Risk it in Hongkong or Chinese SOE?
Since 2 years ago I have felt very attracted to project finance and IB in general. I took a class in project finance, and read some books, but I don't have an economics/finance background. I am currently a PhD candidate at a top university in China, and recently got a scholarship to go to HK PolyU on exchange for one year. I was planning to use that time to prepare the CFA and network and research about my opportunities to break into project finance, without coming from a finance background(I have a bachelors in architecture, master in construction engineering, and my current PhD is in management science at the school of civil engineering. Have lived in Spain, US, Japan and China).
But suddenly, an offer came from a major Chinese SOE contractor (Top 3 worldwide, but mainly because inner market) to join their business development department, and it would most likely require to travel abroad (still not sure if relocating).
The other issue is that I just reached my 30s so I might be way older than the people I will competing against for positions at PF or IB. Maybe, although kind of late, the SOE job might give me good chances to do an MBA 2 or 3 years from now at a good business school (not sure if good MBAs like LBS, HBS, Wharton or even HKUST will value this experience but I am positive very few foreigners have this kind of exposure to China) and then move into banking.
So my question is: Where do you think I will be better off? Am I trying something impossible with the project finance thing? Of course Chinese SOE pay is nowhere near a IB role, and the promotion opportunities are not well defined...