I've been off the forums for awhile. Been very busy with my life but I'm finally getting some free time on my hands so I thought I'd give you all an update and/or motivation for your own higher level career ambitions.
My name is David Li. Undergrad in Finance from a lower-tier university (Virginia Commonwealth) right at economy downturn in 2010. It was bad. This forum was a great source of support for me and giving me some sort of direction of where I wanted to go and how I could get there. Started studying for the GMAT (the old version, before the new one came, thank goodness) and scored a 430 on my first try. Pretty much humiliated. Second try was 550 and third was 620. I don't remember the exact splits off the top of my head but this forum helped a lot. So my hat is off for all the support.
Ended up going back to Virginia Commonwealth for my MS in Finance in 2011. Again, not a top-tier university but I had some financial restraints and my GPA undergrad wasn't the sharpest. Probably my biggest advice is to get involved with what you want to do outside of school while you're IN SCHOOL. I worked in the student managed investment portfolio during both my undergrad and grad and through some work and connections I landed an internship with Raymond James doing private wealth management analytic work. It was really good - most of it was technical analysis. Graduated there in December of 2012.
Around this time, I started studying for my CFA - I still haven't passed level 1 yet. I took it last December and scored a gut-wrenching scoreband 10. Made me feel like GMAT all over again. But I'm still chugging at it even now and preparing for this December.
Right now, I work for Morgan Stanley as an analyst here in Baltimore, MD. I liked it a lot. I work under the clearing operations umbrella supporting prime brokerage and trade settlements with margins and cash accounts. I deal with a lot of options trading and hedging strategies for various clients looking to mitigate a particular source of risk or event.
Looking to go back to do my MBA now - maybe at John Hopkins - but im still scoping out my choices for the time-being.
So yeah, I guess that's the short-side of it. All this in a nut-shell, school isn't enough to cut it in the real work force. Experience, motivation, dedication, and desire are all critical. Thanks =)
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