The Road Ahead for an SS ER Associate
For my first three years out of school I was in a ‘hacksaw’ line of work, all the while struggling to get into a front-office role. I finally got into SS ER at a middle market bank and have really been enjoying the work. However, for reasons discussed ad-nausaum on this board, I don’t picture myself being in SS ER for the rest of my career. I see really three options here:
- I could switch to my bank’s investment banking group covering them same industry (TMT). We have decently productive M&A and ECM teams there and I think my chances of being able to switch would be good. I think this is a good choice but I would be in my late-20s by then and this would require me to move to NYC, so a pretty big change in lifestyle.
- I could go to the buy side to work at one of the multi-manager hedge funds. This sort of seems to be the path of least resistance for guys in my seat. I have seen a few of my colleagues go to these firms (Millenium, P72, BAM, Citadel et. al) and I, myself, have heard from recruiters from these firms. However, I’m not totally sure if I like the investing philosophy at these firms of essentially trading the quarters. I also would hate to be handcuffed to my sector for life and the skill-set seems somewhat one-dimensional to me.
- I could go to the buy side elsewhere. This would be a long-only or a single-strategy hedge fund. This seems a little bit more difficult and also impossible to do without your boss finding out you’re trying to do it. I would basically just start cold emailing anybody in my sector at mutual funds/single strat hedge funds. But turnover at these places is low and I don’t think anybody is adding seats at this time. My boss would also find out at some point that I’m cold-emailing people that she has a work relationship with.. probably not a huge issue but also probably not ideal.
- I could go do something in corporate, probably at one of the companies I cover or tangentially-related. Most people seem to do this for better work-life balance but I’m not really interested in that, I would like to work more because it seems to be the only aspect of my life going okay.
How should I weigh these choices? I’ve been in my current seat for 1.5 years.
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