M.Sc. in Finance vs. FT recruiting

Hi guys!

Kind of a dilemma here:

I am currently in my final year at a German target school (though "target" does not mean the same as in the US over here) and have a non-BB M&A SA gig lined up. My final goal is to work for an elite boutique or a BB in Frankfurt.

The problem:

I basically have two options:

  1. Go for FT recruiting this summer/autumn with solid M&A, Valuation and TAS experience, solid grades (top 15-20% of the class, though nothing special) and good interview skills (i.e. usually getting the offers when being invited to first rounds). The problem here is: no "stellar" names like GS, MS, etc. on my resume, just a large MM bank and Big 4 companies.

  2. Go for a one and a half year masters program at the same German target school, paying 20k fees and working part-time besides studies. This will enable me to do another internship at a more prestigious place, securing a ft offer and start in summer 2014.

I am actually pretty confident that I can secure another SA offer (and a FT offer out of the SA gig) if I am doing a masters, as I was invited by two elite boutiques (but had already accepted the non-BB gig -> exploding offer) and as I said: I am good in interviewing.

Before thinking about the deadlines, I had actually planned to just apply for ft positions in autumn and if nothing works out, to go for the masters. After checking all the application deadlines, it turned out that I have to decide which way I want to pursue, as summer 2013 is the only time frame where I could do another internship when going for the masters degree, but I can hardly apply for an SA gig and a FT position at the same time.

I am seriously leaning towards option number 1, but I am a little bit scared as I have no idea how realistic it is to get a ft spot without having interned at the same place before.

Would you guys mind to share some insights on this?

Kind regards

LeeteasY

Region

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Comments (12)

Apr 3, 2012 - 5:16am

Germans have a strong command of the English language. Impressive.

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Apr 3, 2012 - 5:33am

Leet, you seem pretty set whichever option you take so personal preference is the factor here. At 20k for a solid uni postgrad, I'd go for it. It'd also mean greater employment mobility going forward. Then again I'm also one of those geeks with several letters after my name.

Whichever option makes you happy man. If you perform at a mid-tier, you can always migrate to GS later as an experienced hire. BUT...if your goal is to get into the big names earlier then postgrad is the way (thoughit's also a bigger gamble.)

Bottom line: personal preference

captainkoolaid:
Germans have a strong command of the English language. Impressive.

I take it you dont get out much.
__________
  • 1
Apr 3, 2012 - 6:13am
captainkoolaid:
Germans have a strong command of the English language. Impressive.

Germans are superior. Deutschland über alles.
Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.
Apr 3, 2012 - 8:55am
Flake:
captainkoolaid:
Germans have a strong command of the English language. Impressive.

Germans are superior. Deutschland über alles.

They're not too good in world wars though

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk
Best Response
Apr 3, 2012 - 6:02am

Why don't you go for option 1 and if getting an FT offer doesn't work out you can take a "gap year" during which you can gain relevant work experience through off-cycle internships. Usually these are also a little bit easier to get into and the banks in Frankfurt seem to take in a good amount of off-cycles. If you turn one of these gigs into an FT offer then you're good, otherwise you can still go for the Master program. I assume you're probably still young enough for choosing that approach and you can also take the gap year to broaden your perspective a bit (i.e. other sectors, travelling).

However, please keep in mind that FT positions at BB banks in Frankfurt are usually recruited through the normal schedule which means almost all FT positions starting in summer/fall this year should be filled.

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Apr 3, 2012 - 9:03am
EuroLocust:
Why don't you go for option 1 and if getting an FT offer doesn't work out you can take a "gap year" during which you can gain relevant work experience through off-cycle internships. Usually these are also a little bit easier to get into and the banks in Frankfurt seem to take in a good amount of off-cycles. If you turn one of these gigs into an FT offer then you're good, otherwise you can still go for the Master program. I assume you're probably still young enough for choosing that approach and you can also take the gap year to broaden your perspective a bit (i.e. other sectors, travelling).

However, please keep in mind that FT positions at BB banks in Frankfurt are usually recruited through the normal schedule which means almost all FT positions starting in summer/fall this year should be filled.

Thank you very much for your advice! I am talking about 2013 FT recruiting vs. 2014 FT recruiting. My studies will end in February 2013, and I could head into a 1 1/2 years masters program straight afterwards.

The main point is: I do not think that an MSF itself will give me an edge, as I actually wanted to do an MBA after 2-3 years in banking, and then return as an Associate (I know, I'm mad, but I actually enjoy cranking numbers and painting slides). So it's an extra wasted year for me, just for getting the opportunity to do an extra internship, or, with other words, to correct the mistakes that I've made before...

Apr 3, 2012 - 11:15am
EuroLocust:
In that case just go for FT recruiting (i.e. first option). I must have missed the point of your graduation date.
While you might not have a shot at GS or MS, other BBs and boutiques will very likely give you a chance anyway and if you're really such a number cruncher you can still join them after your MBA.

Go for FT recruiting but definitely do have the masters route in your back pocket (do your gmat or whatever it takes in europe. sounds like you'd be a good fit for LSE and the likes).
I wouldn't say you don't have a shot at GS or MS. It would be tough but who knows...so don't hit the panic button yet.
Apr 3, 2012 - 11:26am

haha I just read the whole of OP's post in German accent

SSK
Apr 9, 2012 - 2:19pm

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