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Anyone in the same boat? Is getting an MBA going to work?

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Anyone in the same boat? Is getting an MBA going to work? [#permalink] New post 18 Nov 2013, 20:50
I am an Engineer in the GTA, Ontario, Canada working in Reliability & Maintenance (non-IT). I have been working as an engineer for almost 10 years now (guess you will know my age). Unfortunately this career leads to no where unless I go find a job in the white desert (Alberta Oil sands), not to say it's bad but not for me. The main reason for this career leading nowhere is because manufacturing is on a decline AND it's something to do with the nature of the business - they go where low labour & raw materials costs are, it is not forward looking here in Ontario or pretty much anywhere in a metropoliatan in North America. I mean I should have a job still maybe for a few more years but what's down the road is not very good I believe.

I wish to do something about it before it's too late, so I asked myself and thinking, is there something else I can do that I have strong interest in that will lead to a properous career? I then came to realize that I also have a strong interest in business takeovers, mergers & acquisitions, and in my past employment (sadly that business is what matters; not how good engineering is within a company, often times that is the case) I learned how entrepreneurs make their decisions, both good and bad. I also read articles and research on start-ups, M&A, evaluate businesses, and for M&A, such as UA and Continental, Target bought The Bay in Canada, Groupon, Loblaws bought Shoppers, Keystone oil pipeline project and more, and even monetary policies and etc.

I then started researching on career changes and what it takes to make it happen. That's why I eyed on the CFA, I wish to pass all levels of the CFA to make a career change, so I attempted the CFA L1 last year, but unfortunately I failed the L1. My score was bad (below band 5) , and I know the problem = not prepared! Also, is this right for me? It is hard to pass especially I am an outsider...

As I mentioned, I wish to get into business startups, business fund raise, VC/PE, equity research, or M&A,, make good money and lead to a prosperous career. To my knowledge, VC/PE and IB may not require for the CFA but it will certainly help. This year although I believe in my ability on passing CFA, I am not confident at all, The lack of commitment, devotion and dedication is the main cause of the problem, because I don't have that warm and fuzzy feeling that passing all the levels of CFA would gurantee me jobs in the finance & IB.

Should I go for an MBA instead? Please advise on what I should do now if you do not mind. Even harsh comments that discourage me but you are telling me what you think and it's the reality, I am all ears.....
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Re: Anyone in the same boat? Is getting an MBA going to work? [#permalink] New post 19 Nov 2013, 01:04
sokenyou wrote:
I am an Engineer in the GTA, Ontario, Canada working in Reliability & Maintenance (non-IT). I have been working as an engineer for almost 10 years now (guess you will know my age). Unfortunately this career leads to no where unless I go find a job in the white desert (Alberta Oil sands), not to say it's bad but not for me. The main reason for this career leading nowhere is because manufacturing is on a decline AND it's something to do with the nature of the business - they go where low labour & raw materials costs are, it is not forward looking here in Ontario or pretty much anywhere in a metropoliatan in North America. I mean I should have a job still maybe for a few more years but what's down the road is not very good I believe.

I wish to do something about it before it's too late, so I asked myself and thinking, is there something else I can do that I have strong interest in that will lead to a properous career? I then came to realize that I also have a strong interest in business takeovers, mergers & acquisitions, and in my past employment (sadly that business is what matters; not how good engineering is within a company, often times that is the case) I learned how entrepreneurs make their decisions, both good and bad. I also read articles and research on start-ups, M&A, evaluate businesses, and for M&A, such as UA and Continental, Target bought The Bay in Canada, Groupon, Loblaws bought Shoppers, Keystone oil pipeline project and more, and even monetary policies and etc.

I then started researching on career changes and what it takes to make it happen. That's why I eyed on the CFA, I wish to pass all levels of the CFA to make a career change, so I attempted the CFA L1 last year, but unfortunately I failed the L1. My score was bad (below band 5) , and I know the problem = not prepared! Also, is this right for me? It is hard to pass especially I am an outsider...

As I mentioned, I wish to get into business startups, business fund raise, VC/PE, equity research, or M&A,, make good money and lead to a prosperous career. To my knowledge, VC/PE and IB may not require for the CFA but it will certainly help. This year although I believe in my ability on passing CFA, I am not confident at all, The lack of commitment, devotion and dedication is the main cause of the problem, because I don't have that warm and fuzzy feeling that passing all the levels of CFA would gurantee me jobs in the finance & IB.

Should I go for an MBA instead? Please advise on what I should do now if you do not mind. Even harsh comments that discourage me but you are telling me what you think and it's the reality, I am all ears.....


I am going to take a stab and say you are in your early-mid 30s? I guess I am going to start by bursting your bubble in the sense that it will be very very hard to switch into finance with an MBA at your age. Reason being, if you apply this year you will matriculate in 2014 and graduate in 2016. Although outwardly they should not discriminate based on age, I imagine most banks would have a hard time justifying employing someone in their mid 30s for a Equities analyst role. As for VC/PE, it's even worse. Unless you have worked in IB or the VC/PE field previously, it is incredibly difficult to break into that industry for anyone, regardless of age.

However, if you are really after a career switch then I imagine an MBA will do a lot more for you than just taking the CFA exams. MBA programs do take people in your age group for sure as long as you can justify why you need an MBA. If you get in contact with career office of MBA programs and current students, they may be able to guide you as to what realistic options there are available career wise.
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Re: Anyone in the same boat? Is getting an MBA going to work? [#permalink] New post 20 Nov 2013, 20:17
Thanks Domotron for your detailed comments/feedback. Honestly, I just do not want to waste time/money if the MBA is not going to work for me (change careers - engineering to Finance? IB? VC/PE? M&A? or ER?) . Assume I get into a good school and graduate with an outstanding GPA.

domotron wrote:
sokenyou wrote:
I am an Engineer in the GTA, Ontario, Canada working in Reliability & Maintenance (non-IT). I have been working as an engineer for almost 10 years now (guess you will know my age). Unfortunately this career leads to no where unless I go find a job in the white desert (Alberta Oil sands), not to say it's bad but not for me. The main reason for this career leading nowhere is because manufacturing is on a decline AND it's something to do with the nature of the business - they go where low labour & raw materials costs are, it is not forward looking here in Ontario or pretty much anywhere in a metropoliatan in North America. I mean I should have a job still maybe for a few more years but what's down the road is not very good I believe.

I wish to do something about it before it's too late, so I asked myself and thinking, is there something else I can do that I have strong interest in that will lead to a properous career? I then came to realize that I also have a strong interest in business takeovers, mergers & acquisitions, and in my past employment (sadly that business is what matters; not how good engineering is within a company, often times that is the case) I learned how entrepreneurs make their decisions, both good and bad. I also read articles and research on start-ups, M&A, evaluate businesses, and for M&A, such as UA and Continental, Target bought The Bay in Canada, Groupon, Loblaws bought Shoppers, Keystone oil pipeline project and more, and even monetary policies and etc.

I then started researching on career changes and what it takes to make it happen. That's why I eyed on the CFA, I wish to pass all levels of the CFA to make a career change, so I attempted the CFA L1 last year, but unfortunately I failed the L1. My score was bad (below band 5) , and I know the problem = not prepared! Also, is this right for me? It is hard to pass especially I am an outsider...

As I mentioned, I wish to get into business startups, business fund raise, VC/PE, equity research, or M&A,, make good money and lead to a prosperous career. To my knowledge, VC/PE and IB may not require for the CFA but it will certainly help. This year although I believe in my ability on passing CFA, I am not confident at all, The lack of commitment, devotion and dedication is the main cause of the problem, because I don't have that warm and fuzzy feeling that passing all the levels of CFA would gurantee me jobs in the finance & IB.

Should I go for an MBA instead? Please advise on what I should do now if you do not mind. Even harsh comments that discourage me but you are telling me what you think and it's the reality, I am all ears.....


I am going to take a stab and say you are in your early-mid 30s? I guess I am going to start by bursting your bubble in the sense that it will be very very hard to switch into finance with an MBA at your age. Reason being, if you apply this year you will matriculate in 2014 and graduate in 2016. Although outwardly they should not discriminate based on age, I imagine most banks would have a hard time justifying employing someone in their mid 30s for a Equities analyst role. As for VC/PE, it's even worse. Unless you have worked in IB or the VC/PE field previously, it is incredibly difficult to break into that industry for anyone, regardless of age.

However, if you are really after a career switch then I imagine an MBA will do a lot more for you than just taking the CFA exams. MBA programs do take people in your age group for sure as long as you can justify why you need an MBA. If you get in contact with career office of MBA programs and current students, they may be able to guide you as to what realistic options there are available career wise.
Re: Anyone in the same boat? Is getting an MBA going to work?   [#permalink] 20 Nov 2013, 20:17
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