IB Associate out of MBA with no prior IB experience

jlh314's picture
Rank: Chimp | 10

Good afternoon,

I am beginning to look at MBA programs (targeting top 10 schools, ideally will land in a top 5 school) but, before I invest $150k and forego two years of salary, I obviously want to gather as much information as possible. I am currently working at a boutique management consulting firm that specializes in technology and restructuring projects for F500 clients (anything from building a data warehouse, which is largely tech, to restructuring a company in the wake of an acquisition, which is largely tradition S&O). While I like it, and while it's a 50/50 blend of traditional strategy work and technology work (which I find interesting), the pay is definitely less than Wall Street offers and I'm as shallow as most people in this world whether I like to admit it or not. I've been targeting traditional management consulting positions for a post-MBA career (MBB, Deloitte, Booz....), but am also thinking of IB on the side. My question is - is it common for banks, either MM or BB, to target students from top MBA programs with no IB experience? I know you're fine coming from MBB, but the name on my resume is not nearly as well known, although the school will be. The other main reason I ask is that it seems the best strategy to securing an MBA Associate internship is through contacting banks/networking BEFORE the MBA program even begins.

Again, I know it's possible, so don't tell me "just try hard and you'll get it." I'm asking whether or not it is COMMON. Playing the odds here.

Thanks.

Comments (12)

Jun 5, 2013

I personally met/worked with 3 people that moved (were not in banking pre-mba) to banking thanks to a top school MBA and they were from:
- Bain (Stern);
- Texas Instruments (engineering, LBS);
- Unknown Real Estate Owner/Operator (1 bln AuM) (sales/deal execution, INSEAD).

So, as you can see, 2 out of 3 were not from MBB and no one of them had previous IBD experience.

Hope this may help.

    • 1
Jun 10, 2013
cruel3a:

I personally met/worked with 3 people that moved (were not in banking pre-mba) to banking thanks to a top school MBA and they were from:
- Bain (Stern);
- Texas Instruments (engineering, LBS);
- Unknown Real Estate Owner/Operator (1 bln AuM) (sales/deal execution, INSEAD).

So, as you can see, 2 out of 3 were not from MBB and no one of them had previous IBD experience.

Hope this may help.

Out of interest, what was the age range of these guys?

Jun 11, 2013
renitent.precept:

Out of interest, what was the age range of these guys?

Stern guy started his MBA between 27-28 years (3 yrs of previous experience)
Insead at 28-29 yrs (5 yrs)
LBS at 29-30 yrs (5 yrs)

Jun 5, 2013

I don't know if it is common but I know a guy who came from a boutique consulting firm, went to a top 5 school (4 or 5) and now is a VP at GS/JP Morgan firm

Jun 5, 2013

I landed at a MM IB shop w/an MBA and no prior IB (some corp fin) experience. Previously was a supply chain consultant.

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Jun 5, 2013

The majority of people who go into IB as post-MBA associates are usually industry-switchers, so you'll be fine at a top school.

Jun 5, 2013
idragmazda:

The majority of people who go into IB as post-MBA associates are usually industry-switchers, so you'll be fine at a top school.

^^This. The vast majority of people seem to be switching careers in b-school, especially when you are looking at IB. It's just silly, though sometimes necessary, for someone to leave banking and get an MBA just so they can get back into banking.

This does, unfortunately happen, but to my knowledge, it's never done on purpose. I once met a guy that was a first year associate at a BB in NYC who decided he wanted to jump to buyside by going to business school. He didn't gain traction with any PE firms while in school and ended up back at a smaller IB in the South, sadly, as a 1st year associate. For him his move was partly about lifestyle and he's at a smaller bank with better hours and a better culture, but you could tell he was miserable telling me the story. I mean, who knows if he would have continued to move up, but he passed on two years worth of IB associate income, plus paid for b-school and ended up back at the level he left so, in theory, he could have been a 3rd year associate looking at a move to VP but, instead, is 'just' a 1st year associate again.

Anyways, there won't be many people with an IB background recruiting for IB positions at business school...however, there will be people with tangible finance experience that might have a leg up because of their finance oriented background. That is to say, don't get complacent, because the competition will be stiff, even if you aren't competing against experienced bankers. Best of luck.

Regards

Jun 10, 2013

Thanks for the responses guys, I appreciate the insights, they are all very helpful.

Jun 11, 2013

No one i knew who got BB/elite boutique investment banking jobs out of mba school had done banking before - and most had not done any real substantive finance. More about fit and previous success.

As others have alluded - very few bankers go to b-school only to become bankers again.

Jun 13, 2013
cruel3a:
renitent.precept:

Out of interest, what was the age range of these guys?

Stern guy started his MBA between 27-28 years (3 yrs of previous experience)

Insead at 28-29 yrs (5 yrs)

LBS at 29-30 yrs (5 yrs)

so is it normal being an 1st year IB Associate at 28-30? im 25 now and will apply next fall so i would prob finish my MBA at age 29 so I am just a little worried if that is too old? do the BB firms show any sort of age bias towards younger candidates? also what are the dynamics of working with the direct analyst to Associate promotes that are 4-5 years younger than you?

Feb 24, 2019

That's not too old. Most 1st years are 29 or 30 after completing their MBA. Also, banks love hiring the military guys, who are almost always a few years older still.

Jun 18, 2013
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