Background: -Been working in corporate finance and treasury for past 7 years at two separate companies. -Work has been varied and has included a very limited amount of investment decision responsibility, (primarily regarding hedging our energy purchases and interest rates, reviewing of 401k fund offerings) -Passed CFA Level 3 Exam recently, but do not have an MBA -Currently in Chicago, and I am 30 years old. Okay, so I’d like to do two things: 1. Move to New York. Partially for the wider job opportunities, and partially because I like the city and I want to try someplace new after living in Chicago all my life. I am also open to London (but that’s based primarily on the high numbers of jobs, though I’m assuming that also goes with higher amount of competition) 2. I want to finally get into a role that would get me started in the investments industry, but not a back office job (as I assume I’m already doing the equivalent). I’m targeting for a junior analyst role. If the economy was better, I would normally leave my current job, move to NYC, and just get looking. But I’m worried that if I do that, given my lack of experience in the investments industry, if I don’t find anything I may eventually have to capitulate and end up having to work at another Corporate Finance role, possibly at a pay cut too. Another thing is I’ve never conducted a cross-country job search. I don’t know how realistic it is to try to get jobs in other cities while still working in Chicago. I imagine it would involve a lot of flying back and forth, even if I was able to batch interviews from different companies in a weeks time. Also, is I have about 15 vacation days from my employer, and I am not sure if this is sufficient for interviews. I was thinking some alternate goals would be keep applying to the limited opportunities in Chicago, and try to build experience here before going to NYC. Or perhaps change my focus to getting an MBA first (although as I research that option, I’m finding my interests are stronger in economics). So finally, my question is: What is the best way to pull this off? Is this an unrealistic goal? Has anyone ever made these two jumps, and if so, what suggestions do you have. For cross city applications, how much of interview process can be down via phone, and how much in person? (I’m assuming it skews toward the latter). Thanks for any suggestions.
Do you work for Exelon in Chicago? Can you get into Booth or Kellogg?
No no, I should clarify. I work for a large retail company, so for us the hedging is for fixing our future energy costs regarding for our truck fleet and warehouses, and interest rates are for our lines of credit. So we are purchasers of the financial products, not creators of them. As for Booth of Kellogg. Not sure. I still have to take GMAT. This is something I have to research more. I did get accepted to Norhwestern and U of C for their undergrad programs, but that was waaaaay back, and I don’t even know if that correlates at all with acceptance to their MBA programs. I was hoping to pursue this route as a plan B.
You make it sound like you didn’t choose either school for undergrad. Where did you go instead and did you major in finance?
Sounds like it’s time to think about MBA programs.
xreflux Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > 2. I want to finally get into a role that would get me started in the investments industry, but not a back office job (as I assume I’m already doing the equivalent). I’m targeting for a junior analyst role. I wouldn’t be so quick to discount your experience and wouldn’t think it’s BO work (though only you know for sure). I think ohai makes a good point, but you might also be able to leverage your current role into another CF or FP&A role that is more involved with investment decisions. One area I’ve seen look for your background is the Family Office space - this could be a good way to do similar work now with the opportunity of moving towards a role more focused on investment decision making.
…also, what are your priorities - it seems location trumps job at this point. If so, that makes things easier imo.
you have to get the MBA. I did what you are trying to do and had a similar background (corporate treasury, profit analyst, treasury risk analyst, financial analyst) in Michigan. I got my MBA from the University of Chicago. I also really wanted to come to NY and I did get a job in investments (asset management at a boutique i bank), though I’m no longer working in that field. I got the job because of my experience AND the MBA. The work experience was HUGE as working in the treasury department, I got to know the counterparties in NY somewhat. So yes, it’s possible. But this is what it took in my case to get to NY. The way a cross country job search works is that you will have preliminary rounds of phone interviews, and if they like you, they will fly you in for the day. You might have to come back a second time. So 15 days of vacation is more than enough.
Double Dip- when getting accepted to Univ of Chicago, did they look at all your grades post-high school or did they mainly focus on your major/minor areas of study? What do you attribute your admission to- solid undergrad college? Great GMAT score? Solid work experience connections?
I got in a long time ago when things were easier, so I’m told. Class of 98. I have a lot of experience, and I imagine that counted for a lot. My grades might have been important, I don’t know, and my undergrad was in engineering, not finance, business or economics so it’s hard to say what was important to them. Though I am quite a math geek and had good grades in these areas. I think the essays and interviews factored into the decision as well but looking back, I’d have to say that the experience was the most important factor in my case, I was working as a financial analyst already. PS my undergrad school was not well known but I already had a masters degree from the University of Michigan when I applied, and I think I was in the PhD program at the time. I think that compensated for the undergrad.
My buddy really wants to get into Univ of Chicago for his MBA and is also an engineer. He got his undergrad in engineering from Purdue and has been working for a couple smaller engineering firms. He doesn’t really like it and wants to get into finance. Any tips on getting into Univ of Chicago for his MBA considering his engineering background? He is 25 years old and has ~3 years work experience.
Forgot to mention- his current firm will not pay for his MBA. I’ve been trying to nudge him toward Exelon since they have good MBA connections at Booth and Kellogg but a lot of their engineering jobs are out in the middle of nowhere.
I think he needs some more work experience. Things may have changed since my days, but 5 or more years of experience is customary. An engineering background is great for finance and even consulting. When I was at Chicago, my classmates included physicians, accountants, entrepreneurs… it’s all about what he brings to the table and can contribute. yes, they ask this on the interview (at least, they asked me: what will you do with your MBA, and why finance? what do you bring to the table?) as a large part of the MBA process is teamwork and learning from each other. While at his current job, can he move into a finance role from engineering? That’s what I did. Though I wouldn’t think it’s completely necessary, it can help demonstrate commitment to the field. Or, he should do consulting or volunteering on the side, or start up a small business. At the very least, work with students or start a blog. The competition out there is really tough. It stinks that his company won’t pay for his MBA. Mine didn’t want to but I finally got them to capitulate. The reason they don’t want to pay is 1) he’s in engineering, what value will an MBA have to his company (this is THEIR thinking, not mine) and 2) most people tend to leave after getting the MBA so why would the company pay. He’ll have a better chance if he can transition to finance.
Nice, back in those days, was the b-school on the main campus? I don’t think the current building existed then…
I think you are right, I saw where they were constructing a new building after I left. I should come back and see it.
robber07 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > You make it sound like you didn’t choose either > school for undergrad. Where did you go instead > and did you major in finance? No I didn’t. In retrospect those would have been better choices, but at the time I went to my state school (UIUC) as a Mech. Engineering student [it was ranked top 3 at the time]. Not so much for a love of the field, but with the idea, that I would at least keep my academic skills sharp until I figured out what I really wanted to do. I eventually did and transferred to Finance, however I found the curriculum rather underwhelming until I started auditing some Master’s courses.
LPoulin133 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I wouldn’t be so quick to discount your experience > and wouldn’t think it’s BO work (though only you > know for sure). I think ohai makes a good point, > but you might also be able to leverage your > current role into another CF or FP&A role that is > more involved with investment decisions. > > One area I’ve seen look for your background is the > Family Office space - this could be a good way to > do similar work now with the opportunity of moving > towards a role more focused on investment decision > making. Well, I’m kind of maxing out here unless a manager moves out, which will probably take a while… My work does take thinking, I’ve gotten out of the plug’n’chug a while back, but don’t know how that compares with a financial services BO, MO, FO roles. I do notice a lot of my skill set does match up with most of the requirements for Analyst roles I see on CFA Jobline, except for the “2-4 years investment experience” This family office space idea sounds interesting. Is there a good method to go about finding such opportunities, like some public data source or is it done more via networking?
DoubleDip Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > you have to get the MBA. I did what you are > trying to do and had a similar background > (corporate treasury, profit analyst, treasury risk > analyst, financial analyst) in Michigan. I got my > MBA from the University of Chicago. I also really > wanted to come to NY and I did get a job in > investments (asset management at a boutique i > bank), though I’m no longer working in that field. > I got the job because of my experience AND the > MBA. The work experience was HUGE as working in > the treasury department, I got to know the > counterparties in NY somewhat. > So yes, it’s possible. But this is what it took in > my case to get to NY. The way a cross country job > search works is that you will have preliminary > rounds of phone interviews, and if they like you, > they will fly you in for the day. You might have > to come back a second time. > > So 15 days of vacation is more than enough. Great, thanks for the info. I may give a shot then at looking for jobs short term, but then simultaneously prepare for the GMAT to keep options open.
xreflux Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > This family office space idea sounds interesting. Is there a good method to go about finding such opportunities, like some public data source or is it done more via networking? You’d be surprised the level of access recruiters have through normal channels. Networking is also a good idea, and this space actually has a large presence in Chicago, see if you can’t get in touch with a few organizations that could connect you with a specialized recruiter. I can also email you a name or two if you want (my email is my handle at gmail).
You can get into a good MBA. Your work experience, as long as it has been engaging and you have worked hard, will be good for admissions. You have a great story as to why you want an MBA (this is one of the most important parts of the application) which you can spin (ie my field made me want to manage money after seeing how our company uses it). Good luck - go for Booth and Northwestern!