BU graduate looking for advice

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Jun 21, 2006 1:36 am

Hi, I just graduated from Boston University with a degree in Economics with a 3.0 gpa and a 3.3 major gpa.  I’ve decided that I want to pursue a career in financial advising.  I have no experience other than a internship I did at a London law firm last semester which I spent abroad.  Do you think I have a chance at a wirehouse?  I passed the interview process at Ameriprise and have a job if I accept it.  I know Ameriprise is not as good as a reputable firm.  However, if i don’t have much of a chance at a better firm should I just take the job?

Thank You-

Jun 21, 2006 1:48 am

yes, if you can’t get another position. Just refuse to use their proprietary investments that way if you want to transfer to another broker dealer you can and the account will move intact. Check out Edward Jones…they are recruiting heavily all over the place

Jun 21, 2006 2:44 am

Do you think I could get a job at a good firm?

Jun 21, 2006 4:24 pm

Yes, just show them that you understand/have what it takes to make it in this industry.

Jun 21, 2006 6:18 pm

[quote=budave]Do you think I could get a job at a good firm? [/quote]

Yes and no. A good education is important, though not a key to the front door. The industry is littered with the ghosts of failed alumni of such staid names as Harvard, Yale, and Wharton. Unfortunately a degree from BU, or any other school, isn't going to get you a pass on the entry tests. Those tests will tell the decision making committee whether they should pony up your training expenses. That committee, which is the branch manager, his sales manager, the regional manager, the chief compliance officer, and the human resources manager will make a call based on how well you do on those tests and how well you interview.

The one big strike against you is your age, and inexperience, assuming your not a 40 year old grad. It's not a deal killer, it is a serious hurdle. Most 22 year olds have no idea what they're signing up for. After three or four months of 80 hour weeks, looking at another five to ten years of the same, many reassess their career choice. The committee knows this. This career is as much about sales as it is advisory, if not more. Again, most 22 year olds are not aware of this coming through the door. And, many of those 22 year olds have never sold and have no idea whether they have sales ability. The committee knows this. None of this is a deal buster, just the reality you face as a kid trying to get in.

A good place for a young college grad to start if they can't gain entry on their own, is as the junior member of a large team. No need to worry about using all the good stuff BU filled your head with, at that level it's about grunt work. The stuff the managing partners of the team were doing for themselves 20 years ago.

I'd skip working for a lesser quality financial services firm. Just because they'll hire you is not a reason to work for them. Having that type of firm on your resume, could hurt you down the road.

Set up interviews with all the top teir firms. If you can't get in, ask them what they'd need to see from you to get in, and listen closely. If you don't get into a top firm, your next step is to get a sales job with a top tier non financial services firm. Pick one, any firm will do, sell Pharmacuticals, copy machines. mainframe computers, Boeing 767s etc. Work at the corporate level for one of the car manufacturers. Keep all reports that show your performance. The experience you gain over a few years will qualify you for this industry.

Jun 21, 2006 8:39 pm

I would have to agree with tjc because I too am a 22 year old kid trying to make it in this business. I did just what tjc said and got in with a team as a junior. He’s completely right all i do is grunt work, generally i make 500 cold calls a day and get lunch for the brokers in my team. But as much as it sucks i am learning so much of the business just by watching them. The thing that keeps me going is the fact that 95% of the brokers who are killing it in the business started just the way i am. Lets face it we are 22 years old, what person in their right mind is going to give us 2 million to rollover for them.

Jun 22, 2006 12:55 am

If you can get on with EDJ that would be much better than ameriprise.
Nobody says you have to stay there forever. You could potentially make
pretty well your first year if you sell your balls off. Maybe look into
a client associate program or something at a wirehouse, to get some
knowledge in the business for a little while. 

Jun 22, 2006 1:51 am

Go get a dreadful (real) job. the odds of you making it are VERY slim. sorry but true.

Jun 22, 2006 1:55 am

by the way BU? big deal! just another college. if it ain’t harvard, dartmouth, brown or yale you’re not special. I know I went to just another college.

Jun 22, 2006 2:41 am

<span =“bold”>keith121883, where do you work?  What is your position exactly and how did you get it?  Also it seems there are mixed feeling for working for a lesser firm.  Would working for EDJ hurt my chances down the road?


Also I didn’t mean to imply that BU was as good an ivy leage school.

Jun 22, 2006 2:56 am

Also it seems there are mixed feeling for working for a lesser firm. Would working for EDJ hurt my chances down the road?

Jun 22, 2006 3:07 am

[quote=budave]keith121883, where do you work?  What is your position exactly and how did you get it?  Also it seems there are mixed feeling for working for a lesser firm.  Would working for EDJ hurt my chances down the road?


There can be no question that Jones is, in fact, a lesser firm, but I don't think it would hurt your chances later on.

Jun 22, 2006 11:41 am

Wachovia Securtities. Its a junior broker position and I got it through an old merrill manager that interviewed me and felt like I was too young to make it on my own. He told me to keep in touch and i did , we talked about once a month for a year. Then he put together some teams once he took over wachovia sec and offered me a job as a junior.