I need some advice as I've been pondering and losing sleep day and night on this topic.
I'm 30, inin a MM for 4.5 years prior to which I was an auditor for 2 years (gained amazing accounting skills, work bored me to death, made the switch through massive networking/hustling at the time). The industry I cover has seen an exodus for some reason from some tier-1 sell-side ER desks this year and now I've interviewed and been offered a VP position at one of these desks (top-tier BB).
As fate would have it, I've also gotten into a top b-school (think H/S/W) where my initial aim was to step back and try to convert b-school and my prior experience covering my industry into an M&A Associate position, with a long-term goal of working in PE/investing role in this specific industry (I'm passionate about my industry and can spit game on it all night and day).
I'm stuck wondering what road I should take. 2 years into B-school I'd be 32, starting as a first year (or if lucky with lateralling though like most ER guys I have little deal experience but can build operating/dcf/valuation models and perform valuations easily) second year associate I guess, and of course I'll need to prove myself and look for exit opps 4-5 years down.
If I take the ER role, its tempting as, although I have to prove myself, its already 2-3 years of b-school, hustling, and opportunity cost gone; money would be good, the team is small, I know the industry I cover inside out, in particular the names I would be given; and I could potentially make a name for myself through the platform.
However, I feel that if I take the ER offer, I'll be pretty much stuck in ER and my chances of working in anything strategic post ER (PE, corporate strategy, investing) are zero/zilch whereas exit opps after M&A i everyone on this forum knows.. At best I get the feeling I would rise up through ER (cushy of course but plateaus after a while and nothing strategic) or move to.
I can't sleep at night, someone please give me your candid views. Please no haters/bashers, just asking for advice from mature people.