This is HANDS DOWN the ULTIMATE career path. Noone DARE disagree with me.

After hours of experimenting the lab, I have come up with the ULTIMATE career path. Now before I go out the publish a book on this amazing discovery, I thought sharing some of the bananas might be a good idea. So here it is:

1. Enter the investment banking division of a bulge bracket bank, preferably an industry group over a product group (recommended: TMT, healthcare, Nat Res).

2. Career path: 3 years analyst -> 3.5 years Associate -> VP

3. Now at this point, a lack of an MBA might hurt a bit so enroll at Columbia EMBA (if you work at NYC) or Wharton EMBA (if you're at Cali/SF).

From point this on, it's all smooth sailing (get married, send your kids to private school etc.)

Now before you all start jumping on like in my last post (see: remaining in HLHZ), let me explain to you the reasoning behind why it is the "ultimate".

1. Contrary to what most people assume, getting a direct promote from analyst -> associate -> VP is not that difficult. The associates that get laid-off are usually career switcher MBAs who entered IBD because of the money and prestige and end up sucking big time. Those who stick it out (especially from analyst) know how the game is played and getting to at least the VP level is quite a standard procedure. (THIS IS FOR BB BANKS, DOES NOT APPLY FOR BOUTIQUES)

2. Once you reach the VP level, the lifestyle becomes very manageable. Grunt work is practically non-existent (the analysts/associates will be doing that), lifestyle is from 9am ~ 7/8pm and majority of work beyond those times (including weekends) can be done via blackberry from home. The media and WSO talk about how investment bankers are "enduring hell" - keep in mind this is for analysts and newly-minted MBA associates, NOT VPs.

3. If at all one feels the need of a "network" or has prestige issues, the EMBA at Columbia/Wharton is an option - admission standards are much lower and they both allow you to tap into their strong finance networks. Yes, people argue that EMBAs are useless due to a lack of bonding, but really, 5 years after you graduate from the MBA, everyone gets distant and your "MBA network" slowly dissipates. What remains, however, is your MBA Brand, hence is the reason why an School brand (M7) is so important. Just an example: Jamie Dimon, how many people from his Harvard MBA class do you think he still "keeps in touch" with?

4. Your career progression is much faster if you remain at one firm for a long time. Instead of fooling around a couple years (4~6 years), working your ass off for an MBA then entering as a post-MBA associate (whether in IBD or PE), why don't you just remain and move up the ranks? Here I calculated it:

Graduate college (age 22) -> IBD 2 yrs (24) -> PE 2 yrs (26) -> MBA (28) -> post-MBA PE associate

Graduate college (age 22) -> Analyst 3 years (25) -> Associate 3.5 years (28) -> VP


1. By age 28, the PE person = associate, IBD person = VP
2. PE person is in debt (due to paying for MBA). The IBD person has at least $300k saved up and won't lose out on opportunity cost if he chooses to pursue an EMBA (since it's not full time)
3. Lifestyle of a PE Associate >= Lifestyle of a BB VP. Similar work hours; lifestyle might have an edge to PE associate if they're in a non-NY city (ex. boston).

Did I just make the greatest revelation or what? I'll be expecting at least 1 SB from each person reading these beautiful words of wisdom.

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Comments (25)

May 4, 2013 - 2:52am

come again?

I don't throw darts at a board. I bet on sure things. Read Sun-tzu, The Art of War. Every battle is won before it is ever fought- GG
  • 1
May 4, 2013 - 3:11am

You've learned all this from your college dorm? pretty impressive.

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May 5, 2013 - 8:49pm

Troll is successful.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

May 6, 2013 - 10:21am

I went to private school and my parents are filthy rich. It's actually quite easy to afford. All you need to do is live in a town with low taxes and bad school, you'll get a better house and still be able to send your kids to private school.

"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets." -John D. Rockefeller
May 7, 2013 - 12:29am

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