New user, advice/tips/mentors very welcomed and appreciated!

Hello everyone hope you are all doing well!
I am a new user but a long time lurker of this site. I have seen people drop great deals of information helping people that need advice.
Today, I finally come to you all for some advice. This might be a little long winded but please bear with me and I apologize if I offend. Any advice, tips, or critiques would really be appreciated. If someone out there is willing to be a mentor to me, you would not understand how grateful I would be.

I'll start with a little about me. I live in California and always have, if that makes any difference.
I'm 26, and I'd like think I am an intelligent guy. Right out of high school I went to Cal Poly SLO for Electrical Engineering but I hated it and after the first year, I was not allowed to change majors unless I switched schools or reapplied so I transferred to a different, less prestigious state school. I received my undergrad degree in economics and am currently finishing my Master's degree in accounting and am set to graduate in December.
I love investing and I love finance. I used to do it for fun. As a kid at the age of 10 I even had a mutual fund that I picked on my own in order to save money to buy a car when I got to high school. Hardly anything exciting but as a teen it made me happy. I woke up an hour before the market opened when Visa IPO'd to get in on it. I've lost my behind on penny stocks when I was experimenting with those and didn't know any better. Sadly, life steered me away from a career in finance thus far.

I managed a jewelry store most of my college career and finally decided it was time to get started on my professional career so I started looking around and applying to accounting firms and about a month ago I started as a staff accountant in audit at a regional (Top 100) CPA firm.
I hate it.
The tasks are mundane, I am not adding value to anything or helping anyone, people aren't happy to see us, I don't know what I was thinking. I really feel like my talents and intelligence is being wasted. 3 weeks in and I am already being given tasks that the seniors are supposed to be doing. Seriously, a monkey could do this job and I don't see the work that the partners do as any more difficult than what the lower level is doing aside from the management part of the business.
I had big plans at first. Become partner, make a big salary, live a really good life, but I've also come to the realization that accountants get paid peanuts.

It is not a total loss though because what I'm thinking now is that I stay an auditor for the 4 more months it will take to graduate with my Masters and then I can hopefully transition into something that I love and actually get paid a good salary. The reason I say that is that the current work week is about 50-60 hours max and that will allow me time to study and complete my courses.

After that though, I am unsure what to do. I know I need to get started and implement a plan immediately.
I would love to get into Investment banking or hedge funds. I like a challenge and I am very competitive. I have always been above average and I am grateful for that, so I feel like I can do it. Investing was my first love. I even made an account with faux money and used to play with stocks in my free time. Sadly, I haven't been active in the market lately because of life's turns but I have the capability to learn anything that I want or need to.

What should I do here? How should I proceed? I really need a plan. The thing that drew me to accounting in the first place was job security so I like to balance my risks. I'm just really confused and I feel lost.
I know I would be happy in an investment banking, BB or hedge fund career. I'm great at researching, I pick up on things quickly, and strategy is one of my strong points as I like to be very calculated in my actions. A friend of mine says that these types of industries like "hard" degrees like accounting and economics but both accounting and econ were definitely not difficult so I am unsure about his advice.

I will gladly take advice, experience, anything that you guys and gals can offer!
(Again, mentors are very very welcome).

:)

Region: 
United States - West

Comments (19)

Oct 24, 2015

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Aug 25, 2015
Human Capital:

Welcome. After reading that I have a few questions: it sounds like you're graduating in December from a CSU for a mba or MSF? (I'm from California too) How much have you been in contact or networked for finance jobs post-mba/msf related? This can make things a lot easier if you want to be an IB associate.

I will be graduating with an MSA (Master of Science in Accountancy). I almost did the MBA program but I felt that this degree would give me an actual skill that I could say "I can do these tasks," but I feel I should have done the MBA anyways.

I haven't networked or been in contact for finance jobs much yet. I have a friend who worked for Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley and he said in 6 months he will introduce me to some people that he knows. He is also starting his own investment firm. I feel like he could be a good resource but, I only know as much as he tells me.

I'm hoping that the time frame that I am working with will be sufficient to land me something nice that I can get into right upon graduation.
I don't know how realistic I am being as I know the bay area is really competitive, with people that have been dedicating themselves to this 100% since high school.

Aug 25, 2015

Is there any way you could leverage into big 4 firms? Would you have to start all over in their career ladder or could you perhaps go into it as a 1st year manager? I mean no it isn't some crazy ib pay but it is a lot less hours on average even in tax season no?

Aug 26, 2015

Actually I lied. It is the MBA for evenings and weekends. I don't qualify for the program for executives I believe. I have 5 years experience of managing a jewelry store and 1 month of auditing so I doubt they would even look at me.

Good god the Evening and weekend program is expensive and 3 years long.
Ouch.

I was talking to a friend of mine and he is going to introduce me to someone that worked at Martin Wolf. He said he can possibly put me in touch with a recruiter and I think that will be a great opportunity.

Aug 26, 2015

http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/ptmba-intranet... This is what I was talking about as a potential possibility. let's be honest it's a great program and one of the best in the nation. If anyone can shed some light on this or this happening at other schools that would be cool. Regardless you're going to have to take the gmat unless you already did I would think.

Aug 26, 2015

Personally I am a big fan of cal. It's a great value generally speaking. If you were talking about the executive mba being more expensive than the regular or part-time that is not uncommon. Wharton (penn) has a emba program in SF that is much more expensive at just over 170k!

Aug 26, 2015

well surprising I was wrong because that price is from 2011. https://executivemba.wharton.upenn.edu/financing-y... it's actually 186k. Here's the link for 2011 http://www.cbsnews.com/news/would-you-pay-172200-f...

Aug 26, 2015
Human Capital:

http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/ptmba-intranet... This is what I was talking about as a potential possibility. let's be honest it's a great program and one of the best in the nation. If anyone can shed some light on this or this happening at other schools that would be cool. Regardless you're going to have to take the GMAT unless you already did I would think.

I'll take the GMAT again and get a better score for sure. I didn't study last time, didn't know what to expect, ran out of time and still got a sufficient score. That looks like a great program but it is far. Being in California, I don't think I would be able to go to school in Chicago. Berkeley has a similar program and that's the one I was looking at but it was still 130K!

Human Capital:

Personally I am a big fan of cal. It's a great value generally speaking. If you were talking about the executive mba being more expensive than the regular or part-time that is not uncommon. Wharton (penn) has a emba program in SF that is much more expensive at just over 170k!

Besides the executive MBA, the part time program is also expensive. If I had the money I would do it. If I can get financial aid loans, I will do it. I don't know if they'll award me that much though.

I hope I can find another way rather than to go 100K + more into debt from college.
My friend keeps trying to reassure me that the Masters in Accounting is more than enough but I am really unsure about that.

Sep 3, 2015
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