Did I screw up picking my major?

I apologize in advance if I posted this in the wrong section but basically I'm currently a sophomore at a non-target (for business) majoring in Mechanical Engineering. When I chose the major my main goal was to become an engineer after I graduate, maybe get an MBA, and who knows what else but my plan was to stick within the engineering field. But the past few months I've been having a pretty big change of heart and I'd love to get into finance, particularly I-banking. I was always interested in the street and finance in general so I did take a year of econ, a year of accounting, some entrepreneurship classes, and a couple bgmt courses. The reason I'm not switching to finance is because the college I'm currently at (UMD-College Park) is not very well known on Wall Street and from grads I've heard that the b-school here has 0 wall street FO recruiting. I'm sure some grads do make it to wall street from here but it is only a handful, if that. Also I don't want to switch because I've completed a decent amount of engineering curriculum so far and would hate for it to all go to waste (stupid reason I know). Plus UMD is a top 15 engineering school (not even sure if that matters at all) so it is pretty well respected when it comes to engineering. Currently my GPA is a 3.55 and I hope to get it above a 3.6. But my question is basically did I fuck up my chances for making it to wall street by picking this major? Is there anything I can do at this point or are my dreams and aspirations fucked?

HELP! Also I can't transfer due to $$$ issues...I'm in state.

Comments (14)

Best Response
Dec 25, 2011 - 2:27am
Neighbor, what's your opinion? Comment below:

My advice: Stay in engineering. There's a lot of future in the engineering fields and we don't need to waste any more intelligent people by having them go to i-banking. Don't get caught up in the hype and the "prestige". Mechanical engineering is a great field and can land you good money and career progression if you choose to stay that path. But the biggest plus would be the job security. The financial world is being turned upside down right now and no one is safe. Salaries are being slashed and thousands are being cut. It is one of the worst times to get into finance.

However, if you realize all of this and still want i-banking, you are not fucked. It is actually a PLUS that you chose engineering. A lot of banks like to hire engineers because it shows that you took the hard route and still made it. Your GPA is great for a mechanical engineering curriculum. Especially since UMD-CP is a top engineering school it will impress recruiters even more.

Basically, the advice for non-targets seems to be: major in the subject that your school is known best for, then network your way into banking. Majors don't hold much weight to recruiters unless your school is very well known for finance. (which UMD is not) And besides, you don't learn many i-banking skills in a typical finance major anyway.

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
  • 4
Dec 25, 2011 - 2:29am
bossman, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Why not stick with the plan of working in engineering and then going for MBA? Your major is not that important the fact that your school is not on the radar is a bigger problem. Seek any alum in finance and network. Teach yourself accounting and finance concepts required for interviewing and you will be good to go. Quantitative people are an asset on wall street, so if you can land interviews through networking you will be ok. If nothing works out now go for MBA later.

Do what you want not what you can!
Dec 25, 2011 - 10:57am
cbcbcb, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Stick with engineering. You can do so much with Mechanical Engineering in so many fields, many of which don't exist yet. And UMD is a great engineering school.

Dec 25, 2011 - 1:24pm
bossman, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Read this... http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-05/icahn-s-2-billion-man-denner-starts-own-fund-as-activists-shun-healthcare.html

Do what you want not what you can!
Dec 25, 2011 - 2:00pm
Tiger Blood, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Don't be down on engineering. You will find a lot of opportunities with an engineering degree. There was a kid at my S&T superday with a mechanical engineering degree.

Dec 25, 2011 - 2:19pm
GiantsFan2011, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Stick with engineering. Get your GPA as high as possible; business school or not, 3.5/3.6 is low from a non target, end of story.

Network with all of your school's alum on Wall Street; while UMD is certainly not a big finance school (recruiting from Smith seems to be largely accounting-focused, from what I've heard), there are alum at every large bank from there. It's your job to find them early on, develop a personal relationship with them, and have them get you interviews.

Dec 25, 2011 - 5:22pm
Cries, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Dude, stay with engineering. Get a strong GPA, and teach yourself accounting later. Its easy as hell compared to learning engineering. I might recommend taking accounting classes online at Berkeley Extension, or taking them over the summer at your school. You can also teach yourself most of the Finance concepts in just a couple weeks, then you can even tout that you taught yourself finance while simultaneously getting a "real" degree during interviews.

Array

  • 1
Dec 25, 2011 - 6:03pm
ye24, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks to everyone for the help, I really do appreciate all of your input. For now I agree with you guys I'm just gonna stick it out with Engineering and try to get my GPA higher. I also do agree that the engineering fields have a good future, but I still would like to have the option of getting into finance. I just wasn't exactly sure if banks would be eager to recruit me if I majored in Engineering. It does seem that I will have to network my ass off to break into finance but that's fine with me, I'll definitely use this winter break to try to reach out to alumni. But thanks again to everyone for the help, I was really freaking out about this stuff.

Merry Christmas

Dec 25, 2011 - 6:11pm
djfiii, what's your opinion? Comment below:

A friend of mine majored in MechE undegrad from a definite non target, went to a top 5 MBA, started at McKinsey immediately after, and is now a partner. He clears 7 figures, and does really interesting work.

Stick with your original plan. Mech E + MBA = great combo. Finance is bullshit work anyway. It's for adrenaline junkies and money whores. There's nothing interesting or fulfilling about it.

  • 1
Dec 26, 2011 - 9:30am
djfiii, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Bigjosh88:
finance is a very rewarding career if you choose so. Its not all about the money and the work is not bullshit.

that is clearly a minority position in the world of finance. 90% of people trying to break into banking, pe, am, etc. are interested in one thing - the money. and they are willing to work 110 hour weeks as hard core spreadsheet monkeys to get it. so, that might not be you. but you aren't most people.

  • 1
Dec 26, 2011 - 5:28pm
Bonus, what's your opinion? Comment below:
djfiii:
that is clearly a minority position in the world of finance. 90% of people trying to break into banking, pe, am, etc. are interested in one thing - the money. and they are willing to work 110 hour weeks as hard core spreadsheet monkeys to get it. so, that might not be you. but you aren't most people.
It's not about the money! It's about the game :p
Colourful TV, colourless Life.
Dec 25, 2011 - 10:21pm
TheBenevolent, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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