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Using MBA to Become an Investment Banker

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Using MBA to Become an Investment Banker [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2010, 18:11
Hi everyone,

So I went to Wharton undergrad and was not a big fan of finance, nor did I do well in it (2.5 / 4.0 in taking 4 classes).

In the past four years, I have worked at Delotite as a strategy consultant and have ranked at the top of my class every year. But since working with investment bankers and understanding what they do better, I have decided I wanted to switch careers.

Would MBA be a good route for this?
Would a great finance GPA in MBA neutralize my poor finance GPA in college?
Will bulge bracket firms hire Associates who do not have investment banking experience?
Should I, instead of going to MBA, take two - three years out and become and apply for analyst programs instead?

Really appreciate any guidance on this! I feel like I am going through a midlife crisis at 23! (Quarterlife crisis?)
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Re: Using MBA to Become an Investment Banker [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2010, 13:25
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Graduating Wharton at 19 and having four years work experience at 23 as a strategy consultant should offset your GPA.

Overlooking that numerical anomaly - your GPA at Wharton certainly ain't going to help you get in anywhere. It is so directly applicable. A decent GMAT and story is really critical to turning this around.

Yeah, an MBA is a good way to switch to IB. Hundreds of people do it a year. No-one really gives two hoots about your GPA - for IB they will want to know how you did in Accounting and Finance.

Bulge Brackets hire people without experience after MBAs the same way as they do after college, and for the same reason. They need lambs to the slaughter to work long days drafting stuff for a high RoE. The attrition rate in IB is so high they need to bring in numbers.

I really don't get your analyst question about taking two years out. I think you probably want a better reason to do an MBA than simply to get into an IB. While it is often a means to similar ends, you kind of have to care about the education (with your UG GPA this would be a huge concern). While it isn't academic rocket science, it is a college and they care about the academic perception of the program.

If you can network into an IB go for it.
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Re: Using MBA to Become an Investment Banker [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2010, 13:48
To offset, I have 3.1 overall gpa, 760 GMAT and I was the first of my immigrant family to go to college (high school even). I also worked 30 hours in a restaurant to put myself through college. Would this be enough to work favorably for me? I really think in my work experience I have shown my true potential and ability...

Would this even be taken into consideration / will I have an opportunity to bring it up?

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Re: Using MBA to Become an Investment Banker [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2010, 13:33
Experiences like yours, while interesting, become less and less relevant as you age. Could be very useful for getting into an MBA program, and maybe in analyst recruiting, but at the associate level I would greet those qualities with little more than a "so what". I would encourage you to read a book like Monkey Business to ensure that you really want to go down the IB path, especially after not enjoying finance course work. You also might find some good information on wallstreetoasis.com
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Re: Using MBA to Become an Investment Banker [#permalink] New post 06 Jul 2010, 08:13
zmaster85 wrote:
To offset, I have 3.1 overall gpa, 760 GMAT and I was the first of my immigrant family to go to college (high school even). I also worked 30 hours in a restaurant to put myself through college. Would this be enough to work favorably for me? I really think in my work experience I have shown my true potential and ability...

Would this even be taken into consideration / will I have an opportunity to bring it up?

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i think you'll be fine. i was in a very similar situation last yr and got into some decent programs. just make sure your essays really tell your story and i'm sure at least some programs will give you serious consideration.

if it makes you feel better about your case, i went to a less prestigious undergrad than you, got a worse gpa, same gmat, and similar work experience. age wise i'm in the same boat...graduated super young. but again, i didn't work 30 hrs a week during school to support myself.
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Re: Using MBA to Become an Investment Banker [#permalink] New post 10 Jul 2010, 18:09
yeah, i think the background will definitely be helpful in landing a great bschool. but when it comes down to recruiting, people are just going to want to know how well you'll perform the job expected of you.
Re: Using MBA to Become an Investment Banker   [#permalink] 10 Jul 2010, 18:09
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