To introduce myself, I am a second year Valuation & Business Modeling consultant at a Big 4 firm in Tokyo. I graduated undergrad with a 3.96 from a regional target (my school is somewhat well known but is top ten in the nation for international business majors). I am a pasty white American but through various adventures and uncountable hours of study, I have become fluent enough to conduct business in Japanese and German with minor difficulties.
Firstly, I am happy to help out so if anyone has questions about Big 4 valuations/Japan/language study feel free to PM me or start a thread and PM me to let me know you would like an answer from me (to make the convo visible to others who are curious).
Anyway, I was actually hoping for some advise for myself from all you knowledgeable monkeys out there. I have been in Valuations in Tokyo for about 1 1/2 years, and I am looking to make a switch. I love living in Japan, but honestly it not the best place to work (just in general, not my company specifically). I am trying to make a move, but I am struggling a but with my options.
Option 1. I have already secured an offer to begin a two-year rotational program with a Fortune 300 engineering company who deals with large scale infrastructure and energy related projects. The program would have me working for about one year in Project Finance in the US, followed by one year of Project Finance/Estimating in either Amsterdam or Singapore.
I am interested in this opportunity because I would be working on large scale projects, I could use/improve my modeling skills, I can work in various countries, and I would typically work 8 ~ 9 hour days giving me time to study for the GMAT and maybe get a couple levels of the CFA or CMA before grad school. I am just worried that it might be a step down from my current job, in terms of both prestige and level of responsibility.
Option 2. I am seriously considering looking for work as an IB analyst in either Japan or the US. I think I have a decent chance of getting a job in a middle market (orif I play my cards right), considering that what I am currently doing is about 90% transferable skills to IB.
I am interested in this opportunity because of the prestige, pay, and just that I expect the content of the work would be quite exciting. On the other hand, I am currently working banking hours (leaving work at 10 pm. is a bit on the early side for me) and I am not sure if that is something I would like to continue. Also, I have no idea when I would find time to prep for the GMAT or study for the CFA if I live in the office.
I guess the biggest thing that is pushing me toward the Project Finance gig is that it would give me exposure to something a bit different, and I would be able to gauge more clearly what type of career path I would like to follow in the future. I am just worried I would be taking a step down from where I am, and it would become even more difficult to break into IB afer B-school in a few years (if I decided that is what I want to do).
Any advice would be appreciated! What would you do in my situation?