in a few months i will be starting an investment banking operations job with JP Morgan. this job is typically considered a back office job. however, it has been described to me by the employer as a middle office type of job, because of the direct and immediate exposure i will get to upper management and the front office. i was wondering if anyone could give me some insight into how hard it might be to start in operations (specifically this job where i will be exposed to the front office) and move to the front office after getting some experience. the front office is where i ultimately want to be. thanks!
Transition from Support Role (Middle Office) to Front Office
Regardless of what HR might tell you, this is not a simple transition to make. Moving between back office / middle office and front office at the same firm will require a good amount of internal networking as you will be competing against potential external hires with more experience or an MBA that may want the same position.
That being said it is definitely doable and some firms are better at allowing mobility that others - a lot of times it will depend on the firm. Our users shared their thoughts below:
User @Batrick Pateman shared:
Its definitely possible..i did it.... you need to work harder than most ppl, and make sure you ask question, are curious about the job. In other words, you wont get anywhere just being an "executor" or "macro roller."
You need to know what you're doing, and if you don't, ask questions, even if you have to ask the trader/Ibanker (make sure you don't ask too many).
Become friends with them, and when your comfy, ask them for a coffee, express your interest for th FO
User @NY1088 shared:
I went from Ops to IBD, so it is definitely possible even at the same company. Just make the right contacts and make sure to get FANTASTIC reviews from your current managers.
User @SchweizerHF shared:
Network, take the exams (it shows you want it) and possibly study. Looking back on my own personal experience I would also not be afraid to develop a fantastic relationship with your manager and then basically ask them about the possibilities. The back office (at least in Europe- just look at Jerome Kerviel) is still, albeit in a somewhat small way, an area that the front can recruit from if they see someone exceptional.
However, user @jhoratio shared a different perspective:
This is a ruse by the HR staff to entice you into taking the job. In short, they are bullshitting you. Back office experience does not put you on an inside track for front office. It's possible to transition between the two worlds, but it's just as possible to career switch into banking from almost any world. No advantage is gained by the physical proximity you have to the bank.
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