Need IB career advice and guidance, help!

thesenna's picture
Rank: Monkey | 60

Hey WSO Community!

As summer analyst interviews begin, I find myself almost reconsidering the whole thing and would greatly appreciate some career advice. I'll try to keep it very short.

-Junior at heavy target school, finance major 3.5 GPA 2010 SAT
-internship in F500 financial services firm (NYC)
-internship in boutique M&A firm (NYC)
-Lots of leadership experience and community service experience
-Diverse background, unique story

I am currently struggling to find a specific sector in banking that has interesting work and good pay but not INSANE hours. I am very interested in healthcare banking, but recently spoke to an analyst at my favorite BB and she told me the hours are consistently 90-100 per week. Well, from my M&A experience I discovered that my personal maximum is 70-75 hours a week. I am all for working hard, but really don't think I can work 90-100 hours a week. I would probably hate the job/my life and quit after a short time.

1) Should I give up on investment banking and focus on other areas of a bank? If so, which ones?
2) A friend recently recommended investor relations (sales) at my favorite BB, what do you guys think about that?
3) What do you guys think of doing corporate finance straight out of college?

I greatly appreciate the help!

United States - Northeast

Comments (14)

Sep 7, 2016

Capital Markets if you're not a PE or bust type.

    • 1
Sep 7, 2016

Thanks for the suggestion! Honestly I don't care much for exit ideas are more in line with corp fin

Sep 7, 2016

If its only a few weeks in the summer why not do it? It will be a good experience.

How is my grammar? Drop me a note with any errors you see!

    • 1
Sep 7, 2016

That's a good point. I would still need to choose a group well-aligned with my lifestyle though.

I kind of want to get next summer right since it's very important for post-grad job...I'm unsure whether to do IB, banking but not IB or corp fin at an interesting F500. Do you know of any good groups in IB/banking (but not S&T or FI) that have interesting work and decent hours (75 hrs or less)?

Sep 7, 2016

Keep in mind that it's much easier to go into corp fin FT with an IB internship than the other way around. They might ask you why you want corp fin now but you can always cite the lifestyle/hours.

    • 1
Sep 7, 2016

Not interested in Asset Management? You can have a great career at Fidelity or Wellington or BlackRock or a smaller firm like Harris Associates. You wont touch IBD hours and will make similar amount of money. Also, you have more opportunities in different cities.

    • 1
Best Response
Sep 7, 2016

It seems very silly to have your credentials (heavy target school, M&A boutique experience, etc.) and aim for a corp finance role. I'm not saying it's wrong. At the end of the day, it's your life and you need to be happy. However, it does seem like you're setting the achievement bar kind of low. Also, what is good pay? Are we talking $60k, $100k or $200k? If you're searching for a job with good pay that will come with relaxed hours, you might be searching forever. Generally, no matter the field, good pay is always equal to you being available and working longer hours than the average American.

You need to also consider the long-term impact of your decision. The professional decisions you make the next 2-4 years, will have a tremendous impact on your long-term career potential and employability. Once you commit to the corp fin route after graduation, getting into IB will unquestionably be a bigger challenge than it is now while you're a junior in school. Also, the high finance career path is very transparent. No matter the role, it's easy to see where you could be in 3-9 years (Associate, VP, Director, etc.) The path isn't as clear in corp finance.

For someone like you, I hate the idea of corp finance or investor relations out of college. Based on the credentials, I'd expect more. If I were you, I would aim for the healthcare banking BB experience. You say you're very interested in it. It's just an internship. 8-10 weeks is totally workable. If you hate your existence after, you can easily find a different role marketing the offer you received from the BB.

Your post reads like you have an real opportunity to play football at an SEC conference school, but you would rather play at a Sun Belt conference school because you wouldn't have to practice as hard. I kind of want to tell you toughen up. However, please do what makes you happy and is in line with your long-term career goals. You can always reset an early major fuck up by going to business school.

    • 5
Sep 7, 2016

Thanks so much for the very helpful and thoughtful answer. I guess you (and others that have commented) are right - it's just an internship.

I'll shoot for banking and see how it goes...if I hate it then I guess I'll still have options.

Sep 7, 2016

100% agree - with such a strong CV, gunning for a BB in the summer would only give you more opportunities and open up more inroads for you. And besides, that summer internship will likely be in your CV for the next 2-3 years, pretty golden if you ask me.

Oh yeah one more thing - what makes that particular BB your favourite? I mean, compared to the rest. Is it campus exposure? Knowing someone at the firm?

    • 1
Sep 8, 2016