How Many Jobs Did It Take for you to Truly Settle Into What You Wanted to be Doing?

This thread isn't really as pertinent for the guys who hustled their asses off and went IB -> PE, where they know they want to be.

I'm talking about the people that din't have the highest credentials out of UG or didn't get their dream dream job out of UG. Curious to hear success stories and anecdotal experience of how many different avenues yall have pursued to ultimately end up where you want to be.

Comments (20)

Sep 9, 2019

Top tier Engineering undergrad ---> Weak GPA 3.0 ---> Landed Internships at F500 and B4 consulting ---> Semi dream job F30 (2 roles) ---> Got bored ----> Founded Venture backed Start up ---> Failed ---> burnout --- > MBA ----> Figured myself out (or thought I did) ----> PE / Pension Fund ----> Hated it ----> More soul searching ----> F500 CS/CD/VC ---> Couldn't be happier. Meets all the criteria of what I define success to be and I am excited when I step in to work every Monday morning.

So total 8 jobs spanning engineering, consulting, energy ops, tech, investments, and now energy VC.

I wouldn't have it any other way. Learnt so much about myself and my real goals in life throughout the process.

I have also learnt to question mainstream thinking and actively avoid herd mentality

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  • 2nd Year Associate in Corporate Development
Sep 10, 2019

Holy shit! That's quite a story - you mind elaborating how you constructed your story when moving from one job to another especially when you already had a few switches?

Sep 10, 2019

ok here it goes...

Top tier Engineering undergrad ---> Weak GPA 3.0 ---> Landed my first internship through cold calling (built a list of hiring manger names through networking). Used to call them at 630-7 am as they would just get in their office and had time to chat over coffee. They hired me because they were impressed that a 19 year old kid is calling them confidently.

Landed Internships at F500 and B4 consulting --> No real story at this point as the F500 brand name(s) carried me through and I performed well during interviews of future internships. B4 consulting hired me party because I was from target school and partly because I met the partner during an engagement at one of my internships

Semi dream full time job F30 (2 roles) ---> F30 came to campus to hire; Brand names helped, aced an 8-10 hr long "superday", excellent pay (~$150k my 1st year)
What's funny here that the F30 reps explicitly stated that they hire only 3.7+ GPA and filter everyone else out during campus recruiting. I laugh at that now. Shows GPA is only 1 data point. Good experience + interview skills trumps GPA or standardized test scores any day

Founded Venture backed Start up ---> Failed ---> burnout --- > Learnt a lot about myself, my strengths and weaknesses and this really helped me shape my story and outlook on life. Financially, it sucked for the 1-1.5 years. But I grew in different ways and was truly "richer". Looking back, I know how much this has set me up for success in the long run....but most importantly helping me understand what success means to me personally

MBA ----> Admissions loved my start-up failure story. Loved the F30 on my resume. Big scholarship. Told them I wanted to break into MBB. And they bought it.

PE / Pension Fund Senior Associate ----> This was a waste of 1 year of my life. Learnt not to follow MBA or any herd mentality. Pay was excellent. But overall culture was "meh" and type of work was too "uni-dimensional". (read: no leadership skill development as my VP, Director up were all divorced assholes. I knew I didn't want to be like them when I was 35-40)

How I broke in was by focusing on my ops experience at F30 firm and having "deep" knowledge of the industry. I also cherry picked from my start-up experience and made it sound relevant to the job. It helped that the start-up was also in the same industry (just a technology solution to a problem the industry was facing) which showed a very bottoms up approach/understanding of the industry ....something they couldn't just read in ER or Industry reports.

F500 CS - My story revolved around cherry picking parts of my experience in every job relevant to the role --> essentially this translated into --> engineering + F30 brand + PE finance + MBA. And my start-up experience was the x-factor as I layered it in as grounds up digital transformation ...something I knew every company in the industry was/still is struggling with.

CD/VC - Relatively easy move as in this company, CS/CD is under the same umbrella and VC is a subset of CD. Again, what helped my story was start-up experience (read: understands tech) + previous CS experience (read: MBB problem solver/knows where the company is heading) + PE (read: finance guru) + Engineering/MBA (read: understands ops/people focused leadership...at least that's how I pitched it)

Whew...this answer is much longer than I intended it to be

TLDR: Cherry pick your experiences, ignore mainstream thinking, develop and communicate your unique perspective during interviews, show your life has been "colorful"

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Most Helpful
Sep 10, 2019
Crackdaddy:

Top tier Engineering undergrad ---> Weak GPA 3.0 ---> Landed Internships at F500 and B4 consulting ---> Semi dream job F30 (2 roles) ---> Got bored ----> Founded Venture backed Start up ---> Failed ---> burnout --- > MBA ----> Figured myself out (or thought I did) ----> PE / Pension Fund ----> Hated it ----> More soul searching ----> F500 CS/CD/VC ---> Couldn't be happier. Meets all the criteria of what I define success to be and I am excited when I step in to work every Monday morning.

So total 8 jobs spanning engineering, consulting, energy ops, tech, investments, and now energy VC.

I wouldn't have it any other way. Learnt so much about myself and my real goals in life throughout the process.

I have also learnt to question mainstream thinking and actively avoid herd mentality

Do you have an AMA or have you been on the WSO podcast? I feel like your story would be super interesting.

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Sep 10, 2019

Would be happy to do an AMA if there is a subset of users within WSO who value diverse thoughts.

My MBA PE prof (smartest person I know, said no to Harvard, ex-head of a MM, retired at 45, now teaching MBA to give back to the world) discouraged us from doing IB/PE and taught us that Operations > Finance. Always. Period.

But my impression is most users on here are: IB or die

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Sep 9, 2019

4 prior jobs (+MBA)

Sep 10, 2019

Public Accounting (3.5 yrs), hated it and was awful at it, aside from good work ethic --> Leveraged Lending underwriting (3.5 yrs). disliked it, found the minutae boring and wasnt particularly good at it --> Credit Sales & Trading (1yr+) immediately settled into the role, feel valued and aspire to grow in that vertical.

Sep 10, 2019

I am assuming your leveraged lending background led into a job in credit sales and trading. Could you expand more on how you networked and decided to make that move?

Was this a standard career trajectory for someone in that role?

Sep 10, 2019

correct, I leveraged my credit and cash flow modeling background, and sold them on my personality/networking skills in the interview to get the role. I applied on linkedin.

If you're ok staying in variations of sales and trading, then the trajectory is quite good. People generally rise through the ranks in the same seat, move to a better flow shop, move to the buyside in a PM/Trader role at a CLO or other asset manager. If you're like me, and have a background in underwriting (or origination) you could also pivot to a direct lender in a capital markets function - helping syndicate/club-up a transaction and structure deals.

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Sep 10, 2019

Did 5 internships and 1 previous full time job before getting to my current one.

Sep 11, 2019
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