I've been hanging out in the background of this site for a couple years now, and thought it was time to reach out and see what advice I could get from the collective wisdom of the group. First, a little about me:
Graduated from a top 20 school in May 2012 with a >3.8 GPA with a major in Finance, and I am currently working at a solid middle market investment bank (Baird, Piper, Harris Williams, William Blair) doing mostly sell-side M&A in Boston. I've touched several live deals / am the only analyst on a deal I built the book for (currently drafting the CIM).
Since January, I've been tapping my school's network, cold emailing / calling in an attempt to find out about any opportunities to lateral out to a BB in NYC / Chicago. My main motives for looking to lateral out are: lack of modeling exercises / skill development and a strong desire to be in NYC / Chicago.
At the the MM level, based on the conversations I've had with my analyst friends at other MM banks, there is a greater emphasis on the marketing materials / PPT prezos than on actual modeling. All our models are templated out and are relatively simple. Companies at the middle market level simple aren't as complex and aren't engaging in some of the more complex transactions one would encounter at a BB. I want to develop my modeling skill set - something I'm not getting at my current job.
Secondly, the majority of my friends are either in Chicago or NYC, and making new friends as a banker has been a challenge. Boston is a great city, but as a fresh 22 year-old, I want my friends around me to hit the bar scene with (which closes at 2AM here) when I get some time off. Believe me, it contributes a lot more than you'd think to your overall well-being and productivity at work just to know you can text someone up in the rare instances you have time.
I've been getting mixed results; my resume gets passed on to HR, or I hop on a call with an associate, get another interview, and then things kinda fizzle. I got fairly advanced with lateral interviews for Citi, but when I spoke to a close contact there he said, he'd get back to me after staffing needs were hammered out. But then, the line went cold and no one would return my emails.
I need a new strategy - I do not want to spend another year at my current job. Every time I'm in late, mechanically pushing through text edits and moving logos, I die a little inside. I know that at larger banks, these tasks would be outsourced, and I would spend my time doing more value-add activities (or at least something that requires a small amount of thought. Please correct me if I'm misguided). *To qualify, I know PPT is part of the job, but when it's 98% of what I'm doing, I'm left feeling a bit let down.
So, I'm looking for advice and guidance on lateraling out, especially from anyone has successfully done it. Thanks guys and girls. What is the best approach? What's the right level ( analyst, associate, VP) to contact regarding a lateral inquiry? Should I reach out to headhunters for IB? I'm willing to repeat my first year and forgo my bonus.