Career Change Recommendations

  1. Hello Ladies,

    I'm thinking seriously about a career change in 08! I'm currently in Financial Software Consulting and am thinking about going back to school and going for a career in Investment Banking.

    Thoughts or other recommendations greatly appreciated!!

    Sep
     
  2. Are you fully aware of what kind of education, dedication (in terms of sheer number of hours) and growth opportunities investment banking entails? Assuming you already have a degree and want to go back to school for yet another, are you going to be comfortable entering an analyst class with kids who are probably at least 5 years younger than yourself?
     
  3. How long have you been in your present position? What is your title and responsibilities? What kind of education have you had so far? If you are specialized enough, you may have the chance to switch into banking as an Associate rather than Analyst. Typically MBAs are recruited to become Associates, so you really need to brush up on your discount cash flow analysis calculation methods or whatever as much as you can to show that you are intent on becoming a banker.
     
  4. You're right. For some reason when the OP said "going back to school" I did not assume a M.B.A. program....
     
  5. I have a BA in English and started my career as a Technical Writer for Financial Software Implementations.

    I ditched the writing for development (as it was much more interesting and the pay was better by leaps and bounds) and have been working for several years as a Consultant with a Business Intelligence firm. I help clients with PeopleSoft Financials, Business Objects and Cognos Implementations including development of fully automated dashboard metrics (Balance Sheets, P&Ls, etc). I generally work a 60-70 hour work week but have the luxury of working from home most of the time. I realize that I may have to take quite a bit of a pay cut in the beginning but I'm okay with that if it will pay off in the end (financially as well as overall career satisfaction).

    I am looking to start a graduate degree program and am not sure if the MBA is best suited for a career in Investment Banking or if Economics or some other Masters Program would be best.
     
  6. You could look into a Masters of Finance program (Berkeley, Princeton both offer excellent ones), but you should be aware that they're super competitive. Typically, people already have Ph.D.s when they enter the Masters of Finance program (check out Berkeley's website and read the student profiles, it's incredible!). These programs are geared towards people who are obviously extremely bright but haven't worked in finance before. The programs are usually one or two years: in Berkeley's case, I believe it's only a year. However, tuition is somewhere to the tune of $80K if memory serves me right.

    A M.B.A. is the standard if you're talking about working in investment banking outside of the sales and trading division, where it's not really necessary if you can demonstrate excellence. You would be hired as an associate, and unless I'm terribly mistaken about what you make right now, I highly doubt you will be taking a "pay cut" unless I'm grossly uninformed about what consultants make.
     
  7. You may be well-suited to join an investment bank in their IT department. Honestly I have no idea what those thing you mentioned are :sweatdrop: but usually ibanks have pretty sophisticated softwares that are probably along the lines of what you do now.

    Alternatively you could become an ibanker who specializes in technology, doing IPO M&A or whatever for technology clients, but you might find your current skills would translate less into this position, and you would need to start afresh competing with MBA types.

    MBA is definitely a great way to break into ibanking, if you go to a top school. A lot of people make their career switch this way. Some people also get a Masters of Financial Engineering, a new kind of degree. It's only one year and is Very math-intensive. As for other Master's programs, they are no really other feeder programs that I can think of.

    I'm sure some of the people you work with now probably have some tangent connections to the ibanking world. Are you in a major banking city like NY, SF, or Chicago? Try to talk to somebody in person, I find I learn so much more from one simple conversation rather than googling for days on end by myself. Of course, tPF is a great resource too!
     
  8. BI Consultants are generally in the $100K-$200K range... What is the Investment Banking Entry Level range?
     
  9. I believe first-year Analysts start in that range after bonuses. But depends on bonuses for that year and your firm. Associates would of course be higher, but I'm not sure about the figure.

    Lots of perks too. You can live kind of expense-free except for rent/utilities because you spend all your time in the office or on the road. :p
     
  10. Great advice!! Thanks!

    I work with a lot of MIT brainiacs :smile: These guys have incredible credentials so far superior to mine it is unbelievable! I don't have nearly the training... I just happen to have a knack for financial systems and analysis so its fun!

    I just thought... since it's so easy for me to design automated solutions FOR investment bankers... why not BE an investment banker and get paid like the big boys... :smile:
     
  11. Just curious, why are you concerned with the entry level (analyst) range of salary? You would not be hired as an analyst if you went back to school. You'd be hired as an associate or nothing at all. But to answer the question, entry level bankers, analysts, make $120,000 per year including bonus, at Goldman Sachs. It dips slightly from there. At Bank of America, I believe the analysts make a full $20K less. I don't know much about the boutique firms like Seven Hills Partners or what have you.

    Associates, again depending on the bank, make $250,000 - 300,000+ a lot of which varies based on how well your group does overall.

    I had no idea BI consultants made $100-$200K... my friends at McKinsey, Bain, and BCG (which as I'm sure you know are widely regarded as the very best consulting firms) do not make even $100K their first and second years.

    Just curious, what about investment banking appeals to you? It seems like anyone who wants to make a lot of money these days thinks i-banking is the way to go, when in fact, the money is in private equity. You could look into PE shops, also.
     
  12. Why not become a quant? They're the ones who will be designing a lot of the models and programs bankers and traders use. THEY'RE paid the big bucks, even compared to the bankers.
     
  13. MIT is like a breeding ground for bankers. Definitely hit those walking brains up!

    That's a great reason to make a career change! Why should they have all the fun - work-wise, or bank-account-wise?! :p
     

  14. Honestly, I think the analysis is fascinating! I love anything creative... I write, sew, make jewelry, dabble in photography, etc... Before working with bankers I NEVER found statistics remotely creative... but it really is quite interesting and creative (or at least in comparison to other financial analysis gigs). I make a nice living but if I could double my income doing something similar...:okay:

    I don't know anything about PE... I'll have to do some research... Thanks!
     
  15. ibankers I know in NY work over 80 hours a week easily and mostly it's not working from home (as far as i know?) - would be a major life style change for you