In the intense world of investment banking, staying ahead in the game includes recruiting great candidates into the buy side roles of fund managers and consulting analysts. That means scouting them for years beforehand, while they are still junior analysts working toward that Masters in Business Administration. At the same time, these eager newbies are no doubt giving significant thought to their next career step. GoBuyside has been keeping a close eye on candidates and monitoring their progress within their company.
When asked about their priorities in searching for their first buy side role, more than 300 pre-MBA candidates working at more than 60 different financial institutions and investment management firms responded. The resulting rankings were not surprising, given candidates career expectations and ambition. Most professionals are young and unencumbered by things like family responsibilities or anchored to a particular place; focused on charting their path to success on a crowded road with lots of potholes to avoid. They have a taste of the business, a firsthand look at the ins and outs, as well as the possibilities
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What is most important to pre-MBA candidates at this stage of the game?
They are clearly looking for the big-name firms and securing a job with integrity. Forty-five percent put ‘firm prestige’ as the most important factor in deciding their next career move. Only 20 percent put the emphasis on work/life balance. Both make sense in a changing investment world that is no longer in its own realm and has suffered well-publicized black eyes in more recent years.
There was a time when prestige and finance were synonymous. And balancing work with a social life? In a global economy, a career on the buy side is not for those who want to be home for dinner. These junior financiers know that, and they are willing to make personal sacrifices in order to achieve success.
Not far behind prestige was the track record of the firms in their potential employer list, with compensation trailing a significant way behind, and firm location just behind that.
In the remaining slot, business school placement ranked only slightly above work/life balance.
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