Terrible education record - career in Finance possible? Need advice and opinions.
Bear with me folks, this will be a long post. I’d be incredibly grateful to those of you who take the time to read it and offer your input. For those who don’t have the time or can’t be bothered to read it, summary is at the bottom.
I will first give some background on myself. I am a 25 year old student studying Computer Science -B.sc in Applied Computing (Hons), to be precise. The Institute of Technology I study in is in Ireland. Its decent, but nowhere near recognized outside of Ireland. I have never been very academical. I passed everything at school, but I didn’t get better than honour level C’s. My grades throughout college, other than first year, have been below par to terrible. There are a variety of reasons why my grades were so poor, ranging from not trying hard enough from second year onwards, unsuitability to the course and bouts of depression.
First year I put in effort and had reasonably satisfactory grades. Second year was largely ok too, other than failing two modules which I still need to repeat. I didn’t pass them but managed to carry on in to third year. Third year I failed three modules out of 8. One was a 10 credit module so I had to stay back to do it again. The following year, I passed all three modules I failed in third year, though I was tired of it. I deferred my course with the two 5 credit modules from second year still outstanding. This was back in the summer of 2016.
I have now realised I need to get a degree. I was intending on completing my 4th year, but I found it difficult to get back in to the programming after such a long break. I’m not great at it naturally nor do I enjoy it, so I didn’t feel it would be worth the effort (which might not be enough) of preparing from scratch for a project year in 10 months. Especially to only get an average degree.Taking this in to consideration, I’ve decided to graduate after third year. I won’t get my Honours B.sc, but I will get an ordinary B.sc. Unfortunately, they judge the grade on third year alone, so because of that, I think my average would be around 45-50, giving me the lowest graded pass degree possible.
As you can all see, my education has been an absolute write off. With all that said, let me now tell you a bit about what I am currently doing/want to do. I don’t have any skilled work experience or internships, though I have worked for a couple of years for a security firm. Ultimately, I would like to work for myself/be an entrepreneur, though I currently don’t have any real ideas, network of people or funds to do it successfully. As I feel the time isn’t right, I feel I should try get in to the corporate world to build skills, network and save some funds for when the time is right.
In the last year or so, I have taken an interest in Finance. I have done some investing and trading in that time. I would like to learn more about these things and potentially work in these areas. I am currently studying for CFA, which I will sit in December after graduating with my B.sc. I quite like the idea of Finance as its something I’m interested in and something I can make use of for my future goal of being an entrepreneur/running my own business.
I understand my education track record will greatly hinder me, even with the three levels of CFA passed. I am realistic, I don’t expect to be working in JP Morgan doing Investment Banking. I’d be happy enough getting a role as a Financial Analyst in a smaller company and being able to work my way up to a decent wage. I am now willing to make a massive effort to do what it takes. I will study long and hard for the CFA. I will learn things like Excel and Financial modeling in depth to make me a better candidate for the job.
tl;dr: Terrible grades, failed modules, not a top college, ordinary bachelors degree, couple of year gap in middle of college, almost 26, no skilled work experience.
With all that said, I now have some questions for you all:
1/ Do I have any chance of breaking in to the Finance corporate world with my education track record? The CFA is quite the effort to study for if my efforts will be wasted because of my poor grades. I feel it will be difficult to even get an internship due to my grades and age.
2/ Is there anything I can do to try make up for my poor education record? Would I literally have to do a degree from scratch?
I’d really love your honest feedback to help me consider my options.
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