From professional poker player to prop-trading to self-employed trader to MBA to PE?

Hi guys,

Related for UK peoples.

26 year old checking in here.

For many years I had no clue what I wanted to do. I was a professional poker player for 5 years during high school and UG Economics. Got a 3.3 GPA as a result, quit playing poker for a year and scored 4.0 GPA straight for a year (1st of my class of 400 students in all my courses). Final GPA 3.7/4.0, GMAT 770. Then I still did not know but many poker players went into prop trading. I became obsessed, practiced interviews like crazy and landed a job at a top 3 elite prop trading firm world wide. I liked trading but I absolutely hated the fact that there was very little career progression and professional development as a proptrader. Then crypto boomed and I decided to become an independent trader, was making very good money in crypto trading but only lasted 6 months.

I decided to enroll in a MSc Finance program and became really interested in IBD and PE, something I had never considered or even knew about. To my surprise I received interview invitations for IBD, not tier 1 though. I failed the interviews due to a lack of knowledge. Logical steps would be to try to get an internship and try hard to get full time employment as an analyst. The thing however is that I have quite some trading offers again. Which offer better money and more work-life balance (want to be near my parents for the foreseeable future) during my mid-late 20s and offer instant gratification.

I am currently debating to continue trading (for a company) for a few years. Prepare for a good business school (INSEAD/LBS/Wharton for example) and gamble with the fact of getting admitted or not. I do not need company sponsorship as I am able to pay for it myself without loans. I figured since I will have a few years to fine tune and build EC I will have a decent chance. Then after join as an associate if I still want and from there on try to get to PE.

How unrealistic is this stupid plan (M/A Intership --> Trading --> MBA --> associate IBD --> PE? Would you suggest doing something else?

I know life punishes taking shortcuts, but in my head it seems doable. Life is not a race, but it feels like I am getting pushed towards a race due to my age and lack of proper related Work Exp.

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Oct 6, 2018
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