Full-Time MBA

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Live Chat with Full-Time MBA Program Admissions

Full-Time Admissions chat 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 & Trading and Real Estate

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - 11:00 am CST

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Victoria: Hello! Congratulations to recent admits for the Class of 2013. For prospective students, thanks for taking the time to learn more about Chicago Booth. We are all excited to be here.
Eddie: Good morning everyone. The snow is melting here in Chicago! Thanks for joining us.
Richard: Hello, My name is Richard Jones. I am second-year student at Chicago Booth concentrating in Finance, Marketing, and Accounting. Prior to business school, I worked in mergers & acquisitions, strategy, and application development roles in the industrials and software. Last summer, I interned in McKinsey & Company's New York office in the Corporate Finance Practice serving clients in the pharmaceutical and energy sectors. I will be returning to McKinsey & Company in their New York office. I look forward to answering any questions you may have about pursuing a career in consulting.
Moderator: Welcome to the chat. The chat will begin in 15 minutes. Feel free to start submitting your questions.
Patrick: Hi, my name is Pat and I'm happy to be here today. I look forward to addressing your questions.
Moderator: Welcome to the chat. The chat will begin in 5 minutes. Feel free to start submitting your questions.
Moderator: Welcome to the chat. The chat will begin in a few minutes. Please familiarize yourselves with our chatters by taking a look at their bios at http://www.chicagobooth.edu/boothconnect/fulltime/FinanceBios2011.aspx.
Linda: Hello. My name is Linda and I work in Career Services. I look forward to answering your questions.
Heather: Good Morning! I’m Heather from Career Services and I look forward to chatting with you.
Deba: Hi, I am Deba. I am a second year international student from India. My concentrations are in Finance, International Business and Strategic Management. I look forward to chatting with you today to answer any questions you have.
Carrie: Welcome to the chat! My name is Carrie Lydon, Associate Director of Admissions, and I look forward to answering your questions.
Moderator: Thank you for joining our live chat! The chat has now begun. Please feel free to submit questions anytime by entering them below.
Jody: Good Morning! I'm Jody and I'm looking forward to chatting with you this morning!
Andrew: Hi I'm Andrew and I'm happy to be chatting with you today.
NYMelo: With regards to the Real Estate recruiting, do you only see recruitment for commercial real estate or do you also see recruiting for securitized products?
Linda: Typically, real estate recruiting is an off-campus search. We do receive some job postings for real estate positions and we are working on building our contacts in this area. Generally, the students tailor their search to the specific area they are interested in. We also have a real estate student group that hosts a variety of events such as industry nights and a conference.
TheKissingBooth: For Patrick - congrats on the big Booth MBA basketball win. What is the process for trying out for the team? Is there just one "competition" team and then the club is much broader? Thanks
Patrick: KissingBooth, Thanks. The Georgetown tournament was a great experience for me both last year and last week. We hold tryouts in Nov/Dec for the Georgetown team and the team that plays against Kellogg each year at the United Center before a Bulls game.
Patrick: In addition to the competition teams, everyone in the basketball club plays in open gyms and in intramurals.
Kevin: Patrick, How has the IB group benefited you as a student? What is the best way to get involved with the group as a 1st year student?
Patrick: I didn't know much about IB as I was initially interested in IM. However, at industry immersion day (a day put on by career services where we have a risk-free way of learning about the differing roles in each industry) I decided that IB was of more interest to me.
Patrick: Without the IBG (investment banking group) I honestly believe the recruiting process would have been much harder--we train the first years on how to network during cocktail events, technical training, interview prep, case competitions, etc. As a first year you'll be fully informed on how to join the group and the events begin almost immediately.
chicagoap: How would you distinguish Booth's finance curriculum from other programs?
Deba: The Finance curriculum at Booth is very flexible which is unique to Booth. We have some great world renowned faculty who teach classes that vary from being very quantitative classes to not so quantitative such as behavioral finance classes. You can select finance classes based on your specific interests and career goals.
NYMelo: Without an internship do you think it is impossible to land a job in IM/S&T without direct experience but with some sort of financial background?
Andrew: Hi Melo, It is possible to land a job in IM/S&T without pursuing your summer internship in the space. However, it is definitely more difficult. A financial background would help. One thing to consider is that some students pursue more than one internship if they have multiple interests.
TheKissingBooth: Can you outline the process for getting Private Equity jobs from Booth? What percent of students who successfully get jobs in the field did it through the career office vs. self sourced opportunities? Can you list a few firms that have hired graduates in recent years?
Linda: About 4% of students went into private equity full-time last year. Due to the fact that these companies do a lot of just-in-time hiring, it is more often an off-campus search, although we will have firms come to campus after the recruiting period has ended to interview students. Some examples of firms that have hired are Apax Partners, Thoma Bravo, and Sterling Partners.
Raj: Hi, thank you for hosting this chat. Can you talk about the IB recruiting this year for career switchers from non-Finance background? Is it true that post-MBA associates work 80+ hours every week? Thanks!
Linda: Every year, we have a high number of students that go into IB as career switchers. Our office as well as the Investment Banking Group does a lot of programming to help you prepare for the recruiting process. The majority of banks that recruit on-campus are open to career switchers. IB is definitely an intense and demanding career. You can definitely expect to work long hours, including 80+ per week.
e39m5: This question is directed toward Patrick and Anthony: Is it difficult to secure an internship and then full-time position in investment banking if you haven't had experience in the field prior to the MBA, but worked as a financial analyst at a well-known, multinational corporation?
Anthony: Investment banks look for very diverse profiles and prior experience in the field is absolutely not a prerequisite. The recruitment process is highly competitive but most students last year secured the internship they were looking for. Your prior experience as a financial analyst will definitely be a good fit for banking.
Yaj: Hi Patrick, Is it hard to switch into finance if you do not have a background in finance? Are there certain steps one can take to demonstrate interest in the field?
Patrick: Hi Yaj, The majority of the members of the investment banking group are career switchers. Career services and the IBG provide guidance that is second-to-none for career switchers. Career switchers who are dedicated to the demanding process of recruiting for IB have been very successful during my two years at Booth.
G-254417938: Question is for Patrick and Anthony - curious to know the length of your internships at Credit Suisse and Goldman and whether or not they ran alongside summer internships of undergraduates? Also, when did apply to Booth?
Anthony: A typical summer associate program runs for 10 weeks (including 1 week of training). At Goldman these programs are run alongside summer undergraduate internships but these are 2 different groups. Last year the summer associate class in London was 12 people.
Anthony: As for when to apply to Booth, I would say the sooner the better.
Nimit: how do you help career switchers (international students)with internships and what offers can they expect to get in investment management post graduation?
Jody: Great question Nimit. We have many programs that prepare first year students for their internship search. The majority of our students at Booth are making a career change. We help students leverage the skills and experience they have as they identify new career targets. Specifically in IM, about 11% of our 2010 class accepted offers, out of a total of 48% in all Finance areas.
TCW: Thank you for taking the time to answer some of our questions. My question is directed toward the second year students who have completed an internship. What type of preparation was offered by Booth prior to the internship?
Andrew: Hi TCW, Booth offers quite a bit of preparation before your internship. There are literally dozens of opportunities outside of class to sharpen skills that will help you in your internship. They include everything from financial modeling and power point courses to seminars on time management and small talk.
LLinde: How has grade non-disclosure impacted recruiting at Booth? Without grades to consider, what other attributes and characteristics do recruiters make their decision on?
Deba: No. I don't believe grade non disclosure has affected recruiting at all. The decisions made by recruiters are based on how you can show your past experience as being relevant to where you plan to work and how well you prepare for the interview and perform during the interview to make yourself stand out from your peers. Some companies take the GMAT score into consideration instead of the grades.
Kevin: Anthony, what is you role as career advisor for studetns interested in IB?
Anthony: Hi Kevin, the role of a career advisor is to assist first year students in understanding both what Investment Banking is about and how the recruitment process works. We provide assistance with building competitive resumes and cover letters and preparing for interviews.
Agnes: Hello, Thank you for hosting this chat. I ould like to ask what advice would current students have for people who want to purse investment managment and are career switchers?
Andrew: Hi Agnes, The advice I give to career switchers interested in investment management is to begin preparing early. I think you increase your chances of getting a top notch internship in the space if you work hard early on to learn important investing skills, formulate some investment ideas and reach out to alumni at the firms that interest you.
Nimit: Patrick, I understand that you have completed all the three exams of the CFA program. Why would you then, still focus on the Analytics Finance concentration? Since I am giving my Level 1 exam in June, I would appreciate if you could explain how the Finance concentration at Booth enhances one's skills?
Patrick: Hi Nimit, The CFA is very valuable no matter what path you choose at Booth. However, as you quickly learn, the professors here are brilliant and the curriculum is rigorous. The CFA is helpful for the basic IM-related classes but other options within the analytic finance concentration add great breadth. Analytics of the financial crisis, financial markets and institutions, international corporate finance, private equity and entrepreneurial finance, etc., are much broader than the CFA. Additionally, classes like corporate finance and cases in financial management can be very IB focused (depending on the professor) which have little overlap with the CFA curriculum. To summarize, the CFA is great but the analytic finance concentration has so many options that you structure your focus without much overlap.
G-247535701: Hello and thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. In terms of students who are trying to get an investment banking internship in New York. What percentage were able to get an internship or full time offer in New York?
Jody: Hello. About 15% of our students obtained an internship in investment banking, and full-time positions were over 17%. Specifically for New York, about 29% of our students obtain positions in the northeast, across all functions.
Kevin: Deba, what are some of your favorite restaurants you've tried in Chicago? Is there a student organization (either formal or informal) for those interested in trying restaraunts in the area?
Deba: Zed 451 is my latest favorite in Chicago. They have amazing brunch as well as dinner menu with unlimited food! This week is actually restaurant week in Chicago and I am planning to try out 3 new restaurants in the next few days. We have the Epicurean club which is very popular among foodies at Booth. I usually just get together with my friends to try out new places.
prashant225: What are opportunities for international students at Booth to pursue a career in IBD
Anthony: Hi Prashant, there are lots of opportunities for international students interested in IBD (either in the US, Europe or Asia). To illustrate I received internship offers in NYC, London and Hong Kong. Most banks allow you to apply for up to 3 geographies even though it's good to be focused!
chicago85: What classes would you most recommend for the first semester for those students interested in a career in investment banking?
Patrick: Hi Chi85, As a rule of thumb, it's always best to get the required classes out of the way. A lot of the "specialized" classes build off the core so first quarter is a great time to get the foundation out of the way. That said, I took advanced classes in areas like statistics and accounting--where my background was stronger.
Patrick: As you move through the curriculum, I recommend focusing on your weak points so you're strong during your summer internship. I believe that the flexibility of Booth's curriculum really sets us apart as interns. While my peers from other schools had only taken one or two finance classes, I had taken multiple finance and accounting classes focused on IB.
Raghav: Hey Andrew, can you share some of the activities the Investment Management student group at Booth is involved in?
Andrew: Hi Raghav, The IMG holds weekly meetings that contain student stock and macro pitches, presentations and panels about recruiting, talks by leading investors and skills seminars. The club also organizes trips to various investment management firms and hosts an annual conference.
Brian: Is there any sort of qualification process or review for enrollment in the higher level finance classes?
Deba: Some advanced classes have strict prerequisites to enroll. If you have a CFA or specific background in the area so that you don't think you don't need to take the prerequisite classes, you can get permission from the professor to directly allow you to enroll in the more advanced class.
Debansu: For Anthony, Can you talk about your experience as an intern at Goldman Sachs in terms of the recruiting process, types of work assignments and backgrounds of some of your colleagues?
Anthony: I truly enjoyed my experience at GS last summer. I did two rotations, one in the Real Estate Advisory Group and one in the Natural Resources Group. We worked on projects such as the IPO of a Russian company in London, the exit strategy of a PE fund or the defense strategy for an oil and gas company. The only drawback: around 100 hours a week for the summer! Regarding the recruitment process, it was organized as follows: networking during the fall, application in December, first round interview in January (two 45-min interviews) and final round in February (five 45-min interviews).
Kevin: Linda, could you discuss the recruiting process for investment banking and private equity?
Linda: Kevin - the recruiting process for investment banking is very different from private equity. A large number of firms recruit on-campus for investment banking. This process is very structured and organized with on-campus events, off-campus events, conferences, and bank week treks. On the other hand, private equity is more of an off-campus recruiting process. Most of these firms hire just-in-time. Therefore, the on-campus process and timeline doesn't work for them. We do receive a number of job postings for private equity firms that we share with students and we have a number of programs to help you build your target list and conduct outreach to firms.
Mauricio: Hi Pat, my name is Mauricio Gomez from Bogota Colombia. Just a quick question before starting the chat. How much do financial sector companies value people who are CFA charterholders and does that fact put them above or at the same level as an MBA?
Patrick: Hi Mauricio, I think it depends on what field you're looking to enter. For investment banking, it's a nice talking point in interviews and it shows your interest and dedication. For investment management, it's much more relevant and it helps during recruiting.
Patrick: That said, a lot of my peers in IB are pursuing their CFA now. The classes at Booth provide a foundation that is very applicable to the tests.
Silverado: What is Hedge Fund recruiting like at Booth? Do firms come on campus? Do they typically seek Booth students for more macro rather than equity based roles?
Heather: There are a handful of hedge funds that come to campus for interviews. That being said, as you know, there are so many hedge funds out there, so much of the hedge fund job search is done off campus. We work with students to help them create target lists of firms and offer suggestions on ways to reach out. In terms of what they are seeking it is more skewed towards bottom up investing.
Mark: What can foks interesting in Investment Mgmt being doing now to best prepare themselves for the coursework and for recruiting? I'm currently studying for Level I of the CFA.
Andrew: Hi Mark, The CFA is a good way to build some investing knowledge. I would also recommend reading the cannons of investment management, like The Intelligent Investor. You should also keep an eye on the markets and formulate some investment ideas.
Saul: How important is it to know which area of finance you'd like to pursue prior to starting your MBA program at Booth?
Deba: Knowing which area of finance you want to pursue is more important in terms of recruiting perspective than for the classes you plan to take. Since recruiting for internships starts by October if you are interested in IB then the networking starts early on. The recruiting for Finance in a Company happens a little later so you have more time to decide.
G-201574335: Have you noticed that companies are more actively recruiting on campus now than the were last year? Also, how helpful has the alumni network been in terms of securing positions at hedge funds?
Heather: This year's recruiting has been a bit more robust than last year. We saw some companies who were absent in the past few years return to campus. Much of IM and HF job search is done off campus. Often times we will see alumni at small shops come to Booth to seek talent--which is great!
esoteric: Are there opprts. for international placements. particularly in London and is there an advantage to taking the IMBA and doing a semin LBS
Linda: There are definitely opportunities to work internationally. Last year, over 20% of the class took a full-time job internationally and around 8% ended up in Europe. The amount of recruiting for London that takes place on-campus depends on the type of job you are looking for. For example, investment banks will recruit on-campus for London. As for studying abroad, that would really vary depending on the company/industry you are recruiting for.
Moderator: There are 30 minutes left in the chat. Please continue to submit your questions and we will answer as many as we can!
Lu: I heard it's getting harder for MBAs to get into S&T jobs cos they face the competition from MFEs. Are there any students who secure internships in this S&T?
Linda: Over the last few years, the number of firms that recruit MBAs for S&T positions has decreased across all schools. Last year, about 5% of the class (30 students) secured an internship in S&T. This year, we were able to add a few new firms to on-campus recruiting for S&T.
juanp: Hello! I have question about the Chicago Booth Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF). How hard is to become a portafolio manager of this fund? how is the application process, do they analyze the education and work experience? While being a portafolio manager do you have a relation with advisor from financial companies that can help in the recruiting process?
Andrew: Hi Janup, The SMIF fund takes a combination of experienced analysts and career switchers with little experience, because they try to balance fund performance with educational opportunities for IMG members. The application process is just a two page questionnaire that covers a variety of topics, including your background, career goals and investment ideas. The fund is not officially affiliated with any financial companies, but most SMIF alumni work at investment management firms.
jyotishman: In the IB industry, how are students from Booth pitted against those of , say Wharton or Harvard ? What I mean to ask is what is the reputation of Booth finance in the industry. Thanks for hosting this chat !
Jody: Booth students interested in investment banking do very well in both internships and full time offers. Preparation during recruiting season is robust! We have very active student clubs, corporate programs, networking activities and treks, and tons of support from career services and second year students. We find our students compete very successfully in the finance industry.
Nick__Guest_: How importand is your GMAT breakdown ie scoring well in Verbal but poorly in Math with a 700+ overall - does it matter or get looked at?
Carrie: Hi Nick. We evaluate your overall score predominantly, but do also look at the score breakdown, as it provides additional information about your verbal and quantitative abilities. As with each piece of the application, your GMAT score is evaluated in context of the larger application to truly get a holistic picture of who you are as an applicant.
G-254425923: I have an interest in Corporate Finance, Real Estate, Accounting and Entrepreneurship. Is it possible to effectively incorporate a meaningful depth of study in each interest? FYI: I'm a CPA.
Deba: Absolutely. If you have a breadth of areas you are interested in you can determine the depth you want to get in each area by how many classes you choose to take for each. With a CPA, you will be able to jump into the advanced accounting classes right away. There will be some finance classes that will help with both Corporate Finance and Real Estate advance classes. There are plenty of classes available for you to get a meaningful depth in each interest.
pre: What is recruiting like if you are seeking an intership abroad (in my case London)?
Anthony: Hi pre, the recruitment process in London is similar to that of NYC. Most investment banks based in London come on campus during the fall to present their programs and get to know students. Besides there is the "London Banking Days" event taking place in London in November to gain more insights by meeting bankers at their offices. Then the formal application process starts in December and runs until late February.
Kevin: For those of us that are career switchers, I'm coming from the military myself, would it be realistic to seek an associate position at an IB or would we likely be looking at analyst positions?
Jody: Hi Kevin, for entry points at the associate versus analyst positions, it typically depends on experience, the particular profile of each student, and the firm. Generally, career switchers are successful in making the shift to banking, and Kevin your military experience will be an important part of your story.
G-254431904: Hello, for someone interested in a investment management career, what is a usual path a Booth student follows in in terms of classes taken, clubs and events participation, etc?
Heather: Students interested in IM should absolutely join the Investment Management Student Group (IMG). They host a wealth of events, including lunch and learns, interview prep and their annual IM conference. In addition Career Services helps with interview prep, resume polishing, and networking. Our Career Resource Center (CRC) has a wealth of databases that are specifically for careers in IM.
NYMelo: Have you heard of 12month internships where you are in a rotational program and once its over you pick a desk that you are interested in? Are their companies with these sort of internship offerings upon graduation?
Linda: Are you referring to a position in Sales and Trading? If yes, there are some banks that have a rotational internship program. During the summer, students work on a variety of desks, usually around three. At the end of the summer, if the student receives an offer for full-time employment, it is a desk specific offer.
TCW: Andrew - did you feel that you were well prepared in comparison to the students from other B-Schools that you interned with?
Andrew: Hi TCW, I felt like I was well prepared for my internship by Chicago Booth. One big advantage is the flexibility of its curriculum. If your internship is going to be heavy on a particular subject matter, say economics or finance, you can take numerous courses in that area in your first year.
Nick: Which IB firms recruit at Booth? How many of your students typically receive full time offers?
Anthony: Hi Nick, most investment banks recruit at Booth whether bulge bracket firms or boutiques. To name a few Bulge bracket firms: JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Merrill, Deutsche Bank, UBS, Citi. As for boutiques: Lazard, Rothschild, Evercore, Jefferies, Lincoln, Moelis. Investment Banking is one of the largest hiring fields at Booth!
RJ_NY: Thanks for this chat. My question concerns those seeking a career in investment management - Besides the Buffet groups activities, what other activities/conferences happen in this area at Chicago booth?
Andrew: Hi RJ, There are a lot of great opportunities for Chicago Booth MBA's interested in investment management. In addition to the Buffett trip, the IM, Hedge Fund, PE, Distressed Investing, and Real Estate groups all host conferences, bring prominent investors to campus, and take trips to various investors' offices.
G-254448327: I am planning a campus visit to Booth and was wondering if visitors are permitted to attend any of the IBG meetings?
Patrick: Guests are welcome to meet with members of IBG as well as the IBG co-chairs. However, attending an event would depend on the timing of your visit and the nature of the event. If you plan to visit, feel free to send an email to the co-chairs. You can find the co-chair information on the IBG website.
Nimit: How competitive is the application process in R3 for international students with interest in Finance, but without prior experience?
Carrie: Hi, Nimit. As we have many applicants interested in switching careers, you would not be at a competitive disadvantage in this situation. Round 3 tends to be more competitive overall only because we have fewer spots available in the class. From an admissions perspective, we are still looking for high quality candidates across industries, backgrounds, and geographies.
G-254450064: How is the chance for international students get jobs in financial services after graduation (in the us and Asia)?
Deba: For Investment Banking, being an international student is not an issue as they all sponsor for work visa in the US. For Investment Management most of the big firms sponsor. There are also plenty of international opportunities. I believe, in Asia if you can overcome the language barrier, there are a lot of opportunities for international students in financial services.
phirozz: Hi, about what % of the class get placed in finance. And about what % are placed in IB ?
Linda: Last year, for full-time positions, over 48% went into a career in finance, this includes the over 17% that went into investment banking.
G-254417938: Hi all. This question is directed toward Patrick - could you tell us a little about the Investment Banking Group?
Patrick: The IBG is a group that played a huge role in my ability to land my IB job of choice. As I mentioned earlier, the group is second-to-none. We hold mock cocktail events, mock interview events, technical training, an IPO challenge that had more than 500 students from across the world compete, informational meetings, lunch-n-learns, etc., for the 1st years as they prepare for networking and interviewing.
DP: Everyone I've talked to about recruiting for Private Equity says it is very much "on your own" "unstructured" and later than IB. In what ways does the school facilitate private equity recruiting? What are some of the things that I can be doing now to help recruiting efforts upon arrival in Chicago.
Linda: Private equity firms hire more just-in-time where as banks are able to plan their hiring more in advance. Because of this, off-campus recruiting is a better option for private equity firms. Career services offers a number of programs to help you create a target list of firms, conduct outreach, and network within private equity. The recruiting is very much focused on relationship building and we can help guide you through that process. There is also a private equity student group that does a variety of programming to help you network with professionals in the industry.
Tim: I have heard that there are extremely limited internships for folks who want to get into private Equity, unlike the more structured IB programs. Therefore, what do the folks who end up securing a Private Equity job in year 2, typically do for their internship after year 1?
Linda: Over the last couple of years, we have actually had more students intern in private equity the go into it full-time. If you were unable to obtain an internship in private equity, so other good options to position you for full-time recruiting would be investment banking and M&A within a company.
thomas__Guest_: hey i am thomas from india.i had a long break and completed my degree in 6 years. I know wanna pursue a finance course or mba from booth. what are my chances. i have no work experience
Carrie: Hi, Thomas. As we use a very holistic evaluation process, it is impossible to comment on your admissions chances without seeing your whole application. On average, our students have about five years of work experience, but we also have students that have 0-1 year in the class as well. As we welcome early career candidates to apply, we have published specific application information here: http://www.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/admissions/early-enrollment/
Kevin: What programs are available during the summer for admitted students to get to know each other?
Carrie: Hi, Kevin. Over the summer, our students will be hosting events all over the world for both admits and prospective students, which are great opportunities to get to know your fellow classmates. We will also be inviting admits to Booth events in their area to promote networking between admits and alumni. Additionally, many admits take advantage of the Google Group to plan happy hours in their cities. Finally, don't forget Random Walks which happen in August!
nikolay_kuzmin: Would you recommend to take calculus/statistics course before joining the school (in the event of acceptance) in order to refresh memory on math concepts that may be used in the advanced finance classes?
Anthony: Hi Nikolay, refreshing your memory on math concepts before school can be beneficial even though not required. It may allow you to take advanced finance class early in your curriculum and be better prepared when the recruiting season starts!
Dan: I'm interested in pursuing finance opportunities in the West Coast. Does Booth send many people to that area or is it more of an individual effort?
Jody: Hi Dan, Booth has many ways to support your search for the West Coast. In fact, over 9% of last year's class accepted full-time positions on the West Coast. We have a student-led trek, relationships with many employers based on the West Coast, and our students actively network with alumni in the area. Career Services hosts programs on the West Coast as well. We find that when students are targeted geographically, they are very successful in their search efforts.
Agnes: Would you recommend first year students admitted to Booth to pursue a pre-MBA intership (related to the field they are intersted in) to improve their recruiting exprience? Is this a common thing to do?
Heather: I would say that a pre-MBA internship is fairly uncommon. If you are a career switcher and you're looking to gain more skills in this area, it might not hurt--but typically this does not happen. As an admitted student you will start to gain access to some of our Career Services programming and materials over the summer to help you prepare for recruiting. In addition, when you get to campus, there is a lag time between when you arrive on campus and when you start recruiting. This time allows you to start your classes, get to know your classmates, as well as prep for corporate events.
G-254429233: Hi, thank you all for making your time for the chat. I'm curious about alumni network in finance and students' opportunities to interact with them. Does Booth offer a kind of system that enables students to access alumni database and contact them? If you can share your experience, I would be very grateful.
Anthony: Booth does offer access to the alumni database on which you can run searches by geography, industry, company, etc. It's obviously a very useful tool and from my experience alumni are happy to be contacted to give advice and assistance.
TheKissingBooth: For current students, do you feel the relatively dispersed living arrangements of your peers (i.e. hyde park, streeterville, gold coast) negatively impacts your ability to bond with your classmates? Is there still a very "team" feel or is it more a "we come to learn, we leave to pay" atmosphere. Thanks
Patrick: Hi KissingBooth, I actually live in Bucktown/Wicker Park which is further away than most. However, making friends and participating in events has been no problem. Public transportation is great in Chicago and the bonds you make with your classmates--in classes, groups, recruiting, socializing, etc--provides plenty of opportunity to bond.
Didier: Hello and thank you for your time. Can you please tell me what the recruitment process for IM is like at Booth in terms of number of companies that interview Booth students. Also, what type of support do you receive from career services? Thank you.
Andrew: Hi Didier, I just checked with career services and there were a little more than 30 firms that interviewed students for IM related internships this year. That number does not include the sell side.
Andrew: Career services hosts a number of events to get you ready for recruiting, ranging from seminars on cover letter writing and cocktail party etiquette to mock interviews and thank you notes. The students groups also help with industry specific topics, like how to formulate a strong investment pitch.
nikolay_kuzmin: What are the "must attend" courses for a student seeking a career in finance?
Patrick: Hi Nikolay, There are way too many to mention. I recommend you look at the courses offered and decide which ones you're most interested in. Every person at school has a different perspective of what classes are a "must". For me: investments, cases in financial management, financial markets and institutions, M&A accounting, are a few of my favorite classes. I base this on professor and topic.
Kevin: How are courses structured (e.g. case based) or does it vary depending on the professor?
Deba: At Booth there is a variety in the way the courses are structured and they vary based on the professor teaching the class. Some classes are purely case based, some are very theoretical and some are a blend of both. You can check the course description by the professor to determine how a specific class is taught to determine if it fits your learning style.
G-254448983: First, thanks for taking the time to answer questions. It really helps - here's my questions: I understand the recruiting process for IB internships starts very early in your first semester. Can you give a very rough timeline of this process (i.e company presentations in october, dinner in november, interviews in nov, etc)
Anthony: The timeline for the recruitment season is the following: bank presentations and networking events during the fall, formal applications in December, first round interviews in January and final round interviews in February. Most offers have to be accepted by March for a start date around mid-June.
mjs2011: Does women get same opportunities as men to pursue a career in finnace post MBA .
Deba: Yes absolutely. In areas like IB, women are encouraged to apply as the banks are looking for a diverse workforce. Generally in finance the opportunities are the same for men and women. It is an equal playing field and it comes down to how you compare to your classmates who have also applied for the same job. As a woman I have never felt a lack of opportunity in finance.
prashant225: Hi. For international students what are kind of opportunities in S&T
Linda: Investment banks will recruit on-campus for S&T in London and the US. They will also do a lot of recruiting off-campus for Asia. In general, most banks are open to sponsoring international students.
Nimit: Pat, what was your initial view on IB and how is it different now to IM from before you made the switch?
Patrick: Nimit, the main difference lies in your perception of buy-side vs. sell-side. For me, I preferred the sell-side aspects of IB. My views of IB weren't really changed during the process...instead, I liked it more as I learned more about it.
OA: When looking fo rsummer internship or full time job - which strategy would you suggest - interviewing for both IB and PE (or even consulting) or focusing just on 1 area? what is the typical process? how many interview every student does on average?
Jody: Regarding a strategy for recruiting, it is possible to recruit for both IB and PE as the cycles are a bit different. PE positions open much later in the year (both internships and full-time), and are primarily through off campus. IB recruiting is early in the season and primarily on campus, although we encourage all students to actively network for opportunities via both on and off campus methods. Also, we do highly recommend students have a strong plan A, but also a plan B and even a plan C.
Nick: How strong is the presence of Private Equity firms at Booth?
Linda: Private equity firms hire more just-in-time for internships and full-time opportunities. Because of this, off-campus recruiting is a better option for private equity firms. We have a strong alumni network within the industry so we see a number of job postings come through every year. We also have a very active student group that does a lot to engage the community.
G-254448983: This question is for Patrick: I would certainly like to develop a strong foundation in finance, and I know I can do that at booth. However, I'm curious about the extent that professors make the classroom relevant to what is happening in industry. I.e do professors remain fairly theoretical, or do they focus on showing how the topics are used in industry.
Patrick: The professors focus both on current topics in the industry as well as past events that helped shape the way the industry looks today. Given the cyclical environment we operate in, focusing just on today's events could limit the relevance of the knowledge as a whole. That said, the focus on current topics is evidenced with the publications our professors continue to produce. As for theory vs. practical, each professor has a different approach and the flexible curriculum really lets you choose which approach you prefer.
G-254452038: Thanks for hosting the chat. Do you know many students who did a summer internship in IB but then decided to pursue a career in a different field?
Jody: Yes, I do know students who tested their interest in IB during a summer internship and then changed to other functional roles. From a coaching perspective, we work on communicating your story regarding lessons learned and a seamless transition to a new desired functional area. Consulting, PE, corporate roles come to mind.
Raj: Is IB full time placement mainly in NYC? How are IB opportunities in Chicago and Boston?
Patrick: Hi Raj, My job is actually in Chicago and I'm happy to say that the jobs here are definitely available to those who seek them. While few IB firms recruit for Boston, you could pursue any company you had interest in. Bulge bracket, middle market, and boutiques all recruit at Booth and they do so for many locations.
JayH51: Thank you everyone for taking the time to answer our questions. Andrew, could you describe the timeline for pursuing a buy-side investment management internship and perhaps mention a class or club that you feel has particularly aided your pursuit of a career in this field?
Andrew: Hi Jay, The official timeline for buy side investments starts in December, when you submit cover letters and resumes. On campus interviews then take place in January and February. However, the process is actually longer, because quite a bit of preparation goes into recruiting. Almost from your first day at Chicago, there will be presentations about different industries and firms and there will be opportunities to meet investment professionals at shops you are interested in. You'll also start crafting your resume, cover letter and investment pitches early in the year. At the back end, much of the off campus recruiting (particularly for alternative investing) runs through the spring.
prosp-2012: Anthony, how were you able to secure offers from all 3 regions? Were you participating in bank week in all 3 regions?
Anthony: Hi prosp-2012, I participated in both the London Banking Days (November) and Bank week in NYC (December). I did not attend the banking trek in HK but having worked there prior to Booth I already had contacts. As regards the timeline, not all regions recruit at the same time so you can definitely handle the different processes. From my experience, Asia was first, followed by NYC and Europe.
G-254424740: Hello, At what level do recruiters ask for specific concentrations or coursework in order to get in to Investment Banking or Corporate Finance? Do you actually need to comply with a rigid coursework to get in or flexible courseworks are feasible?
Patrick: Since your concentrations are not achieved until your second year, your resume will initially reflect your intended focus. Grade non-disclosure is a great aspect of the learning environment at Booth as it allows you to stretch yourself into complicated courses without the concern that a potentially lower grade would hurt you in recruiting--i.e. you can focus more on learning and less on managing your GPA. The coursework is set by the professor but your course selection is flexible.
prosp-2012: Patrick, I am a prospective applicant for Booth FT program Fall 2012. I have been working in a US consumer products company as an electronics program manager – product development for last 4 years. I have an opportunity to go to Mumbai and work for either the Corporate Economics group or potentially PE firm in a $30bn conglomerate. My interest is to do Finance/ Entrepreneuship track at Booth in order to PE post-MBA. Does booth view this career progression as coherent for my R1 application or do I need to continue working in engineering and re-apply in Fall?thanks
Carrie: From an application perspective, either career path could be feasible. I would suggest following the opportunity that would be most beneficial to you personally, and that you are most passionate about!
Barclay: Do Booth students have any luck landing internships within the derivative community right there in Chicago?
Andrew: Hi Barclay, Some derivative shops in Chicago do recruit at school, but the official presence isn't large, compared to the bulge bracket asset managers. On the other hand, there are quite a few opportunities in derivatives at the Wall Street Sales and Trading desks.
HT: Based on your bios, it appears that most of you had a finance background in your undergrad studies. I have an accounting background. Does a lack of finance experience in undergrad studies preclude one from pursuing a finance concentration in graduate studies?
Deba: HT, I have an accounting background as well. Booth provides you a choice of basic as well as advanced classes to meet your level of comfort. Classes such as Investment and Corporation Finance will prepare you for the advanced finance classes even if you haven't had any prior finance background. One of my classmates is an anthropologist who is now pursuing a finance concentration.
Agnes: Which cities do students find most opportunties for investment management? Are there recruiting event outside of Booth that students can attend?
Heather: I think IM is unique in that there is not one large hub city to find IM jobs. That being said, we have students that go to Boston, LA, San Fran, Baltimore and NYC for IM jobs. But we also have students who end up interning in Omaha Nebraska! If you are geographically focused in your search we have resources to help you target those firms in a specific area. Every winter the IM students go on treks (i.e. company visits)to Boston, NYC, and LA/SF.
MR007: what would be your advice to someone who has spent the past several years in public accounting looking to switch into finance? Given the economic environemnt, have Company's still shown interest in students without prior financial experience, such as an analyst? How does booth prepare such students?
Jody: Business school is a great way to learn finance and hone analytical skills. Many companies hire MBAs into finance rotational programs and analyst positions. We can highlight the relevant skills from your accounting experience and tailor for a finance-oriented resume.
Linda: Thanks for your questions!
Patrick: It was nice chatting with all of you today. Good luck with the process.
Carrie: It was great chatting with you today! We hope to see you on campus in the future!
Andrew: Nice chatting with you all - best of luck!
Heather: Great chatting with you. Best of luck!
Deba: It was great chatting with you all. All the best!
Anthony: Nice chatting with you all. Best of luck!
Jody: I enjoyed our chat today and hope we see you at Chicago Booth!
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