I'm in my third year right now, but in less than 1 year my whole future seems like it will decided and I am already starting to worry. Perhaps I just need reassurance, but I most definitely want to feel like I did everything within my power to get a good job. The last thing I want is to be stuck with a job I am not proud of and feel as if my potential is wilting away. I've seen it happen to some of my friends, one of them who graduated with distinction getting interviews for ibanks and consulting companies but now works at a lowly retail bank doing trivial work. I'm scared, why did I even go to school if that is a possibility? My marks and my ability are not an issue, my only issue are the opportunities presented to me and I wish to maximize them.
In my third year now I am starting to understand my strengths/weaknesses, and likes/dislikes. I know ideally an investment banking position would be the best fit for me in the short term (for the 2 years experience) and then private equity is probably where I would like to end up. I've been researching investment banks, interview processes, technical knowledge and everything within my power to try an maximize my chances of breaking in. At first I was going in with the attitude that I would get a job in investment banking no matter what but I think it's starting to sink in that this is not a guarantee, especially in this current market. I need to keep my options open, but I just don't know what jobs exactly to consider and that's where I need some help.
I know that I would be good at anything I devote myself toward and I would enjoy any job that challenges me and appreciates my intelligence. I will never be happy with myself working a mediocre 9-5 job that at the end of the day doesn't matter and doesn't lead anywhere. To me such a job is a waste of time, anyone can have those kinds of jobs and they aren't special to me, I want more. I want to be used to the fullest of my ability, I want to matter, I want to feel like I am making a difference, and most importantly I want to feel like everything I am doing is contributing to improving myself so that I can get even better jobs, more responsibility and more influence. I am starving for knowledge, starving for opportunities and starving for more. My friends joke that at their jobs they sit around and do nothing, I would rather be working 100 hours a week at investment banking knowing that the experience will be an asset for even better jobs doing even more important work. I want to feel as if I matter.
Now if I don't get an investment banking analyst position, which is a distinct possibility I currently have no backup plan. I realize that my ambition, drive and intelligence will be an asset to any company in any industry. My current knowledge though is best suited towards the finance industry. Due to personal circumstances (GF doing to law school) for 3 years after my undergrad I am limited to the city of Calgary (Canada) to look for a job.
Aside from investment banking I haven't really looked into much else because private equity is where I want to end up and investment banking seems like the logical first step. I know I would be happy with a trading, consulting, hedge fund, equity research or asset management (yes I just went through the forums) position. I guess the next logical step for me now is research these fields, the key companies within them, the key positions and the recruiting process so I can apply to them as well to keep my options open.
I would say I'm most worried about what happens if even after all that I get nothing... what then? Do I waste away year after year trying again and again, apply to an MBA school, get declined by the Ivy leagues and hope a mediocre MBA will get me somewhere meanwhile racking up $100k in debt and never feeling happy with myself? I probably shouldn't be all doom and gloom while I'm only in my third year, I mean after all I could land an investment banking job and the rest would be history.
Anyway, I'm starting to get a little too carried away rambling but if you've read this far I'm sure you already knew that. I just need to focus and stay on target. I needed to type this up because I don't have a support network that would understand, but I think people here will definitely understand how I feel.