Investment Banking Associate without Work Experience

Is it possible to become an investment banking associate without any work experience? My school (strong semi-target) offers a five-year MBA-undergrad degree program. I'd have an applied math major and an MBA coming out of school. With a 3.9 or a 4.0 and good internships, good alumni and wall street connections, and strong performances at investment banking / financial modeling competitions, how are my prospects for becoming an investment banking associate without any real work experience besides summer internships? Thanks.

Comments (7)

Jul 11, 2019

Yes, I have seem one person did one of those Yale sliver scholar program, where you do 2 year MBA straight out of undergraduate. Got a summer associate offer without any real work experience. However, I don't know what you mean by semi target. I think if the school is top 15 b school, then you have a shot.

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Jul 11, 2019

Thank you! School is a top-25 business school for MBA graduates.

Jul 11, 2019

Just to give you the correct expectation Top 25 isn't good enough with the exception from Georgetown, Emory & Chapel Hill for SE placement, UCLA and maybe USC / Tepper. However, keep in mind, even T15 schools have trouble getting associate roles. A close friend who spent ~8 years in AM went to a T15 b school had hard time recruiting for IB associate and eventually landed a gig at BlackRock. I'm also guessing associate recruiting is even harder for you given that you're not going to have the opportunity to do a summer associate gig and competing for full associate right out of the gate.

To give you stats on the guy that I know, he's top 5 European University, not some "strong semi-target". Did a 2 year MBA right out of undergraduate with strong internships. Now, he's placed as a summer associate at one of BB.

Most Helpful
Jul 11, 2019

I'm sure it's happened before but very difficult from what I've seen.

Had a guy like this in my MBA program. Did a 5 year undergrad/MBA degree and ended up having to recruit for analyst and associate positions just depending on the bank. He struck out with associate recruiting.

Another guy in my program had 2 years of work pre-MBA, and he also wasn't able to land anything (I think largely due to his lack of work experience). From my experience, 3 years seems to be the minimum that banks like to see for associate roles (again I'm sure it has happened with <3 years, but that is just what I have seen).

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Jul 11, 2019

For the guy in your MBA program who did the five-year undergrad/MBA degree, was he eventually recruited as an analyst or did he strike out completely?

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Jul 12, 2019

The 1 person I know who did an undergrad / MBA degree came in as an analyst (might've come in as a 2nd year analyst, but I think 1st year still).

Jul 13, 2019