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The "Am I good enough for Investment Banking/Consultancy?" Thread watch

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    thanks, was asking whether i would stand a chance for an off cycle or standard internship (should have clarified)
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    Still early days, but...
    not very interested in FO. More interested in an assessment of my potential atm.

    Academic:
    'Most likely grades' - A*A*A in Bio, Geog and Chem respectively.
    Planning to take Maths A level alongside uni.

    UNSURE --> Either Economics and Geography at Leeds (much more of a numerical focus) or Business and Geography at Exeter (pretty much the same rep I guess, but offer is from Exeter's Cornwall campus). Both have placement years.

    Work experience:
    Insight Week at PwC, work experience at a tax consultancy firm, internship at sports media company, work experience at Lloyds in Audit (mainly shadowing a relative and looking around departments) and a week at Arup (Yr12 school organised work experience).

    Other:
    Fluent in Cantonese Chinese, and learning Mandarin Chinese. Hoping to learn French to a higher level than GCSE at uni
    Working towards being a qualified snowboarding instructor
    Been getting and reading free Economist magazines from my school
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    (Original post by RonPeter123)
    thanks, was asking whether i would stand a chance for an off cycle or standard internship (should have clarified)
    Don't see why not? Give it a bash.

    Do remember to network! You never know what opportunities could pop up.

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    (Original post by Peppercrunch)
    Still early days, but...
    not very interested in FO. More interested in an assessment of my potential atm.

    Academic:
    'Most likely grades' - A*A*A in Bio, Geog and Chem respectively.
    Planning to take Maths A level alongside uni.

    UNSURE --> Either Economics and Geography at Leeds (much more of a numerical focus) or Business and Geography at Exeter (pretty much the same rep I guess, but offer is from Exeter's Cornwall campus). Both have placement years.

    Work experience:
    Insight Week at PwC, work experience at a tax consultancy firm, internship at sports media company, work experience at Lloyds in Audit (mainly shadowing a relative and looking around departments) and a week at Arup (Yr12 school organised work experience).

    Other:
    Fluent in Cantonese Chinese, and learning Mandarin Chinese. Hoping to learn French to a higher level than GCSE at uni
    Working towards being a qualified snowboarding instructor
    Been getting and reading free Economist magazines from my school
    Pretty solid profile dude. The language ability will help big time.

    I'd take Leeds personally. It is entirely possible (especially with your grades, ECs and current work experience) to land interviews from there. Also self studying Maths isn't really necessary..

    Overall, you look like a solid applicant for FO and you no doubt will get interviews if your CV/CL reflects the above. Maybe apply to some A-level insight days? They'll expose you to bankers and give you some name brand recognition on your CV. If you can, maybe try to get a week or 2 at a small firm by calling up.

    What are you interested in, if not FO?


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    (Original post by Peppercrunch)
    Still early days, but...
    not very interested in FO. More interested in an assessment of my potential atm.

    Academic:
    'Most likely grades' - A*A*A in Bio, Geog and Chem respectively.
    Planning to take Maths A level alongside uni.

    UNSURE --> Either Economics and Geography at Leeds (much more of a numerical focus) or Business and Geography at Exeter (pretty much the same rep I guess, but offer is from Exeter's Cornwall campus). Both have placement years.

    Work experience:
    Insight Week at PwC, work experience at a tax consultancy firm, internship at sports media company, work experience at Lloyds in Audit (mainly shadowing a relative and looking around departments) and a week at Arup (Yr12 school organised work experience).

    Other:
    Fluent in Cantonese Chinese, and learning Mandarin Chinese. Hoping to learn French to a higher level than GCSE at uni
    Working towards being a qualified snowboarding instructor
    Been getting and reading free Economist magazines from my school
    Damn son, that list of work experience is amazing, especially the pwc insight week. Also, your Chinese language skills will be really good on your CV as well. I'd say you'd look like an above average student in terms of work experience and language skills so you won't have any problems applying for Spring weeks as long as you do your research and do well on the interview.

    What division do you want to work in?
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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    Pretty solid profile dude. The language ability will help big time.

    I'd take Leeds personally. It is entirely possible (especially with your grades, ECs and current work experience) to land interviews from there. Also self studying Maths isn't really necessary..

    Overall, you look like a solid applicant for FO and you no doubt will get interviews if your CV/CL reflects the above. Maybe apply to some A-level insight days? They'll expose you to bankers and give you some name brand recognition on your CV. If you can, maybe try to get a week or 2 at a small firm by calling up.

    What are you interested in, if not FO?


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    It's mostly sales and trading in the FO which I'm not interested in as I haven't heard good things about it from someone I know who works in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, despite the fact that they're 'well off'. I'm assuming that parts of the FO departments in IB is similar to the stock exchange.

    Wouldn't mind doing research though as it seems rather interesting, along with corporate strategy.

    Technology doesn't sound too bad either, developing and implementing systems and managing them, although I know this is a rather simplified description of what they do.

    I'm mainly interested in consulting though, in strategy or technology consulting, possibly for any of the Big 3 consulting companies or for any of the Big 4.

    I'm guessing I'm more biased towards it if it has an element of travel or if it has an opportunity to relocate, since I like being able to communicate with people from other countries and being able to understand them.
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    (Original post by Trapz99)
    Damn son, that list of work experience is amazing, especially the pwc insight week. Also, your Chinese language skills will be really good on your CV as well. I'd say you'd look like an above average student in terms of work experience and language skills so you won't have any problems applying for Spring weeks as long as you do your research and do well on the interview.

    What division do you want to work in?
    Definitely not sales and trading in the FO.
    Probably research (even though that links in closely with sales and trading), because I tend to 'over-research' things anyways according to some people, so it would probably be a good use of my skills.

    Risk Management and Technology divisions also look appealing, along with strategy.

    Working in consultancy is something that I'm also interested in, especially strategy and technology consulting. I do know that I don't want to do tax consultancy though.
    I'll have to think things through and properly research each function of IB and consultancy closer to the time.
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    (Original post by Peppercrunch)
    It's mostly sales and trading in the FO which I'm not interested in as I haven't heard good things about it from someone I know who works in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, despite the fact that they're 'well off'. I'm assuming that parts of the FO departments in IB is similar to the stock exchange.

    Wouldn't mind doing research though as it seems rather interesting, along with corporate strategy.

    Technology doesn't sound too bad either, developing and implementing systems and managing them, although I know this is a rather simplified description of what they do.

    I'm mainly interested in consulting though, in strategy or technology consulting, possibly for any of the Big 3 consulting companies or for any of the Big 4.

    I'm guessing I'm more biased towards it if it has an element of travel or if it has an opportunity to relocate, since I like being able to communicate with people from other countries and being able to understand them.
    Exchanges aren't the same as trading floors at banks. Nowadays what banks do is they market make in derivative products for clients looking to off load a security or to buy a security. As machines have mostly taken over the equities (stock) business, most opportunity is in derivatives, currencies, structured, commodities and fixed income products. S&T isn't the only FO division!

    All of these products are still mostly traded 'over the counter' i.e. no exchange is required to facilitate the trade or are less 'liquid' which means it's harder to find a buyer or seller. So the 'spreads' (the difference between the sell to buy price) are wider, i.e. more money making opportunities. The short version of all of the above is that there are still plenty of jobs in markets and there will still be plenty more in future.

    CorpStrat is pretty cool! Considering it myself actually. Although, from what I've seen you need mostly strategy consulting experience to break into it, or minimum M&A experience. However, some banks do recruit the occasional analyst into their CorpStrat divisions; Goldman (Firmwide Strategy), Morgan Stanley (Firm Strategy and Execution), DB (Group Strategy/Inhouse Consulting) come to mind.

    Fair enough! I'd look into more than just MBB. There's also: Oliver Wyman, LEK, Roland Berger, ATKearney, OC&C + the strategy arms of big4 companies: Strategy&, Monitor Deloitte, Parthenon-EY etc. Tech consulting should be more of a 'back up' if you want to maximise for the number of follow on opportunities you can go into post-consulting.

    Have you not considered IBD at all?

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    (Original post by Trapz99)
    Damn son, that list of work experience is amazing, especially the pwc insight week. Also, your Chinese language skills will be really good on your CV as well. I'd say you'd look like an above average student in terms of work experience and language skills so you won't have any problems applying for Spring weeks as long as you do your research and do well on the interview.

    What division do you want to work in?
    i have the pwc insight week, dya reckon its well respected for IB?
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    (Original post by truemiscer)
    i have the pwc insight week, dya reckon its well respected for IB?
    Won't hurt.

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    PrincePieman, look at your inbox.


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    (Original post by truemiscer)
    i have the pwc insight week, dya reckon its well respected for IB?
    Yeah that's what I was saying, your work experience is really good and will impress employers.
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    (Original post by Peppercrunch)
    Still early days, but...
    not very interested in FO. More interested in an assessment of my potential atm.

    Academic:
    'Most likely grades' - A*A*A in Bio, Geog and Chem respectively.
    Planning to take Maths A level alongside uni.

    UNSURE --> Either Economics and Geography at Leeds (much more of a numerical focus) or Business and Geography at Exeter (pretty much the same rep I guess, but offer is from Exeter's Cornwall campus). Both have placement years.

    Work experience:
    Insight Week at PwC, work experience at a tax consultancy firm, internship at sports media company, work experience at Lloyds in Audit (mainly shadowing a relative and looking around departments) and a week at Arup (Yr12 school organised work experience).

    Other:
    Fluent in Cantonese Chinese, and learning Mandarin Chinese. Hoping to learn French to a higher level than GCSE at uni
    Working towards being a qualified snowboarding instructor
    Been getting and reading free Economist magazines from my school
    with those grades don't try do a maths a level at uni, it's not useful & not needed at the stage you're at (esp for IB), and I would recommend re-applying to better unis through clearing
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    (Original post by Peppercrunch)
    Still early days, but...
    not very interested in FO. More interested in an assessment of my potential atm.

    Academic:
    'Most likely grades' - A*A*A in Bio, Geog and Chem respectively.
    Planning to take Maths A level alongside uni.

    UNSURE --> Either Economics and Geography at Leeds (much more of a numerical focus) or Business and Geography at Exeter (pretty much the same rep I guess, but offer is from Exeter's Cornwall campus). Both have placement years.
    Good stats! Out of curiosity would you be interested by a more mathsy/numerical degree? As mentioned above you could go first through adjustment and try your luck if you do obtain A*A*A or even A*AA.

    Also assuming you obtain these and that you're inclined towards a more numerical Econ degree, there's always the possibility of going through Maths A level next year and reapply to top Econ courses (Camb, LSE, UCL, Warwick, Notts, etc.) if you feel you're capable of doing so. Granted they also prefer candidates with FM, but just food for thought.



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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    Exchanges aren't the same as trading floors at banks. Nowadays what banks do is they market make in derivative products for clients looking to off load a security or to buy a security. As machines have mostly taken over the equities (stock) business, most opportunity is in derivatives, currencies, structured, commodities and fixed income products. S&T isn't the only FO division!

    All of these products are still mostly traded 'over the counter' i.e. no exchange is required to facilitate the trade or are less 'liquid' which means it's harder to find a buyer or seller. So the 'spreads' (the difference between the sell to buy price) are wider, i.e. more money making opportunities. The short version of all of the above is that there are still plenty of jobs in markets and there will still be plenty more in future.

    CorpStrat is pretty cool! Considering it myself actually. Although, from what I've seen you need mostly strategy consulting experience to break into it, or minimum M&A experience. However, some banks do recruit the occasional analyst into their CorpStrat divisions; Goldman (Firmwide Strategy), Morgan Stanley (Firm Strategy and Execution), DB (Group Strategy/Inhouse Consulting) come to mind.

    Fair enough! I'd look into more than just MBB. There's also: Oliver Wyman, LEK, Roland Berger, ATKearney, OC&C + the strategy arms of big4 companies: Strategy&, Monitor Deloitte, Parthenon-EY etc. Tech consulting should be more of a 'back up' if you want to maximise for the number of follow on opportunities you can go into post-consulting.

    Have you not considered IBD at all?

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Jobs in the IBD don't really appeal as much, especially with capital markets and structuring. M&A sounds better, but I would prefer not to work 18 hour days, even with the high salaries. In my opinion, a better work-life balance is more important than money, which there appears to be more of a lack of with FO jobs.
    My uncle actually keeps trying to sway me towards working in IB despite the lifestyle (he tends to work from 7am to 7-8pm constantly, and doesn't return to his house until 10-11pm), saying that the money will be enough to compensate for it :colonhash:. Seems like everyone who works in IB only cares about one thing.

    Consulting seems to be more diverse and more varied, with a slightly better work-life balance than IB, which is more attractive imo with the wider range of consulting divisions with financial, strategy, human resources etc.
    I've actually researched companies like BDO and those in the Big 4 more as they're more accessible than the Big 3 consulting companies, considering I know someone who has basically worked for all of the Big 4 companies (apart from KPMG) in their consultancy departments.


    Which division(s) are you most interested in, aside from CorpStrat?
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    (Original post by Metrododo)
    Good stats! Out of curiosity would you be interested by a more mathsy/numerical degree? As mentioned above you could go first through adjustment and try your luck if you do obtain A*A*A or even A*AA.

    Also assuming you obtain these and that you're inclined towards a more numerical Econ degree, there's always the possibility of going through Maths A level next year and reapply to top Econ courses (Camb, LSE, UCL, Warwick, Notts, etc.) if you feel you're capable of doing so. Granted they also prefer candidates with FM, but just food for thought.



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    My GCSE results aren't exactly the best (2A*'s, 4A's and 3B's), but then again the school I went to wasn't brilliant with around a 32% 5A*-C pass rate. That's why I feel like I'll be unable to even get a chance with those universities as I don't have a string of A* grades.
    My school actually doesn't offer FM, so I couldn't take it up either.

    According to the Business School at Leeds, I would be able to switch to a straight Econ course from the joint honours if I wanted to in the 2nd year if I take the right modules, which will be more mathematical as it'll be a BSc course instead of a BA.
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    (Original post by Peppercrunch)
    Jobs in the IBD don't really appeal as much, especially with capital markets and structuring. M&A sounds better, but I would prefer not to work 18 hour days, even with the high salaries. In my opinion, a better work-life balance is more important than money, which there appears to be more of a lack of with FO jobs.
    My uncle actually keeps trying to sway me towards working in IB despite the lifestyle (he tends to work from 7am to 7-8pm constantly, and doesn't return to his house until 10-11pm), saying that the money will be enough to compensate for it :colonhash:. Seems like everyone who works in IB only cares about one thing.

    Consulting seems to be more diverse and more varied, with a slightly better work-life balance than IB, which is more attractive imo with the wider range of consulting divisions with financial, strategy, human resources etc.
    I've actually researched companies like BDO and those in the Big 4 more as they're more accessible than the Big 3 consulting companies, considering I know someone who has basically worked for all of the Big 4 companies (apart from KPMG) in their consultancy departments.


    Which division(s) are you most interested in, aside from CorpStrat?
    True, you do have to put in a lot of hours but 18 hour days are very much a rarity. Most junior M&A bankers have told me they average 12-14 hours a day, and then maybe a couple here and there on a weekend. It's only when you're on several live deals is when you start to feel the grind a bit more. Besides, the exit opps out of M&A tend to be lower intensity/slightly lower pay (in-house Corporate M&A/Strat) or slightly lower intensity, higher pay (Private Equity/Hedge Funds). Even with staying in banking, the hours ease up with seniority. Therefore, I think it's worth the early lifestyle hit.

    Yeah, you're right about Consulting. I'm on the fence myself but my game plan is to test out whether I like IBD first, via the spring week to summer internship path. Then, if I'm disillusioned, I'd ideally apply for grad positions at one of the strat houses.

    Certainly, Big 4 is more 'accessible' but I'd aim for the best firms possible. There are only about 20-25 reputable consulting firms out there, so a scattergun approach, albeit not always the best way to go, would prove effective. You never know..

    If you haven't guessed, I'm gunning for IBD (M&A/Tech Coverage) or Strategy Consulting myself, leaning more towards the former, in spite of the hours.

    P.S., I'd echo what others have said about aiming for a target/semi-target uni, either through adjustment or a gap year. Being around other people aiming to get into into these competitive industries will help a lot.
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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    True, you do have to put in a lot of hours but 18 hour days are very much a rarity. Most junior M&A bankers have told me they average 12-14 hours a day, and then maybe a couple here and there on a weekend. It's only when you're on several live deals is when you start to feel the grind a bit more. Besides, the exit opps out of M&A tend to be lower intensity/slightly lower pay (in-house Corporate M&A/Strat) or slightly lower intensity, higher pay (Private Equity/Hedge Funds). Even with staying in banking, the hours ease up with seniority. Therefore, I think it's worth the early lifestyle hit.

    Yeah, you're right about Consulting. I'm on the fence myself but my game plan is to test out whether I like IBD first, via the spring week to summer internship path. Then, if I'm disillusioned, I'd ideally apply for grad positions at one of the strat houses.

    Certainly, Big 4 is more 'accessible' but I'd aim for the best firms possible. There are only about 20-25 reputable consulting firms out there, so a scattergun approach, albeit not always the best way to go, would prove effective. You never know..

    If you haven't guessed, I'm gunning for IBD (M&A/Tech Coverage) or Strategy Consulting myself, leaning more towards the former, in spite of the hours.

    P.S., I'd echo what others have said about aiming for a target/semi-target uni, either through adjustment or a gap year. Being around other people aiming to get into into these competitive industries will help a lot.
    Ah, I see. Thanks for the advice.
    Does it matter what the degree is if it is at a target/semi-target uni?

    For instance, would a degree in a more quantitative subject like Economics in a non-target (but at a decent uni), or a degree more on social science/humanities side such as Geography at a target/semi-target be regarded more?
    (I was strongly discouraged from doing single honours geography, despite me planning to apply for universities such as UCL and Notts)

    If I do decide to actually want to pursue a career in IB, I'll probably do a Master's degree.
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    (Original post by Peppercrunch)
    Ah, I see. Thanks for the advice.
    Does it matter what the degree is if it is at a target/semi-target uni?

    For instance, would a degree in a more quantitative subject like Economics in a non-target (but at a decent uni), or a degree more on social science/humanities side such as Geography at a target/semi-target be regarded more?
    (I was strongly discouraged from doing single honours geography, despite me planning to apply for universities such as UCL and Notts)

    If I do decide to actually want to pursue a career in IB, I'll probably do a Master's degree.
    I'm not the guy you asked but definitely go to a target or a semi target. It doesn't matter what the course is at all. Definitely choose anything at a target or a semi target rather than something at a non target.
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    (Original post by Peppercrunch)
    Ah, I see. Thanks for the advice.
    Does it matter what the degree is if it is at a target/semi-target uni?

    For instance, would a degree in a more quantitative subject like Economics in a non-target (but at a decent uni), or a degree more on social science/humanities side such as Geography at a target/semi-target be regarded more?
    (I was strongly discouraged from doing single honours geography, despite me planning to apply for universities such as UCL and Notts)

    If I do decide to actually want to pursue a career in IB, I'll probably do a Master's degree.
    No, the subject you do doesn't matter.

    The latter would be the better option, brand name > course.

    I'd only go for a Masters if you've tried to get in it at undergrad, the Masters doesn't really add value (in Finance at least) apart from giving you the chance to try again at recruiting. That said, if you do a Masters at Oxbridge, you might get better access to the strategy consulting firms.

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