When to Apply to Associate Roles

stev0026's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 607

Hey Everyone.

This question is simply curiosity. At what age or amount of work experience is expected for one to start applying to associate roles? I have the feeling that around age 25 or after 3-4 solid years of experience is the prime range.

Sometimes I see jobs that list the experience range of essentially 2-5 years, but some analyst roles have the same range. I feel like CRE is different in that sense compared to IB where it's two years as an analyst then jump ship to B-school or an associate role somewhere else, so I'm curious as to what others think is relative to the CRE industry.

If anyone is an associate or higher, or are applying to associate roles, I'd love to hear your advice on when to start targeting those roles.

Thanks monkeys.

Comments (8)

Apr 3, 2019

Title is meaningless, only your pay matters

We hired a 27 years old sr mgr just now, she was an associate at McKinsey and making close to $200k, and the only way we could match and beat her salary is to offer her sr mgr title plus paying for her weekend MBA at booth

Most Helpful
Apr 3, 2019

Agree with the poster above regarding title/pay. I have a ton of friends caught up with title and never got it... I've said this before and I'll say it again - you can call me a friggin' junior analyst for all I care if the money and duties are right.

Anyways, generally speaking I'd say 3-4 years of solid transaction experience. This largely depends on the firm and its expectations of their associates.

IE: there are firms where associates are glorified analysts. Chained to the desk and not yet in a value-creation type role. There are also firms where associates are expected to not only support MDs/SVPs/whatever but also source deals and lead discussions in IC with little or no direction. For the former I'd think that 2ish years will get you a look for the later you're looking at 4-5 years of really sound experience.

So in short, it depends.

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Apr 3, 2019

I've said this before and I'll say it again - you can call me a friggin' junior analyst for all I care if the money and duties are right.

Pay is 100% more important and should be the main factor when seeking new opportunities. However, if a company isn't giving you a title bump as you progress within the company, you could get fuc*ed when applying to new roles. Recruiters / new companies may look at your resume / current comp and say that you are either A) lying about how much you are making, or B) aren't qualified enough for the role given the "analyst" title.

There's definitely a balance of title & comp progression. Yes, $$ trumps all, and yes, I can go through my linkedin and see heavy hitters with analyst in their title, aka the title doesn't mean shit. However, you have a higher chance of being overlooked if you are working at a smaller, lesser known company and aren't progressing from a title perspective.

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Apr 3, 2019

During an annual review, you can always request a bump in title. If there is no change in pay and does not cause weird office dynamics, there is little reason anybody would care.

Apr 3, 2019

Pay matters and not title. Question I would be asking is when can I apply for the $100-150K roles. That is a range for associates in primary markets IMO. If you are in this bracket already then you are paid as an associate regardless of your title.

Apr 4, 2019

3-4 solid years of work (in the same career field) sounds about right. Another way to tell is if the people you graduated with all start to move up and you haven't really moved. And I 100% agree that there's a balance of title and comp progression. You generally shouldn't have to choose between the two.

Apr 4, 2019

in S&T .... Out of undergrad .. 2 years as analyst although many are doing 3 years.. now.. but ideally 2 years as analyst.. then Associate. 2-3 years as Associate then to VP. 4-5 years as VP to Director...and then if your good 3-4 years maybe 5 to MD.

These are approximations. I have seen 1 year Associate to VP and 1 year to Director. But in trading its purely PnL based so yo u can make those moves. Tough in other parts of the biz.

Apr 4, 2019
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