Switching from engineering to finance early on?
Long-time lurker on WSO here, and have finally decided to make a post. I'm one of those engineering guys considering transitioning into banking or consulting in the future, and wanted to get your input on my particular situation.
I'm a senior doing Aerospace Engineering at a school well known in both engineering and business (we're either a target or semi-target). I have been set on going into aerospace/defense for a few years now, but after doing a couple internships in the defense industry, I am beginning to see bothersome potholes in an engineering career path that I wish I knew more about earlier on - it seems even the star players are subject to painfully slow salary/promotion progression and don't usually have opportunities to push themselves to their limits, which I don't like at all.
After a lot of reflection over the past ~6 months, I am starting to think that I may be better suited for consulting or banking due to my long-term career aspirations and highly ambitious nature. The money and overall reward/effort ratio is a big factor for me as well. I'm still on the fence as I have a pretty cool job lined up in defense, but the opportunities I am learning about in banking and consulting are very, very tempting. I have also taken a few business/finance courses recently, which I did extremely well in and really enjoyed.
If I decide I want to pursue this path, what are my options and what must I do to position myself for landing a job at a top company post-MBA? What about pre-MBA, i.e. in the next 0-2 years? I would want to get into a top firm ideally, but I do realize I might have to start somewhere else. Would I be at a significant disadvantage for starting out in engineering and then competing with people who already have experience in this field?
A few things about me: I'm a fairly well-rounded student – 3.5 GPA with a couple respectable extracurriculars, a lot of leadership experience, and considerable experience working in the corporate world… started working at a F500 in high school, and have worked in a few different industries as of today. I am also quite personable compared to your typical engineering student.
Sorry for the long post - any input on this would be much appreciated. Looking forward to being a part of this forum!