IB, VC, PE, HF: Does School Prepare You at All?

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Nowadays competition for IB, PE, HF, and VC is fierce, and with more and more candidates comes more competition.

Ironically enough, a huge part of what people compete with IS their school and GPA, but many finance professionals argue that school did not teach them much about their job/ industry.

So I ask, does school really prepare you for a job in this field? Or is a check mark to put on your resume so that you can start to learn at work.

Comments (22)

May 7, 2019

It teaches time management, and how to work with others. Also I did learn a lot about finance but I don't think anything can truly prepare you for a job as demanding as these. Plus people usually have to get experience in IB or another finance job before they even get to VC PE or HF. When I was younger though I can admit I saw it as just a check mark for my resume

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May 7, 2019

I definitely see it as a check mark now. I am not at a top school though so maybe why that is why I am not learning as much as I should about these industries. Kind of wish my school taught more about what I do at work

May 7, 2019

I didn't go to a top school either and felt the same way. I learned a lot of things but nothing that I apply day to day. My best advice is just try and get the best GPA possible to put on your resume and learn whatever you can. Eventually you will learn a lot on the job. We all have to start somewhere

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Most Helpful
May 7, 2019

School is mostly for signaling.

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May 7, 2019

Thanks! I am trying to see where else I can learn more than hands on in the job. Sometimes I see posts on here with discussions that go way over my head and I want to be better versed in the "lingo" for interviews etc

May 7, 2019

I'd say school is as anything where you can associate a brand name a signal of quality for a candidate. ie a Non target candidate that worked in IB will always carry the name of his BB to signal the fact that he is a quality applicant.

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May 7, 2019

Thanks for the input! I agree. What I was mentioning to @santosderu is that I wish schools would incorporate more lessons on these fields. But it may just be my school that falls short

May 7, 2019

Bump

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May 8, 2019

No. Honestly, school in the best cases teaches you the horrible trait of perfectionism, which will actually hinder your professional development, and in the worst cases it fills your mind with ideological nonsense that will make you unable to think rationally.

The only disciplines that teach you anything worthwhile are medicine, engineering etc. provided that you stick to that field after.

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Funniest
May 8, 2019

DAE STEM MASTER RACE??????

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May 8, 2019

Yes, I really used my advanced math courses a lot when aligning ppts & triple-checking my model.

There's no higher level math necessary or even applicable in IB, but there are a shitload of soft skills & business sense to keep things running well. These are - in my view - probably better developed by someone doing a "softer" major than engineering.

May 8, 2019

Read my last line, I actually agree with you more than you think.

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May 8, 2019

Good to know. Everyone likes to hind a complex facade

May 8, 2019

I agree at least for now. I have taken courses specifically catered to IB and what I have done in my roles is barely similar so I am disappointed. BUT I have learned other things just for work in general

May 8, 2019

I'm of the belief that school does TEACH YOU. But remember, unless it is a very technical field of study, it may not always be applicable teachings.

For example business schools / economics courses DO TEACH YOU about econ / accounting / etc but always for a "ceteris paribus" view. And in the real world "all else is NOT equal".

Teaching someone in theory is not the same as it's use in real world application.

I believe school teaches you how to learn, manage time, interact with others, etc. Applying those lessons to then learn something a bit different is the difference between school learning and being ready for the "real world"

May 8, 2019

This is true, I just believe that specific programs that are labeled "for investment banking" or certain finance areas that are more competitive to get into should teach you more than general econ etc.
I have learned many business things but not many applicable things which sucks because school is SO pricey.

May 8, 2019

It all depends on how the program is structured. I know at my alma mater they could have done a better job with preparing us for the careers you mentioned above, but I don't regret my time in college whatsoever.

It taught me numerous skills I wouldn't have been able to learn otherwise and I think the growing one does while in college is worth more than its weight in gold.

I strongly feel college should be transitioning into career-training rather than the same old "memorize, test, forget, repeat" structure but this is a hopeful goal which I am not sure will change for a long time.

May 8, 2019

This is true, though a lot of people associate college to the personal growth they did and experimentation and all. I am 20, live on my own in a different state than my family, and work full time- plus a few internships plus full time school (online). I just never thought the college experience was for me, at least in person, so this makes things challenging for me.

For example I know many people that can study abroad or take unpaid internships but I can't because I have to work and pay bills etc. It can make it harder for me to attain job experience which is why I juggle so much at once. I am thankful that I get to do this though!

I just wish my schools program taught a bit more. I do plan on getting an MBA or Master of Finance though

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May 9, 2019

It teaches you discipline and how to learn. Beyond that, it's just a check box to help you stand out from the crowd. Kids fresh out of school know absolutely nothing when it comes to real world application.

May 9, 2019
Comment
May 13, 2019