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Quick Question on Breaking into IM Industry


vik218
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Hi everyone, I got into the Booth Weekend MBA and UCLA Full Time MBA program and I am having trouble deciding between the two programs. I am a CA from Big 4 by background and have been working at a boutique Toronto based IB shop in M&A for the past 2.5 years. I would like to work at a HF or a mutual fund and overtime become a great investor by doing fundamental research. Location isn't a preference but the HF's in Toronto are very small in AUM, staff, and there are only a few around so I feel the MBA may help in making that transition to US easier where the funds are bigger and there is more hiring.

 

I am also not looking to get a job at a place like Citadel, SAC, Fidelity, etc. and would be just as happy with a smaller/mid sized reputable value fund where I can learn the business and grow within the industry. I know I will have to network to land such a job and the schools will not provide much assistance, but I was hoping to tap into the alumni networks / other avenues and work my butt off to get a job in this field.

 

With UCLA, I may be able to land an internship, but with Booth this probably won't be possible until 1 year into the program since recruiting is mostly off-cycle. The other downside for Booth would be lack of depth in the MBA experience, which the full-time program offers. Essentially, I would just like to land a job in investment management and wanted to know in your opinion what my best path forward should be.

 

Thanks so much!!

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While Booth has better brand name, it's not the FT MBA program, which is the "real" one. AFAIK, Booth part-timers don't have access to the same recruiting channels, and I have heard at events they used have to wear colored bands to clearly depict their status. I don't know if that's true anymore, but you get the picture. The PT program is really geared for people who are working and plan on staying in their company, while FT programs are more relevant to career-changers.

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I'd agree with what Palantir said.  At my previous firms in IM, I've come across a couple UCLA MBA guys who worked at long-only or HF's.  But note that given the relative ranking of the school (and finance is certainly pedigree oriented), they don't have the same recruiting power as say FT Booth.  Additionally, UCLA recruiting tends to be regional, so almost all of them were at funds based out of LA or SF, so I'd be cognizant that there's a good chance you may stay in Cali after graduation.

 

For PT MBA's, I'd agree that unfortunately they don't get the same type of recruiting abilities as FT students (never fully understood why this is).  I don't know about PT Booth in particular, but the general feeling I've gotten is that you need to work / network much much much harder coming from a PT program, as opposed FT.  Given that and you're a career switcher, I'd personally take UCLA FT if those are your choices.  Just my personal thoughts.

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There's also the pension, endowments and other such funds route. Not too sure why AUM is important but it does sometimes allow for a wider breath of experience. As such AIMCo in Alberta has $80+ billion in AUM, so the OP might want to look west.

 

On that note, OTPP (Ontario Teacher's Pension Plan) is also a great example (based in Toronto too).  They were one of my former clients, and they're certainly not your typical "sleepy" pension investors.  They take activist positions, invest in complex vehicles / instruments, and aren't afraid to tell management what they really think.  They're some of the smartest investors I know, and are on par with the best of hedge funds out there.  These guys are killers despite the benign sounding name. 

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