Seeking Career Advice

For various reasons, I’ll soon be beginning my quest for my next job in the wonderful world of finance. The biggest problem I’m facing is what direction to go in (not because I’m unsure of what I want to do, but because what I want may not be practical). Based on the broad scope of people/knowledge on AF, I thought this would be a great avenue to obtain solid advice. Thanks in advance! Over the past 1.5 years, I’ve been working at a small ($300MM AUM) hedge fund based outside of Chicago. It’s a long/short fund focusing on U.S. equities, but with some exposure to global equities, too. I obtained the position directly out of college (graduated cum laude from a private university with a business school ranked around 50 in the nation). The fund itself will likely not hold too much weight in interviews (i.e., I’m not expecting an MD at Goldman to recognize the name). However, the type of work involved is legit, IMHO. The position is a research analyst role - duties include deriving investment ideas based on fundamental analysis for the PM, extensive modeling and various other tasks that one would expect a research analyst to do. My track record is good (knock on wood). I’ve come to the conclusion that I want my next job to be in NYC, so that’s where I’ll be putting most of my focus. Ideally, I’d like to continue doing what I do at a bigger hedge fund (i.e. at least $1B AUM, preferably event-driven). The only problem with this is the requirements that many of these funds place on potential analysts: “We are looking to hire a motivated individual with at least two years of investment banking experience to join as an investment analyst.” While I’m aware that this does not mean it’s impossible to land this type of job if one didn’t go through the IB training program at a BB bank, it will certainly make things more difficult. That being said, what would be my better option: to target hedge funds with the characteristics mentioned above or the 2-year analyst program at a BB bank? While the work that an IB analyst role entails is less appealing than what I currently do, I’m more than willing to take my punches if the payoff is right. The most important question, though, is whether or not my current credentials are good enough to land any interviews for the positions I’m interested in?

quickly glanced at your post. from what i can tell i feel like you have a pretty good base knowledge to not have to do the 2year analyst role. Not saying the ball is in your court, but at least youre still playing the game. When you leave that job in chicago though, put in a good word for me. i wouldnt mind being a secretary as long as im in the business. i love hedge funds. so if i was you, just pursue whatever you want!

Thanks EMRA