MBA vs Masters for Investment Banking

Fellow aspiring monkeys and experienced gorillas,

I'm currently weighing the options on whether to pursue an MBA or a Master degree in order to break into Investment Banking (BB, EB, MM) and would like to hear your thoughts.

I graduated in 2018 from a non-target on the east coast with a few finance internships (PE and IB) and a 3.6 GPA. Upon graduation I returned to my home country (developing country: not yet recognized as an emerging or frontier market) to work in a small (10 people) family owned government supplies business.

I'm planning to give my GMATs soon in order to apply to the following schools' Masters (MSF, MFin) programs: Vandy, UVA, BC and USC for Round 2/3/4 Applications.

I have almost 3 years of combined work experience, am I better suited to an MBA instead? (Thinking Stern, Darden, Fuqua, Ross)
If so, should I shoot for later round applications that are open until March 2021? Or should I wait it out and apply in earlier rounds during Fall of 2021?

I'm aware that Masters typically place into Analyst roles and MBAs place into Associate roles.


Comments (4)

Jan 12, 2021 - 9:53am

With 3 years, I think the MBA is a much safer approach than the MFin. But why are these the only options? US MFins are not very well recognised whilst EU ones are. Any chance of doing an MFin at places like LSE or LBS and then breaking into IB? Cheaper than an MBA and more relevant than a US MFin for breaking in. Just a thought.

Jan 12, 2021 - 11:02am

Hey The Pharma Guy, I haven't really looked into EU much. Might certainly be something to consider.

I spent 4+ years in the US, which has allowed me to understand and become a part of the 'culture'. I also have friends, family and a network there, which I think would be one of the reasons for me considering the States. Also not sure if I'll be a great fit in the EU, coming from a traditionally "American" background.

However, EU or UK would be a completely fresh start for me, which could be a new and exciting challenge by itself.

Thanks for your advice, I'll certainly take a look into the programs - placements, recruitment etc.

"Speed has never killed anyone. Suddenly becoming stationary, that's what gets you."

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Jan 26, 2021 - 10:40am

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