What makes a 1st year MBA associate more qualified than a 1st year analyst?

Title, both are right out of school with limited to no on the job experience in banking. I would love to hear both sides.

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Comments (3)

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  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Nov 24, 2021 - 3:18pm

Although on day 1 analyst and associate are very similar, they are two totally different jobs tbh. Day 1 they both should be most heavily focused on learning/absorbing everything they can on the technical side, becoming proficient at modeling/financial analysis, efficiently putting together presentation materials and learning about the industry the cover. Being able to churn out those things is why the analyst got hired. Associates are expected to as well, but it is not why banks hire associates. We are in the career banking pipeline, so the expectations beyond the above is to manage a process, lead calls/presentations, manage a client relationship and eventually source deals. 

Post MBA associates come from all different backgrounds. I spent my 20s as an army infantry officer, led a platoon in combat, commanded a company of 100 soldiers, spent some time on brigade commander's staff (making presentations and briefing senior army officers), then went and got an MBA at an M7 school. I imagine my bank's thought process when hiring me 3 years ago was like "well he's in his 30s, has had a lot of responsibility and management experience, can probably handle presenting and can trust him to not embarrass us in front of clients. Sure, doesn't have a real finance background besides getting an MBA, but i'm sure he can pick that up quickly." When they hire a 22 year old from Wharton for an an1 role, the criteria is more: who can grind and rip a DCF and LBO as quickly as possible with no mistakes.  

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 24, 2021 - 4:45pm

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