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Torn Between Career Paths, Long Thread But PLEASE Help!

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Torn Between Career Paths, Long Thread But PLEASE Help! [#permalink] New post 01 Aug 2011, 00:32
Hi,

I am about to be a senior in college and I am still very confused about what I want to do with my life. Currently, I attend a state school and am majoring in finance with a minor in econ, but I've started to realize that the nitty-gritty finance isn't really for me. I've done a little bit of work in FP&A and the job seemed mostly like accounting that focuses on lots of details, which I don't normally like. At least at the place I worked at, I found the job to be way too retrospective and not enough about strategy/where to go from here, if you catch my drift. Plus, I kind of want more interaction with people/presenting as opposed to sitting in a cubicle cranking out financials. I also had some exposure to DCF, but it seriously was not that interesting and I thought it was a bunch of BS assumptions that added no real value to the company. Additionally, I have no interest in stocks/hedge funds and only got a degree in finance because I wanted the i-banking => PE career path, but I'm not sure I'm into that anymore.

I started to look into other careers and immediately management consulting struck me as the best option. However, coming from a non-target and a non-spectacular background, it will be next to impossible to break into MBB right out of undergrad. As a result, I started to explore other options and got interested in brand management. It seems like a more quantitative area of marketing (even though I don't have a huge patience for accounting details, I do really enjoy working with numbers and statistics especially to create forecasts/analyze data) and it doesn't seem as demanding in terms of hours/stress as consulting or banking. The problem here is that I have neither a marketing nor an engineering degree, so I was wondering if this is even possible to get into for me (same dilemma as management consulting).

Therefore, at this point, I'm really confused as to what I want/should do for my career. I don't think that vanilla finance at a F500 is interesting enough for me as it seems very retrospective/mechanical/repetitive work, and I don't have the background for consulting/brand management. Can anyone recommend some career paths I should possibly look into (in case it helps, my MBTI is INTJ which slight flexibility with N/S)? Could corporate banking (another thing, I know I CANNOT work in i-banking since it's way too many hours/stress. Don't care too much for money as long as I break mid to high 6 figs in the 100-200k range eventually, but can't stand hours/unpredictable schedules) be something to look into or is there any other area in corp finance that I am missing? I'm just so lost and stressed right now that any advice would be brilliant.

Cheers and let me know if I need to add more info about me!
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Re: Torn Between Career Paths, Long Thread But PLEASE Help! [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2011, 04:44
come on, someone help!
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Re: Torn Between Career Paths, Long Thread But PLEASE Help! [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2011, 09:32
So you don't want to do banking, PE, accounting, F500, or consulting. What else is left? Startups? Burger joint? Only you know what's best for you.
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Re: Torn Between Career Paths, Long Thread But PLEASE Help! [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2011, 21:19
mrblack wrote:
So you don't want to do banking, PE, accounting, F500, or consulting. What else is left? Startups? Burger joint? Only you know what's best for you.


I stated that because I didn't really like M&A modeling so i-banking doesn't really make sense, and I have been a bit disappointed with my FP&A work because it's too backwards-looking. I stated that consulting was by far my top choice, albeit slightly unrealistic since I'm at a non-target and that I'm interested in jobs that rely more on strategy/big picture thinking versus modeling/accounting all the time.

Moderator edit: calling names is not nice.
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Re: Torn Between Career Paths, Long Thread But PLEASE Help! [#permalink] New post 14 Aug 2011, 04:38
You're going to have a hard time getting a brand management job without prior relevant work experience or a degree in marketing. Consulting is more forgiving in terms of what majors they'll accept into their practice. If you don't think you have a shot at MBB, there are plenty of other consulting firms that aren't as focused on target schools, or you could try finding a more regional or boutique firm to get your foot in the door of the industry. Do well there, and you could leverage that experience if your ultimate goal is MBB. Of course, consulting tends to have long, unpredictable hours so you'll need to decide whether you're willing to deal with that to be a consultant.
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Re: Torn Between Career Paths, Long Thread But PLEASE Help! [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2011, 01:20
You are still very young. Only advice that would be relevant to you at this stage,since you are unsure of your inclinations, is to develop 'options value' . In other words, consulting with MBB will give you the best outlook on what career could suit your personality later in the future.

Dont ostracize certain careers like banking altogether. I say this because I was in your shoes a couple of years back. But I had pigenholed myself in a career that I hated. I decided to break out and try my hand at many different aspects of running a business, becoming an entreprenuer.

I, too, though I would choose to become a consultant because of the variety of work and diversity in assignments etc. But after quite a bit of research I realised that getting into I-banking and then into the VC/ PE maybe the most satisfying career I could develop since it suits my persoanlities much more than consulting would.

To sum it all up, I would say analyse your personality and the good and the bad of the career you are considering. Then, make sure you choose a career where there is a minimal compromise ( nobody can have a 100% satisfying job, since all jobs have some aspects that are annoying to various people to various degrees) The trick lies in choosing a job that is 60% enjoyable in the short run and has the potential to be atleast 90% fulfilling in the long run.

Good luck.
Re: Torn Between Career Paths, Long Thread But PLEASE Help!   [#permalink] 15 Aug 2011, 01:20
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