Recent UK graduate - need advice

Hey guys , I recently graduated from a non target university with a First class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering in the UK.

Throughout my course I was unsure what I wanted to pursue as a career, but during my final year , I became more convinced I wanted a career in Finance, more specially buy side (hedge funds )

The only work experience I have is a 1 year placement at P&G in product supply.

I missed the deadlines to apply for masters in finance at Target universities and instead I got an Offer to study Complex systems modelling at King'a College London ( basically maths modelling)

I looked at the course and it seems appealing, there are lots of financial modules . It is heavily quant tho.

I have also found a PWM company willing to offer me a part time internship.

I am now left with three choices :

1) I undertake this masters at KCL and work part time in the PWM boutique. When I graduate hopefully I can get a job in the buy side ( hedge fund ). My worry is that I'll be restricted to a quant role for the rest of my life. I am interested in qualitative analysis as well . Apparently this degree will help me "stand out " as lots of people have finance degrees .

2) I don't do this masters, and intern for a year at the PWM company while working on my CFA . I then apply at a target university for a Masters in Finance ( Oxford , LSE , LBS). If I network heavily meanwhile I could get an entry level job in a hedge fund after.

3) I undertake this masters and do another masters next year in finance . This would give me the best of both worlds in qualitative and quantitative. I would then get an entry level job at a hedge fund . I think this is the worst of the 3 choices. But everyone has been advising me to do this choice. They say with this I'd truly "stand out"

I appreciate any advice I can get. I am in a tough spot as I have 2 days to decide the masters offer.

Comments (7)

Most Helpful
Aug 27, 2019

Based on this post I get the feeling you underestimate the difficulty of getting into a hedge fund.

Your two internships aren't worth all that much (although more details on the PWM would help), you went to a non-target for undergrad and are going to a semi-target (at best) for your masters. Unless you have unbelievable networking skills or some solid experience you haven't mentioned, I think your chances of getting into a FO role at a HF are very low.

Options 2 and 3 are your best options imo, although I wouldn't be expecting a HF offer, go to an investment bank first for a few years.

I would say do the KCL Masters and part time internship this year and apply for IBD starting next year (and even hedge funds if you want to try), if you get something then great, if not, go for the Masters at a target university.

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Aug 27, 2019

Thanks a lot for your feedback.

I understand how difficult it is and I'm really just trying to maximise my odds now.

Is it not odd to have 2 master degrees? The first one being the maths at kings and the second finance at a target university.

If not then would the first one help me get into a masters in finance at a target or would it work against me?

I am mainly going to be working part time in PWM as I felt it would increase my odds of getting into a top Masters program, as well as showing employers im serious about finance.

Aug 27, 2019


Aug 28, 2019

It isn't the norm by any means to have two Masters but I don't think it's all that rare either. If you did 2 similar ones, and especially at the same university, then yes, that's a bit odd. But you'd be doing two related but not very similar degrees and you'd be going from a good university to a great one, so it makes sense.

I can't say if a masters would improve your odds or not, I can't imagine it hurting.

What I meant by more information about the PWM position was more a question of what the role was, not how long you'd be doing it. Because the value varies greatly between if you're part timing as a receptionist or as a portfolio manager.

If I was a recruiter for a target university and I saw:
1) Undergrad at non-target + decent (I'm assuming it's not a great role nor terrible) part time job at a PWM for a year.
2) Undergrad at non-target + Masters in maths at a semi-target + part time job at PWM

I'd definitely lean towards #2. But you'd just need to be able to explain why you chose maths and want to do another masters in finance, which is pretty easy..

I understand you wanting to maximise your odds for getting into a HF, and being ambitious / having goals is great, but the chances of going from your position now into a HF within 2 years are very slim. It's possible but I'd definitely think of a more realistic route to a HF (ie. IB to HF, but getting into IB is difficult enough, and then the jump to a HF is even more difficult).

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Aug 30, 2019

Thanks for the advice, appreciate it.

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