MSRE, MS Finance, MBA, or Alternative? NYC Career Changer
Inspired by DoingItInNYC's recent post.... ("Which Fall 2020 MSRE Program Should I Pursue to Build Towards a REPE or REIB Career?")
I decided to throw my own situation out there and seek the board's feedback.
Any thoughts, criticisms, advice, derision, support would all be enormously appreciated! And for the magnanimous individuals who take the time to read through this whole thing, I'm already in your debt.
As a preface I'll add that my very long term, very ideal target positions would be in REPE acquisitions or asset management. I realize the two are quite separate roles but both do hold great interest to me. I also realize the state of reality however, and if I shoot for the stars and reach the moon, so to speak.....end up somewhere in the vicinity of ballpark, won't end up bitter.
34, have been working successfully as a self employed CTA for about 12 years, aimless/poor undergrad (history major), and ambition to transition into "actual" finance. Trading is not what I'm looking to do into my 70's.
Obviously here my biggest (but by no means only) challenges will be age, a lack of actual employment experience, and a lack of educational credentials. I have just taken two semesters of non-degree undergrad business/math courses, and my grown ass man GPA is 4.0, so I'm building. I have some decent modeling skills, particularly in excel which were gained through online courses. Given my credentials though, it makes me a novice/arm chair general at the very best I realize.
To remedy this I'm considering masters in finance programs and MSRE programs among other options. Being located in NYC puts me close to a wealth of these options, for which I feel lucky.
The way I see it I have four broad pathways from which to choose. Thoughts on which of these might fit best for me (or any alternatives) would be excellent.
First, doing a masters in finance at the "best" school possible for myself, healing up that poor undergrad.
Potentially leveraging a good/excellent GMAT score which I have a better than neutral confidence I could pull off, given performance on practice exams. Internships, networking, and finally entry level. From there there's the MBA down the road or MSRE depending on career trajectory.
Second, and the next most appealing is the MSRE. Added benefit of being right on the money in terms of eventual career target. Same as above, get in, perform, learn, network, internships, entry level. The only reason I hesitate at all here is due to reading opinions on this route perhaps being most effective after I've managed to hold an entry level position, and not as an industry starter credential.
Third, MBA at the best school possible. Same theme, internships, networking, entry level. This option is slightly less appealing given the cost and length, and that it is finance specifically that I'm most interested in and committed to. Smarter is smarter though, if this might be a better route given my circumstance.
Last, and before or during pursuit of any further education, seek out whatever work I can that's even remotely related to finance. Payroll, bank teller, administrative assistant for a real estate firm, the grab me coffee guy, whatever the hell. Money is not an issue and so I don't need the salary at this point, it's purely about resume. I'd prefer not to go this route and instead seek out internships through the aforementioned grad programs, effectively kill the two birds with one stone, but if this is the sensible path then I'd gladly take it.
That's the long and short of it. Again, to anyone who took the time out of their day to read through this I'm deeply grateful. Any and all forms of feedback greatly appreciated!