12/26/12

Basically what is in the title. I currently work for a f500 in an FLDP role. I dislike corporate finance and want to be in banking or research. I have an opportunity to take an analyst role at a no name boutique in a small(ER) market. Base pay is the same as now but the bonus should make it more lucrative. The city it's in sucks and is a small market. And they work in a space i'm not really all that interested in. Plus I don't want to end up doing admin work since it's such a small firm.

Anyways, is it worth it to take the opportunity just do be in banking or should I hold out and continue with my current job while looking for a better opportunity?

Comments (27)

12/26/12

If you want to do banking do banking, just make sure the role you are taking is clearly outlined beforehand and you have a good understanding of the firm.

"For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."

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12/26/12

Just because you have an offer doesn't mean you should take it, if you are this worried about it, then don't take it. You can always just keep looking, i'm sure if you work hard you can pull something out. Just apply to a bunch of places. Can't hurt can it?

Do what you want though.

12/26/12

you are going to do admin work no matter what, that's part of the analyst job. if you dislike the city i say continue doing what your doing and target firms in your desired location. this was good practice and now you know what to expect. i say don't take offer.

12/27/12

OMS:
you are going to do admin work no matter what, that's part of the analyst job. if you dislike the city i say continue doing what your doing and target firms in your desired location. this was good practice and now you know what to expect. i say don't take offer.

i agree with this comment. if you were able to get this boutique, now you know how the interview process works, some technical knowledge for interviews, how to network etc...this of this as a practice run. now try to find somewhere with the priority of being in a city with a bigger finance hub/where you wont be miserable

its important to break in, but at what cost? you dont want to be miserable at the end of the day or you'll lose your mind (at least i would). keep hustling though hopefully you get something better soon!

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

12/26/12

You dislike corp. finance, but want to be in banking? That doesn't make any sense.

Don't take the offer. See it as an experience in interviewing and keep reaching out. Finance isn't that much fun, so you don't need to take any offer out there.

CNBC sucks

"This financial crisis is worse than a divorce. I've lost all my money, but the wife is still here." - Client after getting blown up

12/27/12

You don't sound very confident in your offer -- I suggest that you do not take it. Just because you want to be a banker doesn't mean you should take an IB job no matter what, especially if it's a no name boutique.

I've met an analyst who turned down decent MO jobs at top BBs for a complete no name boutique. Because the boutique had such weak infrastructure, he has been at the firm for over 3 years without getting a deal done. Even worse, he's had little to no modeling experience, and when he has had it he's found it difficult to display transferable skills to other firms (the firm does FIG, and LOTS of admin & database work). Oh and by the way, his pay ranges around just $80,000. Now all is that really worth it to call yourself an investment banker?

The point is: make sure whatever no name you join, the firm has or has had some demonstrated level of success. Otherwise, you'll be put in a position to fail, no matter how driven/smart you might be.

Float like a butterfly, sting like the bee.

12/27/12

To clarify for a few of the above comments. I hate corporate finance because I do almost nothing that feels like finance on a day to day basis. I see almost nothing in the way of modeling, which I enjoyed in an internship I had, and I generally am so focused on the small issues (for instance, wage accrual issues or project budget issues) that I never get to see the bigger picture. It's my understanding that banking should be at least slightly more intellectually stimulating.

As far as the admin part. Isn't it true that often at small firms, if they have more admin, you can end up doing much of what an admin would do and miss out on some of the relevant skills such as modeling? Whereas in a bigger bank you won't have near the amount of admin type work.

Lastly, the deal flow doesn't seem to be great. And for the deals i've found info for it seems to be generally 75mil or less.

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12/27/12

It seems as if you've already made your decision.

Decline and keep looking. You clearly know what you're doing.

*The deal flow comment is a red flag.

12/27/12

I disagree with some of the above comments. Some of the smaller boutiques will give their analysts great work experience, perhaps even a wider range than some BB's. My advice to you is to really figure out what you are going to be doing on a day-to-day basis. Also, if you can find any previous analysts and where they ended up, that would be helpful too.

If you really hate your F500 corp fin job, why not make a change now? You'll be happier, even if only for a little while (if you later realize your boutique IB sucks). And if it does suck, at least you have relevant experience, a good story for why you are leaving, and the ability to make a change later.

12/28/12

brutalglide:
I disagree with some of the above comments. Some of the smaller boutiques will give their analysts great work experience, perhaps even a wider range than some BB's. My advice to you is to really figure out what you are going to be doing on a day-to-day basis. Also, if you can find any previous analysts and where they ended up, that would be helpful too.

If you really hate your F500 corp fin job, why not make a change now? You'll be happier, even if only for a little while (if you later realize your boutique IB sucks). And if it does suck, at least you have relevant experience, a good story for why you are leaving, and the ability to make a change later.

I think this is pretty great advice, particularly reaching out to former analysts.

I was in a similar spot (corp fin) and made the jump to a small boutique. Deal flow was non existent and to be honest I didn't get great work experience (though I did enjoy the people a lot). After 8 months I made the switch to a more reputable boutique with significant deal flow. I wouldn't have been able to make the switch without any investment banking experience on my resume.

"For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."

12/29/12

Seems like most comments are attacking small boutiques so I'll defend them. I had a fantastic experience at mine (5 people) - working on 3 large sell-sides (and numerous other projects) and I learned more than I ever could have expected. Sometimes being in a small-ish market can be beneficial since you don't have to compete for deals with any larger shops. You're not going to get the full-service investment banking experience and the exposure to complex financings, but if you put your mind to it you will gain the necessary skills related to comps, valuation and modeling.

Based on personal experience, I think most people are overly optimistic that they can go from out of industry to a "legitimate" shop. It's very difficult to just walk into a brand name bank when you don't have the skills or necessary experience. At least a no-name boutique is a step in the right direction. I went from out-of-industry to no-name boutique, spent 18 months there and am now moving to a household name MM bank. I had 0 trouble with any of the technical interviews and they said my skill set is on par with their early to mid 2nd years.

Bottom line - if you want banking, take this offer. At least you can put "investment banking analyst" on your resume and it's closer to where you eventually want to be versus where you currently are.

12/29/12

You guys have no idea what F500 CF is, it's a far cry from IB Corp. Fin. Get out of there man... actually run out of there.

'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'

12/29/12

Unfortunately for you, probably Princeton

But if it won't affect your classes, you should complete the internship regardless

12/29/12

I'd the take Princeton guy.

Get a 3.95+ at ur non target and then we're talking...But even a 3.7 at Princeton is damn good and prolly in the 85-90th percentile.

12/29/12

You lost at Princeton. None of the rest matters.

12/29/12

Okay I understand that being at a target will give one a HUGE advantage. But back to the original Q: will having that winter IB internship rly help me come recruiting season as far as getting 1st round interviews?

12/29/12

Clearly there will be no brand name etc. and you probably won't get a chance to do a whole lot. That being said I think the value in doing this internship is the connections and relationships that you might be able to build over a few weeks. Doing a great job at whatever they want (making copies, researching random things, coffee, filling in a model) will definitely help build a case for them to potentially open up to providing references for you which will get you first rounds. So I'd look at it from that angle; its not the internship that will help you, its the relationships you build out of it that will.. nah mean?

'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'

12/29/12

why wouldnt u take the internship?

12/29/12

Sometimes no-name internships provide the best deal exposure. Because it's so small, if you're willing to take on the responsibility and can demonstrate you can perform, you'll get a chance to do a lot. It'll give you a ton to talk about in the interviews. If you produce something tangible (a market report or anything for instance) it can also be something you can bring to an interview that can help your case. Take the internship -- it can't hurt at all.

12/29/12

BMO is not a no name...... Its a top MM bank.

12/29/12

Who said BMO?

'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'

12/29/12

I'd def take the internship if offered (pretty sure it will be). Not sure it'll help me lead to other connections though. That's why I was mostly wondering if it'll help me to have "Investment banking winter analyst" on my resume. Any more insights/feedback would be appreciated!

PS: I never mentioned BMO Capital and I dont have an offer from them

12/29/12

BMO is regarded as an 'elite BB' here in Canada. They kick ass on the FX side of things though.

12/29/12

I'm going to disagree with some of the earlier posts in this thread. Mr. Imaginary Princeton aside, I think this internship would definitely help you when it comes to recruiting. Here are the reasons (and I've been reviewing a ton of resumes the last couple weeks, so that's where this is coming from):

a) In many cases, will give you exposure to some or all of the exact same tasks an intern or analyst at a 'real' bank would do, and shows that you liked them enough to want to continue; also, that you already have some skill and will be more productive in the internship you're applying for

b) Demonstrates that you have genuine interest and have put in work for your pursuit of IB - i.e, you're not just a random kid who dropped his resume for the hell of it

c) As mentioned above, networking benefits can sometimes be huge in these situations

Therefore, while the Princeton guy might (or might not) still win in a head-to-head, this internship would definitely help you out and give you a leg up vs. many other candidates.

Also, as a side note, if you do this internship, I'd avoid writing 'Investment Banking Winter Analyst' - the word 'winter' would make it seem less legitimate. Just write 'Investment Banking Intern' or 'Investment Banking Analyst Intern' - you're going to list the dates anyway so no need to point it out in your job title.

12/29/12

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