What is considered a "Promotion"?

What is considered a Promotion?

I've read people say that they received 3 promotions within three years, what does that mean exactly and how can you actually prove to MBA admissions that these were actually promotions and not just lateral moves within the company?

I worked as an underwriter for fortune 5 oil company, doing credit risk for the commercial organization, then after 14 months or so I was moved to the relationship side of credit risk (this is considered a promotion or a "move up" at my company), where I was on the phone with our counter-parties and our trade floor trying to manage and hedge credit risk day in and day out. I did this role for only 4 months and was moved to the trade floor working as an F&PA analyst for a commodity trade group (This is definitely considered a "move up" at my company). I mostly do analysis on how much money we made, how much we lost, where are margins are, can we sustain these margin given the current market trends, etc...

With the given information, can I confidently say on my MBA application that I received two promotions in less than 2 years (I started in Jan 2011)?

Just trying to see if I'm seeing this the right way....

Thanks.

-pacman

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Comments (18)

Sep 19, 2012 - 1:30pm

Lateral transfer -> doing same job at different place
Promotion -> being moved to greater responsibility at same job
Transfer / new job -> .......different job

Any combination between the three is possible, ie lateral trasfer + promotion. Don't try to equate one with the other unless it's a clear progression, ie support on trading desk to actual trader. Going from BO to FO isn't a promotion, it's a transfer.

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Sep 19, 2012 - 6:43pm
pacman007:
What is considered a Promotion?

I worked as an underwriter for fortune 5 oil company, doing credit risk for the commercial organization, then after 14months or so I was moved to the relationship side of credit risk (this is considered a promotion or a "move up" at my company), where I was on the phone with our counterparties and our trade floor trying to manage and hedge credit risk day in and day out. I did this role for only 4 months and was moved to the trade floor working as an F&PA analyst for a commodity trade group (This is definitely considered a "move up" at my company). I mostly do analysis on how much money we made, how much we lost, where are margins are, can we sustain these margin given the current market trends, etc...

-pacman

Working in O&G hedging myself, I feel I can offer a very educated opinion on the matter. I would say that all of the above are absolutely promotions. Our risk department at my location (the HQ) is broken into two departments: credit risk and financial (derivatives, basis, and commodity) risk. I started in financial risk, essentially analyzing our different products' market correlations and how to hedge our positions to reduce downside pricing and basis risk (it sounds like you were more on the credit side). The ladder within that realm is: risk associate, risk analyst, and senior risk analyst (sr analyst level not required for further movement). First promotion usually occurs within 12-18 months, and these positions are often entry or intermediate level (except senior analysts, who were as old as 45).

The next category "up" was the trading/marketing floor. These are the guys that are on the phone with the counterparties, deciding at what price they will buy/sell product. The financial risk guys decide what hedging strategy to use (more quantatative and honestly more difficult) while the marketers/traders simply do the deals. These guys are paid a significant amount more and have at least 5-10 years experience under their belt (in my firm, at least). It sounds like your role was a combination of credit risk and oil and gas marketing, which is certainly a step up because you were in coordination with the counterparties. That shows management trusted your knowledge and experience moreso than an entry level credit analyst.

Finally, entering an analyst position for a particular trading group is undoubtedly a promotion. It shows you have knowledge of the product and markets it operates in, and I'd be surprised if there were any entry level positions of this nature at O&G firms simply because there are tons of firm and market specifics. Knowing pricing patterns and product correlations for each of your firm's indices and plants is not an easy task, and oft is as much or more difficult than the trading itself. Hope this helps.

Sep 20, 2012 - 11:31am
CaR:
pacman007:
What is considered a Promotion?

I worked as an underwriter for fortune 5 oil company, doing credit risk for the commercial organization, then after 14months or so I was moved to the relationship side of credit risk (this is considered a promotion or a "move up" at my company), where I was on the phone with our counterparties and our trade floor trying to manage and hedge credit risk day in and day out. I did this role for only 4 months and was moved to the trade floor working as an F&PA analyst for a commodity trade group (This is definitely considered a "move up" at my company). I mostly do analysis on how much money we made, how much we lost, where are margins are, can we sustain these margin given the current market trends, etc...

-pacman

Working in O&G hedging myself, I feel I can offer a very educated opinion on the matter. I would say that all of the above are absolutely promotions. Our risk department at my location (the HQ) is broken into two departments: credit risk and financial (derivatives, basis, and commodity) risk. I started in financial risk, essentially analyzing our different products' market correlations and how to hedge our positions to reduce downside pricing and basis risk (it sounds like you were more on the credit side). The ladder within that realm is: risk associate, risk analyst, and senior risk analyst (sr analyst level not required for further movement). First promotion usually occurs within 12-18 months, and these positions are often entry or intermediate level (except senior analysts, who were as old as 45).

The next category "up" was the trading/marketing floor. These are the guys that are on the phone with the counterparties, deciding at what price they will buy/sell product. The financial risk guys decide what hedging strategy to use (more quantatative and honestly more difficult) while the marketers/traders simply do the deals. These guys are paid a significant amount more and have at least 5-10 years experience under their belt (in my firm, at least). It sounds like your role was a combination of credit risk and oil and gas marketing, which is certainly a step up because you were in coordination with the counterparties. That shows management trusted your knowledge and experience moreso than an entry level credit analyst.

Finally, entering an analyst position for a particular trading group is undoubtedly a promotion. It shows you have knowledge of the product and markets it operates in, and I'd be surprised if there were any entry level positions of this nature at O&G firms simply because there are tons of firm and market specifics. Knowing pricing patterns and product correlations for each of your firm's indices and plants is not an easy task, and oft is as much or more difficult than the trading itself. Hope this helps.

I think this is spot on. The way I know my moves aren't lateral is because I know how the ladder works. Nobody goes from the Credit Risk Analyst role to the Underwriter role, it's almost always Underwriter => Credit Risk Analyst role....and the trade floor almost never hires F&PA out of college, these are mostly internal moves, they pull people from groups in the back office...I know that this move really is a "move up". I was in treasury (credit before) and the Assistant Treasurer of the company came back and congratulated me on the move and was very, let's say "bullish" on my prospects.

I'm not really having an issue with the F&PA role because within the company this is a promotion, but the move within treasury from credit underwriter to credit risk analyst might look more like a lateral move. I know for a fact that almost no one moves from credit risk to credit underwriter...99.9% of the time it's the other way around, so this is what's making me want to say it was actually a move up. I think I'll just word it in my essays in a way so it doesn't sound like too much of a big deal.

Thanks for the input.

Sep 20, 2012 - 8:04am

If you have to ask 'was I promoted?', you weren't promoted. Companies tend to make you feel like it's a big deal if they promote you, they don't keep it a secret.

Sep 20, 2012 - 9:37am
SirTradesaLot:
If you have to ask 'was I promoted?', you weren't promoted. Companies tend to make you feel like it's a big deal if they promote you, they don't keep it a secret.

Yes, especially the VP/MD level promotions, they're typically emailed to the entire firm. On a side note, I keep a running list of high level promotions, and make an effort to network with them on some level....even if I don't want to work in that group. I'm not sure why, it just seems like a good idea.
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Sep 20, 2012 - 10:36am
UFOinsider:
SirTradesaLot:
If you have to ask 'was I promoted?', you weren't promoted. Companies tend to make you feel like it's a big deal if they promote you, they don't keep it a secret.

Yes, especially the VP/MD level promotions, they're typically emailed to the entire firm. On a side note, I keep a running list of high level promotions, and make an effort to network with them on some level....even if I don't want to work in that group. I'm not sure why, it just seems like a good idea.

Title changed like that they do and are obvious promotions. Suppose you are an analyst in trade support and move to a trader as an analyst. Its a step up, but no title change.

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Sep 20, 2012 - 9:10am

It sounds like you are making transfers into better departments, but a promotion is a vertical move not a horizontal move. Easy example, if you work in operations for FX for two years, and then manage to move to the FX trading desk, this is not a promotion. The job on the desk is 1 million times better, and you will get paid a lot more, but you are switching roles at your company. If you work as an AVP in Investment banking, and then get promoted to VP in investment Banking, this would be considered a promotion. I tend to agree with Sirtradesalot, if you don't know whether or not you are getting promoted you probably are just moving into a different role.

The one caveat to this argument is that I don't know the business you are talking about well, reg FD. Also another thing to consider is are you really going to put like "been promoted twice" on your resume, kind of seems odd to me. I am not really considering my MBA so I guess maybe people do that but it kind of seems like a weird thing to put on your resume. In your work experience if you show the chronological order of your moves within your company, and do a good job explaining your new role, whoever reads your resume should be able to pick up that you were making beneficial movements and gaining more responsibilities. I wouldn't get too worked up on actually writing "promoted twice" on your resume, I don't know if that is good practice.

Sep 20, 2012 - 11:39am
mperit01:
It sounds like you are making transfers into better departments, but a promotion is a vertical move not a horizontal move. Easy example, if you work in operations for FX for two years, and then manage to move to the FX trading desk, this is not a promotion. The job on the desk is 1 million times better, and you will get paid a lot more, but you are switching roles at your company. If you work as an AVP in Investment banking, and then get promoted to VP in investment Banking, this would be considered a promotion. I tend to agree with Sirtradesalot, if you don't know whether or not you are getting promoted you probably are just moving into a different role.

The one caveat to this argument is that I don't know the business you are talking about well, reg FD. Also another thing to consider is are you really going to put like "been promoted twice" on your resume, kind of seems odd to me. I am not really considering my MBA so I guess maybe people do that but it kind of seems like a weird thing to put on your resume. In your work experience if you show the chronological order of your moves within your company, and do a good job explaining your new role, whoever reads your resume should be able to pick up that you were making beneficial movements and gaining more responsibilities. I wouldn't get too worked up on actually writing "promoted twice" on your resume, I don't know if that is good practice.

You make very strong points but I'm a recent college graduate so I doubt I'll be moving into management soon. Even if I want to the only chanch I have at that is being a supervisor of a back office department like Accounts Payables, I'm really not interested in that. I rather stay at the analyst level and move around and learn as much as I can about the industry. So, doesn't moving into better departments show progression? Maybe promotion might not be the right word but I do think that I'm moving along quite nicely compared to some other people at my company. I think that it's worth noting in my apps for MBA. At my company, they want you move around and see different sides of the business, that is the approach they take when they bring on a college hire. With that said, there are some college hires who are still either doing what they did when they started or moved into another a very similar function (ex: moved from Acc Pay for Crude to Acc Rec for Crude).

I'm not going to put it on my resume. The reason why I am asking is because I am going to start applying for my MBA soon so I was just trying to get some feedback on how I should include it in my essays.

Sep 20, 2012 - 9:32am

what about when your boss tells you you can use the title Senior?

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Sep 20, 2012 - 11:41am

Over the last ~4 years, a promotion was not having to carry your shit out of the office in a box.

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Sep 21, 2012 - 7:24pm

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