Is it still possible to break in?

tbm24's picture
Rank: Monkey | 46

Hi everyone. I'll try to keep this short and to the point.

I recently graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Economics. 3.3 GPA, decent clubs/activities, pretty weak/no relevant work experience.

After reading up on various fields in finance, I think equity research is the one that is the best fit for me. However, I do not know how possible (probable) it is to break in at this point. Should I forget it completely? Try to get into another field (suggestions?) and then when things pick up, try to break in then? Or is it still possible to do, and just have to network/send out many emails/etc. to get in at the entry level (even if it's an "assistant" position) and then move up?

I'm willing to put in the necessary work, but if it's pretty much impossible right now (considering the economy and my background), I just want to know so I can use my time better searching for other types of jobs.

Thanks for your time and help.

Comments (5)

Jun 21, 2009

If you want something bad enough you will never give up. If I was you, I would probably look into attending graduate school and doing well.

Jun 21, 2009

I considered grad school (MS Finance), although it seemed like many people in the industry didn't think it was worth the investment...

What type of grad schools would be worth looking into this late in the game (obviously many deadlines have passed by now).

Jun 21, 2009
tbm24:

I considered grad school (MS Finance), although it seemed like many people in the industry didn't think it was worth the investment...

What type of grad schools would be worth looking into this late in the game (obviously many deadlines have passed by now).

I know you want to go into ER, but by being an alum from Michigan and having a decent GPA, you might want to apply to Michigan's MFE (Masters of Financial Engineering) if you are interested in Trading or Risk Management. There aren't that many graduate schools that offer a MFE, and you might have a leg up to get in it, because you previously attended Michigan. So if you like finance + computer science, try that, and it will open doors.

Jun 22, 2009

I would say you're going to have a hard time breaking into the industry with little to no relevant experience at this point since you're graduated. I completed 3+ internships in finance (i-banking and PE) with a 3.8 GPA from a non-target and just got a job in ER at a MM bank in a regional office. It's extremely tough to break in right now so best of luck to you, but I would try to find something that's relevant, go to grad school and break in that way. Of course still apply to all ER/IB positions you see posted or know of, but if you set your sights to just that, then you may go awhile without a job. The last thing you want on your resume is a huge hole from graduation to your first job, although a small one will be fine considering the times right now.

I agree that going into grad school with no prior work experience is a waste of your time unless you'd like to do what the above poster said and do an extremely quantitative degree that'll open up doors specific to trading/quants.

Hope that helps.

Jun 23, 2009
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