Thought I’d share my current work and future plans with everyone, and see if anyone else is in the same boat and/or has any useful suggestions.
I’m 29 and have been working for a management consulting firm in DC for four years as a senior associate. I have a Master’s degree in Applied Economics (some state school) and undergrad in Economics (good liberal arts school).
A bulk of my work involves building financial models and preparing financial plans for government agencies in transportation and infrastructure. A typical model involves macro-driven debt-sizing modules, and simple CAGR driven forecasts based on historical data. I also use my Econ background to do cost-benefit analysis, some regression analysis as required (usually simple OLS models), and Monte Carlo simulations. I’m very Excel-savvy and enjoy number crunching.
My company has pretty good defined career progression opportunities. In a couple years I’ll be set for a promotion as a consultant once I contribute towards some business development. It feels good to be the “quant/Excel guy” in the office, although I know for sure that I’d learn a lot more and be a better analyst if thrown in an environment with more like-minded people who took an interest in the global economy and financial markets.
Sometimes I don’t feel as savvy or smart as I’d like to. I don’t have an advanced degree from a big school, or any programming skills worth writing home about. I have a baby coming and am saving for a mortgage downpayment, so going back to school isn’t really an option at this point.
I took the CFA level 1 this June just as a refresher. Pass or fail (hopefully the former), I learnt a lot (specially FRA). I know that having the charter isn’t an auto-hire wherever you want, but at the very least I want a universally recognized charter next to my name that says I know a thing or two about finance. I’m happy for now continuing in management consulting, but what would you suggest as alternatives given my background and skills? What’s a skill you learnt recently that halped further your career?