West Coast Recruiting From East Coast UG

After about a year of lurking I am finally posting my first thread on this forum. I have seen many posts regarding moving from east coast IB to west coast pe, or moving post MBA, but couldn't find any dealing specifically with the transition straight from undergrad.

For a multitude of reasons (Lifestyle, Weather, Family etc.) I am looking to establish a career on the West Coast (Primarily SoCal) and am looking to start out in banking in LA (or SF if necessary). To give a little background, I go to a semi-target on the East Coast and am currently in the process of recruiting for SA. Whenever I mention my interest in the West Coast, I am always told that it will not be possible to recruit straight out of UG from the east and that I should go to NY for 2 years and make the move after.

My question (specifically for anyone who has undertaken this or currently works in IB on the West Coast); are these people correct in saying that it would be a waste of time, or is there a chance that I could network my way into some opportunities out west straight from UG.

Comments (9)

May 20, 2018

Difficult, but not impossible. A couple of my buddies from my east coast semi-target will be at SF BBs this summer and I recently interviewed with an SF bank for 2019 SA so have a little bit of insight.

Class sizes are much smaller on the West Coast (especially in LA) vs. East Coast and I would say most BBs/EBs recruit 80% out of west coast schools/top east coast targets. The remaining 20% of spots go to those with strong connections to people within the firm so you can definitely network your way in. I would recommend you start ASAP though because their recruiting timeline is earlier compared to NYC, and a couple of the other threads have mentioned GS SF and LA SA classes are already full. I wouldn't be surprised if other banks have filled the majority of their classes by this point. Most of the west coast offices have a focus on tech/healthcare (SF) or media/entertainment (LA) so it helps to have a background/interest in these industries too.

May 20, 2018

I can confirm that a bunch of banks have finished recruiting on the west coast but there are still some left. At this point I would say you're late in the game -> why don't you intern at a BB/EB in NY and lateral over to SF/LA?

May 20, 2018

Thanks for the timeline update. Interning in NY and attempting to lateral is my backup option (and probably more likely) at this point as I have made inroads with a few shops in NY. In regards to this transition, would you say that lateralling between the internship and FT is doable?

May 20, 2018

Again, probably doable but very difficult. Just network your ass off lol it doesn't hurt to try, even if it doesn't work out you'll build future connections you can leverage in the future when you do end up making the move

May 21, 2018

I mean I know there are plenty of kids in satellite offices who want to go to NY -> So I don't think it's as difficult the other way around (talking about intra-company transfer).
SF/LA class sizes have also been expanding, and a bunch of spots have been taken up by kids transferring from NY

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May 20, 2018

As someone who is an east UG as well and who will be interning in SF next summer, this recruiting from east coast to west is definitely possible. However, in my opinion, the only way I think I managed to do it was because of a few really helpful alumni from my school who basically recruited me for their group. I've noticed that if you just drop your resume, it's almost impossible to get interviews. PM me if you have more questions.

May 20, 2018

I'm east coast UG target school and was able to recruit into an SF BB through a lot of networking and finding an internship in SF the summer before. I had absolutely zero ties to the west coast (no alumni in my group, either) but was dead set on TMT IB and working in the SF tech scene, (plus, I've never been a fan of NY/east coast). It's definitely doable, but you need to network hard and prove that from a cultural perspective, you are committed to the west coast---you can demonstrate this by having prior west coast internships, having family on the west coast, etc. Strong ties to the west coast was a running theme throughout all banks I networked with when I was going through the recruitment process.

May 20, 2018

As someone who was from an east coast UG target school as well, I can definitely confirm that SF banks will almost always assess you in some form or another whether you are really committed to SF.

May 20, 2018