofessor"

I forgot to mention ((("hopefully this doesnt give my identity away,, I might have to delete this comment later"))) I work with newly issued (market) government securities, using sources like (very broad here) bloomberg, or official statements, etc (very time sensitive and detail oriented). I also have individual underwriters contact information that comes along with each issue.

Do you think any of this information can give me an edge on my resume or networking?

 
Sep 30,2014

I don't know but I would tread softly about sensitive or inside information.

 
Sep 30,2014

depends how closely you work with the underwriters. if you know them on a first name basis, I'd definitely do an informational interview with them or just ask them for an off the record phone call to discuss your situation or something like that.

individual underwriters with whom you've worked counts as networking.

 
Sep 30,2014

None of the above. Study MCAT and go to med school.

 
Sep 30,2014

Business school is your best option by far.

 
Sep 30,2014

@"ArcherVice" @"thebrofessor" nice, sensitive information, noted.

damn, seems like mostly everyone is leaning to the graduate school option, assuming I do go back.

would you pick a full time or a part time program? I am also assuming I am gonna have to kill my GMAT in order to get into a top mba.
@"OpsDude" @"cashfl0w" @"Flake"

Oh yea and if you guys want to argue about the baruch program it would be great too.

Appreciate the advice, wish I could pay back but Im far too young to know.

 
Sep 30,2014
LeverageMill:

@ArcherVice @thebrofessor nice, sensitive information, noted.

damn, seems like mostly everyone is leaning to the graduate school option, assuming I do go back.

would you pick a full time or a part time program? I am also assuming I am gonna have to kill my GMAT in order to get into a top mba.

@OpsDude @cashfl0w @Flake

Oh yea and if you guys want to argue about the baruch program it would be great too.

Appreciate the advice, wish I could pay back but Im far too young to know.

the default rate of people from top 20 MBA's is less than 1%. In fact, commonbond has made a business out of giving low interest loans to top MBA students, since they never default. If you get in, you'll be fine, it has nothing to do with how young you are. It's statistics.

 
Sep 30,2014

I meant I wish I could pay ya back for the inputs, but thats def an interesting fact.

 
Best Response
Sep 30,2014

Even if you don't get into a tob MBA and end up going to Baruch, you'd be going to school in all the bank's backyard. A lot of banks still recruit from there and they're still a top 50 MBA which I know doesn't mean much, but it's not that bad of a decision to go there if you can't get into something else.

make it hard to spot the general by working like a soldier

 
Sep 30,2014

most realistic option is lottery - trust me I have poker on my resume (like pretty much all the S&T resumes)

speed boost blaze

 
Sep 30,2014
torchic:

most realistic option is lottery - trust me I have poker on my resume (like pretty much all the S&T resumes)

I was playing at a cash game yday 1/2. loss 150 then used another 150 to make it all back. was down to a mere 70$ after AA got crack by QJ with a flop of Q Q X.Good thing I knew villian had something and exercise some pot control.

 
Sep 30,2014

Wtf?? FUCK baruch. That shit about "a full-time MBA seems expensive and time-consuming" is exactly why guys like this stay in mediocre jobs forever. Do you think Steve Schwarzman would say that his Harvard MBA was an expensive waste of time?

 
Sep 30,2014

This is not meant to bash on you. OP, the way that you ask for career advice itself is a problem. Most people spend more than 80% of their time at work; as a result, they should give it more thoughts into managing their own career. I am just talking about the thought process. A better way would have been:

"Currently, I am an analyst at a financial data provider. I cover financial services companies in North America. Looking to transition into corporate finance advisory roles covering companies within the same sector. I have been actively: i) learning more about the sector, ii) networking with sector experts, and iii) putting together sample case studies on recent deals within the sector. What more can I do to reach my goal faster? Please advise. Much appreciated."

This would tell people 1) what is your background, 2) what is the end goal that you want, 3) what you been doing to get what you want, and 4) most importantly, you have crafted a compelling story to connect all the dots, which will make it easier for people to help you out.

 
Sep 30,2014
GQ BANKSTER:

This is not meant to bash on you. OP, the way that you ask for career advice itself is a problem. Most people spend more than 80% of their time at work; as a result, they should give it more thoughts into managing their own career. I am just talking about the thought process. A better way would have been:

"Currently, I am an analyst at a financial data provider. I cover financial services companies in North America. Looking to transition into corporate finance advisory roles covering companies within the same sector. I have been actively: i) learning more about the sector, ii) networking with sector experts, and iii) putting together sample case studies on recent deals within the sector. What more can I do to reach my goal faster? Please advise. Much appreciated."

This would tell people 1) what is your background, 2) what is the end goal that you want, 3) what you been doing to get what you want, and 4) most importantly, you have crafted a compelling story to connect all the dots, which will make it easier for people to help you out.

ok GQ bankster, thanks this helps alot, I did some cold calling before getting this job, and it felt like people do want to help but like you said its hard to help someone without that list.

 
Sep 30,2014

Definitely DO NOT do C. Completely useless.

You can break in, but it will take a lot of dedication and resourcefulness.

Also, I'm not sure why people are telling you to get an MBA. Assuming you're at a market data provider (Bloomberg, FactSet, CapIQ) and your UG institution and stats were such that you couldn't get into the front office to begin with... I realistically don't think you'd be competitive for an MBA program that would be worth going to. If you want to do banking... you really need to go to a top 10 program. (for the avoidance of doubt, Baruch is definitely not fucking it)

 
Sep 30,2014
Marcus_Halberstram:

Definitely DO NOT do C. Completely useless.

You can break in, but it will take a lot of dedication and resourcefulness.

Also, I'm not sure why people are telling you to get an MBA. Assuming you're at a market data provider (Bloomberg, FactSet, CapIQ) and your UG institution and stats were such that you couldn't get into the front office to begin with... I realistically don't think you'd be competitive for an MBA program that would be worth going to. If you want to do banking... you really need to go to a top 10 program. (for the avoidance of doubt, Baruch is definitely not fucking it)

This.

I worked in a similarly back-office role straight out of college but my stats should most likely have gotten me something much better. That's what I get for hearing about IB in the Spring of 07 and graduating in 08 I guess. But I ended up doing an Msc. in Finance in Europe and now work in research for a tiny HF.

Unless you have the stats to get into a very good grad program or MBA, forget about it for now. Your first priority should be to get into a position with more mobility, doing something more front-officey. What you apply for depends on what you want to do down the line. A vague 'I'd like to do IB/PE/AM/ER' schtick isn't going to cut it.

And unless you're dead set on working in Asset Management, I wouldn't recommend the CFA.

 
Sep 30,2014
 
Sep 30,2014

If you have the wherewithal for it, use networking. It's definitely tough, though. I have a decent profile (econ medal and 3.7+ gpa, 740 GMAT, top performer at current job), but I went to a non-target, and I have received the following feedback on 2 separate occasions: "You have a lot of good things in your profile, but most of our jr employees come from top colleges." No joke. I'm going to use an MBA to rebrand at this point but I wish you luck. Someone with worse stats than me but who is more aggressive in terms of putting themselves in front of the correct decision-makers would be more successful in making the transition.

 
 
Sep 30,2014

Prior to an MBA, you'd probably have an easier time moving into S&T than IBD. Either way, it will be tough, but try to use any network you have and continue building on it.

From the "stones" you provided, the most realistic will probably be a trading or sales assistant. Also, note that a research "associate" is the lowest rung, not analyst.

Good luck.

 
Sep 30,2014

do you really want to do IB? I think S&T is much more open to BO promotions whereas IB is much more difficult. i agree with MandA: Try to get a position as a S&T assistant, and work up from there.

 
Sep 30,2014

It's very tough. I think it'd be easier to pull into M and A or corp fin because you can be trained. Most products traded now require some sick math and pedigree. Plus, why would a bank want to take a risk on the markets side post nick leeson? HE's the reason back office people will stay there.

 
Sep 30,2014

What are the realistic chances of moving to a significant sales/trading position as a S&T assistant, and what's the avg starting salary/bonus?

 
Sep 30,2014

i once met a girl who moved from bo to s&t at Morgan Stanley. however, she had front office qualifications (good degree from top school, etc). if you don't have front office qualifications it is very hard to make the transition. if you do have them its still very tough - you need to network and work your ass off in your BO job to show them you can make the cut in front office.

 
Sep 30,2014

You need to go to top business school for FO jobs. Baruch is a target school for MO and BO at some BB. if you want FO, Baruch MBA is not going to cut it

 
 
Sep 30,2014

A lot of people will understand your desire to move out of the back office, and I doubt many will hold it against you. You will need to demonstrate that you have the intellect to handle a front office position as there is a stigma that people in the back office aren't as intelligent or as motivated and that there is a reason they ended up in the back office.

You will also need to be able to demonstrate that you have been using your time in the back office to build your skills and learn as much about the industry as possible, even if it goes beyond the scope of your job duties. If you are in the same building (or close by) as the traders/sales guys you support, go up to the desk and spend time when the market is slow talking with them and getting to know them. Ask (with you manager's permission) if you can shadow them for a morning or afternoon here and there. You can use the excuse that it will make you better at your job, which it will.

If there are operations positions closer to the desk (middle office, trade entry, etc.) that open up, ask your manager if they would consider transfering you there. I would definitely stick it out for at least a year and make the most of your experience because there are learning opportunities available if you seek them out.

 
Sep 30,2014
 
Sep 30,2014

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