1/18/11

I'm a mechanical engineer and I've been out of school for about four years now. I'm looking to break into finance but I can't even apply to entry-level positions at the major banks. I graduated from an Ivy League university with a 3.4 GPA but my alma mater won't allow me to join the recruiting process since the current seniors are also looking for jobs.

Sending my resume through the banking websites seems to be a black hole. Can anybody offer any advice? Particularly engineers who were in a similar situation?

Comments (43)

1/18/11

Hey,

I'm a fellow engineer. I'd recommend looking for position that tends to be more project management and engineering focused: risk management, financial technology, and trading platforms.

These may be a good "in" for you and leverage your skill set. Have you considered CFA/CAIA/FRM?

Happy to help brainstorm. Shoot me a msg.

-K

Financial Modeling

1/18/11

You will most likely get pigeonholed if you break into the roles listed above. It all depends on what you did for the past four years. If there is some relevant work that you can use to get into a front office role, then there's going to be a shot for you. If not, then I would say you should get an MBA then break in. Getting an MBA will give you time to network as well as show your interest in the field. A top 10 MBA will give you an excellent shot at a role in front office.

Again, depends on what your work experience is like.

1/18/11

My work experience has zero relation to finance.

I actually applied for my MBA two years ago but was rejected. I'm currently applying to a Masters in Finance program at some of the top schools. If i get rejected from there as well, its back to applying for my MBA.

Hardest part about MBA is getting extra curriculars and writing the essays (although I think I'm going to hire a consulting agency for that if it comes down to it).

1/18/11

dude stick with engineering ....finance isn't all that what its cracked up to be =/

Wally!

1/18/11

What type of company/companies did you work for? What was your GMAT?
If, for example, you did mech engineering at Raytheon for four years, then it might be your GMAT that's holding you down. You've got a decent undergrad background, so I think the majority of this board would agree with me that you would need a GMAT of at least 700. Parlay your experiences into why finance/MBA, then you should have a solid application going into the process. Problem is, I'm almost positive MBA applications are close to being over, so mull over some other options while you're waiting and position yourself as best as possible for next year's applications.

1/19/11

MBA for sure.

2/23/15

Hey guys!

I am in Big 4 consulting but in a similar situation looking to get more into the M&A side of things or at least industries that are more capital market intensive. I was wondering what you managed to find out, and if you made a move or if you are interested in start up as those are also considerations I am making with a similar background in engineering, public sector and M&A experiences for high tech, aerospace and defense.

Crane, Kevinnyc, donkey business, Harvard or bust would appreciate any insights you might have.

Current Big 4 Management Consultant with an Engineering Background seeking new opportunities with more of an entrepreneurial focus in High-Tech, Energy, Capital Markets, M&A, and/or Venture Capital.

2/23/15

I think you were probably rejected from MBA programs due to having too little work experience 2 years ago. Try again this year with 4-5 years and you'll probably get in, unless your essays/recs/gmat scores are really bad.

2/24/15

as an Ivy League engineer, that kind of GPA indicates to me:

1. you're dope at math, and you should get whatever kind of work you can get, kill the GMAT, use your work experience for an M7 MBA and go in for re-branding your career
2. you're an awesome cheater

but if you absolutely MUST work in finance NOW, TODAY (or whatever today is when you graduate), go into something quant. A lotta places actively seek hard science and engineering majors rather than finance majors. Think quant prop firms and hedge funds (like Renaissance Capital, etc.). You could also look at Financial Engineering programs as well. They're dying for domestic (no need for a work Visa and thus help their placement states) engineer with the math chops.

2/24/15

Calgary is your answer for Job Opportunity..And, I realised this is very old thread

2/24/15

.

2/24/15

Any ideas?

2/24/15

Go for Project Finance groups, they look for people with engineering degree and experience (mining/coal etc.). I work for a PE/Project Finance house, if you have any questions PM me. PF teams can always leverage somebody with technical understanding and experience as it might get fairly complex on a technical side of it.

Financial Modeling

2/24/15

What engineering field? Are you in academia or a research roll?

2/24/15

In a Mech Engg R&D position in industry.

2/24/15

The easiest way to transtition would probably be within to cover your sector in equity research or even move to Financial Planning & Analysis role within a growing company that is doing a ton of M&A. I'd find another Phd just like you and transitioned and get some career advice from them.

I know several guys that after a couple of years working in engineering switched careers, got there mba or law degree and have done well.

2/24/15

Thanks for the advice.

2/24/15

Buy some guides for the technical questions and behavioral ones, too. Also, read the WSJ. They may test your interest by asking you, "What is happening in the markets right now?"

Good luck.

The difference between successful people and others is largely a habit - a controlled habit of doing every task better, faster and more efficiently.

2/24/15

Hi Tdetore, I know this post is already one year old, but I am very interested in your case. Did you finally make it?

2/24/15

CFA is preferred, I know a guy from my school who was IT before getting a CFA and is now a portfolio manager

2/24/15

Again these one of those a-guy-I-know stories. Has anybody gone through this personally?

2/24/15

Did this personally, albeit it was back in 2006 when the industry needed people. Did it via CFA program. Passed level 2 to secure interviews. Not sure if my experience applies anymore.

2/24/15

I am sure it still applies. Were you able to get any interviews with level 1 CFA? And how do people in the financial industry look at engineers working in the field? Are they sought after?

2/24/15

Also, any advice on switching fields will be greatly appreciated

2/24/15

you might try to gain some leadership experience and apply for an MBA with good gmat score. Or you could look at a Masters in Finance program in London, not all of them require prior finance background.

2/24/15

Why are you attempting to make the transfer to finance? Are you doing so to try and make a lot of $$$, or do you have a genuine interest? I have engineering friends who absolutely love their jobs - good pay, they actually enjoy their work - and finance friends who like their job strictly for the paycheck. I would recommend joining a banking firm so you can get a taste for the work. If you actually enjoy it, then GMAT --> msf or mba.

2/24/15

Deferring any analysis of "why" you're making this move, the best bet for an engineer at a no-name company is to study the fuck out of every GMAT book in existence and gear up for an MBA recruiting cycle in a few years. Finance, unfortunately, relies on a lot of proxies for quality steeped in hysteresis. Specifically, your pedigree is going to be a major impediment (assuming you weren't a 5.0 Course 2 at MIT) to your foray into ER at a bulge-bracket firm (which, I'm assuming) is your endgame.

IMHO, it is a LOT easier to craft a compelling B-School application, because unlike the Analysts screening your resume and ignoring your CL, AdComs invest the time to reading any prose you create. Writing an essay from the heart that chronicles your Midwestern tribulations with gut-wrenching pity and earns a spot in the AdComs' hearts is a lot easier to execute at nights after your day job than it is to network your ass off with big-city ER analysts who may do more harm than good to your particular case. Good luck, and let us know how it turns out!

2/24/15

@GOLDMAN BANKSTER : well i dont want to end like an investment banker, just making loads of money . I want to pursue a research oriented career, maybe joining a University as faculty and leading innovations.

anyways thank u for your advice. My current job frustrates me so much that I may sound a bit desperate to switch and join something I am much interested. Do you think any part time course in finance will help in b-school application ??

2/24/15

Another person looking to lateral into finance! I've literally just replied to someone who was looking to get in at the age of 35. Atypical parcours, but doable none the less.
Again you are way too generic. The other guy was looking at HF, PE, VC. You are looking at even wider a bracket. Seems that you just grab whatever jobs in finance give you money and put them on the list.
Do some initial work to decide what you really want to do in Finance. PWM and Management consulting are like apples and oranges. Once you have a clear idea of what you want then start asking questions about it.

No one cares about GPAs anymore, you've got plenty of work experience that's enough. PE and Management consulting can have shi.t work life balance, are you sure you did your homework?

Not trying to be a dick, but if you are not more specific can't help you.

2/24/15

Disjoint is always on the money.

Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.

2/24/15

Not being a dick at all, those are all very valid points:

1. To clarify, I am looking at PE and Management consulting because I am genuinely interested in the line of work. Of course the salaries have a big impact on my decision and I don't mind traveling or working 12 hour days, just not every day. These two areas seem like the hardest to get into and the most challenging day-to-day. I like challenges.

2. I am interested in PWM because of the level of ease it would take to break in, compared to the rest. I love dealing with clients and maintaining a client relationship. From what I can gather, the work-life balance is better than average.

3. Lastly, I'm interested in Corp. Dev. just because I like to have an impact at a higher-level. Of course I am assuming that this line of work would lead me into senior management a lot faster and give me more exposure.

I've read my share of threads and articles to know that I'll have a sufficiently hard time breaking into Finance coming from a non-finance background and a non-target b-school. But right now I'm focused on getting my foot in the door...

2/24/15

Anyone else have any input?

2/24/15
2/24/15
2/24/15
Add a Comment