New interest in finance, changing career path from Gov/Policy experience

maroonman13291's picture
Rank: Chimp | 13

Hi there,

New user here. Recent college graduate from the University of Chicago, majored in Public Policy, (3.8 gpa). I've recently developed an interest in finance, particularly investment banking and private equity, but all of my internship and job experience has been in government--specifically with the U.S. State department, a Congressman's office, and the majority office of the Ways and Means Committee, a major U.S. congressional committee with jurisdiction over international trade, entitlement programs, the public debt, and other revenue and tax issues. I live in the Baltimore/DC area, and I was wondering if there was any advice on how to break in to one of these career areas?

Networking, of course, is crucial, and I understand that. I'm also developing my excel modeling skills, sharpening my understanding of financial accounting, and reading the McKinsey valuation textbook recommended on WSO. Does anyone have any advice on breaking in to the industry for someone with my career history thus far? Are internships out of the question? Should I just continue on the public policy/government route until I can jump ship for business school? Any advice would be welcome!

Comments (8)

Jul 6, 2013

Get your MBA.

Jul 7, 2013

Get your MBA or CFA.

Jul 8, 2013

Thanks for the;response. Should I attempt to get finance related experience pre-MBA or start the MBA app. process immediately?

Jul 8, 2013

I am not sure if I understand you correctly, but did you just graduate? Either way, getting an internship will be close to impossible, because all deadlines that I am award of have passed. You will only be able to get something right now with MAD connections. You should start and keep networking.

If you are a current grad, then getting an MBA right now is not a good idea. Why? You most likely won't get into a top program because you are lacking work experience.

If you want to get into IB, forget about the CFA. It's no good for IB IMO.

You have to be realistic here. Switching to IB post-MBA will be incredibly hard, even if you are at a top school. There are too many people who have already worked 2-4 years in IB/PE. So you would have to impress a lot of people and you would have to outshine all the ex-IB/PE people. That's though, but possible.

Jul 8, 2013

Go do public finance IB for a couple years then go MBA. I'm guessing the switch to 'real' IB after that will be much easier with some good names on your resume. The top shops in PF are similar to to regular IB: BaML, JPM, Citi, Barclays, GS, MS (in no particular order). Then there are the regional players, look at some offering documents for recent issues where you live and you'll get a sense of who is doing the underwriting.

Jul 8, 2013

As you seem to be recent graduate, MBA is out of the question for the time being. As suggested above, working at an IB in public fin would be the best way to segue into private finance if you even have the desire to still.

Jul 15, 2013

MBA for sure

I have dreams of being a big shot in a 911 GT...

Mar 12, 2014
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