Help a monkey out of a shithole

Hey guys,

I've been following this community for a while now, and I really like the advice you have given out to others, so I come before you now, asking for some, as I kind of feel like I'm stuck in the CEE while hoping to move on to a more interesting place. Would really appreciate it if any of you took some time to read this post.

I am 25 years young, and am currently looking at my options for the upcoming years. Below is a summary of my objectives and (anon) past experiences to help you better understand my position:


Get into a solid MBA program in about 3-4 years. After school, I hope to either start my own tech company, or slowly transition into VC world. The degree should fit the following criteria:

  • Reputable institution with solid career prospects and good international mobility possibilities

  • Major international city, preferably in NA (US coasts or Canada) or APAC (HK, Singapore, or mainland China), but I also consider European countries, particularly London, Paris, Zurich, Milan or Frankfurt

  • Should have options to study data science or business analytics as part of the MBA


  • Currently a 1st year IB&PE M&A analyst in a boutique shop with decent CEE reputation, but fairly weak international recognition (think Alantra/Houlihan Lokey/Oaklins), although I am often given Associate level responsibilities

  • Previously worked as an Equity Research analyst in a boutique CEE Hedge Fund/Family Office of a very wealthy CEE businessman

  • Also did some off-cycle IB and PE internships for a Dutch bank (think ING/Kempen /ABN) and a small, pan-European PE shop

  • Degrees in Econ & Finance from semi-target Dutch unis (top ones in the country)

  • Near-perfect English, intermediate German, native of several CEE languages

  • GMAT 690, prepped for a few hours, am expecting to retake it with solid preparation

  • GPA just shy of Dutch 7/10 (about 3.0/4.0) - this is a major pain point due to GPA cutoffs. I do have legit reasons - such as juggling FT work with FT studies during bachelor in different cities, or limited access to school-based Bloomberg during master thesis (Covid, this caused major delay in data collection which basically f*cked my GPA down from 7.5/10). Let's face it though, automated cut-offs recruitment portals don't care about excuses.


  • Love everything about my job except the pay and lack of international exposure

  • Have decent chances of landing IB position in Holland or consulting MBB position in the CEE within 1-2 years (career progression trade-off, though)

  • Missed out on an exchange during my uni studies due to Covid, really want to explore other places before I settle down

  • Plan to settle at 30-35, ideally return back to my home country after

  • The trade-off between staying in CEE for the next years and moving abroad is connections vs. deal experience, really. 

My main concern is overcoming GPA cut-offs. I feel like my best chances are applying for EU schools, like St.Gallen or Imperial, or Asian schools, like HKUST, maybe NUS.

What do you think I should do?

Thanks for every response.

Comments (1)

Dec 10, 2021 - 7:57am
boib_1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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