Physical commodity trading to MBA

Hi Guys,

My first post here. I am currently a trader of bulk commodities at a top tier physical commodity trading shop (Glencore/Vitol/Traf) who is looking to make a career pivot and evaluating the merits of an MBA programme to help me achieve that.

I had a few questions that I hope some fellow members might be able to shed some light on as I havent seen alot of people with my background go down this path.

  1. I joined my firm from undergrad and worked my up through various functions into a spot on a trading desk over the past 5 years, how is physical commodities trading perceived by top US MBA schools?

  2. I dont have previous finance experience, beside a summer internship in BB IBD and a year spent on the risk desk, I am looking to move into more project based work within the energy space, preferrably at a VC or PE fund, what do you think the likelihood of achieving this is?


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Comments (9)

Feb 11, 2020 - 3:40pm

Its not for any financial reason - i am already making above the median all in comp for an MBA grad - I just genuinely find it unfulfilling/want a change. I am also starting to get equity in the company so its prompting me to make a choice before I'm "in too deep" and won't be able to leave due to the share vesting structure. I guess ive just had a think as to whether this is something I want to do in 5-10 years or if I want the role of my current bosses and the answer is no.

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Feb 11, 2020 - 4:43pm

I already have a paper book to hedge my physical flows + take on spec positions. There are lots of elements of trading I enjoy, the fast paced nature, how real world events affect your day-to-day, the people, however I feel like the heavy consolidation has made things a bit predictable and boring on the physical side. We are largely educated on how to trade certain market structures/environments - this is why the annual PnL of the big trading houses tend to move in tandem. Id like to move into something more project oriented in renewables/grid stabilisation as I see a lot of hot money flowing there and from an economics point of view the math is starting to add up and displace existing sources of energy in a big way. Hence why i am looking at an mba as a potential way to pivot.

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