B-School for a reset after 40?

VP in S&T - FI

east coast state school undergrad economics major with 3.0 GPA 20 years ago

Worked as a trading desk analyst / desk programmer for 6 years, then traded interest rates for 5 years.
In total, worked at 5 BB banks.

As a VP Trader, my last working year, made 8mm trading prop, but lost 8mm as a market maker in an illiquid product, 2 years in a row, so net career flat P&L. For comparison, avg trader target was 10mm profit per year for this desk. On this desk, most traders fail to reach this target, but then a few double or triple it.

Have been unemployed now for 8 years. Total lifetime earnings just under 2mm (pre-tax). Did some traveling in Asia for a while (Thailand, Bali). Tried trading my own private retail account during the last 8 years, tried to come up with startup ideas, but have not been successful with either.

Am i a candidate for a B-School reset? How?

Other APAC
All Asia Pacific
United States - Northeast

Comments (13)

Jan 7, 2020

how do you survive 8 years without income?

  • VP in S&T - FI
Jan 7, 2020

made decent money while i was working...so a combo of living off savings, reducing expenses to the bone, making a little money trading my own private account.

Only have 100k of savings left, so need to figure out future plans

Jan 7, 2020

i hear mumbai is cleaner than sanfrancisco... maybe you should consider relocating.

Jan 7, 2020

I suspect that you would not be a competitive candidate at top full-time MBA programs. 8 years of being unemployed, unless you have been volunteering or doing something incredibly meaningful with your time and talent, are going to be difficult for any adcom to swallow.

You might take a look at some of the mid-career MBA programs. Alternatively, if you get started doing something part-time (even if it is simply managing your own portfolio in a meaningful way) you might be an interesting candidate for part-time EMBA programs.

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jan 7, 2020


This is horrible trolling - do better.

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  • VP in S&T - FI
Jan 7, 2020

i'm not trolling...just got into a rut and time passed me by.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jan 7, 2020

You're 40 years old with 10+ years of experience in finance and you turn to an anonymous forum for advice? Surly there's people that you've met over the course of your career that you can turn to for counsel. Such clownish trolling.

Most Helpful
Jan 8, 2020

Obviously you're in a pretty unique situation, so you probably won't get any great advice on here. As far as a MBA goes, I don't think you'd be competitive for any of the top full-time programs. You just fall way outside the general parameters given age and unemployment.

If you were going to go back for an MBA, I would imagine you'd have a better shot at some of the exective programs, if anything.

Outside of an MBA, your challenge is just generally going to be:

  1. You skillset in trading is somewhat dated, I'm no expert, but it sounds like the world of trading has changed a lot in the past decade.
  2. You've been unemployed for nearly a decade. Your skillset is similar to that of a 30 year old professional and that's going to be a challenge when you're up against fresh B school graduates for jobs.

The big question I'd ask you is, what do you ultimately want to do? I'd think hard about your skillset back from your trading days, figure out what you liked and what you exceled at, and try to package that into a focus area for the rest of your career. Were you really quantitatively inclined? Maybe you should go back and try to be a software engineer? Did you like talking on the phone? How about sales?

I'd lightly obscure some of the dates on your resume/linkedin and try to tell a good stroy for why you've taken such a long break from work and why you're ready to get back into the workforce.

Lastly, I'd try and dig deep on your network. You worked at 5 BB over a 11 year span. You're saying you don't know 5-10 people you could ask to get a drink with to see if they have any advice? Some of your peers must be Directors or MDs now, and even if the connection is a weak one, maybe they know someone who can help you out.

Best of luck with it, sounds like you have some soul searching to do.

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Mar 14, 2020