31 year old entrepreneur, target undergrad (3.9GPA non-finance major), looking for guidance

rcf's picture
Rank: Chimp | 12

Hi all, fairly new to WSO, and I'm aware this sort of question has been asked before, but hope my particulars are helpful to others.

I'm 31, went to an Ivy target school for undergrad, but I took 10 years to graduate because I stopped in the middle to turn my part time hustle into a legitimate tech company. I ran the company for 7 years in NYC, sold it in 2014 (nothing worthy of a news article, but still good), traveled in asia with my now wife for 9 months and returned to school to finish with a new major in sustainable development (interdisciplinary). I went in with a very specific focus on renewables, and after a year in the program I had a new biz concept. I managed to get the concept into a startup incubator at the uni's b-school as well as grant funding to pay for the first phase of R&D, which led me back to Asia. I set up several research programs with universities in Asia to establish proof of concept which will run without my input through 2019-2020.

I'm now back in NYC, and am looking to break into finance in a way that will give me maximum exposure to other businesses/financing methodologies/finance contacts, in order to enable my future entrepreneurial endeavors. MC seems like the best fit but I know I just can't handle the M-Th travel. IB seems like an incredible skill set to develop and the exposure to both sides of the deal really interests me, but I'm such a fringe candidate with my age and non-finance background, especially now that I'd be looking off-cycle...so now I'm looking into HFs...It seems like HFs have less strict recruiting strategies, and as I've lived in NYC most of my life, I think I'd be able to network my way into some interviews, but I just don't have an accurate pulse on my chances. Or even if it's a useful path given my interest in re-entering the startup space down the line.

TL;DR
Given that it is September, I'm married and 31 yrs old, I'm coming from a non-trad background as an entrepreneur & non-finance major, but target undergrad with 3.9 GPA, what would you guys recommend I look into that could be beneficial for a return to the startup space in a few years?

I feel confident that I can do some obsessive catch up studying with a WSO or BIWS course, and network well through my NYC contacts, but I really need to narrow my targets down. If I'm going up against a brick wall given my history and age, let me know. Otherwise, please advise!

Thank you!!!

Comments (5)

Sep 16, 2017

No expert but I think you have the right idea. My general rule is don't apply unless you have a contact with the power to get your resume into the hands of a decision maker AND they are aware your application is on the way. You don't want to get lost in a pile of sub par resumes if that isn't where you belong. I'd look into boutique firms, prestige doesn't = practical experience. At a BB your work could be extremely specialized, limiting exposure.

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Sep 16, 2017
Allusion:

No expert but I think you have the right idea. My general rule is don't apply unless you have a contact with the power to get your resume into the hands of a decision maker AND they are aware your application is on the way. You don't want to get lost in a pile of sub par resumes if that isn't where you belong. I'd look into boutique firms, prestige doesn't = practical experience. At a BB your work could be extremely specialized, limiting exposure.

Thanks, this seems like reasonable advice -- but do you agree that HF is a more realistic route given my age and background vs. anything with more traditional recruiting practices like IB / PE?

Best Response
Sep 16, 2017

Yes, I agree HF is more realistic.

Also, in my (cynical) opinion, bankers don't create nearly as much value as their clients/the public perceive they do. Given your background I assume you like getting shit done as efficiently as possible. If this is true stay far away from any large bank. I know this is super late but best of luck!

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Sep 16, 2017

Getting an MBA to "restart" could be a good idea too.

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Sep 25, 2017
Comment

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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