Need advice on risky transition

I interviewed with a top bank in my region last year for a junior IB role and successfully got through 3 rounds prior to it be stalled due to COVID (interviewed with head of the group, 2 directors, and 2 analysts). One of the directors left the bank and offered me a role to join their start-up with attractive pay, learning opportunities, etc. I ended up joining the start-up since there was no indication of when the hiring freeze would end for the bank and I had already been waiting >1 year due to COVID. 

Its been <1 year now and the start-up opportunity has been great, but I realised I still rather work at the bank where I can develop a better network, have established training programs, brand credibility, etc. I am thinking of reaching out to one of the Directors I interviewed with and inquiring about reapplying since I know that several others from that bank will be leaving soon once bonuses are paid out.

Any advice on what to say in an email with this Director? I should also note that it is risky for me to reach out as the people I work with now are all ex-employees of that bank and 1 of them (who brought me onboard this start-up) was in charge of their recruitment program. 

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Comments (12)

Apr 8, 2021 - 1:54am

Sounds like you landed a better gig than what you had initially applied for? What is it about the bank that has you dead set? Is the start-up finance-related? Hate to answer your question with questions but you may not come across this type of opportunity again for a while.

Apr 8, 2021 - 4:47am

It's a great question! The start-up is boutique IB and very small shop.

Reason why I wanted to transition to a proper IB is for the networking opportunities, established training programs, clear structure of progression and brand credibility. I acknowledge I will be giving up the better WLB, culture, direct access to senior professionals, and compensation from the start-up.

The brand seems especially important to me since I am from a non-target school and I am just starting out in my career (transitioning from another industry). From what I've experienced and heard, the IB brand is what's going to open doors for me.

Apr 8, 2021 - 10:53am

Thanks. Take my advice with a grain of salt, but based on the comment below, you're in a better place. Reaching out to that Director could go south very quick.

Your career will be what you make of it. Your network can be developed in more ways than one. At a start up, I'd assume you get direct exposure to leadership, client interactions, and WLB/Good Pay (as you mentioned)

What'll help build your credibility is your knowledge/deal experience and also who you know. Reach out to fellow bankers on LinkedIn for meetups. These are just ideas, you'll find what's best for you.

I was in a similar position a few years back (not IB) and I threw it away thinking the grass was greener. Wishing you the best in your decision.

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Apr 8, 2021 - 5:31pm

I really appreciate everyone's responses. I do believe though that it will be difficult to transition to a proper IB if I don't do so now as it's very competitive and I don't have the traditional pedigree that's expected. The reason I got as far as I did in the IB process/this start-up was through networking which took 1 year.

I also want to transition to the buy-side (initially thinking PE) and know that many firms will not consider me based off where I am now, which is what I've found out through networking and talking to recruiters.

Based on this, does this change your opinion of my situation? Again, I'm really grateful for your time and advice!

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Apr 9, 2021 - 8:09pm

Just a word of caution, PE is not all that it's cracked up to be and odds are you won't do it for the long-term anyways so wouldn't be too focused on the PE exit. But if that's what you're really into at the end of the day and set on then you know what you have to do. Don't get caught up in the whole prestige mystique of PE if you have something good that you enjoy

  • Managing Director in S&T - Other
Apr 9, 2021 - 9:51pm
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