So Discouraged

My back office job has been awful lately. Business is rough, execs are irritable, and they do not support my CFA pursuit in any degree. Next fall I’m going to grad school and have kept this from them. I’m 2.5 years out of school and had an internship after graduation at a large financial institution and then moved to my small current firm afterwards. I have two prior managers who are wonderful and helping me with my letters of rec for the MBA admission. I’m considering quitting this dump all together and focusing on something else. I know jobs are lean, but one should not have to be treated as they are for such little pay, long hours, and just boring work. My GMAT went well and I can get into my safety school for sure and probably my first pick school. I’m considering just quitting all together once I get admitted so I can focus on the CFA exams, grad school preparation (excel training, leisure reading, etc.), and perhaps some volunteering. During college I was a very active volunteer and I miss it. Not only did it have an intrinsic personal benefit, but also employers looked kindly on this. I’m thinking this would be a decent substitute if I were to decide to quit all together. My resume would not suffer so much by this and I do have a part time gig at a bar/grill that I could pay the bills. Sadly the bartending job pays more $/hour than back office work, and it’s a lot more fun. For those of you on the board that host interviews, how would a candidate be viewed who had an MBA and was a Charterholder Candidate (zero qualified years of experience) who did some volunteer work for 6 months prior to entering grad school? I’m looking for a potential way to proceed this route since I truly enjoy volunteering with the church, alternative spring breaks, and the like. But, I don’t want this to be a huge black mark to haunt me going forward.

Sorry to hear about you, but I work at LEH.

sid3699 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Sorry to hear about you, but I work at LEH. I’m sure that is no picnic either. I read your post “Game On” today and don’t envy your situation likewise.

Having a job always beats not having one. Just my personal opinion. I am in transition myself right now and it sucks. The day is unstructured, often unproductive. I do not have access to databases/resources. And of course no paycheck. My humble advice to you would be: Stay on. Once you get admitted, stay on even then. You know it will end (when the MBA begins). That should make it easier. And while you are there, “milk” the situation - build your contacts, build your resume for your post-MBA job. These are times that build character. (Hopefully I did not sound too preachy with that last line:-)

I agree with what you are saying aval, however there is only so much verbal abuse and threats one can take (I was told how lucky I am to have this job and thousands would kill for it followed by a silence). Ugh, hopefully next week will be a clean slate. Recently things have been spiraling from bad to worse.

Volunteer work is not a good enough substitute, imho.

How far along are you in the CFA program? What do you eventually want to do?

I’m retaking Level 1 in December followed by Level 2 in June assuming all goes well. Portfolio management, ER, investment analysis, or the like is what is interesting to me. Thus far I’ve enjoyed learning what is in the CFA Curriculum.

Ok, here’s my advice to you. I was in a similar position this time last year (almost identical circumstances). 1. Make sure you don’t lose this job in the interim unless you plan on jumping to another back office job. 2. Ensure that you pass Level 1 in December!!! Otherwise, you are set one year back. Regardless of the low pass rate, diligence is the key to passing all three exams. 3. Start networking, either through grad school, your company, or other venues. 4. Unless you plan on jumping to the sell side (in which case the CFA is of lower value), sales, or you want to do equity research, you probably need to do a stint in the middle office. You should be able to jump to equity research with just the CFA (in fact levels 1 and 2 alone should be sufficient), but maybe not as easily in this economy. May I ask what are you getting your graduate degree in?

I’m going for an MBA in Finance from one of two schools in the city I’m in. Both highly respected inside the city, but one is more recognized out of state than the other though. After barely missing the cutoff in June (fail band 10) I’m postitive I can crush December’s Level 1 Exam. Networking has been an ongoing hobby of mine for 2 years. I’m confident when speaking with others and have developed some good connections. Many know that I have not been happy in my current role and have kept their eyes open for me. In any case almost all of them have been willing to help me when I ask for it. Our firm cut a great deal of the workforce the past few months and I have been fortunate to miss the ax each time. However, lately the atmosphere is so rotten that I’ve considered doing away with it altogether and focusing on the CFA Exams, leisure reading, excel/access skills, financial modeling, etc. with the bar/grill gig and volunteering to substitute the 9-5er. The crumby work atmosphere has just been a spillover into my personal life. It really has me down and depressed lately. What sort of position did you end up with TA05?

I was a fund accountant for a year, before I went back on-campus to complete my last semester of grad school (MS Finance). I passed Levels 1 and 2 in that time and currently I am trying to land a middle office trading job. Edit: I’m graduating in December.

If you want to volunteer for a cause or your faith, go for it. It may be the last time in your life you have this opportunity. But don’t do it because you’re running away from this job. You’ll regret it if that is your motivating factor.

Best of luck to you TA. Let me know if I can be of any assistance. I appreciate your input.


> > 3. Start networking, either through grad school, > your company, or other venues. > > 4. Unless you plan on jumping to the sell side (in > which case the CFA is of lower value) > HUH? WHY?

I don’t know what you’re asking really, but why not?

^ I think he’s asking why you’re saying CFA is of lower value to the sell-side

After you get into grad school, you could go to a foreign country and live on the beach and study for the CFA exam. You would have most of the day to study for the exam and could party at night, and get a bartend job in the other country if needed to pay the bills. If interviewing for jobs, you could say that you learned a foreign language and knocked out some of these CFA exams while doing so… sounds awesome to me - I’m content with city life for now though. I am partial to Valencia, Spain - lived there for six months in '04. Its right on the mediterranean coast and across the way from Ibiza (3hr ferry). Also, if you don’t speak spanish too well to bartend at a normal spanish bar, you could go to a little Irish bar called St. Pat’s in Plaza de Canovas. There you go - haha.

Thanks for the thoughts guys.

tao, CFA is huge on the sell side. what are you talking about?!??!!