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Career decision - please help

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Joined: 11 Feb 2010
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Career decision - please help [#permalink] New post 03 Mar 2011, 19:58
Hi everyone,

I have a difficult career decision to make. I will be applying to HBS, Stanford, Wharton, Chicago, Colombia, and maybe a couple others next year so I would love to get advice from anyone familiar with how adcom thinks about work experience.

After working for a bulge bracket Investment Bank in the Latin American group and a Private Equity fund in Mexico for 3 years after graduation, I received an offer from a third company. Because of how interesting the job sounded and the fact that it would broaden my international experience (it was in another Latin American country), I took a risk and accepted it. It has been 8 months, and it is clear that I made a mistake by leaving my last job for this one. The company has business lines in three different industries and instead of working in Private Equity, I ended up being assigned to work in Consulting, which I am not interested in (it was sort of a bait-and-switch situation). I have tried on multiple occasions to work this out with my new employer but it is seems very improbable that we can fix it. I am convinced that this move was a mistake because not only am I not gaining aditional experience in Private Equity which is what I want to work in after business school, I believe I will appear "lost" to adcom and future potential employers given the diverse experience I have been gaining.

I have had much time to reflect on my mistake and have learned a lot about decision making and my career goals. I contacted my previous employer, and they have extended an offer to return. However, I also interviewed for and received an offer from another Private Equity firm which is bigger ($1.2 billion vs $75 million), more international (world-wide vs. Mexico only), more reputable, and located in the same country (and city) that I am in now. The new opportunity pays less than my old job and my current job, but salary is not important to me as I am trying to get as much experience in Private Equity as possible in order to be an attractive job candidate after business school. The team, which seems competent and fun to work with, is small so I might be able to take on additional responsibilities. However, the team at my old job is small as well so I know that I will have good opportunities there. Therefore, I am unsure at which company I would actually get more experience or have more of an opportunity to shine.

My first instinct was to take the new job but I fear that adcoms may view me as uncommitted since I would be applying with 4 jobs in 5 years. Could you comment on my situation? Has anyone been in a similar situation or know of one? Do you think it would be better to go back to my old position and show subsequent growth there, or move forward and try to gain additional experience at a new, more interesting company despite the risks of the unknown and potential of being seen as a "job changer"?

Thanks in advance for the advice.
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Re: Career decision - please help [#permalink] New post 03 Mar 2011, 20:20
These are my opinions only, take them with some common sense.

First, I think you should stop trying to be the perfect candidate for Adcoms and decide what is best for you, after all you work in private equity, which sort of evaluates portfolios.

Second, I think you should preferably go back to your old employer, who extended you an offer, why? because there is no guarentee you will be on the top of the clouds at the new firm, maybe you will great, what if you feel sidelined or again if your put in some meagre role, yes you will discuss it before you sign the contract but its business and they wont expect to walk as you lay the terms.

But if you go back to your old employer, your satisfied monetarily and your job switching number, which you worry about, wouldnt be so drastic.

Take time, and try to think through.
Re: Career decision - please help   [#permalink] 03 Mar 2011, 20:20
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