How can I spend the gap year better to break into PE/IBD?

Hey fellow monkeys,

Please help me out here. I am going to graduate from a top technical university in Germany soon with a master degree in electrical engineering. However in the second year at school I realized this is not the place which I want to end up with. Then I started reading financial books and materials from webs. My ultimate goal is to break into PE or IBD.

My plan is to firstly apply for a top master program in finance within Europe. I've contacted with few b-schools, seems like it won't be a problem for me to receive an offer from one of them. But the problem is I've missed out the application deadline for 2012 fall because of some stupid reasons. So I have to wait for another year. How should I spend this gap year? Would one year's experience in industry be helpful for the future career in finance, or I should just try as hard as I can to find a finance relevant position, or even this whole MSF idea is totally nonsense?

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

Comments (9)

 
Aug 22, 2012 - 6:11pm

I'm not certain how far an MSF will help you in IBD and/or buyout private equity. From what I understand, MSF graduates tend to go into the trading and hedge fund worlds.

"There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat."
 
Aug 22, 2012 - 6:46pm

Sandhurst:
I'm not certain how far an MSF will help you in IBD and/or buyout private equity. From what I understand, MSF graduates tend to go into the trading and hedge fund worlds.

Thanks Sandhurst. I think there is a misinterpretation of MSF here, maybe I am wrong about this. I used MSF as a general designation for all financial related programs that are distinctively differentiated from MFE. To my knowledge many of the European b-schools offer MSF programs but with accent on either IB or corporate finance or others. Certainly I will take the first one.

btw, if MSF grad is not the main source for PE, then what? MBA and 2+ bankers?

 
Aug 22, 2012 - 10:29pm

If you are actually serious about getting a career in finance despite the fact you just did a master's in electrical engineering:

Get an internship / internships in IB/PE/VC/finance during your gap year. It will put you in a MUCH better situation for recruiting if you enroll in a MSF in fall 2013, especially considering MSF's are only 1 year long. Without any previous/past experience in finance, getting a FT job, even out of a top MSF will be difficult and an uphill battle.

Otherwise, go get a real job with your engineering degree and work for 3-5 years and then go back and get an MBA and move into finance.

 
Aug 23, 2012 - 8:18am

brutalglide:
If you are actually serious about getting a career in finance despite the fact you just did a master's in electrical engineering:

Get an internship / internships in IB/PE/VC/finance during your gap year. It will put you in a MUCH better situation for recruiting if you enroll in a MSF in fall 2013, especially considering MSF's are only 1 year long. Without any previous/past experience in finance, getting a FT job, even out of a top MSF will be difficult and an uphill battle.

Otherwise, go get a real job with your engineering degree and work for 3-5 years and then go back and get an MBA and move into finance.

Thanks for your great insight, brutalglide.

Do you think getting a research work or whatever from professors in finance department would be a reasonable choice?

I've seen some senior students of mine follow the "3+ years of EE job experience -> MBA -> IB/PE etc." path as you mentioned in your last point. But I doubt to what extend the EE job experience would help their future career in finance, unless it's a finance related job in industry leader. However landing a finance job in industry is no easy at all for EE grads. So I think I will just stick with the internship then.

 
Aug 23, 2012 - 3:31am

Obtaining a related gig as 'brutalglide' suggests seems ideal. Perhaps, with your EE knowledge you can land a finance gig at a reputable industry leader? It may help your transition story, and industry knowledge is always an asset.

My humble opinion.

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