Career change from a technical role in IB to a finance role

First-time poster here (after periodic lurking in the past) and apologies for the long post (TLDR; below) but would really appreciate thoughts/feedback on my situation

Worked at oil and gas co. as a petroleum engineer, then moved to the acquisitions and divestitures (A&D) team of a middle tier of Houston IB shop (TD/RBC/Lazard/Scotia). As a VP of Engineering (been at a bank for 3 years now), I work on typical sellside/buyside processes, create pitchbooks, and engage with clients but it is still a technical (engineering) role and not finance. I am concerned about the gloomy outlook for O&G and my role in particular in the long-term (UBS just closed their energy shop last year). With me not being in the finance role, I can't really move to renewables or other energy sectors. Applied to FT MBA programs and have interviewed at Darden, Fuqua, Johnson, and Ross - do think I will get into at least one of these. The goal is to move to IB on the finance side and out of O&G to either other industry groups or at the very least renewables/utilities space which I think have a better outlook (?) than O&G. However, in talking to current students and reading some posts here, I am having second thoughts on whether I can pull this career-switch. Some questions:

a) Have been told that at the schools I am targeting, only ~40-50% of the students who start recruiting get summer internships. Heard that if you are international, odds get lower. While I am originally from SE Asia, I have been in the US for 10+ years and don't have visa issues. People tell me I don't have an accent (if that matters). While I am not an extrovert and finance-bro type, but I can hold a conversation as a pretty normal person. Will I face the same hurdles as other "internationals" during recruiting? This is my biggest concern after reading some posts here.

b) While I think my odds may be better targeting Houston O&G IB shops, that's absolutely the last thing I want to do given the huuuge opportunity cost. What chance will I stand recruiting for a different industry at banks in NYC or other offices? Will I be better off at targeting renewables/cleantech groups instead?

c) I am slightly older (32) and hours won't be an issue. I pulled 80+ hours in the first couple of years and am ready to do it again. Will my age be a hindrance in recruiting?

d) Though I don't have a finance background, I plan to take WSO or BiWS prep course before the school starts (if I decide to enroll) to come up the learning curve. If accepted to all these schools, and all other things equal, is there any school in particular that will provide me a better chance of success in breaking into IB?

If you have read up here, thank you for your patience and time!

TLDR: Engineer in an oil and gas A&D (M&A but asset level) team at Houston IB. Feels like industry and my role has a grim outlook. Thinking of doing FT MBA to break into IB on the finance side and switch industries/sectors. But concerned about chances of success and would like some thoughts and help.

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Nov 19, 2021 - 5:19pm

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