Navy SEAL --> M7. What Career Opportunities Would I Have?

Title says it all. Given that I would have little direct industry experience, would recruiters still be open to giving me a shot? What industry could I work in? Of course I've seen the stories about "Navy SEAL goes to Wall St" etc. Is that realistic? Would corp dev for a tech company be achievable? IB/PE/AM?

Also noting that I am definitely not a Navy SEAL yet. Just been wondering about this hypothetical situation for a while.


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Comments (6)

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  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 22, 2021 - 1:30pm

Of course that would be achievable. Special Forces guys from M7s do incredibly well in recruiting - maybe less so in household name PE/AM, but among smaller funds? Of course. IB-> Corp Dev is the standard track for MBAs too. 

Here's the thing tho, this might be the most cart-before-the-horse post I've seen in a long time. The Navy SEALs are harder to get into than any of the M7, so it seems like you're painting this picture for yourself of: well if I do this, this and this, then it'll work! I went from a non-target -> M7 -> one of the popular banks on this forum , so I get ALOT of advice asks from kids who are trying to break in,  and I'll tell you what I tell them: figure out what you want to do, and play the tape backwards. Figure out the steps, then execute one-at-a-time! Don't be the receiver who looks downfield before he's caught the ball - focus on each step. Too many people navigate their careers by chasing what immediately has the highest jump in prestige figuring that will set them up the best - I don't think this is necessarily true. 

If you are already an officer applying to be a SEAL (right? Think you need to be commissioned but I'm not smart on the subject), I would focus completely on getting into BUDS if SEALs if that is what you absolutely want to do, don't worry about banking and placement and exits.

If what you really really want is corp dev at a technology company, and are just figuring being a SEAL would help and be cool, then I would encourage you to reach out to those who have gone miltary -> tech M&A, see how they did it, and use that information to put yourself in the best place right now to make the exit. 

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jul 22, 2021 - 1:45pm

Thanks for the response. Definitely agree this is looking very far into the future. Being a SEAL is definitely what I want more than any other career aforementioned. I'll surely have to take things one step at a time and focus on what's in front of me if I want to make it to the teams. Just want to make sure that if I do go down this path, transitioning to the private sector would be doable. I probably wouldn't be able to stay in the teams for more than one contract since I think I'd probably want to start a family by the time I'm 35, which is really hard to do as a SEAL. Who know though, maybe I'll like being a SEAL too much and will make a career out of it

Jul 22, 2021 - 11:14pm

Definitely go and pursue your dream of being a SEAL and don't let anything stop you. I enlisted in the Marines after high school and served as an infantryman for five years and have zero regrets. It was a great place to come of age. Military service effectively stops the clock for job recruiting and college applications - it's like taking a very prolonged and exciting gap year(s). I started my ungrad at 23 and am starting as a first-year analyst now at 27 - no one batted an eye and thought I was too old or had any kind of bias. There is no better time than now to be a vet. College admissions, job recruiting, networking, etc. are all so much easier. Plus the GI bill is the best thing ever. 

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jul 23, 2021 - 2:58am

The same as a lot of other M7s that didn't do PE or AM beforehand. Corp Dev at Tech company is possible if you have some banking experience before, they don't have resources to train people from the beginning. Unfortunately banking is foundational for that role but you can probably dip after 1 year. I've seen it happen many times.

Plenty of ex-military (in general) people in finance. You might find this kind of job extremely meaningless though.

Jul 23, 2021 - 12:18pm

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