Non-Target MBA No-Experience Route into AM

Hey everyone, long time lurker, first time poster.  Title about sums it up: I went to a non-target undergrad, immediately moved into non-target MBA (coronavirus was my motivator), now interested in breaking into buy-side AM in Charlotte, NC.  I recognize it won't be a straight, traditional path, but I've heard it here before that a good route would be sell-side equity researcher --> buy-side AM analyst, and go from there.  The over-education may help or hurt me, I don't know, but it took me a while to find my niche (read, working with numbers and making F-you money).  

Any insight would be appreciated on how I can navigate into the AM buy-side sphere.  I'm interested in Long-only AM, but as far as Equities or Fixed Income, alternatives, etc. go I have the freedom and ability now to really master one if that would be beneficial.  Please let me know your advice.

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Comments (7)

  • Analyst 1 in ER
Sep 7, 2021 - 7:08pm

Man this just got worse as I read on.

No experience at all? You're going to have to network your ass off. And even then you might be aiming too high.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 7, 2021 - 11:00pm

I don't have any advice for you, but wish you the best of luck

Most Helpful
Sep 15, 2021 - 12:24pm

Networking is the name of the game for you now. Mostly boils down to who you know and what you can offer the firm. You've got no experience which is a big drawback since asset management likes to recruit from IB and quant backgrounds. You have to filter through lots and lots of data whilst at the same time analysing it in a qualitative manner. You have to separate yourself from the competition which is likely to have tons of experience under their belt if put in the same MBA bracket as you.

It's going to be a decidedly uphill battle for you to even secure the most entry level positions since your undergrad and MBA are both non-targets but it's not impossible. See if you know anyone in your circle that already has a solid footing in a financial services or AM firm and then network the fuck out of that. Furthermore you will need to explain why you haven't had experience, this can boil down to you being lazy and not having the initiative to do something alongside your studies or you can explain what you've really done and focus on the aspects that you can use to really sell yourself. Sitting the CFA level 1 to 2 can show your interest but it's also an upfront investment which won't be the deciding factor in securing a role but rather an added bonus.

From my point of view, your best bet would be an entry level gig in corporate finance. You can then leverage that experience and lateral over to an AM firm but likely not the top ones unless you have a solid track record of outstanding performance and excellent references.

At this point it's about being realistic and knowing the path you gotta take in order to reach your goal which is AM. You're not getting into AM straight away. Let's be honest. But that doesn't mean you can't do it in say 5 years from now.

Best of luck.

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Sep 22, 2021 - 3:53pm

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