PLEASE READ -Active duty with MS in Finance and MBA

Hello fellow members,

When I get discharged from the military I will have an MS in Finance and an MBA. I will also start working on my CFA as well before leaving the military. My goal is land an Associate position in Investment Banking. Any advice? My current job in the military is with accounting and finance, I will have 7 years of experience. What are my chances of being a top candidate for the position, is there any other qualifications I need? thank you

Comments (22)

May 16, 2018 - 5:11pm

I wouldn't waste time studying for the CFA if IB is your goal. Spend your time networking and preparing for interviews.

Where did you get your MBA from (and I assume it was part-time while on active duty)? Start networking there. If it is from a "non-target", then start networking with vets in IB - all vets: officers, enlisted, your branch, other branches, wherever you can find them. Last, cast the net wide (particularly since you are coming from a part-time MBA and assuming its from a non-target school). This means you should look for roles at boutiques and MM firms.

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May 16, 2018 - 7:05pm

Yes it's from George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology ( Webster University ) , non target school , I will definetly network and prepare myself accordingly.Also my school is certified by the ACBSP. Thanks for the tips as well !

May 16, 2018 - 7:07pm

Yes I saw that on their websites , I will have to start as an intern or analyst first to prove myself ? And work my way up the chain? Thanks for the response this website is really helpful and resourceful and I look forward to my next career in investment banking !

May 18, 2018 - 3:15pm

So it all depends on the bucket they put you in. I'm going through the MVIP now, we have a guy from Stern MBA in our class (I think he messed up his normal recruiting cycle), but he's with a top coverage group right now, and once he's done with the program he starts as an associate. But there was another guy a couple classes ago with a no-name MBA and started in a top product group as associate too. I'm sure if you show up to the program with a deep understanding then you will most likely be transitioned into an associate position. Most major banks have a Vet program, and they should start to open within the next couple months. Feel free to pm me.

May 22, 2018 - 5:34pm
jwc0203:

I'm sure if you show up to the program with a deep understanding then you will most likely be transitioned into an associate position.

Associate with a Webster MBA?

Seems a bit unlikely.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

May 22, 2018 - 5:44pm

I had an interview for an M&A analyst position in undergrad with an IB VP (Navy vet). Dude served as an officer, Navy SEAL, and had an MBA from Booth.

These are the vets you can be pretty sure to usher into IB associate positions without much trouble.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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May 22, 2018 - 6:11pm

Thanks for the response, how was the interview? Also I look forward to the challenge of getting into IB. What is Life if we don't push our self to be the best! I'm sure it will be tough but I will be prepared and knowledgeable.

"Never let the fear of striking out keep you from coming up to bat" - Babe Ruth

May 22, 2018 - 6:40pm
Wesleyan7:

I'm sure it will be tough but I will be prepared and knowledgeable.

You're already unprepared with these degrees. I'm not saying don't try, but why did you get these degrees in the first place?

I am a vet too, I don't want you to be thrown out on the curb, but your profile to me seems like you are a loyal service member with basic accounting/finance skills and an unpolished resume with very weak degrees. Is this incorrect?

You might want to consider applying to a top program (I don't even know what degree) and use your 9/11 GI bill to pay for tuition and housing and transition from there. By all means apply this cycle, but they might place you as an analyst over an associate given your background.

I can't figure out if you're enlisted with a bunch of online degrees or an officer?

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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May 22, 2018 - 9:29pm

Thank you for the advice.

I actually sit in a classroom with a professor after work. In these classrooms are other business executives from many different fields trying to further their career as well.

I wouldn't call getting two graduate degrees from an accredited institution useless. Also calling me unprepared when you don't know my knowledge level and understanding of the community I'm trying to join, is pretty naΓ―ve and ignorant.

But thank you, I will keep your words of encouragement of being thrown out on the curb and having useless degrees as I move forward to my graduation date!

Most Helpful
May 23, 2018 - 2:18am
Wesleyan7:

I wouldn't call getting two graduate degrees from an accredited institution useless. Also calling me unprepared when you don't know my knowledge level and understanding of the community I'm trying to join, is pretty naΓ―ve and ignorant.

What. You really want to go through this?

Let's break it down:

Webster MBA

92% Acceptance rate

Rated #182

https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/webster-university-OB…mba

With all your fancy degrees, think of the barriers to entry to obtain this esteemed Webster MBA. None. 3.0 Undergrad Average GPA and accepts everyone. I can't even imagine who gets rejected from here. Probably the 2.4 student with a range of 2.5 - 3.5.

Some cringe at attending a top 30 MBA or even hope that a Georgetown MBA will give them adequate chances at good Wall St. opportunities. You attended a #182 ranked program.

You still haven't mentioned your rank and it now seems like you're an E5 or so. If this MBA helped you to get E6 or something like that, great. But, its value outside the military is next to zero. Sure not 100% useless, only 99.5%. I can't imagine you're an O3-O4 with this mindset. I've done some financial consulting for the DoD financial teams in Indiana - are you on the Army team there or something?

Even in undergrad business you learn Porter's Five Forces. What are the barriers to entry to get into Webster? None. If everyone could get a Webster MBA to get into Wall St. IB, the acceptance rate would plummet. Read Seth Godin's "The Dip". Its a short read, but his premise is that you have to get over hurdles in life that are difficult to achieve. You also have to know when to stick with it and when to quit.

In your journey, the hurdle that you overcame is achievable by everyone, diminishing its value. As someone who practices business/finance/accounting, this premise should be clear to you.

I'm being pretty harsh on you (but its the truth); maybe you have been caught up in military life and actually obtaining an MBA was something like an 'icing on the cake' over your peers. But, that's not how it works on the street. On this note, you need to be aware of your weaknesses to not only play them well in interviews, but to make the movements in the proper direction to strengthen yourself where you can. If you think the Webster MBA is so great and talk about how amazing the learning and program was like you had a HBS professor going through a groundbreaking case study, you're going to look a bit off. Hopefully they only catch you as naive and not delusional that day.

The most important thing you can do walking out into civilian life again is to know where you stand (truthfully) and where you can go from there. Your resume is likely to be tossed out of of a lot of large corporations, but if you want to target smaller businesses that might need help with the financial operations of a small business, you could go from there. They won't know what Webster is and will smile kindly upon a young vet. But, if you want to go to the street. Be prepared.

I'm not going to bash you without leaving some feasible plan, so:
- Apply at will, see what happens, acquire interview experience
- Get started on the process to obtain some sort of real degree with your 9/11 GI bill

You also might want to stick around in the reserves for a little bit if you can.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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May 16, 2018 - 7:15pm

So the main thing for my case, will be networking since I will have the experience and education portion covered. It's not what you know but who you know! I will continue my research and reading on this forum as well.

May 21, 2018 - 12:02pm

You have a lot of good experience and qualifications going for you.

Only thing I can comment on is the CFA. Before jumping all in with the registration, study materials, and such, really consider if it's the best use of your time. The CFA is great, but can get pretty specific and you might spend a lot of time and money on something that isn't the best use of your time. I'm not saying don't do it, but think about your career path you'd like to take and see if the CFA fits into it. It may or it may not.

If you have any CFA questions, I passed Level I a few years ago and might be able to help.

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May 22, 2018 - 4:14pm

yes I agree with you. I will not start working on my CFA if my plans are IB. Once I get closer to my end of tour I will start the military transition services with several banks. I already talked to GS about their hiring and transitioning process. Their response was very informative and provided dates

May 22, 2018 - 4:48pm
Wesleyan7:

yes I agree with you. I will not start working on my CFA if my plans are IB. Once I get closer to my end of tour I will start the military transition services with several banks. I already talked to GS about their hiring and transitioning process. Their response was very informative and provided dates

FYI interviews for IBD for vets are just as technical as for normal recruits. You still need to possess technical knowledge. Being a vet, I'm sure you will do well with behavioral questions (I just give them random deployment stories or stories of when I first took command of my team, and it always does the trick).

I suggest you read the following during your last few months on duty and during your terminal.
-"How to Be an Investment Banker" by Gutman
-"investment Banking" by Rosenbaum
Few months should be more than enough to read through the books and memorize the technicals. Good Luck.

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