How to Break Into Finance as a Consultant

89 Comments | Investment Banking - Career Transitions

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Consulting to FinanceI’m not gonna lie: I haven’t treated consultants very well before – and even though that infamous Leveraged Sellout video is ancient history by now, it still pops into my head whenever I get questions from consultants.

But despite that, I still do get lots of questions from consultants on how to move into the world of finance, mostly to investment banks and private equity firms.

In some ways, you’re in a better position than engineers, lawyers, or accountants trying to break in – but the bad news is that a lot of bankers don’t like consultants.

So here’s what you do to get around that and break into finance:

What You’re Up Against

Just to recap what you’re up against vs. other professions moving into finance:

  • Engineers: They are great at math, but can they talk to people and work a lot more than they would at Google or Facebook?
  • Lawyers: They can put up with sociopaths and work 100 hours per week, but can they count?
  • Accountants: They know accounting and Excel, but are they hungry enough to work without sleep for days at a time?
  • Liberal Arts Majors: They can communicate, but can they crunch numbers and burn the midnight oil?

As a consultant, here’s your challenge:

“I know you can work with clients and that you understand the business world. But can you build an LBO model? Do you have any discernable skills? And are you prepared to work true banker hours?”

So it’s a combination of what lawyers and accountants face, with some extra prejudice thrown in since many bankers don’t take consultants seriously – especially if you’re an IT or HR consultant rather than a management consultant.

What Will Help You

But you do have a few things working in your favor:

  • You “get it” – you’re not some engineer with no business experience who doesn’t understand how to work with and manage clients.
  • If you’re working at a top firm (MBB), you have a prestigious name that all bankers recognize.
  • Better networking opportunities than an undergraduate – Partners are well-connected, and your clients might be investment banks.

Your Story

Just take the story-telling tutorial and template here and apply it to your own situation.

Here’s a sketch of what you might say:

“I was really interested in business and advising companies on major strategic decisions, so after graduating from [University / Business School Name], I decided to take an offer at [Consulting Firm]. I’ve done well there and have gotten good reviews, but I also realized that what I did as a consultant was rarely implemented by clients.

I had worked on a few M&A and due diligence-related projects, and realized that in [investment banking / private equity] you have much more of an impact on the company you’re working with – and I was more interested in modeling and valuation than in qualitative work.”

That is just a sketch of the basic idea – you would expand on that in interviews.

If you’re moving in from something less business-related – like IT or HR consulting – then you should also include something about wanting to see the trees for the forest and understand the business at a much higher level.

Point to specific clients or cases you worked on and the finance-related analysis you did that made you more interested in finance.

“I worked with a $50B telecom company in its restructuring process and learned about what management considers when it decides to declare bankruptcy rather than restructure its debt – and I got to assist bankers with analyzing the best debt structure going forward” sounds much better than just saying you think financial modeling is cool.

And before you mention it, yes, I know that common stereotype of consultants’ advice not being implemented is not necessarily true.

Plenty of work you do as a banker never sees the light of day, either, and it’s even worse in PE.

But what matters here is perception, not reality – and financiers like to think of themselves as shaping industries and companies and “having a really significant impact” (even if they don’t get home by 7:15).

Networking

So you have your story… now how do you pound the pavement and make sure someone actually hears it?

I’m not going to repeat the dozens of tutorials on networking, informational interviews, weekend trips, cold-calling, and so on because those still apply if you’re a consultant moving into finance.

The main differences lie on the sourcing side – where you find names in the first place:

  1. You have access to an additional “alumni” network – from your consulting firm. Leverage it and contact everyone who now works in finance.
  2. Partners at consulting firms are very well-connected and will know bankers. Don’t be shy about asking, especially since you’re expected to move elsewhere after working in (management) consulting.
  3. You could move to a finance-related group at your firm, or go to a banking or PE group that has overlap with your background (e.g. if you consulted with energy companies, you could target oil & gas groups).

Those 3 represent a big advantage over anyone else who’s moving into finance.

You could still cold call rather than using the strategies above, but don’t start there unless you are targeting boutiques and have absolutely no connections (unlikely).

Should you focus on boutiques rather than bulge brackets?

That may improve your odds, but it may not be necessary depending on how well-connected your firm is: if you can contact bulge bracket bankers, at least give that a shot.

Finance-Specific Consulting Firms?

Similar to industry-focused investment banks, there are also industry-focused consulting firms.

So it must help to go to a place like Oliver Wyman that is well-known for financial services consulting rather than a firm that does everything, right?

If you have the choice between 2 smaller or 2 specialized firms, yes, go for one that has the financial focus.

But don’t pick a finance-specific firm over McKinsey (or Bain, or BCG) just because you get to work with more finance companies – brand name makes far more of a difference if you’re breaking into banking or PE.

Resume/CV Spinning

You have it easier with your resume/CV than an engineer because at least you’ve worked with clients before and can point to specific projects and “deals.”

Click here to download the “Experienced” resume template and view the tutorial, and then make the 3-4 most relevant clients you’ve worked with into separate “Project” entries.

Your main challenge will be spinning what you did into sounding relevant to finance:

  • If you worked on anything related to due diligence, M&A, or capital markets, obviously list that and hype it up.
  • If you don’t have anything directly related, take what you have and highlight the quantitative work you did rather than the qualitative side. Numbers and dollar/Euro/other currency figures are good.
  • Even if you have not worked with financial statements, you can highlight market-sizing analysis, cost analysis, or anything that involves numbers.

And remember the golden rules of spinning: re-adjust the focus, magnify small details, and omit facts that do not make you look good.

If you write something like this:

  • “Worked with Fortune 500 Company to analyze hiring and retention strategy for sales force and make recommendations that improved retention by 50% by better aligning incentives, target customers, and sales rep performance.”

That might be a good bullet for consulting jobs – you have a specific number and your recommendations were even implemented by the company.

But for finance you should write the following instead:

  • “Worked with Fortune 500 Company to boost revenue and profitability by improving sales rep productivity and revenue per sales rep and by reducing G&A costs associated with sales force hiring; led to estimated [$xx] increase in revenue and [$xx] increase in pre-tax profit.”

You’re still writing about the same client engagement, but you’re framing it differently and focusing on finance rather than operations.

You probably won’t have exact numbers in this situation, so estimate and make it clear that it’s just an approximation.

Interview Domination

Interview questions will focus on the key “objections” that bankers have to consultants:

So you need to address both of those and presenting solid “mini-stories” that prove your points.

For #1, talk about how busy you were due to the infamous consulting travel combined with client demands and how you had to pull banker hours for an extended period.

Even if you work less than bankers on average, just point to a particularly busy period and use that, and then turn around and use the same story for the other standard fit questions as well.

To prove you know something about finance, either talk about finance-related projects and analysis at work, or how learned on your own from classes, training programs, and self-study.

While I’m not a fan of the CFA, it would make sense to bring it up here if you’ve somehow had the time to complete it.

Other than that, all the standard fit and technical questions covered in the superday interview guide and the investment banking interview guide still apply here.

Technical Questions

As a consultant, you may receive more technical questions than others because bankers will be skeptical of your financial know-how.

While the CFA is overkill and isn’t realistic given how much you work and travel, a crash-course on the technical side is not a bad idea.

You already know about the financial modeling training programs offered through this site, and I’m too lazy to insert a sales pitch here but you can read all about them on your own and decide what’s right for you.

You could also look at the books recommended on IBankingFAQ for a solid grounding in accounting, valuation, and finance.

Remember that you are competing with ex-bankers, undergraduate finance majors, and others who know the technical side very well – you don’t want to give banks a good reason not to hire you.

And For Private Equity…

I’ve been lumping banking and PE together, but there are a few differences if you’re focused on the consulting –> PE transition.

First, it’s very difficult because private equity firms recruit almost exclusively from the investment banking analyst pool.

So it might actually be easier to get into banking first and then make the move to PE.

If you don’t want to do that, you need to target firms that have a tradition of hiring consultants – the classic one is Golden Gate Capital, which was founded by Bain consultants and still hires mostly Bain consultants.

Focus on firms that emphasize operational improvement and turnaround strategies over financial engineering (actually easier to do in a recession or quasi-recession).

Your chances of getting into KKR, Blackstone, TPG, and so on, are slim because they only make a few hires each year and only hire those few from the top banks – the vast majority of bankers at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and JP Morgan don’t even have a good chance of working at those places.

So target operationally-focused firms or anything with a complementary industry focus – if you worked with entertainment companies, maybe you can join Bono at Elevation Partners.

Venture capital is also a possibility – they care far less about financial knowledge than PE firms, and if you’ve worked with tech or biotech companies you can easily spin yourself into a “strong cultural fit.”

Hedge funds are more of a longshot because so many are about hardcore finance and don’t care about operations or strategy – if you want to go there, you’ll have to find one that is more strategy/operations/long-term investing-focused and less about short-term trading.

Plan B Options

So what if you’ve done everything above but still can’t break into finance?

1. Move to a Bigger Consulting Firm

Specifically, M/B/B – see Kevin’s thoughts below for more on this one, but generally the brand name makes far more of a difference than your actual industry focus as a consultant.

Plus, Partners at the top firms are more likely to know bankers and financiers than the ones at smaller firms.

2. Go to Business School

If you go this route, you’ll have a much better chance at post-MBA investment banking positions than PE ones: as interviewees on this site and I have mentioned before, your chances of getting into private equity without having been an IB analyst are slim.

And you should still do a pre-MBA internship that brings you closer to finance or you may not be able to re-brand yourself as easily as you expected.

3. Go to Something Other Than IB/PE/HF

There are plenty of other, less competitive finance industries out there (and yes, before you mention it, they also pay less).

So you could network your way into an asset management or commercial banking role, then get to know people in the investment banking division and move in like that.

This one is a better idea if you have no connections and have no other way in – otherwise you are better off staying a consultant rather than moving to a more finance-related but less “prestigious” role.

More Thoughts from Kevin

To get another perspective, I asked Kevin from Management Consulted for his thoughts on this topic and used some of what he mentioned above – here’s what he said in more detail:

  • It’s all about brand name – get into the best consulting firm possible. While Oliver Wyman is marginally better than, let’s say, Kurt Salmon (boutique retail), M/B/B is far better than any of the rest in helping you get there.
  • Most consulting firms have internal finance groups/sectors – get as many cases under your belt in these groups as possible.
  • Most partners in those practices have serious connections – leverage those connections by over-delivering with your cases and networking heavily with partners.
  • Ask for intros to the banks you’re targeting – they might be your clients and you can build relationships first that way.
  • Go to NYC. Just like entrepreneurs move to Silicon Valley, you must be in NYC to have access and credibility. In Europe, go to London. In Asia, go to HK.
  • It’s all about your network and less about financial knowledge, at least in terms of getting interviews in the first place – organize internal networking events in the finance practice to meet even more people.
  • A lot of consulting firms have externships and special programs to give you corporate exposure outside of strategy consulting. Leverage those as much as possible.

So there you have it – thoughts from someone who knows consulting inside and out.

Still Can’t Buy Bottles with Starwood Points?

So if you’re tired of flying up to Saskatchewan every week to tell a company what it already knows, follow everything above.

And you just might be able to get rid of those Starwood points and buy a few bottles with your banker friends.

Series: Career Transitions

About the Author

is the Founder of Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street. In his spare time, he enjoys learning obscure Excel functions, editing resumes, obsessing over TV shows, and traveling so much that he's forced to add additional pages to his passport on a regular basis.

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89 Comments to “How to Break Into Finance as a Consultant”

Comments

    • says

      Not sure there but it would involve networking with bankers internally and pushing for the transfer like that…. that might actually be harder than consulting because the work is less relevant in some ways. Trying to feature something there, but there are almost 0 readers who are in that industry.

  1. cbanker says

    Hey, great post!

    Could you shed some light on banking-to-consulting? First of all, is it common to finish the analyst stint, get an MBA, and apply for MBB? And do bankers stand a better or worse chance in securing a consulting job? Thanks.

    • says

      Honestly very few bankers do that because the pay is less. It’s not difficult and I think it’s easier than the reverse (banking –> consulting) but it’s just not that common. You are at an advantage over all the engineers who “want to do business” now since at least you have relevant experience.

  2. Summer Banker says

    Serious Question:

    I currently work at a top bank but am seriously interested in consulting (something more big picture management/operational focused). I just finished up my first year and am on my second.

    Banking is awesome because the stuff we do is not fluff and is quantifiable. But my biggest gripe is the hours. I don’t mind working hard on the weekdays (banker style or a bit less) but I really want to have my weekends off.

    I am only considering consulting because I feel like I would be able to see the bigger picture outside of finance.

    Would a move to consulting make practical, realistic, achievable sense? Or would I hate the switch more.

    Caveat: I do value work life balance.

    Maybe you or Kevin can write an article about this reverse transition from consulting to banking…

    • says

      I can’t speak to having weekends off or not but if you look on Management Consulted he might have day-in-the-life accounts and an estimate of hours there. The thing with consulting is that you will be traveling a lot, which means it’s hard to do anything with your friends on weekdays. So in terms of pure hours it might make sense and you may have more weekends free, but you won’t necessarily get to do much after work anyway.

  3. Badger says

    I see comments like : I really hate consulting and wanna find a way out of it. Can you explain the reasons why when the working trends nowadays is to go to consulting ESP in those “prestigious” consulting firms. And so many new ones that appear like every week, from former consultants lol
    What is it that you hate? The salaries are still not enough? Is the job the job that doesn’t meet your expectations? You don’t like your coworkers etc…
    Just wanna know
    thanks!

    • says

      He founded the firm, further proof that mega-popular entertainer –> finance is a way better option than these silly business degrees

      • Josh says

        This bodes well for you, future South Korean pop star.

        Could *Analyst -> Entrepreneur -> Entertainer -> PE -> Greatness* become the new “track?”

        • says

          Actually Asia turned out not to be such a great idea, so I’m leaving soon. I doubt that will be the new track because there is risk/uncertainty involved, which means that 99.9% of people cannot do it.

          • Seth says

            When you say Asia turned out to be horrifically stupid, are you referring to your decision to go there, or the continental as a whole, or that it’s a totally dysfunctional place or what?

          • says

            Ok I just softened / clarified that statement. Clearly the continent is doing something right given that it has surpassed / is surpassing the western world. So it’s not about GDP but rather living there.

            It turned out to be less fun and not as helpful for business as I expected. Yes you can get some crazy stories and yes expats are drawn to Asia for well-known reasons (use your imagination) but that gets old after awhile unless you have 0 ambition to do anything else with your life. It’s impossible to fit in if you are a foreigner no matter what you do, and it’s not even as much fun as other places… and I can really live anywhere in the world, so no reason to stay here.

            So unless you have a solid connection (family, school, being from there) or a legitimate business reason to go (e.g. your company depends specifically on a market in Asia and you need to be with customers there), I would not recommend staying long-term.

  4. Thommy says

    Why do you say “even though that infamous Leveraged Sellout video is ancient history by now”? Because bonuses are so much lower nowadays?

  5. Peter says

    Hey Brian,

    if I send an CL as .pdf should I scan my signature and paste it in or
    print the document sign it and then scan&send?

    Or is it not appropriate to sign a CL in an online application?

    Thank you

  6. Gary says

    Hi. I am 3 months into my IB job and all the other first years are doing live deals (in some cases, have already closed multiple) except for me. I am not getting staffed on anything that might go somewhere. Are there any tips or tricks on how to get on live deals?

    • says

      Talk to your staffer directly and explain your concerns… it won’t change unless you are very direct about it. Also ask who needs help on what, who is working too much right now, and so on and find deals that you can take over.

    • says

      Not in the near-term because the focus is on industry-specific modeling right now. You can submit suggestions through the BIWS contact form or on the site under the lessons, it is much easier for me to track them there.

  7. Scott says

    Hi M&I,

    i worked as a consultant for 6 years at Monitor (not quite the M in MBB!) – do you think the lack of the prestige factor will be a major negative in trying to get into PE? i did manage to work on a few valuation and due dilgence cases so i can always push that experience in my ‘story’

    i’m now working in a family office – about 10% PE and 90% real estate investment. will this help in trying to get into a proper PE firm, or shoudl i try getting into i-banking first?

    thanks!

    • says

      You could still try for PE, but according to Kevin you would have a much better chance coming from MBB. From Monitor you would probably be more limited to smaller firms. I would do some networking, spend 3-4 months contacting places and cold-calling and see what the reaction is and take it from there.

  8. Scott says

    What are some great alternatives to Ibanking? The hours are a killer.

    Also, how much better is the job outlook for NYC vs Chicago in terms of the financial industry?

    • says

      PWM or asset/investment management has better hours, so does VC but you can’t go straight in most of the time. NYC definitely has more opportunities (maybe by 2x?) but Chicago also has lower cost of living, arguably better hours and similar pay.

  9. Scott says

    M&I, great website I’m on here all the time. I’m about a year and a half out of college (non Ivy league, just state university). I tried the financial advising/insurance route for about a year and absolutely hated it. I really want to get into investment banking, and have had a few interview so far but all have basically said the same thing, not enough experience. I’m just working at a commercial bank right now, what do you think the best move would be from here? CFA or MBA maybe? Thanks!

  10. Chris says

    Hello,

    I love your posts!

    I have seen individuals in the past who, after graduating from undergrad, worked at a bank in areas such as special situations, controlling, IT and marketing for 1-3 years and then were able to transfer into their firm’s formal Analyst program. However, aren’t Analyst programs usually only for kids coming straight out of undergrad?

    Likewise, I saw this one individual with no MBA. Went to get a JD instead…worked at a law firm for 2 years….then did compliance at a bank for 3 years…and then was able to get into the firm’s Associate program. 1) No MBA 2) 5 years of Law experience….Is this common? (Because usually Associate programs are only for MBA’s students recruited straight from college)

    thanks!!

    • says

      Normally they are for undergrads but there are exceptions. No MBA to Associate is not common but occasionally you can do a JD and get away with it… probably not for other degrees though.

  11. David says

    Hi M&I,

    I’ve recently scored a position in morningstar as an equities analyst; What are the chances of me say moving over to BB ER and then to say something like a hedge fund or asset management?

    Or would I have to go to B school first and then over to a fund?

    • says

      I think it’s a fairly difficult transition because ER is small to begin with and doesn’t hire many people. It would probably be easier to move into asset management at a bank and then ER. Business school would help but again, I don’t think ER even hires much out of MBA programs. They either find entry level or very experienced industry experts.

      • David says

        Thanks for the prompt reply.

        I understand that some of the large european banks and the japanese banks are trying to expand their equity business down here (australasia), would you think the opportunities would be greater than the norm?

        In all honesty I’m just looking towards a bank because it gives me the flexibility to jump over to a long/short fund if i wanted to.

        • says

          It could be, but I honestly do not know much about equities in Australia. But given the commodities boom and China/India that could be the case.

  12. Sina says

    First of all, I want to thank you for a excellent site! I’ve gotten priceless help for my forthcoming interviews and such.

    I’ve lately looked into the possibilities of working with corporate finance at one of the Big 4. I understand that these jobs aren’t as prestigious and probably pay a lot less. But what are the main differences in practice? I’m mainly talking about the M&A-parts of firms like Ernst & Young and PwC.

    Thanks in advance,
    Sina

  13. Jack says

    Is it easier or more difficult to break in coming from the Big4 or from a non M/B/B consulting firm? I have heard that the name brand involved with the Big4 is a huge asset when trying to get a banking job.

    Thanks

    • says

      I wouldn’t say it’s a “huge asset” but it’s probably a bit easier coming from Big 4 because of the large network there, the TAS groups, the internal banks and restructuring branches, and so on.

      • Jack says

        Brian,

        Thanks for the reply. Along those same lines, is valuation a substantially more appealing skill during a lateral hire than PE due diligence consulting?

  14. Pete says

    Hi M&I,

    Great post and in fact website.

    I have a slight dilemma with the consulting vs. finance front.
    My goal is to be an equity researcher but have been unable to get a grad placement . I do, however, have a place on a Masters course in finance at a top 20 university. I also have a job offer in a consulting firm that also offers employees support for the CFA, but the actual job isn’t that relevant to equity research. My dilemma is which one to go for as the consulting would be at least 3 years, whilst the masters course may be 1 year but then there is no guarantee of getting a job afterwards. Everyone keeps telling me I’m crazy for even contemplating turning down a job offer but it’s not really where I want to be and I’m not sure how easy it would be to then go into equity research afterwards.

    Once again great work on the website.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      The analytical/qualitative skills you gain in analyzing a company from consulting can be transferred to ER. I believe you can still break into ER either way as long as you have the intent, belief and persistence to do so. Rather than asking which is the best decision for you down the line (no one can tell you), I’d suggest you to ask “Do I want to experience getting the Masters or working in the consulting firm now?” At this place, I believe you will be able to make a sound decision yourself, not based on others’ opinions

  15. A says

    Hello,

    This really is amazing website, I’ve learned so much in the past few days!

    I’m currently in management consulting (not MBB but still top 10) and have only recently started but don’t like it at all and am looking to move into IB.

    Considering my firm does not have the prestige of MBB (although it has a lot of brand recognition) I feel I would be limited to Boutique Banks. Would it be wise to make the move to boutique? Because, won’t working at a boutique limit your chances of getting into a top10 MBA. Would it be wiser to stick with my current firm, get into a top10 MBA (a lot of analysts from the firm get into top10) and then apply to bulge brackets?

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Yes, and no to your second question, though it may be easier to get into the top 10 MBA program sticking w your current firm cause MBA recruiters do like consultants.

      If you want IB now, just apply to a boutique and possibly BBs (who knows?) and see if you get any IB roles. If you do, you might not want to get your MBA if you really want your job. Even if you switch, you can still apply for the MBA after. Doesn’t hurt to start applying now.

      Don’t think too much..

  16. says

    Hey M&I,

    Have been following your site for a while now – love your content!

    I am 24 years old & hold a business undergrad in finance & entrepreneurship.

    I have been out of school for two years and am currently the head of sales & one of 4 of the admin team in a manufacturing startup (colour concentrates for plastics).. – I need advice!

    I plan on one day doing an MBA and would love to break into finance, problem is I have 0 experience and am very hesitant about certain financial disciplines.

    I am very much a people person, strong communicator, love networking, problem solving and analytical thinking. I am fine with the basics and won’t have a problem sharpening my skills. However the thought of being stuck behind a desk and crunching models scares the life out of me.

    What field/discipline/sector is for me? M&A? PE? Something else? None?

    Thanks for the advice!!

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Neither cause they require long hours and analyzing models/investments. If you get to a senior enough level in PE you will get to travel and view companies you are potentially interested in investing in. Likewise for IB, you’ll be traveling a lot to see/with your corporate clients

      I’d suggest something like sales or private banking!

  17. Rich says

    Brian, could you do an article that focuses on transitioning from top management consulting to the in-house consulting arms of the large PE firms (e.g. KKR Capstone).

    It is my understanding that many of the big PE firms are now beginning to really value the consultant/operator skill set as they try to execute turnarounds at ailing portfolio companies instead of relying on the old model of leveraging to the hilt.

    If you could do an interview with someone currently at one of these in house consulting teams, that would be very beneficial. Thanks!

  18. Sam says

    Hi,

    I am one year out of undergrad, currently working at a strategy consulting firm (non-MBB). I want to shift into restructuring banking at one of the top guys (e.g., HLHZ) and am wondering how feasible it would be.

    I went to a target school (think Wharton, Harvard, Princeton) and had a good GPA with experience at a boutique i-bank. Any advice/thoughts for someone in my situation aside from what’s on this page?

    Thanks,
    Sam

  19. Sara says

    Hi,
    I worked as an associate compensation and benefits consultant but I quit after a year because I found out that I am more interested in Finance than HR. How can I break into finance with compensation analysis and advisory as the only experience. Should I include this experience in my resume? How can I make resume fit for a finance job.
    Thank you.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Yes because this is your only experience. In your case, perhaps taking CFA level 1 may help if you are interested in the buyside/asset management

  20. RC says

    I’m currently doing risk consulting at a retail bank in CW (highly modelling/programming based) for 6months but wanting to move into IB. Degree wise I have a BA(hons) from a decent British Uni. If I was thinking about getting into IB should I look into doing a MSC degree here in London beforehand? Whats the likelyhood of gaining an internship the summer before from degree/experince in finance sector?

  21. Shaliq says

    Hello Brian. I am from India and currently working as a Technical Writer. I am very interested in shifting to a career in Investment Banking. I have a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from an average university in India. As far as knowledge goes, I’m a successful investor in the stock market with my personal funds. I have been able to generate an average CAGR of over 25% for the last 5 years.

    Please advise how to proceed. What timeframe should I look at for my first job in IB? What can I expect to earn approximately as my first salary (base + commissions)?

  22. Adnan says

    I’m still an undergrad and am applying to a number of finance and consulting internships to see whats best. I found your templates for I-banking very helpful, but where can I find a reliable resume template for applying to companies like Bain, BCG, McKinsey?

  23. AJ says

    Hi there,
    Came across your site and must say I enjoy reading the articles.
    I used to work in CF with a big4 before making my way to an MBB consulting firm, and am now considering potential exit-options. For consultants it tends to be easier/naturally fitting to join PE’s in a portfolio management role as opposed to the actual deal-making. What are your thoughts on these roles in terms of prestige? Would you say joining the likes of KKR Capstone > MBB in terms of prestige and longer-term development?
    Thanks!

    • M&I - Nicole says

      It is easier to join PE’s operational role with a MC background given your knowledge a particular industry; you’d also need the IB experience to join the “investments team” – http://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/private-equity-recruiting/
      In terms of prestige, perhaps the PE industry may be slightly more prestigious than the MC industry (in the finance community). In terms of longer-term development, it really depends on which path you want to pursue. If you want to break into finance/PE, I’d join a PE firm if given the opportunity.

  24. harry says

    I’m an undergraduate at a semi target (top 20 school in the world) and I have a very low gpa. (will graduate with 3.1~)

    I have 4 internships under my belt.
    1. RA at my school (published paper with my name as contributor)
    2. Fortune 100 Conglomerate HR Strategy Intern
    3. PwC Intern (audits more so than anything)
    4. Accenture Intern (Management Consulting, project was cost reduction at a fortune 100 firm. Team of 3 with 3 interns, 15mil reduction in 3 months time)

    I will be a junior in the upcoming september.

    I am very torn between investment banking and consulting as I enjoy both the strategic and the number games thus I would like to experience the number sides as well as I have had plenty of internships in the consulting industry. What can I do to find an internship at IBD (not necessarily bulge bracket or anything)?

    (I took a semester off for internships at PwC and Accenture, thus 4 internships despite being a sophomore)

    • says

      Get started with a hardcore networking effort right away (even before the summer starts) and line up a fall internship at a boutique bank… otherwise it would be tough right now given your GPA and mostly non-finance internships. If you can do both of those and have even an unpaid fall internship at a local boutique on your resume, you improve your chances greatly.

  25. Sho says

    I’m a year out of undergrad. Currently a credit analyst for a BB. Most of my position requires detailed company analysis, financial projections, and risk analysis for multiple types of debt financing deals. Just got out of a three month formal credit training program, which I hear is very valuable. Im hoping to be able to leverage that in order to transfer into ib. I haven’t seen much about this particular transition, and was wondering if you could shed some light on it. Is this common? What skills would be transferable? How do ib’s view the training program?

    Thanks!

  26. says

    This is a good post. This post gives truly quality information. I’m definitely going to look into it. Really very useful tips are provided here. thank you so much. Keep up the good works…

  27. Joshua says

    Brian: I know you commented on this before but since the original article is old (I think?) I thought I might throw this out there anyways…

    I wanted to request if you could maybe do a banking->consulting article? I’ve done some research on MBA programs, and many people who were previously on the path (Ivy university -> 2 yrs IB -> 2 yrs PE -> 2 yrs B-School) now are at MBB consulting.

    Thoughts? I think it’d be an insightful article for a lot of us.

  28. crusoe says

    Hello M&I,

    I’m doing a summer internship for Roland Berger in Eastern Europe, but would like to transition to IB. Mainly it’s because I like more quantitative tasks (btw, I have one year of master’s ahead). How should I attack the application and leverage my skills and experience for an IB position?

  29. Aymeric says

    Hello Brian,

    I was wondering if you could have a post or article or interview on what commodity trading houses (not banks) are looking for as skills and technical expertise from someone like a consultant or a grad student?
    There is very few information on these kind of companies and market on the internet. I personally want to get into physical trading but I am having a hard time finding valuable information on what to do to get in this industry. What skills? knowledge? which books to read if any?

    Thank you so much! I love your site, keep it up!

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Thanks for your input. We will keep your suggestion in mind and aim to cover that topic in the future.

  30. HG says

    This is a very useful website!

    I was curious if you have thoughts on the ease of transitioning into an operational PE associate role versus the more traditional, deal team PE associate role from a non-finance background.

    Once at a PE firm, is it easy to switch between these roles? Do these roles have the similar compensation, room for growth and prestige?

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