Confused with career decision- Help Please!!!

Sordar's picture
Rank: Monkey | 47

I'm currently an engineer in the aerospace division of a F50 company. I've been in our engineering rotation program for about 2 years now and almost at the tail end of my rotation which means I'll have to pick a permanent group for the next few years. Throughout my rotations I've realized 2 things - i) real world engineering isn't as hands on as I thought it would be, ii) it isn't what I really want to do long term and I'm more interested in the business / management (Strategy, FP&A) side of things.

Over the past months I was thinking maybe just get through the next 2-3 years in engineering and try to get into a top 50 MBA (top 20 ultimate goal) from there. But recently I've seen this operations role in our building systems division that I applied to and after interviewing with the managers there they really like the technical & elementary programming skills I bring to the table.

After talking to the managers this is how I interpreted the focus of this role: in this role I'll be working with engineering, finance, sales and supply chain on monthly basis and these will be my primary responsibilities: division's inventory planning & management * improving JDE platform * implementing Engineering changes * Kanban Management * performing logistics cost analysis and perform * sales and operation planning analysis. Essentially this role will be very data driven role and I sort of interpreted it as business analytics role.

Now coming from an engineering background I really don't much about finance roles and this is where I can really use some guidance from the wise folks of this forum. So these are the concerns that I have about this career transition: i) is this is good idea? - how are operations roles viewed in finance. Ii) if I take this operations role will I be hurting my chance of getting into a top MBA program if I decide to do a FT mba in 3-4 yrs, iii) if I decide against a FT program and want to make a switch to FP&A / corporate strategy using this operations experience and a PT MBA, will it be difficult to do so?

Comments (8)

Aug 14, 2016

Any advice/ suggestion/ recommendation?

Basically trying to know whether I should make the switch from engineering to business/ finance with an operations role now and then later try to break into corporate development/ corporate strategy with a PT MBA or should I hold out and go for a good mba and try to go for those positions post-mba? Any feedback as to career progression and exit opportunities with the offer would be immensely appreciated.

Aug 14, 2016


I'm not qualified to respond to your questions, which are good thoughtful question. However we have on staff the former head of career management at Cornell Johnson, Karin Ash. I think she would be an excellent person for you to speak with.


Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

Aug 16, 2016

Well operations is for sure closer to GM/'business' than engineering. So that's good. And operations will also be better than pure engineering in most cases for an MBA program. It also depends on the company, and how you perform, of course.

Will it help you get into finance? Not at all.

But essentially, what you are asking is: What career decision can I make now that will improve my chances to get an MBA in three years, and although there are things that help a lot (super quick advancement; moving into a top feeder firm) keep in mind that people do their MBA coming from any background - pro sports players, media folk, journalists, etc. And a decision about your career should be made with the next three years of your career in mind, rather than the MBA.

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Aug 15, 2016

Thank you for your inputs. Much appreciated. I also agree that this operations role will get me much closer to "business"/GM than engineering. However, after digging around for a bit on the forum it sounds like operations management is frowned upon in finance. So I'm wondering if taking this role will be limiting my future opportunities ...

Aug 16, 2016

deciding not to do anything is also a decision itself.

i saw you since last year wondering around with mindless questions. during this past year, I have made crazy tons of changes that are even terrifying to myself, but you are still asking the same questions that can take damn centuries to find the exact answers!

you really need to get your shit together and start moving and shaking a few things. You have to trial and error, because MBA isn't for everyone, and people certainly don't do MBA with the same trajectory. so get your damn act together

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Aug 16, 2016

Unless and until you feel comfortable for a particular job or role don't commit yourself towards it.

Aug 16, 2016

Many MBA students use the program to advance on their careers; however, a career change is another reason to pursue Business School.

If you can get a 700+ score, we can help you create a differentiated profile to get into top 20 schools.


Aug 17, 2016
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