Google vs. BB S&T

I have an offer from Google for their financial analyst program and an offer from a BB S&T group (BOA, Citi, JPM, Wachovia, etc). The all-in pay is surprisingly very similar. I would be at Google's HQ, but only at a non-NYC location for the BB S&T group.

Any thoughts?

Which would help me get into a top 5 MBA program?

I would really like some feedback from top 5 MBA alums and people who have been in either industry for some time already (if possible). Thanks.

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Comments (23)

Feb 24, 2010 - 5:30am

This is a very difficult choice to make. I personally think that the experience at Google would appeal more to an MBA recruiter. I have been in contact with recruiters at Kellogg and Columbia, and Sales & Trading is not as appealing as a background for getting into MBA programs. However, S&T can be a very exciting and lucrative career.

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Feb 24, 2010 - 5:44am

Thanks for your response BankingRUs9!! That actually gives me the idea to contact the MBA schools that I would like to go to and get their opinion. Is there a place on their websites that has lists of recruiting contacts?


Feb 24, 2010 - 6:46am

If your goal is to do top 5 MBA I would say go with Google. Great program, great weather, company HQ. S&T is awesome, but skill set and experience is limited. Google will set you up very well for a top MBA. Just want to qualify my comments by saying I love S&T and think is an awesome career in and of itself, but if your goal is specifically top MBA in 4-5 years then go with Google.

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Feb 24, 2010 - 9:35am

@Anthony: I forgot to mention that the S&T shop that I will work at has a beaucoup of U.Penn alums, and a sprinkle of HBS, Booth, and Stanford Ph.D. alums. Would this help me with getting in significantly or only marginally? Also, since many Google employees go to Stanford, would it be even more competitive to study at Stanford? (not that my heart is set on Stanford, but it would definitely be one of my prefs)

Thanks again for all the help!

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Feb 24, 2010 - 9:42am

I would say to go to Google, unless you are SURE that you want to be in banking.

Google will open basically any door you want. It is consistently rated as the top preference for MBA graduates, and MBA Adcoms will definitely value this experience.

Feb 24, 2010 - 9:49am

They are completely different. Why wouldn't you do whichever you are more interested in?

The Macro View
Feb 24, 2010 - 9:55am

@macroguy: I realize they are completely different, but I don't think I would want to do either for the rest of my life. That is why it is important for me to look at which would offer better exit ops vs which I am more interested in. I would really like to get into a Tech VC or PE firm. I interned at the S&T BB this past summer and when I got an offer I didn't recruit for M/B/B which I think would have been the BEST situation to get into VC or PE.

Feb 24, 2010 - 10:19am

for tech VC and PE you should prob do ibanking/M&A/PE - anything where you have to analyze companies, especiallly start ups. you get to do none of that at google or in S&T.

if you can get those offers, then why not try to apply to PE shops now? you might get some offers too.

if that's not an option i'd probably lean towards google. at least that's tech oriented and can get you into stanford, which is a huge PE feeder. S&T is miles away from VC and PE.

Feb 24, 2010 - 10:32am

Thanks for your feedback DrSatisfaction. I think you are right about S&T being miles away from VC/PE. Do you think having industry experience before entering a PE is important? Also, I go to a public school where PEs don't really recruit; do you happen to know top Tech PE firms or know where I can get a list?

Thanks again!

Feb 24, 2010 - 10:41am

Google sounds like a good choice, but if it were up to me, I would do S&T just because of the opportunities it opens up, look with S&T (especially if your doing trading) you can have a good gateway into hedge funds and if you get a couple years of experience at a top hedge fund then you're gaurenteed admission into top MBA program, Google sounds great and all but working as a financial analyst is crap, I gave up a F100 company's financial analyst leadership program offer, trust me, nothing compares to working on wall street

Best Response
Feb 24, 2010 - 11:02am

That is a very good point highflyer23. Now that I recall, I remember someone telling me that about 15% of the FO staff goes to a hedge fund yearly. 2 comments:

1) I would not be working in NYC (you mentioned wall street---were you referring to S&T in general?)
2) I would have to do analyst for 2 years, then associate for ~2 years, then a HF might want me. Then 2 years at a HF, and then go to MBA school? Then MBA school for 2 years to transition to a VC/PE where my S&T skills would be basically useless, no? Or do you think there are some transferable skills?

Thanks for your comment.

Feb 24, 2010 - 11:11am

15% of FO exit to HF's annually? sounds like an awfully high number to me.

from what i understand, PE industry definitely wants previous PE experience if possible. i'd say do your research now and try to land a PE job first before your mba.

also, google's analyst program is different (more selective) than most other fortune 100 programs. it is held in high regard by all business schools and it'll get you into somewhere good. heck, you can also try to get into PE/VC straight from google.

if your offers aren't in nyc, you exit/networking ops with HF's drop significantly. and even then, if HF's aren't a final goal for you, why bother? there's plenty of ppl trying to squeeze into the HF door, competition is need to bang your head against the wall and go the long way.

google -> stanford mba -> PE/VC and you're done.
or google -> PE/VC directly -> mba afterwards -> back into PE/VC.

don't bother messing around with S&T and HF's and all that stuff. not really relevant for your career goals.

Feb 24, 2010 - 11:32am

Why do you want an MBA? Serious question.

Jack: They’re all former investment bankers who were laid off from that economic crisis that Nancy Pelosi caused. They have zero real world skills, but God they work hard.
-30 Rock

Feb 24, 2010 - 3:37pm

If you want to do tech PE/VC, I don't see why you'd want to go to S&T. Leaving aside the fact that you'd be doing finance at google, not engineering, the fact is that it's going to be much more applicable to tech pe or vc (neither of which are related at all to s&t...), and is going to allow you to build a much more relevant network than any BB will.

Feb 24, 2010 - 3:59pm

you had said earlier your main goal was getting into top MBA program, I think either route you choose will enable you to do that, but it really depends on what your interested in, S&T is more communication, fast paced, dealing with capital markets, financial analyst is sitting in your desk running numers, capital budgeting..etc.

you should think about other exit opportunities besides MBA... with S&T your already in wall st. unlike a financial analyst with Google, but with both of these jobs, transitioning into PE/VC is not entirely possible unless you get your MBA, I have heard of some S&T --> IBD --> PE, but HF is quite possible along with other portfolio management positions

Mar 9, 2010 - 12:49am

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