How can I switch into finance from oil & gas (or any other industry)?

Hello,

I have BS in Geology (and a BA in Biology) from a non-target school, and have worked in the Oilfield Services industry in roles related to field geology for six years. I feel my true passion is the intersection of finance and geology and I would love a job doing analysis of natural resource extraction companies (energy or mining). I moved to NYC in March and I am still looking for a job. Everytime I speak with someone they say I'll be of use to someone, but ultimately have no leads or suggestions. I have not been able to even land an interview, and I feel there are digital parameters used by staffing firms and HR departments that screen out my resume.

Can anyone offer advice on how to switch careers into finance?

PS. I'll be taking a 30hr Finance Boot Camp on the weekends starting at the end of June and going into July. It is run by the International Finance Institution, are any of you familar with this program? Is this a good idea?

Comments (36)

Jun 3, 2015

Houston, Texas

Jun 3, 2015

Hey,

P.E. working for large independent (one of the good ones), looking to make a similar career shift. What schools are to looking at if you take the MBA route?

Jun 3, 2015

No idea at the moment. I'm going to try my hand at entry-level positions straight off the bat. However, all I've got on my resume is engineering and more engineering. I'm going to have to start getting some sort of finance qualifications if I'm going to get sighted.

Jun 3, 2015

I won't post on things that I don't know, so I am not sure on your first question. With regard to the MBA route, there are actually some other options. Rice's part time MBA placed four with the banks in Houston this year, with a very high offer rate. You can keep your current job and leave after the first year of school if you can land the summer associate internship. I know of one person that skipped the summer internship and still got a FT offer, but this is a high risk proposition. McCombs and Rice full time will do well in the Energy space. Every bank is going to ask you why energy and why Houston, so coming from those two schools makes answering those questions easier.

This is all assuming you want to stay in energy banking in Houston. If you are looking to do something else, I would suggest target schools Full Time as your only real option (but I have no experience here).

Full disclosure: I had > 5 years at a major prior to my MBA (at Rice) and switch. The PT program is not designed for making a career change, and it will make life more difficult. Clearly it is possible. I only suggest it as the starting point is important. I was significantly further along in my career (and likely making a little bit more money), so the NPV might be different for you.

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Jun 3, 2015

I, too, have a related question that I am currently not able to post (I have no idea why):

I just accepted an offer to work in Corporate Banking for a BB's Oil & Gas Headquarters in Houston.

I was wondering if someone could answer some questions I have:
1) What are the pro's and con's to working in sales or underwriting?
2) Do I get unique financial modeling skills at a job like this?
3) Can you move from this to ibanking with the unique skills you get?
4) What can I do to prepare myself for this job (books, publications, skills, etc)?

Maybe this will help the OP in his/her search as well.

Ye

Jun 3, 2015

C'mon guys, some input would be appreciated!!

"Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion" - Muhammad Ali

Jun 3, 2015

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Jun 3, 2015

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Jun 3, 2015

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Jun 3, 2015

Thank you very much. That was very useful!

I think all the issues you pointed out seem spot on! I will definitely add a leadership section to make my experience stand out a bit more.

Thanks again for that thorough analysis of my resume!

"Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion" - Muhammad Ali

Jun 3, 2015

Quick comments: Remove the first word of each sentence in the O&G job. Afterwards, it should say:

  • Conduct in-depth fundamental analysis...
  • Monitor risk...
  • Leading a team... [I agree with the above posters that this sentence is long. Might even want to make this the 1st bullet point since it sounds like the most important and best discussion point]
  • [remove/change last point]
  • OGB gave good advice on Mountain King Potatoes experience. I also agree that you need to quantify the results of your experiences.
    • ie How did you value, how much did the "synergies" affect your bid, what value ($) did the prospective acquisitions add to the company, etc.
  • Remove Texas Southway, AT&T, & Sprint.
  • Are the dates supposed to be indented inward more than the cities? Or, is that just Razume...
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Jun 3, 2015

he would probably have a disadvantage, as banks focus mainly on college grads to fill the necessary entry level analyst positions. That said, you may make a really good impression on your MD and convince him to give your brother a chance. Otherwise, Engineer->MBA->Associate

Jun 3, 2015

I realize that it's unconventional; I'm curious how much sway my endorsement would hold and whether it could overcome the disadvantage of applying as a lateral. Any current bankers work with unconventional laterals in your past banking classes? How did those guys get in?

Jun 3, 2015

You haven't even started yet? Unfortunately, your recommendation will not hold any weight. The fact that this person is your brother throws up a red flag that you may be biased in your rec. However, if your brother is very credentialed, as in MIT engineer with a high GPA and SATs, you won't look as silly pushing his resume. If he is just run-of-the-mill software engineer, spare yourself the embarrassment.

~~~~~~~~~~~
CompBanker

Jun 3, 2015

How involved are analysts in the recruiting process? I've interned at 2 BB banks and both seemed to rely heavily on Analysts to select from first round interviews who gets invited to superday. Also, I summered at this bank, so while I haven't started full time, the group is familiar with my work product. I am very well-liked and my group has been selling me heavily to rejoin the bank as opposed to attending business school. Perhaps I could get him a group-specific interview/offer?

Jun 3, 2015

If your name is the real one, you should take it off to keep your privacy. It's the internet and I just googled your name, the results weren't what I expected (it's not you on the first page, but still...)

Jun 3, 2015

I highly suggest you anonymise that document. Take it down as soon as you read this and post it again once you have redacted key information, unless that information is completely erroneous.

Jun 3, 2015

Thanks. I took it down. What about linking it to my LinkedIn profile.

Jun 3, 2015

What department of a firm? The jump would be much easier to a research desk for example as opposed to a trading desk. CFA can help depending on what you want to do.

Jun 3, 2015

Wow - completely forgot to even mention that! Sorry.

I was thinking banking in a media/tech group because of a past experience of mine doing strategy for a company. POSSIBLY an aerospace/defense group with my current experience?

It's either that or a research desk. I think the research desk is fairly likely but the banking side might be a bit difficult.

Jun 3, 2015

1.5 yrs exp as an Economist... much more likely a lateral Analyst hire than an Associate. For an Associate lateral, you're looking at 3yrs of relevant experience without MBA.

Jun 3, 2015

Analyst or stick your current job out for another year or two and get a top 15 MBA.

Jun 3, 2015

more like a year 1 or 2 analyst.. would be tough...i know people who made the jump but from accounting backgrounds

Jun 3, 2015

Most logical approach would be to head to b-school and recruit for an associate position If IB is your long term career goal. Alternatively, you could reach out to recruiters, network, etc. and try to transition now but analyst hiring is pretty structured/standardized so it may be difficult. Sounds like you are building a solid O&G skillset.

Jun 3, 2015

@junkbondswap thanks for the reply! For analyst positions I have seen one where they are looking for someone in the Class of 2014 although they hinted that wasn't a must have. If I graduated back in 2013 and have two years of industry experience does that ding my chances?

I get an impression that for I-Banking you come straight from undergrad or go get an MBA and become an associate otherwise its almost impossible to join the analyst class after some industry, non-I Banking experience.

Is this a true statement or no?

Jun 3, 2015
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