Help a monkey out of a shithole
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//Oaklins), although I am often given Associate level responsibilities
Previously workedin 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 consultingposition 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.