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Comments (119)

Feb 15, 2016 - 11:56am

Thanks for doing this. After working a couple of years in operations are you able to transfer from the regional offices (Baltimore, SLC) to New York?

Feb 15, 2016 - 12:16pm

If you're talking about from within ops: varies by firm since ops is in different locations for different banks but not uncommon. If you're talking about moving from ops in say SLC to m&a in NYC: doesn't really happen too often. The overwhelming majority of people in ops don't go into it thinking that they have some epiphany plan to get into M&A or S&T.

Feb 15, 2016 - 12:04pm

Talk about your day. Average day on the job, major responsibilities, that sort of thing.

Commercial Real Estate Developer

Feb 15, 2016 - 7:34pm

thanks for doing the ama, and i'll keep an eye out for the separate post to add to the frontpage :-)

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Feb 15, 2016 - 12:30pm

1st question: generally speaking someone in ops gets 170-200k+ once they make it to vp and the raises after that varies A LOT. 2nd question: I'd say efficiency. I know six sigma is a joke compared to other certifications but it does have some good material relating to management.

Feb 15, 2016 - 7:12pm
1234bama:

1st question: generally speaking someone in ops gets 170-200k+ once they make it to vp and the raises after that varies A LOT. 2nd question: I'd say efficiency. I know six sigma is a joke compared to other certifications but it does have some good material relating to management.

Prior to business school and moving into consulting, I was an associate/AVP in Ops at a tier 1 firm. It seemed that most people I knew who were promoted to VP were only getting ~120k/125k base. With 20-30% bonus, that's still only ~$150k all in. A seasoned VP is making 170-200k, but I think your range for new VP's is a bit high.

Feb 15, 2016 - 4:31pm
  1. What exactly is ops at a BB? Does it mean simply accounting/FP&A-type work for the bank, or do you also run stuff like facilities/administrative/IT/EHS etc? I'm asking cause at my consulting firm we have this guy who is "COO" and he ultimately runs everything that is not consulting (from translators and assistants to finance and management accounting to recruiting) for our office and reports to a global COO person. Is it that type of position or is purely CPA-type stuff?

Where do things like strategy/risk/treasury fall?

Some banks (i.e. Citi, JPM) have this MBA entry-level job called "management associate", where does it (and the respective career track) fall in this regard?

  1. What is the typical career progression within ops? What can you do after working in ops for a while? I guess it's related to the previous question in a sense whether it's a typical finance organization rising up to a CFO or is it something else?

  2. Does it make sense to go top MBA -> IB or some other FO role -> ops to accelerate the career? Or would you go into some type of project manager role out of the business school.

Jan 25, 2017 - 3:22pm
  1. Not really related to accounting/fp&a at my bank. Generally speaking, we run the back end of the derivatives business of the bank. As MD I'm much more of a manager and just make sure nobody botches anything. I intend on going into more detail about my role and day to day in a separate post. To me, Strategy/risk/treasury would be considered MO although the "prestige" categorization has changed so much from when I started here in the early 90's.

  2. Most people go into ops as long as they want. Similarly to investment banking, you don't just get to become MD by working there for 10 years (do not mean to humble brag) and probably 1/3 people who stay long enough become a MD as opposed to VP.

  3. Good question. I believe most people who are looking to leave IB or FO at that level and age tend to quit finance altogether. I do know of some ex-IB MDs and VPs who transitioned to MO and BO simply for the less stress lifestyle but they are probably outliers. 10+ yrs of being in charge of any IB group takes a toll and they've been OK with the pay cut. As far as accelerating the career: More likely to go from IB VP to Ops VP than it is the other way around.

Feb 15, 2016 - 7:25pm
Qayin:

1. What exactly is ops at a BB? Does it mean simply accounting/FP&A-type work for the bank, or do you also run stuff like facilities/administrative/IT/EHS etc? I'm asking cause at my consulting firm we have this guy who is "COO" and he ultimately runs everything that is not consulting (from translators and assistants to finance and management accounting to recruiting) for our office and reports to a global COO person. Is it that type of position or is purely CPA-type stuff?

Where do things like strategy/risk/treasury fall?

Some banks (i.e. Citi, JPM) have this MBA entry-level job called "management associate", where does it (and the respective career track) fall in this regard?

2. What is the typical career progression within ops? What can you do after working in ops for a while? I guess it's related to the previous question in a sense whether it's a typical finance organization rising up to a CFO or is it something else?

3. Does it make sense to go top MBA -> IB or some other FO role -> ops to accelerate the career? Or would you go into some type of project manager role out of the business school.


At least in my BB, FP&A, Accounting, Treasury, etc are all housed in a Finance division just like it would be in a regular corporation.
Feb 15, 2016 - 8:21pm

Through your tenure at your BB, in terms of people's career progression, have you seen folks become VP since they were analysts moving up the chain or rather seen more lateral hires come in as, for example, associates then being promoted to VP? I guess what I'm trying to say is - is it a faster track to become VP by growing within one company or lateral hires between other banks? I'm sure the answer is relative and will be "depends", but was wondering based on what you have witnessed with other folks throughout career.

Feb 16, 2016 - 11:45pm

I think I already commented on this but really I look for someone who i think can be part of a team. Someone who I think can grasp the concepts and not cause too much drama. Ops isn't actuarial science, we all know that so really you just have to be someone who can work, have a good attitude, leadership skills, and not make excuses.

Feb 16, 2016 - 12:37pm

What crosses your mind when you see a resume from someone with ~2 years FO experience but is applying for Ops?

Do you think Ops has an image problem or is it truthfully the nature of the work that turns some people off?

I think the idea of looking at a lateral move to Ops in a leadership capacity after 5+ years is overlooked by many.

Feb 16, 2016 - 11:41pm
  1. Really depends on what else they have on their resume. When you make a resume it should be tailored for the job you're applying for. I personally wouldn't raise any red flags. How you interview is much more important to me. If you have other qualifications that cross over (six sigma, erp knowledge, etc.) I would definitely notice.

  2. Maybe on this forum but otherwise no. Ops is still a popular career and has good work-life balance. Contrary to popular belief it isn't a dead-end career and if you work at a f500 company it can get still get you in top mba programs. I have received numerous offers to join some f20 companies but honestly I don't think I would like it and the pay at my bank has been pretty good to me. Once you've been in the same career for a long time and start approaching the middle-age years you get "content" in a good way because you have so much experience and life becomes really easy. I could see myself doing this for another 25+ years and being perfectly fine with the amount of free time I would lose compared to someone who is retired.

Feb 16, 2016 - 1:09pm

Thanks for doing this. Have been in ops for a few years and the direction I see it going is all about cost cutting: automate and/or offshore. Do you think that there is too much of a push to that direction (ie increasing risk for errors etc)?

Being a lifelong ops person, are there opportunities to move up to c-level exec positions? Or are these spots reserved for FO people only? I can see that an ops person (esp one involved in projects and managing teams/clients) can bring a lot of value in being a "watchdog" of all the different lines of business, free from the trading/IB mindset.

Colourful TV, colourless Life.
Feb 16, 2016 - 3:55pm

Hi - thanks for doing this AMA. Serious question that I might get MS for: do you feel like you've learned anything / hard skills / technical while being in an ops role? What kind of roles do you think ops professionals would be transferable to if one were to move jobs?

Float like a butterfly, sting like the bee.
Feb 16, 2016 - 4:43pm

Yeah there's definitely tradeoffs and I don't entirely disagree with their premise. FO Investment banking WILL pay more than ops and has higher "prestige" but no doubt it comes with more stress and time commitment. I have seen plenty of people in BB ops get in top 10 MBA programs. In fact, a buddy of mine used to work in BO at a mutual fund and got his MBA from a top 5 program. He now is a portfolio manager for a Hedge Fund in Asia.

Keeping a strong network is so undervalued nowadays. When you're 35+ Your MBA won't make you familiar with the boutique investment bank you could've worked as a vp, md, etc. if you knew the people who work there. There is a certain amount of "expiration" date on MBA programs that nobody seems to think about. Yes, HBS will give you a leg up but when you get older it's more about competency, experience, and how you can make the firm more money.

For you younger guys: Remember MBA programs use a very holistic method. GMAT, letters of rec, essays, etc. all matter too.

Feb 17, 2016 - 1:39pm
1234bama:

Yeah there's definitely tradeoffs and I don't entirely disagree with their premise. FO Investment banking WILL pay more than ops and has higher "prestige" but no doubt it comes with more stress and time commitment. I have seen plenty of people in BB ops get in top 10 MBA programs. In fact, a buddy of mine used to work in BO at a mutual fund and got his MBA from a top 5 program. He now is a portfolio manager for a Hedge Fund in Asia.

Keeping a strong network is so undervalued nowadays. When you're 35+ Your MBA won't make you familiar with the boutique investment bank you could've worked as a vp, md, etc. if you knew the people who work there. There is a certain amount of "expiration" date on MBA programs that nobody seems to think about. Yes, HBS will give you a leg up but when you get older it's more about competency, experience, and how you can make the firm more money.

For you younger guys: Remember MBA programs use a very holistic method. GMAT, letters of rec, essays, etc. all matter too.

Yep, I got into a M7 school out of ops, and there's quite a few others here from this background.

Feb 16, 2016 - 4:52pm

I'm going to be completely honest and tell you guys something that others in my role probably wouldn't want to tell you. Being able to do well when it comes to office politics and the group's culture is crucial if you want to be MD. Does anyone here honestly believe that the MD is truthfully better than everyone else? I don't and usually those that are MD didn't get there by burning bridges with the wrong people. Leadership skills and managing people is also important but I don't want to tell you guys the cliche "work hard and you'll get to be the CEO." because that obviously isn't true. It's a mixture of luck, network, leadership skills, technical skills, and hard work to get to be MD, COO, CFO, CEO, etc.

Feb 16, 2016 - 7:35pm
Going Concern:

How old are you now, and how old were you when you made MD?

Side note, it's intriguing how ops is generally shat on in this forum but OP said he makes 450k and all of a sudden everyone on here is super interested in ops


What if people who already don't hate on Ops are the only ones posting because they actually care?
Feb 16, 2016 - 10:30pm

Basically just be aware of who you're around and protect yourself if needed (eg: slamming the other analyst who thinks he can get ahead by putting down others in front of the boss). People think that the bullies die off after you're done with middle school but that is far from the case. There are plenty of people I've met who have gone up the ranks very quickly simply due to the fact they are good at manipulating others and masking their true psychopathic habits.

Also, be careful with what you say to others. This one is more obvious but you'd be surprised what people admit to people that they didn't think was planning to throw them under the bus for years.

Feb 17, 2016 - 2:08pm

Interesting question, I don't think I've ever heard that one before. I went to a large state school and always wanted to be a manager of a business (f500 or not). Being in charge of a team or group always sounded interesting to me. I sort of fell into ops and didn't really think "oh they're GS/MS/JPM?!!?! I could work on wall street!" I interned in management at a one of the giant retailers in the US during the summers of being an underclassman and finally interned at my BB in ops during the summer between junior and senior year. I got a return offer and accepted it with no hesitation. I was a first generation student who had parents struggle in their blue collar jobs, so to work in a more corporate setting always sounded better than being a mechanic or welder. Not to hate on those jobs because they can still provide a decent life but that wasn't for me.

Feb 17, 2016 - 2:10pm

@opsdude1" Also should add that even the GMAT can alter things. I don't agree with MBA programs using it as a barometer but I know two former employees of mine who spent a lot of time and effort on the GMAT and they scored a 760 and 780 on the exam. I was a little pissed off at first about them leaving early on the Fridays leading up to the exam but was happy for them achieving their goals. One of them is finishing up at Fuqua now and the other is at CBS.

Feb 17, 2016 - 4:25pm

Thanks for doing this, ! I interned at BB in ops last summer, loved it and am returning to my team full time. You mentioned that you were in your mid 30s when you became MD. Do you think it is easier or harder now to become an MD and why?

Feb 17, 2016 - 5:19pm

In ops I have noticed that is easier to become MD than in FO but I would say for you younger guys it will be harder to become MD. The job market in the US is so competitive and nowadays you are facing stronger competition from the internationals. I don't want to discourage anyone but I do believe the job market and the added fact that people can work more years before retirement will mean that there will be more barriers to entry to become MD.

Feb 17, 2016 - 4:43pm

This is great and should definitely be front paged. Like the bit about office politics.

Couple questions:

  1. Did you work your way up from analyst level at the same bank?
  2. Apart from cultivating relationships what other ways lead to moving up the ranks?

+sb

Feb 17, 2016 - 5:23pm
  1. Yes pretty much. I worked at a different bank for 2 years but came back to my current bank.
  2. I believe showing up and not complaining help out a lot. Leadership skill are highly valued in ops. You need to be someone who the MD thinks can lead the analysts, interns, etc. in the future.
Feb 17, 2016 - 5:40pm

Nice. Whats the best way to get on the MDs radar from your point of view? Im on a ops grad scheme at a BB. I sit right outside the MDs office.

Feb 17, 2016 - 11:37pm

@1234bama" I'd say that, from a lowly outsider looking up at the "higher tiers" of Ops, arguably relationships/Office Politics and leadership skills are crucial in moving up the chain. A lot of the time from what I saw, people that were hired in my space way up top were brought in for their industry contacts more than anything. Meetings, calls, "management" of the teams below you are really what the job entails at levels above VP/ED or however your bank structures it. A good management team ultimately wants to have associates/VPs that are able to self-sustain... which is harder to find in non-metro areas in my opinion.

One question that I've never asked but have always wondered is how lonely does it get at the top? I feel like to be a leader at times you have to make some semi-uncomfortable/tough calls, whether that applies to a a deliverable or comp day... How do you feel about some of the more unfavorable choices you've made to get to where you are today? Is it something you think about at times or it something that just comes with the nature of the business?

Feb 17, 2016 - 11:57pm

How lonely does it get at the top? Haven't really had this problem yet. Like I said earlier, I always just wanted to be a manager and have been living it for quite some time. Unfortunately this isn't always the case for others. I know people who did the prototypical ivy->ib-MBA->ib who are now VPs or MDs and hate their lives. Your personal life and how you can control the stresses of family greatly impact how happy you will be at work. Plenty of people my age who have been married for 20 years get divorced because the kids are grown up and the wife is unhappy that they don't see their husband as often as they would like. Not to mention the fact that they can divorce and still be upper middle class since their M&A MD ex-husband likely made 10-20+ million over the course of just being a MD. This wasn't the case when my parents or your grandparents were starting a family in the 50s-60s.

How do you feel about some of the more unfavorable choices you've made to get to where you are today? Is it something you think about at times or it something that just comes with the nature of the business?
I try to keep my mistakes in the past and move on from them. I do remember how hard it was in the recession of 2008-10 when I definitely could've done more for my group. I would say it just comes with the nature of business because of how unpredictable the business cycle can be.

Feb 18, 2016 - 8:57pm

Appreciate the reply. Dog eat dog world we live in these days... Best of luck as you continue along your career. Can't stress enough how true that "honesty" factor is key with interacting with the big dogs at some of these places. Trust means a ton to some of these guys you're working with, especially when you're supporting them (ex. trading) on a daily basis.

Feb 18, 2016 - 12:54pm

If you're talking about getting it to transition to FP&A: I don't see how it can hurt. I will say that the way a cpa gets pigeonholed to tax and audit is that they stay too long in the business and all of their experience is single focused. Most don't get a mba but they still complain about not being able to switch to consulting or banking when they have 6+ years in big 4.

Feb 23, 2016 - 12:46am

@1234bama" I am going through the interview process for an ops internship at a high profile HF and I'm somewhat conflicted - while I would probably be a fool to turn down the opportunity from a networking/resume building/prefteej perspective, I'm generally not that interested in ops as a function of financial institutions (obviously I have not vocalized this to interviewers, I'll bust my ass regardless). I have an accounting/finance/economics background and, while I pursue accounting for the fundamentals, I can't say that the thought of doing reconciliations and tracking portfolio performance gets the blood pumping.

The question is this: For someone interested in IB, who is getting rejected for all the fast track IB internships based on attending a non target state school (I have a 3.9+ GPA, leadership experience etc, just to eliminate the "are you a bad student?" question), would an operations internship help me reach that goal or would I be starting the pidgeon-holing process that people like to talk about?

Question 2: Am I an idiot?

Question 3: Have you ever heard of someone going from BO/MO/OPS leadership to VC or PE on the strategic management side, and if so, how common is this?

Feb 23, 2016 - 1:28am

What year are you? (Jr, sr, soph, freshman, etc.) I can more easily answer with that info.
question 1: I can't really comment on whether or not it could help you reach your ib goal but I can tell you the reality: If you go into ops internship as your last internship (summer before sr yr) you will have a tough time getting in ibd for ft analyst at any of the big banks. They recruit their 1st yr analysts primarily from their SA classes and the few that aren't mostly came from a SA at another bank in front office. I don't really want to crush your spirit but that's the reality for FO BB, MM, and elite boutiques. Now that's not to say that it can't happen for you at a boutique. The key for this is to network because they don't have the means to have a huge analyst class like a BB. So really the answer to your question is it depends what year you are/prior experience you have had in internships. Personally, I would take it but for you I'd tell you to do it if it is your best option. If you don't think you'll have any other offers then it makes no sense to drop the ops internship at the HF.

Question 2: No. I think you just want a great job. I think you could use some more networking but kudos on getting the offer at the hedge fund.

Question 3: Don't really see the relevance here. I have seen it but it isn't common for anyone.

Feb 23, 2016 - 9:29am

I'm between a first and second semester Senior, I could graduate in August or finish the Accounting Major and graduate in December, which gives me at least the option of going Big 4 (not too uncommon from my school, high finance almost never). I'm not exactly your prototypical college student either, so my spirits are very much not crushed simply because I'm aware of my situation. I'm 27 years old, I spent 5 years working after high school to pay for my education/figure out what I really wanted to do, then put myself through community college which transitioned to a scholarship at a state school. Because transferring schools always results in lost credits, I spent the summer between sophomore and junior year taking classes full time in order to accelerate my graduation.

Being realistic, I have a mountain of obstacles in front of me. I'm too old, don't go to the right school, don't have family connections and have no experience in internships because of a full boat of summer classes. On top of a non-target degree, our alumni network is non-existent and the career services here probably couldn't tell you the difference between commercial banking and investment banking, never mind foster a relationship with the companies that offer the latter.

All this being said, I'm not really phased by any of it. I go to school full time and work 30 hours a week slinging pizzas to make ends meet, and I'm used to being too poor to take a vacation or go to the bar. If I do manage to land an NYC IB role by some miracle, I'll probably still be too poor to do any of this stuff, thanks to rent and that island tax, and I'll be working similar hours, so I'll at least be used to the grind.

I don't mean to hijack this thread, but given where I'm coming from, what would you recommend? I've considered applying to MFin programs to try and get access to better alumni/resources. I think I could get into the Masters programs at MIT or BC, but I'm hesitant to spend another year in school. You've been candid and offered some great insight here, and I'm appreciative of the honest feedback.

Sorry for the essay.

Mar 12, 2016 - 5:40pm

I don't live in NYC so I would check out glassdoor if I were you. FWIW I made 40-45k but that was back in the early 90s. The bonuses are not significant to FO counterparts but my bonus this year as MD was 70% of my base salary.

I think you have to put it in perspective, if someone from this board is dead-set on M&A or S&T and they end up in Ops.... They're not going to be satisfied. The vast majority of people in ops want an ops job. They have no clue about banking in most cases. The problem is a large number of the young kids nowadays decide that they want banking when they're a jr or sr in college and it is already too late in 95% of cases. You need to push as hard as possible and start as a freshman or sophomore. My son want to get in computer science and loves programming so I made a few calls and he will be writing code for a local company this summer as a freshly minted high school grad. I will do whatever it takes to give him the tools to succeed as long as he works hard.

Mar 13, 2016 - 4:07am

I'm actually a high school graduate from Singapore; I've completed my military service (NS) and am currently interning at a MM private wealth firm.

I'm looking to enter AM, maybe ER but as an international student, my chances are much lower, so I'm looking at other options such as ops/compliance in the event I don't manage to secure an AM/ER gig.

I've noticed there is quite a bit of hate against the BO over here at WSO, so I've previously refrained from asking any questions regarding the compensation/work life balance at junior levels.

Also with the emergence of tech such as blockchain, do you think that majority of the ops related jobs (settlements etc) will get chopped?

And best of luck to your son, I believe he must be pretty anxious for his university decisions later this month (just like me).

Apr 16, 2016 - 10:21pm

I decided against doing that since some of my employees use the site frequently (side note: I ripped one of my employee's ass for going on WSO instead of working). There are some threads on that topic around here so just search for it. Essentially as MD I'm just a corporate manager. I'm not trying to win business like a FO IB MD would.

Apr 20, 2016 - 3:39pm

1) I'm a 1st year analyst at a BB. My worry is that with such a large analyst class, how can I stand out? I go above and beyond in my work without trying to be a brown-noser, but many people do as I'm sure you are aware.
2) What's your take on the CFA?
3) Are there any books (finance and non-finance related) that you would suggest reading?

Thanks for your help!

Apr 22, 2016 - 9:08pm

If you're looking to jump ship why are you worrying about standing out? Operations isn't like IB where the top analysts get exit ops to PE. BB operations is a corporate job where really the only exit opps without having to bust your ass is other BO/MO roles like risk/audit/finance/etc. If you're interested in looking to jump ship to FO: Read Flake 's post on how he did it.
2. Probably isn't worth going past level 2 if you aren't already in FO.
3. I don't read a whole lot but I would recommend "How to win friends and influence people" by dale carnegie.

Apr 20, 2016 - 10:48pm

I gather that operations means different things in different industries. Do you know anything about working in operations at a credit rating agency?

Apr 22, 2016 - 6:10pm

Sorry this a little late, but I am wondering if there are any transferable skills from BB Operations that can lead to Consulting, IB, or Equity Research? Btw, I am an Accounting major at a non-target school where BB Ops recruits from. Thanks

Apr 28, 2016 - 3:15am
Benzilo:

Sorry this a little late, but I am wondering if there are any transferable skills from BB Operations that can lead to Consulting, IB, or Equity Research? Btw, I am an Accounting major at a non-target school where BB Ops recruits from. Thanks

I can answer this. Quite a few of my former coworkers ended up in consulting, especially Big 4 advisory (a few got MBB after m7 business school). For example, one group I worked with did performance metrics work for the operations of my bank...a few people ended up going to performance improvement group at EY and related stuff. Another group I was in did work to stop insider trading... few people went into enterprise risk type of consulting. Another group did AML/KYC....people ended up consulting for that. In general, financial services uses a lot of consultants for a lot of projects, so if you can become a subject matter expert in something, there's likely a consulting group for it. I had a bunch of project experience in a variety of roles, so I was recruited by Kurt Salomon for a generalist role in financial services (I rejected it, I think they sold off this part of their business since then). I eventually went to M7 business school, and I'm going into consulting at a top firm (as a generalist, probably focusing on life sciences long-term).

If you get stuck in trade processing it might be harder to get into consulting, as you're not learning transferable skills.

May 13, 2016 - 8:51pm

Thanks for doing this AMA, I'm staring an internship at GS in ops here in a few weeks and I was starting to regret my decision until I read this. I hope I'm not too late to the party to ask a couple questions.
1. Is "face time" important like it is for many FO roles?
2. My offer letter says I get paid for overtime hours, is logging overtime acceptable as a full time analyst? I interned in a different industry last summer and it was looked down upon for the full time guys to log overtime, even when they put in the hours. It was an unwritten rule that you just work and don't report the hours.

May 14, 2016 - 4:35pm

First off, congrats on getting into GS. They're a great firm and the pay is pretty decent if you're in Salt Lake City.
1. Yes but not to the extent of banking. I don't think I've ever seen an intern past 6 or 7pm.
2. Varies from firm to firm. To be safe I'd say you probably shouldn't be logging in more than 10 OT hours a week.

Jun 21, 2016 - 11:13am

hey, i'll add this to the frontpage about 2pm et today, so you'll likely see more questions come in

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Jun 27, 2016 - 7:10am

@1234bama" Thank you for this informative thread.

For your colleagues in ops who looked to move up into management level, was it a common strategy for them to go back to school part-time while still working? I know a lot of firms have policies about staying at the firm for a certain amount of time after you graduate in exchange for tuition assistance.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com
Jun 27, 2016 - 2:48pm

Good question. I never went to B-school but saw many of my colleagues go that route. As long as you get your work done I don't see it as a problem. Ops is pretty much a 40-60 hours a week job that you can really have a lot of down-time in. One of my childhood friends worked in accounting and would take the train to go to Booth for his MBA, he's now a PM. The tuition assistance is pretty mediocre at my firm. I believe you only get 10-20k, but as we know B-school costs well over 100k.

Jun 21, 2016 - 5:03pm

This might sound ridiculous, but I am just an ignorant student...

  1. What exit opportunities are their in OPs? Do most people stay at the firm or in that role for most of their lives?
  2. What types of MBA schools take OPs? Is it better to be at a no name boutique or an OPs role at JP/GS/MS?

Thanks.

Jun 21, 2016 - 8:52pm
  1. Operations at other companies, B-school, and potentially totally different roles at the bank. You still have an excellent company on your resume which helps for future roles. The reason why people on this board shit on ops is because 1. it doesn't pay as much and 2. can't get to the buyside. I would say that more people in ops stay for a couple of years and then go to greener pastures. I know some that have gone ops--> risk--> b-school--> consulting. I also know of one guy who has gone from ops to PE and one of my good friends worked in ops and now is a PM at a hedge fund.

  2. I had already mentioned this but really all the top MBA programs have people from operations. You still have to well on the GMAT and be a well-rounded candidate like the rest of people who apply. I really can't comment too much on the no-name boutique vs ops at top firm. If you're talking b-school: I'd say ops. If you're talking PE recruiting: I'd say the boutique. If it boils down to deciding between the two and long-term you want to be in IBD, PE, etc. then I would take the boutique offer. It is entirely possible to lateral to a BB.

Jun 24, 2016 - 7:45pm
1234bama:

1. Operations at other companies, B-school, and *potentially* totally different roles at the bank. You still have an excellent company on your resume which helps for future roles. The reason why people on this board shit on ops is because 1. it doesn't pay as much and 2. can't get to the buyside. I would say that more people in ops stay for a couple of years and then go to greener pastures. I know some that have gone ops--> risk--> b-school--> consulting. I also know of one guy who has gone from ops to PE and one of my good friends worked in ops and now is a PM at a hedge fund.

2. I had already mentioned this but really all the top MBA programs have people from operations. You still have to well on the GMAT and be a well-rounded candidate like the rest of people who apply. I really can't comment too much on the no-name boutique vs ops at top firm. If you're talking b-school: I'd say ops. If you're talking PE recruiting: I'd say the boutique. If it boils down to deciding between the two and long-term you want to be in IBD, PE, etc. then I would take the boutique offer. It is entirely possible to lateral to a BB.

There's other exits ops besides this. I know a bunch of people who went to work for finance department at a corp 500 or go into big-4 consulting.

Jun 22, 2016 - 10:53am

you mentioned earlier on this post that "Once you've been in the same career for a long time and start approaching the middle-age years you get "content" in a good way because you have so much experience and life becomes really easy. " Do you ever worry about getting too content, especially with all the downsizing across the industry? You make it sound like you are a bit more relaxed in your job, and don't try to shake things up in the office much. A lot of people on WSO are the type A people ( or try to portray that online at least.) Did you ever once feel the urge of wanting more out of your career/ to try reaching for a front office role after an mba? To possibly start your own business of some sort?

Jun 22, 2016 - 11:29pm
  1. I'm pretty confident that I will be ok. I get offers for director of operations roles quite frequently from other firms.
  2. I never was some finance ninja before I got in the operations business so I couldn't really care too much about going to the front office. I think this forum has a weird obsession that IBD is some perfect job, which couldn't be further from the truth, no job is. I don't really feel like sacrificing 2 years of income + cost of school so I can possible get a job that pays the same if not less (I make about as much as a BB IBD VP). When you're 40 years old an MBA doesn't make as much sense. I'm not looking to change careers so maybe an Executive MBA may suit me?
Jun 25, 2016 - 8:53pm

What is your opinion on "experience"? I'm in my early career, and most positions have fierce competitions over experience requirements.

unless i go into investment banking / consulting, it seems tough to compete with older applicants who are "overqualified" for those positions in the market.

I'd like to hear your thoughts. thanks

Jun 25, 2016 - 10:26pm

@whattherock" I don't necessarily get where you're going with this question but I will try to answer to the best of my ability. I believe experience is somewhat of a loaded BS excuse some people use for not applying for jobs. Ops people are very open to networking and can help you out a lot more than a banker, at least when it comes to pushing your resume. Honestly, as long as you aren't applying to an associate or VP level job I think anyone with semi-decent grades, an internship, and someone pushing their resume can get an interview for an ops job. Personally I think the IB and Consulting dick measuring contest on this forum is fucking annoying.

Jun 26, 2016 - 2:50am

@1234bama" The reason I asked my question was - I'm in sales & trading within Asset Management with 1.5 years of work experiences, and I see a ton of job posts asking "5 years of experiences required", and for the positions that don't have that 5 year requriement, they often ask "Consulting/IB background preferred".

I will start an MBA (top 10) program soon, so it's not an immediate problem, but I still worry about the exit opps if on-campus recruiting doesn't do much good. I know the transfer skills are required to pivot into any other industry/functions, and I do have the transferable skills; but it just seems that I might not find good long-term growth opportunities until after IB/Consulting or until I reach 5 years of experiences.

Thank you again for hearing me out here. If it seems that I'm just looking at job posts too much and need to network more instead, please let me know. Really appreciate it!

Jun 27, 2016 - 2:15pm

Thank you for this informative thread.

For your colleagues in ops who looked to move up into management level, was it a common strategy for them to go back to school part-time while still working? I know a lot of firms have policies about staying at the firm for a certain amount of time after you graduate in exchange for tuition assistance.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com
Jul 20, 2016 - 5:43am

Thanks for posting this and taking your time to answer most of the questions.

Well, recently I landed a GS Operations analyst offer for their Warsaw office. Given I'd like to do a FO job in the future I know WSO (not-so-glamourus) opinion on using BB BO role to make a jump after some time. Though, at the moment I feel good about the offer and want to leverage it to gain some full-time experience and get into target school MBA in ~2 years.

I was asked about my Ops team preference and honestly I just don't know what to choose. Can you help me out telling which part of the job would be the most interesting and providing knowledge/skillset somehow usable for future IBD roles?

My possibilities are:
1. portfolio reconciliation & valuation
2. derivatives/securities settlement
3. CIP due diligence

Please note that we are not talking about US/London based office but rather new Warsaw GS BO centre. Thanks!

Jan 25, 2017 - 4:13pm

Ops is a very process oriented type of business. If we're being frank, anyone can do it but there is one big thing. The ability to cultivate relationships and navigate politics and giving up your time. If an analyst is putting in an extra hour or 2 everyday I notice. I also notice when someone is a douche (typical ivy grad) who thinks he's better than everyone. Guess who is going to get a letter of rec from me?

Most take 7-10+ years to become a vp. Youngest I've seen is 28 or 29.

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