Comments (4)

Best Response
3/29/12

I can add a little bit of my own experience with having had an AM (essentially buy-side research) internship my sophomore year of college. I interviewed with a lot of banks junior year for SA, and on my resume had an AM internship as well as several investing-related items. The big question I got asked every single time was, given my resume, why banking instead of asset management? It was hard to answer because I never really wanted to do banking in the first place, so you gotta come up with some way to tie your experience in AM into how you are more passionate about banking than investing. You can't just tell the interviewer that you only took the AM job because you couldn't get an IB job that summer... so you gotta come up with something creative, even if it's a "slight" stretching of the truth.

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3/29/12
BlackHat:

I can add a little bit of my own experience with having had an AM (essentially buy-side research) internship my sophomore year of college. I interviewed with a lot of banks junior year for SA, and on my resume had an AM internship as well as several investing-related items. The big question I got asked every single time was, given my resume, why banking instead of asset management? It was hard to answer because I never really wanted to do banking in the first place, so you gotta come up with some way to tie your experience in AM into how you are more passionate about banking than investing. You can't just tell the interviewer that you only took the AM job because you couldn't get an IB job that summer... so you gotta come up with something creative, even if it's a "slight" stretching of the truth.

Thanks for the reply! I wanna pick the AM offer simply because I feel like I may build up a more solid fundamental skill set that can be transferred to the IB job in future. It's like to choose between fundamental skills and relevant skills. I believe I can learn more things and do more actual work from the AM job because their deal flow is absolutely better than the two small IB firms, and I am a sophomore so I think it'd be great to really focus on the fundamental skills.

Would this make sense in an interview? Thanks! :)

3/29/12

I'm not sure how that will come across in an interview. I understand what you're saying, but I feel like firms would prefer to see that you already did IBD than hear why you explain why you thought AM would teach you more than a boutique IB.

If you already have some offers in IBD at small boutiques (which it sounds like you do?), one of those might still be the better choice compared to AM. It'll make your story a lot easier to communicate next year when recruiting for IBD internships at BBs. I think generally, you're better off doing now what's closest to what you want to end up doing. When recruiting for IBD as a junior, it'll be a big advantage having done it as a sophomore (since the vast majority of your peers will not have such relevant experience).

That said, I did S&T in my sophomore year (at a BB), and was able to get an IBD SA spot during junior recruiting. If the AM firm has a much better brand name, and if the IB boutique really doesn't sound like it will offer a good experience or is completely unknown, then that makes the choice harder.

3/29/12

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