Investment Banking and Masters

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    Hi everyone,

    Does a Masters degree help you get into front office Investment Banking? (Remember this question) Before jumping to a conclusion I would like to tell you a tale of two stories. One which involves myself, a good friend and Investment Banking.

    My friend has just joined BNP Paribas as a front office graduate analyst. Me on the other hand, I just about secured an internship with BNP Paribas in the middle/back office. I am guessing the reason why this happened is my friend is academically a level above me. We both have a couple of years of relevant financial work experience. We both take part in extra curiccular activites such as playing sport and helping charities. Heck, I would even argue that I am the more charismatic of the two (although he'd like to have a say about that). But, what distinguishes us is our academic achievements. Funnily enough, I performed better at GCSE level. I also achieved 300 UCAS points, which is 20 more than him. The problem? His top 3 A Levels were BBC whereas mine were BCD. The rest of my UCAS points came from a dissertation which I did well on. However, it's clear that Investment Banks only look at your top 3 A Levels.

    Moving on to University, we both went to the same mid table University and once again he outperformed me. He got a 1st in Finance whereas I managed a 2:1 in Finance (few % off a 1st ugghh). However, it has now suddenly dawned on me. Despite my relevant work experience and participation in extra activities, my A Levels will always hold me back , and I didn't achieve a 1st class degree to make up for it.

    This has led me to a desperate search through forums, career advice and help from friends on the possible solution. JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs? Forget about that, I'd achieve my goals working for a Tier 3 Investment Bank in front office. So back to the solution, can it be a Masters degree? Msc degrees in Finance at Cass Business School and QMUL look appealing. Surely studying for one of these top class financial institutions will put me back on par with my friend and give me the opportunity to work in front office for an Investment Bank. Surely... maybe... I don't know. There is a lot of different opinions and I would like help from you good people on the student room.

    This brings me on to my list of questions which I had prepared prior to writing this.
    1. Will an Msc in Finance at Cass or QMUL help make up for my 2:1 at a mid table uni and below average showing at A Level and possibly get me a front office position in a Tier 2/3 IB or even an Elite Boutique Firm?
    2. Despite not being in my list of achievable targets, is there any hope in me attaining a front office position at a tier 1 IB? Such as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.
    3. Finally, is there anything else at this point which can help make me a more attractive option for Investment Banks. Maybe learning a second European language would help?

    All thoughts and comments will be appreciated.
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    (Original post by Finance_Warrior)
    Hi everyone,

    Does a Masters degree help you get into front office Investment Banking? (Remember this question) Before jumping to a conclusion I would like to tell you a tale of two stories. One which involves myself, a good friend and Investment Banking.

    My friend has just joined BNP Paribas as a front office graduate analyst. Me on the other hand, I just about secured an internship with BNP Paribas in the middle/back office. I am guessing the reason why this happened is my friend is academically a level above me. We both have a couple of years of relevant financial work experience. We both take part in extra curiccular activites such as playing sport and helping charities. Heck, I would even argue that I am the more charismatic of the two (although he'd like to have a say about that). But, what distinguishes us is our academic achievements. Funnily enough, I performed better at GCSE level. I also achieved 300 UCAS points, which is 20 more than him. The problem? His top 3 A Levels were BBC whereas mine were BCD. The rest of my UCAS points came from a dissertation which I did well on. However, it's clear that Investment Banks only look at your top 3 A Levels.

    Moving on to University, we both went to the same mid table University and once again he outperformed me. He got a 1st in Finance whereas I managed a 2:1 in Finance (few % off a 1st ugghh). However, it has now suddenly dawned on me. Despite my relevant work experience and participation in extra activities, my A Levels will always hold me back , and I didn't achieve a 1st class degree to make up for it.

    This has led me to a desperate search through forums, career advice and help from friends on the possible solution. JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs? Forget about that, I'd achieve my goals working for a Tier 3 Investment Bank in front office. So back to the solution, can it be a Masters degree? Msc degrees in Finance at Cass Business School and QMUL look appealing. Surely studying for one of these top class financial institutions will put me back on par with my friend and give me the opportunity to work in front office for an Investment Bank. Surely... maybe... I don't know. There is a lot of different opinions and I would like help from you good people on the student room.

    This brings me on to my list of questions which I had prepared prior to writing this.
    1. Will an Msc in Finance at Cass or QMUL help make up for my 2:1 at a mid table uni and below average showing at A Level and possibly get me a front office position in a Tier 2/3 IB or even an Elite Boutique Firm?
    2. Despite not being in my list of achievable targets, is there any hope in me attaining a front office position at a tier 1 IB? Such as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.
    3. Finally, is there anything else at this point which can help make me a more attractive option for Investment Banks. Maybe learning a second European language would help?

    All thoughts and comments will be appreciated.
    I don't thinks masters degrees are meant to be stepping stones into higher careers. Traditionally you enter a career you like and then take a masters specialising in that subject. Yes it can enhance your profile but is it required by the job you want to go in? Since you mentioned finance, maybe the CFA, CIMA other financial qualifications etc would be more appropriate.
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    brand name uni helps, if a masters can do that then sure.. but generally people use it as a way to stall a year, get an internship and be at a good brand name uni.
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    (Original post by gr8wizard10)
    brand name uni helps, if a masters can do that then sure.. but generally people use it as a way to stall a year, get an internship and be at a good brand name uni.
    A part of my reason for doing a masters is to not be associated with just a mid table uni for the rest of my life.
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    (Original post by hamzaahmad786)
    I don't thinks masters degrees are meant to be stepping stones into higher careers. Traditionally you enter a career you like and then take a masters specialising in that subject. Yes it can enhance your profile but is it required by the job you want to go in? Since you mentioned finance, maybe the CFA, CIMA other financial qualifications etc would be more appropriate.
    hamza ahmad hamzaahmad786 luton hertfordshire
    A lot of Banking analysts nowadays either have a masters or a bachelors degree from a top uni, no? I have neither at the moment. Plus CFA is something I'd like to do a bit later down the line.
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    (Original post by Finance_Warrior)
    A lot of Banking analysts nowadays either have a masters or a bachelors degree from a top uni, no? I have neither at the moment. Plus CFA is something I'd like to do a bit later down the line.
    correct, cfa is pretty useless id say. 100% of new intake Corp Finance / M&A analysts at the firm im with come from target / semi target universities & top European business schools
 
 
 
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