In the most general of terms, finance is the allocation of capital to assets and liabilities and can be broken down into three categories: personal, public, and corporate. The majority of business school students who recruit into finance enter corporate finance where they are responsible for helping clients balance risk. The different subsets within corporate finance are Sales and Trading, Equity Research, Private Equity, Private Wealth Management, and Investment Banking. The two most common areas that veterans recruit in to are Investment Banking and Private Wealth Management.
Investment Banking is in its absolute most basic definition a client advisory service that connects people who need capital to those who have it. Bankers are valued for their ability to provide strategic and financial advice through rigorous analyses of their client and client's business sector. As an associate, you will be responsible for taking a company's raw financial data and synthesizing it into concise models to allow your manager to give informed recommendations to clients. As you progress through your career, you will steer away from making the models and instead focus on maintaining the relationships with your clients and making the decisions on what services to provide to them. The recruiting process is very time intensive and can add up to 20 hours a week to your academic workload through corporate presentations, informational interview, and networking events.
Private Wealth Management is when independent wealth-managers use their experience in estate planning, risk management, and their affiliations with tax and legal specialists, to manage the diverse holdings of high-net-worth clients. Banks and brokerage firms use advisory talent-pools to aggregate these same services. As an MBA, banks are looking to hire directly into the associate position. Internships allow you to rotate on different Private Wealth Advisory teams to get a feel for different strategies of winning business and learning about the organizational culture.