Full-Time MBA

Live Chat with Full-Time MBA Program Admissions

Considering a career in finance? Chat live with Booth Career Services staff and current students who are pursuing careers in areas such as investment banking, investment management, corporate finance, hedge funds, sales and trading, and real estate. This is your opportunity to ask students about recruiting, their curriculum choices, concentrations, student groups, and more.

Thursday, February 14, 11 a.m. - Noon CT

From -> To Message
Moderator -> Everyone Thank you for participating in our chat. The chat will begin in 25 minutes. Please feel free to submit your questions at any time.
Moderator -> Everyone Thank you for participating in our chat. The chat will begin in 15 minutes. Please feel free to submit your questions at any time.
Jody -> Everyone Hi I'm Jody Becker, a Career Coach in Career Services and I look forward to our chat!
Moderator -> Everyone Thank you for participating in our chat. The chat will begin in 5 minutes. Please feel free to submit your questions now.
Moderator -> Everyone Welcome everyone. The chat has now begun. We look forward to answering any questions you may have at this time.
Amy -> Everyone Hi everyone. I look forward to answering some of your questions today!
Danielle -> Everyone Thank you for joining our finance chat today! We look forward to answering your questions.
Daniel -> Everyone Hi. I am Dan Berlin. Looking forward to being helpful for all of you. I am a second year student. Fire away!
Gabriel -> Everyone Hi all, welcome to the chat and look forward to answering your questions!
Jennifer Y. -> Everyone Hi guys! Thanks for joining us today. I'm happy to answer any questions you have on Booth, Sales & Trading, Investment Banking and the amazing food scene in Chicago.
Hussian -> Everyone Hi, welcome to the chat. My name is Hussain and I'm a first year
Jody -> Everyone Hi I am Jody Becker, a Career Coach in Career Services and I look forward to answering your questions today!
Taiwo -> Danielle Hi, thanks for hosting this. Certainly, hirability is one of the key factors that the admissions committee looks for in an applicant. Since some consulting firms consider GMAT scores in making hiring decisions, does the admissions committee as result place higher weight on the GMAT scores of applicants looking to go into consulting?
Danielle -> Taiwo Taiwo: Thank you for your question. The admissions process is a holistic process. Every aspect of your application is assessed equally. The GMAT is certainly an indicator for quantitative ability, but is not the only factor to look at when our team makes decisions.
Trip -> Jennifer Y. Greetings! What are the career prospects for Booth students wanting to change careers in investment banking or private equity? Is one greater than the other? Do you need experience in IB before going into PE?
Jennifer Y. -> Trip Investment banking is a great established path at Booth. All the top bulge brackets and elite boutiques recruit here. In terms of PE, there are great firms that come on campus but the process at Booth (and in general for PE) is much more self-driven. Unless the PE shop is looking for specific experience IB or consulting experience is favored for PE roles
Paulo -> Hussian Hello. Thanks for the opportunity. I´m interested in both entrepreneurship and finance, so Booth is a natural choice. I´d like to know if you guys think these subjects are complementary and how would finance be important for an entrepreneurial career.
Hussian -> Paulo Hi Paulo. Thanks for the question. Absolutely entrepreneurship requires a multi-faceted skill set encompassing strategy, marketing, operations, general management and finance. Understanding the numbers is a key part for any successful venture
Chris_23 -> Daniel For those interested in Equity Research, can you recommend any courses to review or professors to contact?
Daniel -> Chris_23 The accounting and corporate finance courses will be most applicable to a career in equity research. Footnote Accounting and Financial Statement Analysis would be highly applicable. As would Corporate Finance, Cases in Financial Management and Corporate Governance. Lastly, Competitive Strategy and Managerial Decision Making will be relevant and helpful as well.
Aman -> Jody How much slowing economic is hurting placement especially in financial sector, since it is the sector that has been affected the most?
Jody -> Aman Hi Aman, placement in financial services has remained steady year over year, in part because this sector is so broad. In fact we saw a 4% increase overall from 2011 to 2012. This year recruiting remains on par with last year.
Junior -> Gabriel Hello everyone, my question goes to the international students who had never schooled or worked in the US before their MBA. How difficult is to get into investment banking for someone like me who is currently working in the accounting industry?
Gabriel -> Junior Hi Junior and thanks for the question. Being an international student should not put you at a disadvantage when it comes to recruiting for investment banking. Both 2nd years and 1st years currently at Booth (and who are international) have been very successful in recruiting for i-banking. The Latin American Business Group and the Investment Banking Group, in conjunction with Career Services, will help you prepare for the recruiting process. With regards to the accounting part of the question, each student is different and comes with a different set of skills. Again, LABG and IBG will make sure you are prepared to tackle the process and be successful!
Chris_23 -> Jody Can you speak to students who are looking to career change into finance? What sort of content would you expect that person’s application to have to demonstrate they could ‘make it’? Any recommendations on how to bolster a career-changer’s application in-between now and the Fall? Also, is any data available that can speak to the number of career-changers Booth has each year (in general and in Finance specifically)?
Jody -> Chris_23 Hi Chris, thanks for your question. The majority of our students are career changers, so you would be in good company. Focus on the skills that you have acquired in your work experience to date. Certainly a demonstration of your quantitative and analytical competencies and aptitude will help. Once here, you can take so many courses to bolster your skills and knowledge in finance.
Miran -> Jennifer Y. To any of the current students, how have you personally taken advantage of the flexible curriculum?
Jennifer Y. -> Miran Absolutely. First year I wanted to gain technical grounding and so my entire first year course load was based on valuation and fundamental analysis. As a second year with my career plans set, I switched gears and wanted to explore leadership classes before I graduated. My current scheduled is filled with leadership and management courses. Booth gives you the flexibility to easily switch areas of focus.
Jett -> Danielle If you land an internship in VC over the summer, is it difficult to transition into I-Banking recruiting in your second year?
Danielle -> Jett Jett: If you know that is the direction you want to take, we certainly encourage you to start networking early at Booth. We have an incredible career services team to help you prepare for that transition, and Booth has the largest student mentor program of any business school. The second year students will be a tremendous asset to spend time with as you learn the best ways to make that transition.
MarcoC -> Hussian I am from a techical background (Chemical Engineering) and have worked as a management consultant. I am really interested in a career in finance would suggest I study before starting the MBA to hit the ground running on finance topics and increase rapidly my appeal to a potential recruiter?
Hussian -> MarcoC Hey MarcoC: Actually doing any form of 'pre-reading' isn't a requirement by any means to help you transition to a career in finance. Most of the courses you take will equip you with the necessary skills for that particular type of role. However what would be useful is just keeping abreast of current developments in the markets etc
willyc -> Daniel To students with hedge fund backgrounds, a) why did Booth make sense at that stage in your career, b) do you intend to return to the hedge fund world, and c) why or why not?
Daniel -> willyc I have a hedge fund background but wanted to diversify away from being a pure equity research analyst. I chose Booth because I felt that the best in class econ/finance curriculum would aid me in this process. I am not returning to an equity long/short research position but am moving to a distressed role.
Aman -> Gabriel How much difficulty Chicago Booth students face in networking because of its location as compared to schools like Columbia which are in New York?
Gabriel -> Aman Hi Aman and thanks for the question! Given Booth's outstanding reputation in finance and its close relationships with firms across the globe, you should not have any disadvantage from being in Chicago as compared to NY or London. Most top-level firms will recruit on-campus and/or provide networking opportunities off-campus. From my experience, I have not heard of anyone at Booth experiencing trouble networking due to location.
Aman -> Daniel How difficult is to change the functionality within finance sector for ex from risk management to equity research or investment management especially during the current economic scenario?
Daniel -> Aman Aman-An MBA is the vehicle to help you with this. Our career services offices is equipped to prepare you for the recruiting process and give you access to these roles. Many people come in with other finance experience (or no finance experience at all!) and successfully transition to IM, Banking, etc.
Or.b.1985 -> Jody I would love to hear about options in the finance industry in Chicago greater area. Will we have interactions with Chicago's finance industry in particular?
Jody -> Or.b.1985 Hello Or.b.1985! With your focus in Chicago there will be so many opportunities to engage with area firms. I'm not sure if you are interested in banking, diversified financial services or corporates but all will be well represented. We host firms on campus through a very robust on campus recruiting and career programming process, including panels, presentations and networking events, and the student clubs host panels and conferences with industry professionals as well.
Jason -> Hussian Hello! For the current students: I am looking to pursue a career in investment management. I'm curious how prepared you feel for managing investments after taking courses at Booth? Have your courses increased your confidence and ability to be active in the markets?
Hussian -> Jason Hi Jason: Investing in the markets requires an understanding of economics, accounting, business strategy amongst other things. The courses at Booth cover that and more, but the beauty of the program is you decide the degree of challenge you want in each of those disciplines. I think that broad knowledge base makes you into a better investor.
endre -> Gabriel In your view, what are the greatest challenges (e.g. FINRA Series exams, H1 work visa, etc.) faced by international students who intend to work in finance in the Unites States upon graduation?
Gabriel -> endre Hi Endre and thanks for the question! I am an international student as well and am going into finance post-graduation. For the most part, each person will deal with different challenges when recruiting for finance in the US. The key is finding the resources to help you navigate the uncertainty. For example, with the H1B visa, you will not have problems with the major banks, since they understand the process fairly well. However, if you recruit for a small hedge-fund who does not provide H1B sponsorship, the road will be a bit tougher. That is where the school's resources can come in to help you. The International Office here at Chicago is great and will provide you with a great roadmap. One thing I would focus on with finance recruiting for international students is the networking aspect of it, since there are cultural differences between networking in the US as opposed to Latin America or Asia, etc. So understanding the cultural aspects of networking is important.
foodetvino -> Matthew Hello from sunny Sao Paulo! I'm interested in entering into a career that will utilize both my interpersonal skills and my background in the financial markets as a trader. I've been looking at roles such as JP Morgan's private banking Investor Associate role as well as PIMCO's product management roles -- I also know that AQR recruits for their client strategies group from Booth. What other firms recruit for product management roles similar to these? Also, when certain offices like PIMCO have multiple offices (NY/London/LA), how do you have to go about applying to all of them? Can you apply to a group of offices and go through recruiting with a couple of them or do you have to pick only a couple (a la recruiting for consulting with McKinsey, Bain, BCG). Thank you!
Matthew -> foodetvino Hi foodetvino,
Hope all is well in Sao Paulo! Thanks for patching in. I can hopefully shed some light on your inquiry into investment-management roles that utilize both the quantitative and interpersonal skills you seem to have. First, you seem to be targeting exactly the right type of roles/companies. The challenge, in general, is that--with many IM firms--roles are either strictly investing-related or strictly marketing- or client-service related. There are several firms with very substantive roles that bridge the gap...and you have highlighted pretty much all of them. PIMCO and AQR are the two that first come to mind, as well as some of the private banking positions, such as JPMorgan (as you note), Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, etc. So, regarding target firms, I think you've pretty much nailed it. So, now to your questions. AQR recruits on campus and, I believe, asks everyone to do an internship in Connecticut. AQR has both a client-facing marketing role and--new this year--a role in asset allocation where you're basically sitting with the investment team on the desk learning exactly how asset allocation strategies are implemented...so that you can effectively convey the firm's strategies to clients. It seems pretty cool. I'm not sure offhand whether full-time opportunities would be available in their satellite offices; the recruiter would definitely be able to shed light on that. PIMCO recruits heavily on campus. Students who receive an offer from PIMCO for an internship are given their choice of office--at minimum between New York and Newport Beach. I'm not sure about London or some of the other offices, but my hunch is that if they like you they're going to be willing to work with you. Fortunately, the interview process with PIMCO is very formal in that you do the on-campus process and then, for final rounds, head to Newport Beach (regardless of your target office). After you receive an offer you can broach the subject of office choice. Given your desire to blend interpersonal skills with investing acumen, I think both the Product Manager and Account Manager roles with PIMCO would be a solid fit. I'm headed to PIMCO this summer for the Account Manager roles and I was torn between the two initially. I'm happy to speak to you about those two roles, or the PIMCO process more broadly, if you like. Let me know. I'm less familiar with the interview processes at the private banks, I'm afraid. Hope that helps.
Dib -> Danielle What is the approximate Gmat score college expect for mba
Danielle -> Dib Dib: Over average GMAT is 719, and it is just one of the many factors that go into making admissions decisions.
Michael_Erman -> Amy What academic concentrations would you recommend focusing on for someone who’s career goal is to transition into corporate finance and become a CFO?
Amy -> Michael_Erman Hi Michael_Erman, please note that concentrations at Booth are meant to serve as a guide for our students, and you would not be required to pursue specific concentrations or a certain number of concentrations. However, you're welcome to review the list of 14 concentrations that we do offer at Booth, and regarding your specific interest and goal, the finance concentration may best match your needs.
ptitemouille -> Jody I obviously know that Booth places very well in the finance industry but is it possible to have more details on how well it places in Private Wealth Management at big banks? Thank you.
Jody -> ptitemouille Hi Ptitemouille, PWM is a niche area for many of our students, and every year we have several that wish to recruit with the larger bulge banks. I am happy to say that the bulge banks do recruit at Booth for PWM roles, and many also recruit for investment banking and rotational leadership programs as well.
Diego -> Daniel Have any of you been enrolled in lab courses such as the Private Equity/Venture Capital Lab? Could you comment on that experience? Does it involve an active role or is it more of a case study? If it is an active role, what is the major difference or value vs the summer internship?
Daniel -> Diego Diego: PE Lab is a very rewarding but time-intensive experience. In addition to a typical 3 hour per week classroom commitment and 1-3 hours per week of homework, you are expected to spend 15-20 hours week interning with a PE/VC firm in Chicago. The nature of your role in the internship will be very firm and person-specific. Its hard to add tremendous value when you are only there 2x per week but the diligent and resourceful student will find a way to make an impact. The value (versus a summer internship) is that it is simply an additional way to have access to firms in that industry and for a few of the students it led to a summer internship. Lastly, it is an application process to participate. Therefore, to be selected reflects a certain degree of prestige.
Michael_Erman -> Jennifer Y. My primary goal is to transition out of investments and into corporate finance – what are some things I can be doing now to lay groundwork prepare me for my academic career at Chicago Booth, my internship, and my career after graduation?
Jennifer Y. -> Michael_Erman HI Michael. I transitioned from Fixed Income Sales at J.P. Morgan to Corporate Finance. Whether you come from the buy or sell side in investments, a good start is to read up on the topic. Mergers & Acquisitions is a great starter blog. Go through their 400 questions for Investment Banking interviews. Training The Street teaches valuation courses (which will be offered at a significant discount to Booth students). If you qualify, some firms offer diversity Pre-MBA IB internships that I strongly recommend you take advantage of. It will certainly give you a leg up come first year recruiting. The Corporate Finance track is a robust and highly established career path here at Booth so don't feel nervous about being prepared. Booth will prepare you to be successful in the recruitment process.
PTL -> Hussian How difficult is it to move from a nontraditional background to a role in investment management?
Hussian -> PTL Hi PTL: Booth/the academics/career services and the various student groups are very active in supporting 'non-traditionals' achieve their career goals/aspirations - after all that is one reason why individuals return to school. Transitioning to investment management is no different as long as you have an interest and a passion in investing so this should not be a problem
Vic -> Danielle What is Chicagos view on older applicants who are considering applying to business school (eg. older than 30? Obviously, there are some critical questions a candidate must consider asking him or herself such as Why now? Why Chicago? etc...
Danielle -> Vic We certainly welcome all individuals to apply to Chicago Booth. We do not make admissions decisions based on age, therefore you are welcome to apply and help us understand your reasoning for why now/why Booth via your application materials.
Trenton -> Gabriel Can you talk about how people without banking backgrounds can best prepare themselves at Booth to go into Finance for internships given the short timeline between the beginning of the year and the recruitment season?
Gabriel -> Trenton Hi Trenton and thanks for the question! One of the reasons why Booth is so successful in placing students into finance jobs are the resources it has. For example, Career Services will run a program throughout the first quarter in which they will help you tailor your resume for the Finance job you are going after, they will help you with your elevator pitch and will also develop your networking skills. In conjunction, you will be meeting with Career Advisors who are 2nd years selected and trained by Careers Services (and who were successful in navigating the process the year before) and they will be a great resource as you make the transition. Finally, student groups are also great resources: Investment Banking Group, Hedge Fund Group, PE Group, Sales and Trading Group, Investment Management Group. These groups are all online and you can reach out to them directly and they can be a great resource as you begin the transition.
plkt -> Amy what is the difference between 1 year and 2 year MBA program. What should i factor in if I have to choose between these two
Amy -> plkt Hi plkt, certainly there are many differences between a one- and two-year MBA program, in general, and specific to individual schools. On the more basic level, you'll want to consider the time and possibly cost that you'd like to invest in your MBA and the type of experience that you'd like to get out of it, including the community, network, and other opportunities to develop your skills and interests. More importantly, you should take the time to determine what you're looking for out of an MBA program and conduct your own research to find out which program(s) best match your needs.
FRANK -> Hussian Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. I have a M&A background in energy sector, and I'm contemplating to pursue a career in real estate investing post MBA, how likely for me to obtain my goal and how Booth could help me to achieve this goal? Thanks!
Hussian -> FRANK Hey Frank: Thanks for the question. Absolutely you can leverage your MBA and your skill-sets prior to Booth to transition to investing in real estate (sort of what I'm doing right now). Booth provides a network of opportunities through professors, the Real Estate student club, speakers, internship opportunities to pursue your professional objectives - all of them prove to be very valuable in understanding the opportunity set and developing your relationships - thats what I did when I started of at Booth.
DCBoothApplicant -> Jody What finance careers typically require previous industry experience?
Jody -> DCBoothApplicant Hi DCBooth Applicant, the good news is that most of our students at Booth are career changers, and we have almost half of the class enter in the (very broadly speaking) finance sector! More specifically, for areas such as private equity and venture capita, it would be an advantage for students with previous experience. For banking and corporate finance roles, the focus would be less on actual direct experience and more on the transferrable skills you would bring to a new industry or function. Obviously an interest in the markets
Pavel -> Amy I've taken GMAT twice. Do you average scores or pick most recent one?
Amy -> Pavel Hi Pavel, the Admissions Committee will evaluate your highest score, while also considering the number of tiimes that you've taken the test.
harias453 -> Jennifer Y. Could you comment a bit of what you guys see in the S&T recruiting space (unfortunately, the industry is shrinking at this moment)? Should we consider working at boutique firms (or even hedge funds) and not the bulge-bracket firms?
Jennifer Y. -> harias453 Hi Haria. The bulge brackets are still coming on campus and hiring for S&T (although as an industry practice, S&T desks favor recruiting out of undergrad). However, hedge funds heavily favor MBA grads and firms like PIMCO and DFA actively come on campus and recruit for Portfolio Mangers year after year. If investment vehicles are what get you going, hedge funds can be a better fit. You should absolutely consider working for a boutique firm or hedge fund.
aunglin -> Daniel Hi, I currently work with the United Nations, and planning on a career switch into investment banking. I did graduate Bachelor with concentration in Finance, and did internship in equity research, but I don't have much industry experience. What advice will you give to help me make that career transition? What can I do in Booth to help make that transition?
Daniel -> aunglin Aunglin-The best thing that you can do is be actively engaged in the career prep programming at the beginning of your first quarter at Booth. This will prepare you for networking nights, office visits, interviews, etc. Also, it would be helpful to take a corporate finance class during your first or second quarter to brush up on some of the basic skills that may be evaluated during interviews.
Ravsin -> Matthew I want to know whether a non-finance background would be a disadvantage in finance classes. Also could you tell me if the concentrations of Operations management and Finance go together.
Matthew -> Ravsin Hi Ravsin,
I can speak to the first part of your question; the second part is a bit more ambiguous. Booth has a reputation for being very quant-intensive. Thus far, it seems to me that the finance classes (at least the more introductory courses, such as Investments) quite digestible for people from other fields. I have many friends who don't come from finance and they're doing just fine in the introductory courses. If you're generally comfortable with numbers, you'd be able to move on to take more advanced finance classes with the foundation you build in Stats/Regression, Investments, and Corporation Finance. Those will really build a solid base that will make the more advanced courses accessible. All of that said, there's no question that finance experience will help...but having that background is more of a bonus...I wouldn't really say that not having it is a drawback. It's definitely "glass half full", not "glass half empty"...if that makes any sense. As far as Operations and Finance mixed together, I don't see any reason why that wouldn't be a good combination but it depends on what you want to do professionally.
ncon1 -> Jody Hi, thank you all for hosting. What are the hot and cold areas in finance right now in regards to hiring?
Jody -> ncon1 ncon1 - h! I am not sure if you are referring to geographies or functions, but we have seen finance opportunities stay steady year over year, with possible slight compression in PE and banking.
Juan2323 -> Gabriel I intend to continue a career in finance, post-MBA, but I’m also interested in entrepreneurship. Does the faculty and students have a view on such interests? In other words, do they find the interests antagonizing?
Gabriel -> Juan2323 Hey Juan2323 and thank you for the question! I would say that Booth is a place where you can truly delve deeply into your interests, even if they dont seem interconnected. Faculty and other students will actually be great resources for you as you pursue all of your interests, whether they are finance or entrepreneurship. I am actually concentrating in both Finance and Entrepreneurship and the classes you will take, and activities you can pursue, will actually have overlap.
Dib -> Amy What are the criteria the admission council check other than GMAT score
Amy -> Dib Hi Dib, please feel free to review our entire application process, including admissions criteria, on our website:http://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/exec-mba/admissions/application.
vic.muni -> Hussian Hello, which opportunities are available at Booth to acquire (distressed) real estate properties for conversion into healthcare centers? What type of previous experience/knowledge is required to make the most of these opportunities? Thank you.
Hussian -> vic.muni Hey vic.muni: This is a specific area of the real estate industry. I'm not as knowledgable within this sub-segment but what I can comment on is there are opportunities varying from Real Estate Investing courses to real estate competitions to internship opportunities. Additionally you can use the alumni network and your peer group to source and execute these opportunities.
Paulo -> Danielle I have a long career in Hi-Tech. Do you think I could become a consultant in finance soon after graduating at Booth with a major in Finance?
Danielle -> Paulo Paulo: The transition to consulting is a very high-demand field. We encourage our students to work closely with career services and our second year mentors to understand the recruiting process.
Mumu -> Jody Hi, can you talk about how the career services help students choose the right classes that would help a career changer be competitive for a finance summer internship?
Jody -> Mumu Hi Mumu, with Booth's flexible curriculum you can take so many courses right from the start. We recommend that you concentrate on courses that provide strong quantitative foundations, such as accounting and finance. Once you are here the students can also provide a wealth of specific knowledge on curriculum.
tb2013 -> Jennifer Y. Hello, could you talk about flexibility within the Finance curriculum and some courses you have taken that have contributed to your Booth experience that you wouldn't have anticipated taking when you enrolled?
Jennifer Y. -> tb2013 Hi tb 2013. The finance curriculum at Booth is second to none. I've personally had exposure to brilliant young professors (nearing the Apex of their research) as well as clinical professors who have been CEOs and taken companies public. Cases in Financial Management which explores landmark Corporate Finance cases in recent history has been one of my favorite classes. Negotiations, where you actively negotiate a different case in each class is a close second.
Lisa -> Gabriel I am interested in the entrepreneurship program. Although I am not sure what kind of business I would like to start. Do you have any suggestions that might help me discover what type of business I would best be suited for.
Gabriel -> Lisa Hey Lisa. Thanks for the question. I would say that the entrepreneurship program at Booth provides many different outlets for you to explore your interests. From classes such as Building the New Venture and Commercializing Innovation to competitions such as the New Venture Challenge Challenge, you will have myriads of opportunities to meet other students in your same spot who are also looking to pursue entrepreneurship. This network will probably be your best resource in discovering the business idea to pursue.
aolaiz -> Daniel Hi, can you please describe the PE&VC lab, and perhaps provide some specific numbers in terms of how many students were selected to participate in the last couple of years?
Daniel -> aolaiz See earlier in the chat for a discussion of the PE/VC Lab. Our class had ~35 students last spring.
wcarmichael -> Jody Do you have any numbers on the percentage of MBAs that go into sales, trading, and research vs. investment banking?
Jody -> wcarmichael Hi wcarmichael, last year we had just slightly under 4% of students go into Sales and Trading, almost 10% in research/IM, and over 17% in banking.
Ola -> Danielle If I want to switch my career path from non-profit to finance will it be disadvantage at the applications process?
Danielle -> Ola Ola: Many people apply to Booth who are seeking a career change, and it does not put you at a disadvantage.
Mike -> Jennifer Y. Can you comment on finance-related opportunities in industry through Booth, for example in Business Development / internal M&A?
Jennifer Y. -> Mike Hi Mike. I have seen a lot of corporate finance and internal M&A opportunities. Anheuser Bush and GE came on campus this year among others.
waterhouseb -> Daniel Can you describe what recruiting is like on campus for students looking to go into investment management (hedge funds and mutual funds). Since investment management doesnt have the same massive pipeline that consulting and investment banking do how does this impact the student experience and ultimately their ability to land the job.
Daniel -> waterhouseb This recruiting process is very competitive. There is some structure early on during the IM recruiting process for internships (mostly long-only). But for the most part, it is an unstructured process in which you must be a highly motivated, resourceful self-starter. Unless you take an internship during on campus recruiting in the winter, many of the IM opportunities come up much later in the process (end of winter quarter and into spring quarter). So there is a degree of patience involved as well.
Moderator -> Everyone We've reached the halfway point of our chat. Please continue to submit any questions you may have for our panelists.
Nat -> Matthew Hi everyone! I've done Teach for America for the past few years and I'm considering a career switch to banking. I've had friends in banking say that previous experience is pre-requisite. What are challenges to breaking into banking without math-heavy work experience and do you have any suggestions for overcoming them?
Matthew -> Nat Hi Nat,
Good stuff. I am told that banking is pretty forgiving of--and actually appreciates--not-traditional backgrounds. This is especially true at Booth given that banks know how strong Booth is in finance. I don't think your background would be a disadvantage at all really...I think they'll want to see a real passion, i.e. why is it that you want to make the switch. So I wouldn't worry about it. The one caveat is that, if you don't do banking this summer, it'd be tough to get a full-time banking job as a second-year student without any banking experience.
jim -> Jennifer Y. Hi, Jennifer, I am interested in knowing why you switched from sales trading to IB. is it because sales and trading are dwindling in finance industry? Thanks!
Jennifer Y. -> jim Yes. I was tracking VP in Sales and Trading and I started to notice a shift in the industry. A lot of S&T execution is getting digitized and what that meant to me was shrinking desks and compression in margins. It's a great career and I learned a ton on the job but I do think the industry is evolving. *full disclosure this is a personal view.
D_Asamoto -> Hussian What would be your recommended path for someone with an IB background that was interested in hedge funds / investment management?
Hussian -> D_Asamoto Hi D_Asamoto: Post-MBA, IB is a great platform to transition to the "buy-side", getting a summer internship in the space makes it easier to get a full-time role but there have been numerous cases of individuals doing something different for their summer internship and then getting a full-time investment management role (assuming you can demonstrate the desire to be an investor)
Jingjia -> Daniel Hi. I heard that if I choose the Analytic Finance Concentration, it's possible for me to chase a double-concentration. Since my short-term career goal is to become a PE FOF analyst, which concentration is more proper? Analytic Finance or a double-concentration of Finance and Entrepreneurship?
Daniel -> Jingjia Jingjia: I don't think you should be as focused on what your concentration is as much as you focus on the types of classes that you will be taking. The Booth MBA should hopefully be sufficient in opening up the doors you want irregardless of your concentrations. But between those two, I'd say that Analytic Finance is more directly applicable.
Mike_Z. -> Jennifer Y. I am interested in hearing more about the Investment Banking Group. What is the goal of the group and what are some of its main activities?
Jennifer Y. -> Mike_Z. @ Mike Z. Think about the Investment Banking Group (IBG) as the liaison between the investment banks and the students. They send out an IB resume book that all the bulge bracket banks utilize, set up lunch and learns, organize Bank Week and help identify and connect first years interested in investment banking with second years who have already been through the process. Membership in the IBG is critical if recruiting for banking.
Alex_E. -> Jody Hi All, thanks for taking your time to answer our questions. I intend to pursue investment research and management after my MBA. I was wondering what the landscape is looking like for full time and intern placement for the classes of 2013 and '14?
Jody -> Alex_E. Hi Alex_E, investment management/research is an interest area for many of our students. We have firms that come to campus to recruit, and also we recommend a parallel off campus search. Together the chances increase greatly that you'll land an internship. A strong/proven passion for the markets and possibly some additional depth and interest in a few industry sectors, combined with great quantitative and analytical skills also helps. All in all, students that are persistent in their efforts will succeed in both internships and full time.
cilantro -> Gabriel Hi everyone, thank you for hosting this chat! My name is Rashmi and I am primarily interested in trying out an entrepreneurial idea (hopefully at Booth) but I would also like to get some courses in finance underway to understand the intersection between entrepreneurship and investing better. Any courses that were eye-opening or highly influential in this respect to you?
Gabriel -> cilantro Hi Cilantro. And thanks for the question. Booth does have a wide array of courses that will be highly beneficial. In terms of understanding the fundamentals of a company, Financial Statement Analysis and Footnote Accounting were instrumental. Related to capital markets: Forwards, Futures, Options and Swaps was extremely practical and a great class. Financial Instruments was also influential. Finally, the corporate finance classes and entrepreneurship classes are highly useful in understanding investing: Commercializing Innovation and Cases in Financial Management are ones that come to mind. Hope that helps!
David_A -> Daniel Hello everyone. I come from a background in private equity, but will be looking to land a position with a different private equity/alternative investment firm after my MBA. Can you speak to the number of private equity positions recruited for on campus vs off campus/direct efforts for last year's class? Many thanks.
Daniel -> David_A There are significantly more PE/Alternative recruiting opportunities off-campus than on - perhaps 2 to 1.
yilan -> Danielle For someone interested a career in social entrepreneurship, does Booth have extensive resource dedicated in this area? I know there are lab courses and clubs, are they very active?
Danielle -> yilan Yilan: Yes, Booth has extensive resources available for social entrepreneurship, to include our social entrepreneurship initiative. I would encourage you to learn more about those resources here: http://research.chicagobooth.edu/sei/index.aspx?source=20120910-social-impact
jim -> Matthew Hello Matthew! Could you share some your recruitment experience with PIMCO. I suppose get a PIMCO internship is harder than consulting and IB. How did you prepare for it from the beginning? Thanks!
Matthew -> jim Hi Jim,
Absolutely. Lots of thoughts here. PIMCO has a very banking-like recruiting process akin to the banking process. The preparation was pretty easy for me given that my focus coming into Booth was basically the intersection of macroeconomics and asset management. I think the best preparation you can do is the following regimen: 1) read The Economist weekly, 2) regularly read the wealth of market/investing/economic commentaries that PIMCO publishes on its website (...know what their investment professionals' views are, etc.), 3) learn about PIMCO's investment process (lots of description on the website, and you'll have plenty of help from second-year students who have been through the process), 4) understand that PIMCO is different from most IM firms in that it is macroeconomics-focused. You're more likely to talk about the world economy in an interview you are about an investing idea, theme, or pitch...learn what makes PIMCO unique and learn to love macro if you don't already! The nice thing is that if you get in the habit of reading all of this stuff now, and do it regularly, "preparation" will already be taken care of, save for polishing your behavioral questions.
FRANK -> Danielle I understand that Booth also accepts GRE scores, roughly what proportion of students submit GRE scores and is there any stats such as the average scores for it? Thanks!
Danielle -> FRANK Frank: Yes, we do accept GRE scores, with the vast majority of applicants submitting a GMAT score. We do not have any current averages at this point, as this is the first year we have been accepting the GRE.
Mumu -> Hussian Regarding joining PE industry, can you talk about the Sterling Partners Challenge participation criteria? Can a first year join the chalenge and leverage it to propel into a summer internship?
Hussian -> Mumu Hi Mumu: The Sterling Partners Challenge requires you to have a theses on a potential investment opportunity (ideally within a group of 2-3 individuals); if it attracts the interest of one of the PE shops then your group is selected to work with them to develop the theses, you get some funding along the way to support your diligence. Yes, absolutely a lot of first years participate in the challenge and then continue through the summer as part of their summer internship.
Prospective2013 -> Amy I understand that quite a few MBA's use their summer work experience between year 1 and year 2 to build a platform in the industry they want to work in once they graduate. How often is it that that summer experience may motivate someone to reevaluate their industry or position and use the final year to move into a different area? Would the one year be sufficient? My expectation is that its a good idea from day one to know and target the area you want to be in post graduation but any further insight would be great.
Amy -> Prospective2013 Hi Prospective2013, certainly it would probably be ideal for you to go into business school with a good idea of what industry or function you'd like to pursue. However, it is certainly possible for students to return from their summer internship having changed their minds about their ideal post-MBA employment. Through the help of our phenomenal Career Services team and supportive peers, they're able to successfully change their plans and graduate with their desired employment. We understand that our students may shift and adjust their plans as they take on different classes and opportunities at Booth. The supportive community at Booth allows our students to feel comfortable taking certain risks and changing their paths.
Katharina -> Danielle Hi everyone, a question regarding the "Functions, Management, and Business Environment courses": could I choose all 6 required courses from the finance category or do I have to diversify across the 7 categories including eg marketing courses?
Danielle -> Katharina Katharina: Chicago Booth has only one mandatory class, which is our LEAD course. The choices you make regarding your classes will be up to you.
Jack_N -> Jennifer Y. A lot of the talk has centered on i-banking. Can we talk a little about the differences in curricula between investment banking and that of sales and trading?
Jennifer Y. -> Jack_N @ Jack_N. Thanks for the question. The curricula would be different for S&T versus IB. IB is focused on fundamental analysis. That means Accounting, Corporate Finance, Accounting and Financial Statement analysis focused classes. S&T is based on a deep dive of investment product pricing. You would take Asset Pricing (a 20 hour work/week commitment), Investments and learn things like how to price an option utilizing Black Scholes (and because this is Booth understanding the Black Scholes proof).
RAB -> Daniel For someone who has been in investment banking for five years and plans to return, can you talk about the opportunities beyond finance and quant at Booth that prepare you to be a better senior banker - marketing, strategy, negotiations, etc ? Either class related or experiential?
Daniel -> RAB RAB: The Booth MBA can be as quant-heavy OR as comprehensive and well-rounded as a student chooses. There are many courses related to marketing, strategy, negotiations, management, decision-making, etc that will prepare you to be a star deal-maker!
Kin_Poon -> Jennifer Y. For students who are interested in the investment banking route, I could see several areas that are beneficial, i.e. accounting, finance, statistic, economics. Is there an area that you would specifically focus on?
Jennifer Y. -> Kin_Poon @ Kin_Poon. For IB I would focus on Accounting. Accounting is critical when digging through financial statements and working through corporate valuation. I would say stats and economics are less critical.
wcarmichael -> Amy While I know the process is hollistic, how much would having a CFA help with admissions, assuming it was in line with post-MBA career goals? Does this hold any weight with the AdCom?
Amy -> wcarmichael Hi wcarmichael, the holistic evaluation process allows us to evaluate every part of your application in order to determine your potential fit with Chicago Booth. Certainly, having a CFA will allow us to see your potential ability to handle the coursework at Booth, but again, it would not be the one determining factor in rendering your admissions decision.
qhershey -> Matthew I've heard the transition into the buyside from an MBA is somewhat more difficult than moving into the sellside since buyside firms lack standardized internship programs and tend to hire on more of an ad hoc basis following graduation. Can any of you comment on the difficulty and process to seeking a career on the buyside of investment management?
Matthew -> qhershey Hi qhershey,
Absolutely. You're right...candidly, it is more difficult, regardless of school, to land a buy-side IM position versus sell-side. The reason is that, as you note, buy-side firms hire more on an as-needed basis and lack the formal internship programs that many of the sell-side institutions have and actively recruit for on campus. I'm afraid there's no way around that reality...just a fact of life when pursuing such opportunities.
hugomoline -> Danielle What makes the difference between Chicago Booth, and other programs on Finance.
Danielle -> hugomoline hugomoline: Our faculty and finance curriculum certainly make Chicago Booth distinct. As leaders in finance, we are certainly making groundbreaking strides in this arena. You are welcome to learn more about finance at Booth here:http://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/phd/academics/dissertation/finance
Mukund -> Gabriel Hi ! When it comes to recruiting, is it largely financial services firms or do corporations visit as well? Specifically, are companies coming to Booth looking to recruit for their business development / in-house M&A capabilities?
Gabriel -> Mukund Hi Mukund and thanks for the question. Booth definitely attracts a number of corporations that can provide transaction experience (i.e. M&A, etc) and that are a great alternative to working directly for an investment bank. Hope that helps!
Felipe_Gazitua -> Daniel Hi, thanks for the opportunity to participate in this chat. I'm very interested in behavioral finance, especially in less effcient markets. Is there any track or courses that you would recommend? Is there any chance to work alongside a teacher or someone expert in this area?
Daniel -> Felipe_Gazitua Felipe-While Chicago is the home of efficient markets we have some very impressive and pioneering behavioral economists and finance professors on faculty. MBA students have the opportunity to take classes with Roberty Vishny, Richard Thaler and others.
Josh_R -> Jody Hi- Thanks for taking some time to answer questions. I was wondering if you could speak to the recruiting dynamics around PE for folks coming from a banking and PE background. I understand that it is much less formalized than, for example, the banking recruiting process, but I'm still wondering how much involvement Career Services has. Thanks!
Jody -> Josh_R Hi Josh_R, career services can support your interests in PE and you are correct that the process is more off campus than on campus, and the timeline is later on. So that means much time throughout the year spent networking and engaging with people and firms. In career services we have employer facing individuals who develop relationships and opportunities for our students, including PE. We host programs and panels as well to provide opportunities to learn and network. We actively collaborate with the PE student club as well as accompany students on treks. These are just some of the ways career services supports our PE students!
Rahulashaalok -> Jennifer Y. Hi everyone I am Rahul from India and have keen interest in Finance area. I wanted to know how can chicago booth help me out in providing skills for entering into corporate finance
Jennifer Y. -> Rahulashaalok @ Rahulashaalok. Thanks for the question. Booth covers the trifecta of what you will need to be successful in entering corporate finance. 1 - Opportunity. All the elite firms come on campus. 2 - Skill set - Courses, IBG and Training the Street will provide you with the basis technical grounding you need to successfully land that summer internship. 3 - Career Services - The best career services team in the world helps you with the softer skills, framing thoughtful questions and providing feedback on how you can maximize your candidacy.
Pete_Harris -> Daniel Are students able to gain traction with PE firms without prior PE experience? Is the PE Lab effective in that?
Daniel -> Pete_Harris Pete: PE Lab positions you better but it is still a tough industry to break into. The Lab helps because it gives you access to a firm via the internship portion and teaches you a lot about the structure of the industry.
jim -> Gabriel As I know Booth has grade non disclosure, how does this affect recruiting?
Gabriel -> jim Hi Jim and thank you for the question. Grade non-disclosure is a student-led (as opposed to university mandated) and is honored by the students. Every year the class takes a vote on non-disclosure (it has been adopted for several years now) and the students honor it. During summer internship recruiting you cannot disclose your GPA on your resume or your distinctions. During full-time recruiting you can disclose distinctions (i.e. Dean's List, etc) but not your GPA. However, you can always put your GMAT score if you want to provide more data points for potential employers to look at. Hope this helps!
KaiG -> Danielle do you have the stats on how many admitted applicants currently hold designations such as the CFA, CPA, CFP, etc? and how would these credentials affect admissions decision? thanks
Danielle -> KaiG KaiG: We don't offer those statistics, but you are certainly welcome to view the class profile online. Many of our students hold certifications, and have other higher education degrees in areas such as law, or medicine. As we have a holistic process in admissions re: how we assess applications, certifications are simply used as another tool to get to know the applicants.
aolaiz -> Daniel Hi all, can you provide more specifics around the PE&VC Lab? How many students applied? How many got the internship? Thank you!
Daniel -> aolaiz Aolaiz: Please see earlier in the chat for more info about the lab. I don't know the specific yield rate to get into the Lab but it is a competitive process that includes an application and interviews with potential host firms.
Aman -> Matthew Hi, Could you provide us more details about opportunities in activities like student managed investment fund, stock pitch boot camp etc.?
Matthew -> Aman Hi Aman,
Sure...first-year students have the opportunity to serve as a Student-Managed Investment fund ("SMIF") analyst. There is a short application and SMIF analyst positions are fairly competitive I believe, but it's a great role and definitely something to pursue. As for stock pitches, the Investment Management Group provides extensive coaching and resources to help students learn how to put together a stock pitch. Students can pitch stocks in front of the whole group during the weekly meeting and receive targeted feedback and follow-on coaching from the group's Co-Chairs. Second-year students also provide pitch practice meetings for first-years on an as-needed basis. The Co-Chairs keep students updated on opportunities to improve their skills as well...such as pitch practices with companies on campus, Training the Street valuation workshops, etc.
Morgan -> Jennifer Y. Thank you for all of your insights. How does investment banking recruiting for Chicago, Houston, or San Francisco differ from recruiting for New York?
Jennifer Y. -> Morgan @ Morgan. IB in NY is going to be the main recruiting focus for all the bulge brackets. That being said, Chicago offers a ton of exceptional Midwestern based firms such as Robert Baird, William Blair, Houlihan Lokey (their Industrials practice is based out of Chicago). Houston and SF offers great opportunity as well although they require more self-directed effort. There are Houston and SF treks which helped students my year be successful. Everyone I know who wanted Houston and SF IB my year got the internships they were looking for.
Jay -> Jody Jody, are there any tips that you would provide a student matriculating this fall to prepare for internship recruiting generally.
Jody -> Jay Hi Jay, I suggest you research different functional roles and begin to assess your skills relative to MBA internship positions. The Vault is one good website for this. Once you are here we do tons of programming in the fall such as developing your MBA resume, correspondence and conducting mock interviews, practicing your "elevator pitch," etc all as you engage with firms that come on campus. Timeline-wise, actual internship recruiting begins mid-January, so you'll have plenty of opportunity to prepare.
SPoe -> Danielle How does Booth view younger applicants who already have a background in finance and would like to continue in the field, specifically investment management?
Danielle -> SPoe SPoe: Students are welcome to pursue their areas of interest at Booth. Work experience is one component of how we assess applications.
zhao -> Gabriel Is it advisable to find a pre-MBA internship in finance if I want to switch my career into finance?
Gabriel -> zhao Hi Zhao and thanks for the question. While it is not required by any means, a pre-MBA internship in finance can definitely provide you with an idea of what the job requires and especially what the recruiting process will be like once in school. This is critical if you have not worked in finance before. But again, if you dont do it, you wont be at a disadvantage.
AB -> Hussian Hi.With the finance industry currently going through a tough phase, how difficult is it for international students to get Investment management jobs in the US? I am a CFA and currently work as a trader for a quantitative hedge fund, do you think that would give me a better chance of landing an investment management job in the US?
Hussian -> AB Hi AB: Thanks for your question. Getting an investment management role is only marginally more difficult for international students (but this is only because the access to smaller funds might be a touch limited). With your previous background + IM recruiters across the US & globally respecting the Booth brand - for a lot of them its the value you bring to the firm as opposed to the challenges of applying for a visa - in a nutshell they tend to be very accommodative with international students.
Moderator -> Everyone We have about 15 minutes left in our chat. Please continue submit your questions for our panelists.
Ajay -> Jennifer Y. For students coming in from an engineering background pre-MBA, what specific courses or resources (such as the Investment Banking Group) at Chicago Booth would you recommend to better equip them with the skills they need to make the transition into investment banking? And are there, in your individual experience, certain finance-related courses that are a must take?
Jennifer Y. -> Ajay @ Ajay. Thanks for your question. I would say focus on Accounting Courses and Corporate Finance. In terms of resources, definitely join IBG. IBG and Career Services will take of the rest, ensuring that as long as you put in the effort, you have a great shot at the IB internships / full-time offer conversions you are looking for.
Juan2323 -> Amy The pre-MBA work experience from current MBA students is as of time of acceptance or as of time of commencement?
Amy -> Juan2323 Hi Juan2323, I'm not sure I understand your question, but if you're asking about what to put on the application, you should put the amount of work experience you have up to the time of application.
Trip -> Daniel Are there Private Equity companies who recruit Booth students and are classified as search funds? If so is there opportunity to participate in an internship and/or possibly a position post-graduation?
Daniel -> Trip Trip: We have a student group called BETA (Booth Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition). The search fund model is well-vetted through BETA's programming. BETA hosts many speakers that discuss fundraising, diligence and all steps of the process. This programming also gives students opportunities to network with individuals in the search fund world. As with most other jobs in PE, off-campus networking is key.
elainep -> Gabriel What are the resources available to help students secure internship/full-time offers for off-campus recruiting?
Gabriel -> elainep Hi Elainep, and thanks for the question! Booth has one of the best career services staff in the country and are an amazing resource. They will help you tailor your off-campus search and point you in the right direction as well as provide support throughout the process. Secondly, second year students (Career Advisors) who have also gone through the process will work with you and share their experience in navigating that process.
stevec -> Daniel The PE/VC Lab seems like a great program. Are there any hedge funds or other asset managers in the area that offer part time work during the semester similar to PE shops?
Daniel -> stevec stevec: HF/IM equivalents are not as structured or done through school but there are opportunities. Multiple students each year intern part-time (paid and unpaid) for hedge funds and other asset managers in and around Chicago.
jim -> Jennifer Y. Hi, are there any courses focused on stock pitching?
Jennifer Y. -> jim @Jim. There aren't any courses focused on stock pitching but all the fundamentals that you need for valuation are here. In addition, Booth participates in inter-MBA competitions held yearly.
Miran -> Matthew To the students here, what part of the recruitment process did you wish someone told you beforehand? What would you have done differently?
Matthew -> Miran Hi Miran,
Good question. Nothing jumps out at me re: what I wish I had known or been told beforehand. I think Career Services--and the professional student-group Co-Chairs--do a very, very good job of preparing students. I guess the one intangible I'd note pertains to stress management. My friends and I often laugh with one another about how crazy life can be during recruiting; my best advice is to keep everything in perspective. If you're headed to a top business school, you have a white-collar problem on your hands (i.e. getting an internship). Everyone here is going to be able to put food on the table and live a happy, healthy, and--in all likelihood--financially stress-free life. SO, try to keep the recruiting process in perspective...it's definitely not going to make or break you. Business school is a very-long-term investment and should be viewed as such. Plus, 99%-100% of students get internships one way or another. That's really it. As for as strategies, tips, processes, and so on, Booth does a fantastic job preparing you for everything coming.
Sachin -> Hussian It seems like a lot of PE firms are pulling away from being heavily focused on financial engineering and emphasizing operational experience when identifying candidates. Could you share what you are seeing on the front lines? For someone aspiring to build a career in PE, is the IB or consulting track going to be more important?
Hussian -> Sachin Hey Sachin: Thanks for your question. PE firms tend to be broadly diversified with regards to the investment professionals they have on board i.e. there are consultants, bankers, industry professionals in their midst. There isn't necessarily a shift towards one or the other, they value all of the above.
hugomoline -> Danielle What is the average age of the students, and the job experience and the percentage of employment after three months.
Danielle -> hugomoline hugomoline: You can check out our class profile here: http://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time#simple2 And the employment report here: http://www.chicagobooth.edu/employmentreport/
Pavel -> Matthew How helpful will be MBA from Booth with concentration in finance in pursuing risk-management or actuarial career?
Matthew -> Pavel Hi Pavel,
In short, extremely helpful. both fields you cite are highly quantitative; while Booth certainly is much more than just a quant school, there is a unique opportunity here to pursue a highly quantitative program of study...which will be invaluable in both risk-management and actuarial science.
briany -> Gabriel Hi I am a prospective student from Asia and do not have a US passport/ green card. Would it be difficult for me to obtain an internship in the US? I am also interested in applying to the large investment banks. If I applied to their NYC office, could I also do a separate application for their HK/ Tokyo office?
Gabriel -> briany Hi Briany and thanks for the question. In terms of the H1B work authorization, in tends to depend on what area of finance you recruit for. In general, you should not face any issues if you plan to recruit for i-banking, as the bulge bracket banks, and even the boutique banks, understand the visa process and understand the value that international students can bring to their organizations. In terms of applying to both NY and HK/Tokyo, it will be bank specific, though most of them will ask that you decide on a city to recruit for, and you will increase your chances by following their advice. Hope this helps!
Jeff -> Daniel Thanks for hosting this. How challenge is the analytical finance concentration at Booth?For people has already worked at private equity and don't want to change career in the future, are there some advanced/specific resources or courses you think could be valuable?
Daniel -> Jeff Jeff: It is challenging in that the classes tend to be more quant-heavy but it is still very achievable. It requires the most classes (6) of any concentration and therefore tends to limit one's ability to earn other concentrations. PE hopefuls should also look beyond the finance curriculum and enroll in classes in operations, strategy, management, etc. These classes and experiences such as working in operations for a portfolio company are ways to differentiate oneself.
Al_S -> Danielle What kind of expectations do you have for older candidates with non-finance backgrounds? How can they contribute to the class ?
Danielle -> Al_S Al_S: Many of our students do not have finance backgrounds - it is certainly not a prerequisite when applying to Booth. As not all Booth courses are finance courses, a student can contribute their diverse perspective in other areas.
Matt_G -> Jody Hello, I’m interested in pursuing a career in finance after attending Booth, but have no experience in the field, having spent my career thus far in diplomacy. What advice would you offer someone looking to transition from international affairs to international finance and which of Booth’s resources would you recommend ‘career changers’ utilize? Thank you!
Jody -> Matt_G Hi Matt_G, Booth will prepare you well with the financial, quantitative and analytical skills to make a transition from diplomacy to international finance. Career services steps you through an entire process of preparation on how to market yourself and network. We also have a team of career advisers, second years who have worked specifically in the functional area including banking, company finance, venture capital etc. so you can get tons of perspective. And you can also join several of the professional student groups, which we liaise with to support educational programming and facilitate firm interactions.
JD -> Amy Hi, I know there is no age restriction on applying to Booth, however could you expand a little at what point age is a detriment to your application. Also, in particular to finance, are successful applicants and students generally in a certain age range?
Amy -> JD Hi JD, we certainly evaluate candidates based on fit, and we consider the experience that they will bring to the community. Should you feel that you're Booth is the right fit for you, and that now (or whenever you choose to apply) is the best time for you to pursue an MBA, then you should not be discouraged from applying. Each year, we seek to admit a highly qualified and diverse set of individuals, and your success will really depend on you and how much effort you put into achieving your goals, as there is a tremendous amount of support at Booth (including Career Services, current students, and alumni) to help you along the way.
Travis -> Jennifer Y. Hi there. I have long been considering pursing an MBA the last couple of years and worked in a variety industries most recently in a operations role in asset management. I finally have discovered that I have a strong interest in both IB and consulting such as BCG or Bain and Company. Is a concentration that I could consider to be attractive to both IB and consulting companies? Also, I 'm outside of the age range (mid 30s) for you traditional full-time student. Do you currently have students that fall in this criteria and is that something you consider when reviewing at an applicant?
Jennifer Y. -> Travis @Travis. Age is not a dis-qualifier in both IB and Consulting. An exceptional candidate is just that. I would encourage you to explore which you would rather pursue. IB and Consulting recruiting take up all of your time and the most successful people focus on one. That being said, I know people who have recruited for both. It all depends on how focused and invested you are.
Moderator -> Everyone Thank you again for participating in our chat. The chat transcript will be posted within 48 hours.
TomD850 -> Hussian For career transitioners with non-finance backgrounds, how common is it to move directly into an IM position? Given how competitive those roles are, does that process typically require an intermediate step in banking?
Hussian -> TomD850 Hi TomD850: Please refer to an earlier response to a similar question. But no you don't necessarily require an intermediate banking step, a number of my peers have made the transition from non-finance roles to investment management.
Andrew_Johnson -> Danielle Hello, I have been working in high tech as a consultant for around 6 years. I am interested in career switching to Finance and plan to apply to Booth soon in either R3 or in R1 next fall. Have you heard of anyone quitting their current job for an internship or entry-level finance job to get a different experience before starting their MBA? Would Booth be able to assist an admitted student in getting a ‘’finance experience’’ before enrolling, even without much Finance background?
Danielle -> Andrew_Johnson Andrew_Johnson: Some individuals choose to gain additional experience before entering Booth. We do not have a formal pre-MBA internship process, but there are always a handful of firms who will seek out Booth talent for an internship pre-MBA.
stevec -> Matthew What is the best way for students to market themselves for IM (HF/MF) summer internships coming from a PE background?
Matthew -> stevec Hi Stevec,
I think the key here is to have a demonstrable passion for the type of investing you're pursuing AND have a well-oiled stock pitch (if you're pursuing fundamental research positions). Since you're coming from PE, you'll probably be expected to have a pretty good framework for understanding how companies work, valuation, and so on. Strictly re: marketing yourself, that's unique; there's no one-size-fits-all answer. IM firms aren't looking for just one mold or type of person; everyone is unique.
waterhouseb -> Daniel What are the major hedge funds that recruit on campus - how has placement in this field changed over the past 5 years
Daniel -> waterhouseb Citadel, Carlson, Appaloosa, QVT, Anchor Bolt, AQR and others participate in structured on-campus internship recruiting. We have had students in summer internships in all of these firms and many of those summer opportunities converted into full-time offers.
Ty -> Gabriel I am prior military veteran transitioning into a career in finance. Do you have any suggestions for post undergraduate career experience before applying to Chicago Booth MBA program?
Gabriel -> Ty Hi Ty and thanks for the question. The thing that comes to mind are the bulge bracket banks have programs that are "pre-mba internships". These are fantastic opportunities to learn about how the recruiting works, understand the job, acquire skills before the MBA, and critically, begin networking. Additionally, any internship that you can secure in the area of finance you want to pursue, will be helpful. Finally, maybe consider taking a course or two in accounting or corporate finance. Hope this helps!
Pavel -> Amy If I'm not accepted into Booth and attempt to reapply. Will this be considered as a derogatory factor when my second-time application is considered?
Amy -> Pavel Hi Pavel, there's certainly not a disadvantage for re-applicants, as our holistic process would allow us to evaluate your current application, while also referencing your previous application to assess for areas of potential development and/or growth.
Marcos -> Danielle Once students are admitted, is it possible to get in touch with the career services before the program effectively starts?
Danielle -> Marcos Marcos: Career services and LEAD are actively involved with our students prior to courses starting.
Aman -> Gabriel Could you please throw some light on available opportunities at Centre for Research in Security Pricing and Fama-Miller Centre for Research and how these could help in building required skill set
Gabriel -> Aman Hi Aman and thanks for the question. Unfortunately, there are not too many opportunities through these centers. They are fully staffed. However, if you decided that you wanted to intern there or work full-time, possibilities do exist to apply for formal opportunities just as you would any other job.
jimmywa11 -> Daniel Assuming one is recruiting from Booth, how helpful is progress towards the CFA for buy-side investment management recruiting (both asset management and hedge funds)? I’m debating whether to sit for Level 1 in June. Is it essential to have some sort of progress with no previous buy-side experience? Will it even help if it’s not the full charter?
Daniel -> jimmywa11 The CFA will be more helpful for someone with no prior relevant experience. It simply serves as a helpful data point when your candidacy is being considered. The impact it will have is marginal but could serve as a tie-breaker.
SPoe -> Matthew What sorts of classes are available for someone interested in entering the investment management profession upon graduation?
Matthew -> SPoe Hi SPoe:
There are myriad classes...here are a few that come to mind: Investments, Advanced Investments, Portfolio Management, Money and Banking, Financial Statement Analysis, Theory of Financial Decisions, Fixed Income Asset Pricing, Financial Econometrics, Analytics of Financial Crises. Portfolio Management is a commonly cited favorite among Booth second-years. The investing-related offerings are both broad and deep; awesome course offerings here.
Salim -> Jennifer Y. Hello all, thanks for holding this chat! I would like to switch from IT consulting in investment banking to management consulting for a unit providing services in investment banking. Given my background in IT, is it possible to envisage switching straight to management consulting or would it be mandatory/preferable to first think about helding an operational position in the field? Also, I am interested in specializing in developing countries' markets. How is the Booth Finance curriculum equiped to provide expertise in that area? Thanks a lot for your answer.
Jennifer Y. -> Salim @Salim. It is definitely possible to switch straight to management consulting and I'd encourage you to recruit for that as it's where you ultimately want to be. Developing countries are a hot topic right now and one of my classmates did a VC internship in Africa. The recruiting process will be more self-directed. In terms of resources there are developing country treks, class networking connections (for example, I have classmates whose parents are extremely influential in Asia) and the Booth network.
Jack_N -> Gabriel Hello. Can you provide an indication on what percent of graduates choose a career based in Chicago versus New York or London?
Gabriel -> Jack_N Hi Jack_N. The following link should be helpful for you: www.chicagobooth.edu/employmentreport/
Hope this helps!
ADP -> Hussian What international opportunities (both internship and post graduation) are available for Booth students pursuing careers in finance? Does Booth maintain relationships with institutions abroad? To provide context I'm a US resident with four years investment banking experience in the US and Europe. Thanks!
Hussian -> ADP Hi ADP: Booth maintains an extensive set of relationships globally (having campuses in SIngapore and London is incrementally beneficial). Its amazing how global the Booth brand is! Additionally a number of student groups run career treks to Asia, Middle East, Europe.
Zen03 -> Jennifer Y. Tks Jennifer. Could you elaborate on the negotiation courses? I'm a broker, and I want to improve my negotiation skills as I believe it would be helpful whatever I do postmba
Jennifer Y. -> Zen03 @Zen03. Sure. Negotiations is a great course. Each week you get a negotiation role (i.e.manager negotiating a pay cut with head of the labor union) and a new negotiation partner within the class. The course teaches you a lot about strategy and gives you skills to navigate future negotiations.
briany -> Jody Hi Jody, is a further breakdown of "financial services" available? I am primarily interested in knowing if the sub-sectors of investment banking and pe/vc hiring has been steady year over year.
Jody -> briany Hi Briany, banking was down slightly last year (2012) from 2011. In PE and VC, the numbers for full time are actually up slightly 2011 to 2012. I will add that typically, internships in PE and VC are higher than full time hiring.
SPoe -> Daniel What sorts of activities (i.e. clubs, competitions) can a student engage in that would be beneficial for preparing for a career in investment management, particularly hedge funds?
Daniel -> SPoe SPoe: The Investment Management Group and Hedge Fund Group both have excellent programming including Lunch and Learns with industry professionals, treks to hedge funds in NY, LA, SF and Chi and stock pitch/macro pitch competitions and feedback sessions.
Junior -> Jennifer Y. I have an accounting background. How difficult will it be to switch to IB?
Jennifer Y. -> Junior @Junior. Accounting is a tremendous advantage in investment banking. That being said IB is also a sales roles (especially at the VP and up levels) and so your background supplemented with some hard work on learning about the industry and communicating a genuine interest will make you successful.
MLucci -> Gabriel Hi, My name is Michael and I'm interested in entering the hedge fund industry. To follow on a previous question about the HF industry, could you talk about your experience with the Hedge Fund Group at Booth helped you prepare and find a position?
Gabriel -> MLucci Hi MLucci and thanks for the question. First off, recruiting for hedge funds is a tough process. Some do come on campus but for the most part you will be doing most of the work off-campus. Career Services is a great resource in this and the HFG will be of help as well. The HFG will provide you opportunities to network with firms through Lunch and Learns, a conference and a HF trek to NY and Connecticut. This year's trek will include firms such as AQR, Pershing Square and Paulson Co. While they allow us to visit, its up to the students to make a connection and follow through. Hope this helps!
aunglin -> Matthew For the current students, can you please tell me your experience about the LEADERSHIP EFFECTIVENESS AND DEVELOPMENT (LEAD) ?
Matthew -> aunglin Hi Aunglin,
LEAD is a very unique "course". Technically it's a course but it's really more a series of modules that get you thinking about your own inner nature and that of your classmates...as well as interpersonal dynamics. I think LEAD is useful because it fosters self-reflection that many of us--in the normal course of living our busy lives--probably don't engage in on a regular basis. There are a number of opportunities to receive both anonymous and public feedback from peers; it really helped me become aware of some of my "blind spots"...the aspects of my disposition, behavior, and interactions that I wasn't aware of.
ptitemouille -> Amy How important is your assessment of the number of times someone took the GMAT Vs. best score? I have been studying for the GMAT while studying for the CFA III and of course while doing applications work and my full time job. I realized that it has been a bad preparation and have missed my target score twice including once badly. I have now changed my approach and focused on it but I am now afraid it will impact my application very negatively even if I score as I expect in the third try.
Amy -> ptitemouille Hi ptitemouille, keep in mind that our holistic evaluation process really allows us to consider every aspect of your application. The GMAT score is only one of the many factors we consider to assess your potential capacity to handle the coursework at Booth. Certainly, when we consider the number of times that you may have taken the GMAT, we also consider the progression of scores. Ultimately, we assess candidates to determine whether they are the right fit for Chicago Booth, and that is not determined by any one particular factor.
Tim_L -> Danielle Hi there! Thanks for sharing the info. May I ask if there's would be any negative impact to apply for MBA if one had completed a masters in management (such as LBS)? Thanks.
Danielle -> Tim_L Tim_L: No negative impact- just help us understand why you feel you need the Booth MBA in conjunction with your current degree.
MarcoC -> Hussian Hi, has anyone of you took place in competitions like the IPO challenge or the SPITC? Would a student without prior finance background be able to compete with just the knowledge gained in the classroom?
Hussian -> MarcoC Hi MarcoC: I am involved with SPITC. You don't need to have a finance background to participate - you need to be a part of a team which presents an interesting investment theses. Sorry I don't know about the IPO challenge.
Moderator -> Everyone Thank you again for participating in our chat. The chat transcript will be posted within 48 hours.
Marcos -> Jennifer Y. Hi Jennifer, you mentioned that some companies offer pre-MBA internships. Can you be more specific on that? Is it only in IB? What are the banks offering such positions?
Jennifer Y. -> Marcos @Marcos. Sure. I have seen this in IB however they are diversity only so you need to pre-qualify for the process. UBS, DB and I believe BAML has pre-MBA internships.
foodetvino -> Gabriel Have any of you considered investment careers dealing with either emerging markets directly or clients in emerging markets? I'm sure the International MBA is a great option to aid in such endeavours but I was wondering if there were other resources (I believe there is an emerging markets club as well) that some of your fellow peers may have utilized if none of you have looked at this avenue yourselves.
Gabriel -> foodetvino Hi Foodetvino and thank for the question. The EM club will be a great resources as well the hedge fund group. Mostly though, I would try and figure out what EM you are interested in working in and connecting with students who have either worked in those regions or have some knowledge of them. Hope this helps!
AAN -> Daniel Has Booth had historical relationships with any mezzanine funds ? Are there any conferences / events focused on networking in this area?
Daniel -> AAN We have a great student group called CReDIT (Credit, Restructuring, Distressed Investing and Turnaround). Through this group we have had lunch and learns with various credit investing firms and a big conference every year. Past participants have included Stephen Moyer, Howard Marks, bankruptcy attorneys, etc. There are also a few mezz funds (including Golub Capital and the distressed/special situations desks at a few of the banks) that recruit on-campus for internships.
Amy -> Everyone Thanks for your questions today! We hope you found our answers helpful. Should you have any additional questions about the admissions process, please contact us at admissions@chicagobooth.edu.
waadmasry8 -> Jennifer Y. When do firms recruiting for corporate finance or strategic finance come to campus to a) visit and b) recruit/interview?
Jennifer Y. -> waadmasry8 @Waadmasry8. Firms come on campus through the on-campus recruiting process. For IB that will start in October and conclude with interviews in January.
Danielle -> Everyone Thank you for your great questions! You can stay updated on Booth events by following our social media outlets! Twitter @DanielleElisha @Booth_Insider @BoothThinking or on Facebook: Considering Booth
Gabriel -> Everyone Thanks a lot for the questions! Hope this was helpful to everyone!
juangaravito -> Jody Is it possible to get an internship for a financial position abroad? (eg. London)
Jody -> juangaravito Hi juangaravito, yes it is possible to get a financial internship abroad. Every year we have student treks that go to London and Asia. We also have career services team members who are on the ground in Asia and Europe developing company relationships and promoting Booth talent. Our students secure positions around the globe, and we have very active alumni networks. Career Services hosted a Chicago Conversations industry event in Geneva on financial services careers!
Daniel -> Everyone Thanks for joining us today. Hopefully we were helpful!
Hussian -> Everyone Thank you for all your questions. Good luck.
Jennifer Y. -> Everyone Thanks for participating! Hope this was helpful and good luck!
Jody -> Everyone Thanks everyone! I enjoyed our chat!