I have been working in economic consulting since I graduated college a little over a year and a half ago with a background in statistics and economics. I decided I was ready for a career change and received two offers: one in a middle office type role in a top hedge fund with strong name recognition, and one in strategy/operations for a major airline's flight network.
I declined the hedge fund position and accepted the airline offer. However, the hedge fund reached out to me again, wants me to renege on my acceptance, and upped my compensation to $125k + 25k bonus (vs 75k base at the airline plus standby travel benefits).
The position at the hedge fund is part of their team which uses third party data sources to forecast earnings and other metrics before they're released. I would be responsible for implementing/creating data QA/QC processes and would gain skills in Python and SQL. I would learn a lot about how to use/handle large datasets and create forecasts for trading purposes.
In the airline role, however, I would be able to rotate in their Network Planning division, beginning with their Forecasting and Strategy team. I can see myself moving on to an MBA a few years after this, then possibly trying to break into strategy/management consulting. For the hedge fund position, while I would gain very marketable skills, I'm not entirely sure how it would fit into my long term career plans. However, it is a very unique opportunity in that only a handful of teams are using similar datasets for similar purposes.
Is it worth burning a bridge at the airline by reneging on their offer for the extra money? I was previously able to turn the hedge fund down, but they've increased their offer significantly. If money was not a factor at all, I would choose the airline over the hedge fund. Normally I'm not interested in very "corporate" positions, preferring finance/consulting, but the airline industry is one huge exception.
Any advice would be appreciated. I essentially only have the weekend to come to a final decision.