Is Banking ALWAYS better experience than Corp Fin for business school?


I work for a fortune 5 oil company as a financial analyst. I've been looking to break into i-banking soon. I have about 6 months of experience under my belt now.

Would it be worth it to break into a small no-name boutique or would it be better to stick around at my company for a better brand name on my resume? I'm ultimately looking to start b-school about 3 years from now.

Obviously banking would pay better (maybe?) and the experience would be good, but would it help me get into a good southern b-school or would it not matter?

Lately I've been thinking about things that actually matter to me. I've been strongly leaning towards starting up a non-profit company for a cause that I'm very passionate about. Considering the hours bankers work, I wouldn't have the time to work on this non-profit project. Currently I work about 45 hours a week, so I have a lot of time to work on this.

The problem is...I want to work in finance after b-school for sure. I would love to work at a HF down the road. Considering my end goal, it seems jumping to an ibank now would be very helpful.

The only reason I'm posting this is to get some perspective from people....not really looking for definitive answers.


Comments (11)

Jun 23, 2011 - 11:41pm

Personally, I'd stick with the energy company. Banking is brutal--and it's easy to get screwed over if you didn't network in. B-School would be impressed with your experience in the energy field, especially if you get promoted. I regret having gone into banking.

Jun 24, 2011 - 12:17am

Dude, there's no such things as "always" and other absolutes in life. Everyone's path is different and we might all reach somewhere at different time periods, but I disagree with the notion that one path is "the best" or "always the right choice".

Now enough of the philosophical babble. From what I've gleaned from the this forum, banking sets you up for corporate development, PE, HFs better than other fields, but if you want to get into corporate strategy or other industry finance positions, then other routes such as consulting, leadership programs, etc. might be better.

Also, eyeofthundarra, I too am curious why you "regret having gone into banking"? From what most people on this site/friends say, the experience is miserable, but the name on the resume is gold which makes it worth it in the end.

Pretty women make us BUY beer. Ugly women make us DRINK beer.
Jun 24, 2011 - 11:30am

Buyside <span><a href=;c=cart&amp;aff=44880&amp;ejc=2&amp;cl=175031 rel=nofollow>CFA</a></span>:
Fortune 5?

lol OP might as well have given us the name of the company he worked for.

If your end goal is HF then I would look into an MSFE or econ. maybe look into S&T gig in the region

If you really want an MBA, you have a really good gig and I would not go into Ibanking(M&A) just to get a shot at an MBA. you are differentiating yourself with O&G exp at a f5 from the other applicants who were in IB/PE/HF. an MBA would be a great way for you to put more focus on your start-up.

Working on a start-up that you are passionate about while doing ibanking is not really feasible. I'd stick with Exxon/Chevron

Jun 24, 2011 - 11:38pm

bschool loves to see non-profit or volunteer work. If anything, you should stick with industry, save that extra time to beef up your extracurriculars, and come essay/interview time for bschool you will blow them away. IB can be done after MBA for sure, and from there HF.

Jun 25, 2011 - 2:00am

I am pretty sure a place like Exonn treasury which has major ties to HBS and other top b-schools would fair better than banking in certain cases.

The amount of bankers there is out there is crazy high, compared to some of the unique things someone in Corp Fin could do. Think about the experience of working at Exonn when they bought XTO.

Also I think there is just less stars in corp fin who would aim for a top bschool to begin with.

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