Recent liberal arts grad working in BizDev in consumer tech ... how the hell to get into finance/consulting?
I've been doing a little bit of soul searching the past few months about how I'd like my long-term career to play out and I could really use some advice on how to shift paths and get onto a more traditional finance / consulting path. It's going to be an uphill battle and I think it will require me to go back to school before I'd even have the requisite work experience for an MBA. I'll try to keep things brief here and follow-up with additional info as required.
- 2009 grad with a BA in a liberal arts major from a Top 25 school according to the USNWR 2011 rankings (just using this as a factual point of reference)
- 3.7X cumulative, 3.99 in major
- 8-ish years of part-time / quasi-full time work at a family business throughout HS and college. Had a lot of responsibility at a very early age (but to some extent one of those "had to help out at the family biz to help parents pay the mortgage" kind of scenarios)
- undergrad soph year internship in a BD role at a now defunct startup (nothing really substantive in this internship)
- undergrad junior+senior year internship (one year's worth) in BD at a "hot" pre-IPO consumer internet startup
- current position is in same role, total time at company just under two years. I've been doing well, performing beyond expectations, big unscheduled raise, etc. I have options in the company but nothing groundbreaking or life-changing. Also a 4 year vesting period.
Without going into too much detail, while I've been doing well, the role is turning very much into a sales-y role and less so strategic analysis or guidance for the company. I love the job, have awesome executive exposure and project ownership at a fairly early stage in my career and have started to build a formidable professional network of people many years my senior. That said, I feel like I could be learning a lot more about "business" (finance, strategy, accounting, hard skills) much like a 1st year analyst in a consulting firm or bank would be learning. Given my lack of formal/academic training in skills which I feel will serve me well in the longer-term trajectory of my career, I've been evaluating some of the ways I can get onto a different track.
I've been considering:
1) applying to afirm.
Note: I've had concrete long-term project ownership which has entailed defining/executing/revising distribution strategy of one of our core products.
2) going back to school for an MBA
Note: I don't think I qualify for an legit MBA program due to lack of work experience
3) Given the constraint in #2, going back to school for a Master's in Finance, Management or Accounting to build up some hard skills and "start from scratch" after graduation to position myself to recruit for consulting/finance/banking gigs
Note: I've been looking at the Duke/UVA programs. These two are not ideal because I'll be too far out of school. Also been looking at the various Master's programs at LSE (these are very attractive to me ... combo of getting skills, strong brand on resume, international/life experience, etc). Also took a look at the Master's in Accounting program at U of Texas. Don't necessarily want to be an accountant but I understand this program can open doors to even consulting/banking and non-.
I can understand that I'm not exactly clear in the type of position I'd actually like to land. I've thrown out consulting and even banking. At a high level, I think something in the consulting/strategy advisory realm would be very interesting for me and I know my current skillset is just not going to cut it. That said, I'll be completely honest in saying that the current company I work for carries a very strong brand name and I think will open many doors for me in the future if coupled with some relevant educational experience.
Appreciate the feedback in advance and if there's anything I can clarify, please let me know.