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Changing jobs - bad look?

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Joined: 13 Feb 2019
Posts: 2
Changing jobs - bad look?  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Feb 2019, 01:18

I've been lurking on these forums for a while and finally decided to post.

I graduated in Summer 2017 with a terrible GPA (2.67) from a top 50 US college (bottom half of the top 50 :D). GPA was due to health issues that really messed me up during college. I am very capable of getting good grades (as I did in a couple of classes), but when your brain isn't working like its supposed to, that's tough (deep depression & general anxiety disorder). Engineering degree, economics minor. Very active from a young age (started doing really strong internships in high school and every summer until graduation), many would say "older & more mature than your age". Got waitlisted at Wharton & UChicago undergrad (if I knew admissions consultants existed I would've definitely gotten in!) Currently working in the Middle East. I have yet to take the GMAT/GRE, but given that I am only willing to go down the MBA route at a top 10 school (+ Oxford's 1+1 program as well), I wont be applying unless I get an impressive GMAT to cover for my poor GPA.

Without giving too much away, how "bad" would it look to adcoms that in 1 year and 5 months since graduation, I've had two jobs? Willingly moved, not because I was fired or was not performing well.

The reason that I moved are the following:
Job 1) management consulting, got to work on a couple of high profile engagements, stayed for nearly 1 year: this employer was not challenging at all, where I was far ahead of my peers that I felt if I stayed I would start slipping back. Not a big name consulting shop, closely associated with an MBB firm

Job 2) asset management function within a non-investment management institution: helped the small team perfect their entry into an investment & helped them avoid a disastrous decision that the biggest name in the financial world (it's big and blue and has had at least 1 former executive as a central bank chief, you can guess :) ) was egging them to take. These all added up to helping them reach their highest income in over 25 years. Again, not as a result of my direct action, but had they listened to them, they would've taken a big hit.

Reason why Im thinking to leave Job 2 is, again, work is really not challenging. I was hyped into it by the hiring manager, only to find out once I was in that the things I am able to invest in are extremely limited, and that it was mainly a monitoring & reporting role. Not a cool move on his part.

Job 3) An offer was made to me yesterday for this job; significantly higher pay (40%), bigger responsibilities (they were looking for someone with 6-8 years of experience), and larger impact (infrastructure investing). The reason why I find this particularly interesting is I get to play at a level that no one else in my country is really playing at, which is internationally. My role is to go out and look for investment opportunities around the world, doing that by developing relationships, and once opportunities are found & a deal is made, my job is to work with the design & engineering teams, local & national governments, and banks/financing sources to make it a reality. I would be working directly with a recognizable billionaire in making all of this happen. Sounds amazing, with plenty of room to grow and develop. I am expected to be able to conduct myself & be equally effective in front of government ministers/heads of state, bankers, and villagers. The name of the game is scoring deals.

My concern here is as follows: How bad will it look to adcoms that in job 1-regional consultancy married into a global top 3, though distinctly separate- I only stayed 10 months (got to work on 3 great projects though with tangible results), job 2-asset management function in a non-bank/financial institution- I would have stayed for only 6 months if I quit today?

Again, moved jobs because I wanted a bigger challenge, not because I was not performing well or was fired, a challenge that would make me grow.

The reason why I would take job 3 is because of the personal growth potential of the role. Its the equivalent of a game of geopolitical & financial chess, unlike any other opportunity in the country for someone my age (less than 2 years out of college)

Thank you!
Joined: 13 Feb 2019
Posts: 2
Re: Changing jobs - bad look?  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Feb 2019, 14:50
ouch. no love?
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Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 6173
Location: Chicago, IL
Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
Re: Changing jobs - bad look?  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Feb 2019, 21:20
Yeah, unfortunately it's not going to look good to change jobs yet again. The adcom likes to see career progression & they're going to be nervous if they see you continually jumping around. And although it sounds like you've made an impact in your roles, realistically you can only demonstrate so much impact in such a short period of time. You also want to steer clear of saying or implying anything remotely negative in your application or an interview - they don't want see you laying blame or complaining. You'll already need to be careful when you talk about why you left your first position so soon after starting & I think it would just be pushing it to leave yet again, especially when you've already got the GPA challenge to overcome. You also don't want to raise concerns that you're unable to make and stick to a commitment, and I'm guessing (but could be wrong) that leaving so soon might make it tougher to get strong letters of recommendation from your direct managers at these first two jobs? (which could also raise concerns that maybe you did not leave on your own terms but were encouraged to leave).

Ideally you'll want to have a two year stretch somewhere before you apply. Is it possible to make an internal move at your current company where you can gain more responsibility? Or if the current job really is too easy maybe you'll be able to demonstrate your abilities to your boss & get a quick promotion?

I know that's not the answer you're hoping for, but for the sake of b-school applications so much moving around really can backfire & like I said, given your GPA, you really don't want to give them any cause for concern if you don't have to.
Jon Frank
Founder, Admissionado


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