Not able to break into IB/valuation post-grad

Hi all-I'm a recent finance grad with hopes to land in PE someday. I know the road to PE almost always involves doing time in valuation and/or IB, (or corp dev) and I'm having issues getting onto that first step. 

A little background about myself: I have had two full-time internships in accounting & back-office finance but was never able to land a prestigious 10-week analyst role. Out of over 100 applications, most of them being valuation or IB, I've had ~10 interviews, 6 of which I've gotten to the final round (rejected by all), and I just received an offer to join a BB in middle-office trade support. 

Feedback from interviews has been much of the same. I'm a good candidate with a solid academic record and internship experience but they hired someone else that has had either a) past experience in the exact subject or b) is a CFA level II or further. 

The way I see it, I have two choices from here;

I can continue trying my luck with apps and likely go up against candidates that have the edge over me or:

I can accept the full-time offer to work in middle-office trade support, then eventually pursue an MBA a year or two down the line in hopes that it can get me into valuation or IB somewhere. 

What do we think? Thanks in advance!

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Comments (5)

Sep 29, 2021 - 5:38pm

You can kinda do both. Accept the middle office offer and keep recruiting. Renege on the middle office offer if you get a front office one. I know a lot of people are against reneging but it is so worth it over being in MO. Also why did you apply for MO in the first place? I'm assuming if you got a MO offer, you applied for it. Why not just apply to all FO positions like s&t, am, pwm? Those would have been better than MO.

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  • Research Analyst in HF - Other
Oct 2, 2021 - 10:58am

I would say the same. Keep chugging along and networking hitting up alumni and anyone you share a modicum of any commonality with, and do what you've been doing which is hustling - but you can accept the MO role to pay the bills. Do this if the MO role won't hinder you from recruiting full time. You don't want to lose your eyes from the prize. Does this MO role have any finance relationship? Like Credit department or something?The market is red hot for investment banking talent that I'm sure you can hopefully land something in FT. This year is probably a more doable year (still an uphill battle) than most years (where it would likely just be impossible).

Also - How are there CFA level III+ candidates as new college grads? Takes forever to be a charterholder I'm not sure how these people are in the same interview pool as you

Oct 8, 2021 - 1:34pm


It was in MO cash equities, basically allocating trades to customer accts. From what I've read the only mobility into FO would be sales & trading, and I'm just not mathematically inclined enough to work with trade functions. More interested in transactions anyways. 

I rejected the offer because I didn't feel comfortable taking on the FT hours while still focusing on recruitment. Still plugging away and grinding to get to the finish line. Also-I meant to say CFA LII candidate or further, apologies for the confusion.

Thanks for the insight!

  • Research Analyst in HF - Other
Oct 9, 2021 - 2:14pm

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