Chances at Penn's JD/MBA

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didntgo89072014
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:01 pm

Re: Chances at Penn's JD/MBA

Postby didntgo89072014 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:36 pm

BigZuck wrote:Increase softs? The kinds that would help you overcome the GPA?

Do something exceptionally good for your community. Cure a disease. Compete in the Olympics. That kind of stuff. Basically things that a school can brag about on their website. "We have this one bro who single-handedly rebuilt a city that had been destroyed by an earthquake," etc.


This is very exaggerated. A great soft for you would be something like organizing a nonprofit football league for underprivileged kids, or to a lesser extent coaching a football team of underprivileged kids. Or how about organizing a free week-long football camp for poor kids with some of your old teammates? This would show that you have a good heart, are a leader, and ties in well with you playing D1 football. This is called "creating a story." One does not need to be an Olympic gold medalist to stand out as an applicant, I don't know why this BS is circulated on this forum. I imagine you could count the gold medalists at HLS on one hand.

Unfortunately, for you, admission to the top 3 is probably not going to happen - for law school b/c of your GPA, and for b school b/c of your GPA, age, and good but not great work experience. The good news is you really don't need law school or b school.

BigZuck
Posts: 10852
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: Chances at Penn's JD/MBA

Postby BigZuck » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:39 pm

didntgo89072014 wrote:
BigZuck wrote:Increase softs? The kinds that would help you overcome the GPA?

Do something exceptionally good for your community. Cure a disease. Compete in the Olympics. That kind of stuff. Basically things that a school can brag about on their website. "We have this one bro who single-handedly rebuilt a city that had been destroyed by an earthquake," etc.


This is very exaggerated. A great soft for you would be something like organizing a nonprofit football league for underprivileged kids, or to a lesser extent coaching a football team of underprivileged kids. Or how about organizing a free week-long football camp for poor kids with some of your old teammates? This would show that you have a good heart, are a leader, and ties in well with you playing D1 football. This is called "creating a story." One does not need to be an Olympic gold medalist to stand out as an applicant, I don't know why this BS is circulated on this forum. I imagine you could count the gold medalists at HLS on one hand.

Unfortunately, for you, admission to the top 3 is probably not going to happen - for law school b/c of your GPA, and for b school b/c of your GPA, age, and good but not great work experience. The good news is you really don't need law school or b school.


Coaching a youth football team is not going to get Penn to overlook at 2.6. Come on bro.

didntgo89072014
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:01 pm

Re: Chances at Penn's JD/MBA

Postby didntgo89072014 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:40 pm

BigZuck wrote:
didntgo89072014 wrote:
BigZuck wrote:Increase softs? The kinds that would help you overcome the GPA?

Do something exceptionally good for your community. Cure a disease. Compete in the Olympics. That kind of stuff. Basically things that a school can brag about on their website. "We have this one bro who single-handedly rebuilt a city that had been destroyed by an earthquake," etc.


This is very exaggerated. A great soft for you would be something like organizing a nonprofit football league for underprivileged kids, or to a lesser extent coaching a football team of underprivileged kids. Or how about organizing a free week-long football camp for poor kids with some of your old teammates? This would show that you have a good heart, are a leader, and ties in well with you playing D1 football. This is called "creating a story." One does not need to be an Olympic gold medalist to stand out as an applicant, I don't know why this BS is circulated on this forum. I imagine you could count the gold medalists at HLS on one hand.

Unfortunately, for you, admission to the top 3 is probably not going to happen - for law school b/c of your GPA, and for b school b/c of your GPA, age, and good but not great work experience. The good news is you really don't need law school or b school.


Coaching a youth football team is not going to get Penn to overlook at 2.6. Come on bro.


Did you read the end of my post

Organizing a league or a camp would be a great soft for the reasons I stated (leadership, character, creating a story). He asked what would be a great soft and I gave him one. I still think he has a <1% chance of getting into the schools he mentioned. This has been my point.
Last edited by didntgo89072014 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BigZuck
Posts: 10852
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: Chances at Penn's JD/MBA

Postby BigZuck » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:43 pm

didntgo89072014 wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
didntgo89072014 wrote:
BigZuck wrote:Increase softs? The kinds that would help you overcome the GPA?

Do something exceptionally good for your community. Cure a disease. Compete in the Olympics. That kind of stuff. Basically things that a school can brag about on their website. "We have this one bro who single-handedly rebuilt a city that had been destroyed by an earthquake," etc.


This is very exaggerated. A great soft for you would be something like organizing a nonprofit football league for underprivileged kids, or to a lesser extent coaching a football team of underprivileged kids. Or how about organizing a free week-long football camp for poor kids with some of your old teammates? This would show that you have a good heart, are a leader, and ties in well with you playing D1 football. This is called "creating a story." One does not need to be an Olympic gold medalist to stand out as an applicant, I don't know why this BS is circulated on this forum. I imagine you could count the gold medalists at HLS on one hand.

Unfortunately, for you, admission to the top 3 is probably not going to happen - for law school b/c of your GPA, and for b school b/c of your GPA, age, and good but not great work experience. The good news is you really don't need law school or b school.


Coaching a youth football team is not going to get Penn to overlook at 2.6. Come on bro.


Did you read the end of my post


Yes.

He asked about softs that would help his application.

I said only exceptional softs.

You said that's wrong, coaching a youth football team is a good soft for him (that would help his application).

If you weren't talking about a soft that would help his application overcome the GPA and you were just talking about a nice thing he could do for other people, then it's not my fault that you weren't directly addressing his question.

didntgo89072014
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:01 pm

Re: Chances at Penn's JD/MBA

Postby didntgo89072014 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:52 pm

Yes.

He asked about softs that would help his application.

I said only exceptional softs.

You said that's wrong, coaching a youth football team is a good soft for him (that would help his application).

If you weren't talking about a soft that would help his application overcome the GPA and you were just talking about a nice thing he could do for other people, then it's not my fault that you weren't directly addressing his question.


The three things I mentioned would be good softs that would help his application. Starting a league or a camp would be better than just coaching a team, as I mentioned above.

What I said would be helpful to him or anyone thinking of how they can build a profile for elite law or business school admissions a few years down the road. Would he get into H/W/S or Penn Law with the softs I mentioned? Probably not, because his GPA is just too low. But is it helpful advice? Absolutely.

It's not particularly helpful to say "there are no great softs except curing cancer, olympic gold medals, or singlehandedly stopping a meteor from landing on NYC." That is definitely an exaggeration.

cal1k1d
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:45 pm

Re: Chances at Penn's JD/MBA

Postby cal1k1d » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:55 pm

didntgo89072014 wrote:
Yes.

He asked about softs that would help his application.

I said only exceptional softs.

You said that's wrong, coaching a youth football team is a good soft for him (that would help his application).

If you weren't talking about a soft that would help his application overcome the GPA and you were just talking about a nice thing he could do for other people, then it's not my fault that you weren't directly addressing his question.


The three things I mentioned would be good softs that would help his application. Starting a league or a camp would be better than just coaching a team, as I mentioned above.

What I said would be helpful to him or anyone thinking of how they can build a profile for elite law or business school admissions a few years down the road. Would he get into H/W/S or Penn Law with the softs I mentioned? Probably not. But is it helpful advice? Absolutely.

It's also not particularly helpful to say "there are no great softs except curing cancer, olympic gold medals, or singlehandedly stopping a meteor from landing on NYC." That is definitely an exaggeration.


So target Ideas:
-Join my Undergrad Alumni Board
-Possibly grad school's board or in some way get involved
-I am also going to keep my eye out on angel.co for any start ups that I find interesting and wanna get involved with.
-Possibly a non-profit but only if its something I believe in. I am not going to join a whole bunch of charities just to make me look better.
-I actually used to coach football but couldn't keep up with work as I can't just tell an MD that I have to leave and can't finish a project.


Side Topic:

It is really INSANE how much weight is put on kids like retrospectively and I am only 24 right now.. When I was 16 and 17 in high school I had no clue what Investment banking was or even like what it meant to go to a liberal arts school or that they ranked colleges or that there are "target schools". I went where I had a football scholarship that was D1. Then from 18-22 I was more concerned with football and track than class and somehow thought it would be okay because I was a triple major

It's kinda crazy how limited you can be if you didn't have your sh!t together before you were even old enough to drink.

didntgo89072014
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:01 pm

Re: Chances at Penn's JD/MBA

Postby didntgo89072014 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:00 pm

I agree with you completely about how much pressure is put on kids. The reality is that many, if not most, HBS kids follow a similar path - Ivy league/MIT/Stanford/Duke/Northwestern etc. to elite consulting/banking or peace corps, TFA, etc. A huge part of the HBS decision is made by the time you're 14 and getting freshman year high school grades back. If you failed freshman year high school and ended up at the local state college, you're a long shot for HBS period. That's just the way it works. I don't think it's fair either but the world isn't fair. Here's a snapshot of the undergraduate schools that feed HBS. http://poetsandquants.com/2011/08/15/top-feeder-colleges-to-harvard-business-school/2/

As for what you're thinking of doing outside of work, absolutely should pick one or two of the things from your list and try to excel. It will be great for expanding your network, developing more skills, and working with people from different backgrounds, as well as enhancing your personal brand. Don't do it as a pathway to H/W/S. If you had a 3.3 and a 730 with your background, I would think you had a shot at Wharton, but as it stands currently, it's just not gonna happen man.
Last edited by didntgo89072014 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BigZuck
Posts: 10852
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: Chances at Penn's JD/MBA

Postby BigZuck » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:04 pm

didntgo89072014 wrote:
Yes.

He asked about softs that would help his application.

I said only exceptional softs.

You said that's wrong, coaching a youth football team is a good soft for him (that would help his application).

If you weren't talking about a soft that would help his application overcome the GPA and you were just talking about a nice thing he could do for other people, then it's not my fault that you weren't directly addressing his question.


The three things I mentioned would be good softs that would help his application. Starting a league or a camp would be better than just coaching a team, as I mentioned above.

What I said would be helpful to him or anyone thinking of how they can build a profile for elite law or business school admissions a few years down the road. Would he get into H/W/S or Penn Law with the softs I mentioned? Probably not, because his GPA is just too low. But is it helpful advice? Absolutely.

It's not particularly helpful to say "there are no great softs except curing cancer, olympic gold medals, or singlehandedly stopping a meteor from landing on NYC." That is definitely an exaggeration.


It's not an exaggeration at all. He's a 2.6 that wants to do the impossible. He's going to need exceptional softs to do that.

Are there good softs that aren't ridiculously over the top good? Of course. But the types of things you're talking about might help differentiate one 3.8/170 from another 3.8/170 and act as the tiebreaker that leads to one's acceptance. Coaching youth football is not going to get a 2.6 GPA into Penn, which is what he was asking and what I was responding to.

Look OP- do nice things for your community. That's great. But don't expect it to make up for your GPA unless what you're doing is exceptionally impressive.

englandco
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:36 am

Re: Chances at Penn's JD/MBA

Postby englandco » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:14 pm

OK. I used to work at Houlihan Lokey and saw my share of recruiting as well. Here's my take just briefly (and apologies if my advice is repetitive... I didn't really read your initial post closely and haven't looked at the rest of the thread)

You have a sub-3 undergraduate GPA. As someone who doesn't have seemingly much IB experience, you will have a very difficult time getting into HL's Restructuring Group, which on its own takes Wharton undergrads a lot. You will REALLY need to network if that's your target right now.

If your target is private equity, you're better served avoiding bschool if you don't have any IB experience beforehand. On top of that a lot of the time people who are in PE after bschool actually have PE experience prior to going to bschool as an associate at a PE firm. Unless you go to a TOP BSCHOOL that has a lot of Wall Street alumni (i.e. Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, NYU, Booth maybe) you'll have a tough time getting a job in any finance field that's not BS.

Anyway, if I were you I'd work on getting the IB experience first if PE is your target, forgo the JD, and then get into the best business school you possibly can. You'll need a solid amount of work experience, and good work experience at that (including awesome work recommendations, showing leadership, not making excuses like you did a LOT in your opening post) before you can even consider applying, to be perfectly honest.

So instead of worrying about the LSAT and whatnot, I would really spend the time networking your ass off. Get your foot into the door at a reputable firm and then get some good work experience.

Good luck.

didntgo89072014
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:01 pm

Re: Chances at Penn's JD/MBA

Postby didntgo89072014 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:17 pm

OK, I disagree that admissions committee members will literally not care about the stories of 99% of their applicants unless they are deciding between applicants with identical GPAs and LSAT scores. There may be a shred of truth to that blanket statement for law school but it is totally untrue for business school.

didntgo89072014
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:01 pm

Re: Chances at Penn's JD/MBA

Postby didntgo89072014 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:18 pm

englandco wrote:OK. I used to work at Houlihan Lokey and saw my share of recruiting as well. Here's my take just briefly (and apologies if my advice is repetitive... I didn't really read your initial post closely and haven't looked at the rest of the thread)

You have a sub-3 undergraduate GPA. As someone who doesn't have seemingly much IB experience, you will have a very difficult time getting into HL's Restructuring Group, which on its own takes Wharton undergrads a lot. You will REALLY need to network if that's your target right now.

If your target is private equity, you're better served avoiding bschool if you don't have any IB experience beforehand. On top of that a lot of the time people who are in PE after bschool actually have PE experience prior to going to bschool as an associate at a PE firm. Unless you go to a TOP BSCHOOL that has a lot of Wall Street alumni (i.e. Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, NYU, Booth maybe) you'll have a tough time getting a job in any finance field that's not BS.

Anyway, if I were you I'd work on getting the IB experience first if PE is your target, forgo the JD, and then get into the best business school you possibly can. You'll need a solid amount of work experience, and good work experience at that (including awesome work recommendations, showing leadership, not making excuses like you did a LOT in your opening post) before you can even consider applying, to be perfectly honest.

So instead of worrying about the LSAT and whatnot, I would really spend the time networking your ass off. Get your foot into the door at a reputable firm and then get some good work experience.

Good luck.


/thread, great advice from the horse's mouth

cal1k1d
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:45 pm

Re: Chances at Penn's JD/MBA

Postby cal1k1d » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:01 pm

didntgo89072014 wrote:
englandco wrote:OK. I used to work at Houlihan Lokey and saw my share of recruiting as well. Here's my take just briefly (and apologies if my advice is repetitive... I didn't really read your initial post closely and haven't looked at the rest of the thread)

You have a sub-3 undergraduate GPA. As someone who doesn't have seemingly much IB experience, you will have a very difficult time getting into HL's Restructuring Group, which on its own takes Wharton undergrads a lot. You will REALLY need to network if that's your target right now.

If your target is private equity, you're better served avoiding bschool if you don't have any IB experience beforehand. On top of that a lot of the time people who are in PE after bschool actually have PE experience prior to going to bschool as an associate at a PE firm. Unless you go to a TOP BSCHOOL that has a lot of Wall Street alumni (i.e. Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, NYU, Booth maybe) you'll have a tough time getting a job in any finance field that's not BS.

Anyway, if I were you I'd work on getting the IB experience first if PE is your target, forgo the JD, and then get into the best business school you possibly can. You'll need a solid amount of work experience, and good work experience at that (including awesome work recommendations, showing leadership, not making excuses like you did a LOT in your opening post) before you can even consider applying, to be perfectly honest.

So instead of worrying about the LSAT and whatnot, I would really spend the time networking your ass off. Get your foot into the door at a reputable firm and then get some good work experience.

Good luck.


/thread, great advice from the horse's mouth


I do have full time Banking experience but in Public Finance, my experience has been appealing to all the restructuring guys I have talked to as I did some work relating to the Harrisburg bankruptcy and also did some bankruptcy related debt raisings for distressed municipalities. Everyone is starting to do more and more in Municipal bankruptcies with whats going on in Cali and in Detroit.

I also know that the group consistently pulls from wharton as well as Harvard, NYU, Yale, etc. which is why I avoided the standard OCR process. I wouldn't of had a shot being that I am a square peg in a round hole. I am waiting for off-cycle where I can interview against a handful of kids and people (in general) are looking for someone who can come in and do the job so skills and work experience are more important.. At least that is how it was for us at my old shop.

Ideally I really wanna do HL FRG --> Distressed PE and just stay there, but the reality is that I will likely get the 2/3 and out treatment. Were you in the restructuring group? If so which office? And what funds actively recruited there? I know a decent number of funds still pull from traditional BB IB for their funds instead of the more relevant restructuring groups.

My feelings towards the JD are its potential relevance to Distressed PE and it would get at least an extra look for post-mba PE. I would revise your statement that I wouldn't do an mba unless I had pre-mba PE experience because there are always more pre-mba associate positions than there are post-mba associate positions since the later is generally seen as a partner track.

englandco
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:36 am

Re: Chances at Penn's JD/MBA

Postby englandco » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:42 pm

cal1k1d wrote:
didntgo89072014 wrote:
englandco wrote:OK. I used to work at Houlihan Lokey and saw my share of recruiting as well. Here's my take just briefly (and apologies if my advice is repetitive... I didn't really read your initial post closely and haven't looked at the rest of the thread)

You have a sub-3 undergraduate GPA. As someone who doesn't have seemingly much IB experience, you will have a very difficult time getting into HL's Restructuring Group, which on its own takes Wharton undergrads a lot. You will REALLY need to network if that's your target right now.

If your target is private equity, you're better served avoiding bschool if you don't have any IB experience beforehand. On top of that a lot of the time people who are in PE after bschool actually have PE experience prior to going to bschool as an associate at a PE firm. Unless you go to a TOP BSCHOOL that has a lot of Wall Street alumni (i.e. Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, NYU, Booth maybe) you'll have a tough time getting a job in any finance field that's not BS.

Anyway, if I were you I'd work on getting the IB experience first if PE is your target, forgo the JD, and then get into the best business school you possibly can. You'll need a solid amount of work experience, and good work experience at that (including awesome work recommendations, showing leadership, not making excuses like you did a LOT in your opening post) before you can even consider applying, to be perfectly honest.

So instead of worrying about the LSAT and whatnot, I would really spend the time networking your ass off. Get your foot into the door at a reputable firm and then get some good work experience.

Good luck.


/thread, great advice from the horse's mouth


I do have full time Banking experience but in Public Finance, my experience has been appealing to all the restructuring guys I have talked to as I did some work relating to the Harrisburg bankruptcy and also did some bankruptcy related debt raisings for distressed municipalities. Everyone is starting to do more and more in Municipal bankruptcies with whats going on in Cali and in Detroit.

I also know that the group consistently pulls from wharton as well as Harvard, NYU, Yale, etc. which is why I avoided the standard OCR process. I wouldn't of had a shot being that I am a square peg in a round hole. I am waiting for off-cycle where I can interview against a handful of kids and people (in general) are looking for someone who can come in and do the job so skills and work experience are more important.. At least that is how it was for us at my old shop.

Ideally I really wanna do HL FRG --> Distressed PE and just stay there, but the reality is that I will likely get the 2/3 and out treatment. Were you in the restructuring group? If so which office? And what funds actively recruited there? I know a decent number of funds still pull from traditional BB IB for their funds instead of the more relevant restructuring groups.

My feelings towards the JD are its potential relevance to Distressed PE and it would get at least an extra look for post-mba PE. I would revise your statement that I wouldn't do an mba unless I had pre-mba PE experience because there are always more pre-mba associate positions than there are post-mba associate positions since the later is generally seen as a partner track.


Due to geographic and content preference I was not in FRG, but in CorpFin (dealing only with M&A) in an industry group. But obviously know people in and have worked fairly extensively with FRG.

Agreed that you will need go in off-cycle. I would caution you on a couple things. First, it's definitely difficult to lateral into a group without networking, which I'm sure you are aware of. Why I'm emphasizing the networking so much is because a lot of people think that the only thing they'll need to do is simply get some good stuff onto the resume and then they'll be able to make a lateral move. Obviously that's paramount; however, it's going to help incredibly much if you really start to get to know people in the FRG office in which you're interested in working.

Re: what firms recruit at HL? Right now a lot of MM to lower-MM PE funds. But my buddy who was my analyst mentor did get recruited into a tip-top megacap PE fund. Don't want to say which because it might give his identity away. Another buddy of mine is at a super top HF.

Additionally keep in mind that HL FRG works primarily on the creditor side, not the debtor side. Sounds like a subtle distinction, but it's actually quite important. Sadly, debtor side is more "prestigious," which means the dudes at Blackstone RX, Perella Weinberg RX, or the BBs for example are gonna get the top PE offers. When I left HL the activity in FRG was slowing down pretty substantially, which is interesting to note.

Nonetheless I LOVED my HL experience.

Anyway, long story short, personally I don't believe your situation is most conducive to a JD. The reasoning? Your academic record is unfortunately lackluster. Thus, it'll be tough to convince adcoms that you are going to excel in the classroom. Not to say that it's impossible or that you are incapable, just stating the facts based on numbers. Nothing wrong with that at all.

However, it's just going to take so much more hustle to get to what you want, which is Distressed PE. As Kevin Garnett eloquently put it, "Anything is possible." You honestly just need to get your foot in the door using alternate methods, not the traditional. And that not only means networking, but also working your ass off in true investment banking work experience (no offense, please, none intended whatsoever, just stating the absolute truth).

I have full faith that you'll get to where you want to be in the end if you forget about the past, focus on the present and future, and work really really hard. I didn't have a steller undergraduate GPA either (mine was mediocre), but I got recruited into IB because I networked my ass off and figured out who to talk to, what to say, what to do, and how to best position myself for where I wanted to be at the time. I was probably one of the lowest-GPA hires HL has ever had, to be honest. I left as one of the top analysts in my class and had the opportunity to lateral to Goldman Sachs (I turned them down because I wanted to do something different). Once you're in finance, if you have the balls, you don't need "education" to get a step up over anyone. It takes drive and fire... if you have those and can showcase your natural aptitude on the job, you'll make it where you want to be.

Once again, good luck.

cal1k1d
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:45 pm

Re: Chances at Penn's JD/MBA

Postby cal1k1d » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:12 am

englandco wrote:
cal1k1d wrote:
didntgo89072014 wrote:
englandco wrote:OK. I used to work at Houlihan Lokey and saw my share of recruiting as well. Here's my take just briefly (and apologies if my advice is repetitive... I didn't really read your initial post closely and haven't looked at the rest of the thread)

You have a sub-3 undergraduate GPA. As someone who doesn't have seemingly much IB experience, you will have a very difficult time getting into HL's Restructuring Group, which on its own takes Wharton undergrads a lot. You will REALLY need to network if that's your target right now.

If your target is private equity, you're better served avoiding bschool if you don't have any IB experience beforehand. On top of that a lot of the time people who are in PE after bschool actually have PE experience prior to going to bschool as an associate at a PE firm. Unless you go to a TOP BSCHOOL that has a lot of Wall Street alumni (i.e. Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, NYU, Booth maybe) you'll have a tough time getting a job in any finance field that's not BS.

Anyway, if I were you I'd work on getting the IB experience first if PE is your target, forgo the JD, and then get into the best business school you possibly can. You'll need a solid amount of work experience, and good work experience at that (including awesome work recommendations, showing leadership, not making excuses like you did a LOT in your opening post) before you can even consider applying, to be perfectly honest.

So instead of worrying about the LSAT and whatnot, I would really spend the time networking your ass off. Get your foot into the door at a reputable firm and then get some good work experience.

Good luck.


/thread, great advice from the horse's mouth


I do have full time Banking experience but in Public Finance, my experience has been appealing to all the restructuring guys I have talked to as I did some work relating to the Harrisburg bankruptcy and also did some bankruptcy related debt raisings for distressed municipalities. Everyone is starting to do more and more in Municipal bankruptcies with whats going on in Cali and in Detroit.

I also know that the group consistently pulls from wharton as well as Harvard, NYU, Yale, etc. which is why I avoided the standard OCR process. I wouldn't of had a shot being that I am a square peg in a round hole. I am waiting for off-cycle where I can interview against a handful of kids and people (in general) are looking for someone who can come in and do the job so skills and work experience are more important.. At least that is how it was for us at my old shop.

Ideally I really wanna do HL FRG --> Distressed PE and just stay there, but the reality is that I will likely get the 2/3 and out treatment. Were you in the restructuring group? If so which office? And what funds actively recruited there? I know a decent number of funds still pull from traditional BB IB for their funds instead of the more relevant restructuring groups.

My feelings towards the JD are its potential relevance to Distressed PE and it would get at least an extra look for post-mba PE. I would revise your statement that I wouldn't do an mba unless I had pre-mba PE experience because there are always more pre-mba associate positions than there are post-mba associate positions since the later is generally seen as a partner track.


Due to geographic and content preference I was not in FRG, but in CorpFin (dealing only with M&A) in an industry group. But obviously know people in and have worked fairly extensively with FRG.

Agreed that you will need go in off-cycle. I would caution you on a couple things. First, it's definitely difficult to lateral into a group without networking, which I'm sure you are aware of. Why I'm emphasizing the networking so much is because a lot of people think that the only thing they'll need to do is simply get some good stuff onto the resume and then they'll be able to make a lateral move. Obviously that's paramount; however, it's going to help incredibly much if you really start to get to know people in the FRG office in which you're interested in working.

Re: what firms recruit at HL? Right now a lot of MM to lower-MM PE funds. But my buddy who was my analyst mentor did get recruited into a tip-top megacap PE fund. Don't want to say which because it might give his identity away. Another buddy of mine is at a super top HF.

Additionally keep in mind that HL FRG works primarily on the creditor side, not the debtor side. Sounds like a subtle distinction, but it's actually quite important. Sadly, debtor side is more "prestigious," which means the dudes at Blackstone RX, Perella Weinberg RX, or the BBs for example are gonna get the top PE offers. When I left HL the activity in FRG was slowing down pretty substantially, which is interesting to note.

Nonetheless I LOVED my HL experience.

Anyway, long story short, personally I don't believe your situation is most conducive to a JD. The reasoning? Your academic record is unfortunately lackluster. Thus, it'll be tough to convince adcoms that you are going to excel in the classroom. Not to say that it's impossible or that you are incapable, just stating the facts based on numbers. Nothing wrong with that at all.

However, it's just going to take so much more hustle to get to what you want, which is Distressed PE. As Kevin Garnett eloquently put it, "Anything is possible." You honestly just need to get your foot in the door using alternate methods, not the traditional. And that not only means networking, but also working your ass off in true investment banking work experience (no offense, please, none intended whatsoever, just stating the absolute truth).

I have full faith that you'll get to where you want to be in the end if you forget about the past, focus on the present and future, and work really really hard. I didn't have a steller undergraduate GPA either (mine was mediocre), but I got recruited into IB because I networked my ass off and figured out who to talk to, what to say, what to do, and how to best position myself for where I wanted to be at the time. I was probably one of the lowest-GPA hires HL has ever had, to be honest. I left as one of the top analysts in my class and had the opportunity to lateral to Goldman Sachs (I turned them down because I wanted to do something different). Once you're in finance, if you have the balls, you don't need "education" to get a step up over anyone. It takes drive and fire... if you have those and can showcase your natural aptitude on the job, you'll make it where you want to be.

Once again, good luck.


Thanks. Ya I have been trying to find people in the FRG group.. I have a couple contacts, but I am trying to make sure that they are friends rather than contacts. I am sure you know what I mean by that. Ya networking can overcome a lot in finance which is sweet as its more people driven and performance driven. Smart on turning down goldman and the goldman-discount. But ya I am doing my masters program as a tool to lateral to more traditional banking since there is no way I could get it done as a straight lateral.

Ya I know that Houlihan is creditor focused, which is fine with me. I actually have never understood why everyone gives so much weight to the debtor side. Houlihan as the creditor would get better experience as they are representing the PE debt funds in the bankruptcy process. Though the counter to that would be that PE Distressed funds buying those companies need the debtor experience to value the experience.

But ya gracias for the post.... That is kinda the route that would be preferable.. But PE is scary anymore with how many people are getting turned out after 2 years and how few people are getting hired back.

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jingosaur
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Re: Chances at Penn's JD/MBA

Postby jingosaur » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:55 am

:roll:

Chancing someone for the Penn JD/MBA program is pretty hard to do. I was an R1 applicant and got Wait Listed. PM me if you want more details.




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