Monday, May 25, 2009

Career Question of the Week - II

Another Monday, another career dilemma I throw open to the readers. Here goes:

My name is AG and I am a Commerce Graduate (B.Com), from Bangalore University. I have been working for a medim-sized firm (Family Business) for the past 3 years now. After completing my under-graduation in 2004, I worked for the BPO division of Infosys for about 11 months but due to irregular and odd working hours as well as objection from the family, quit and of began assisting in the family business which is a dealership firm in electrical wires.

It is a partnership between my father and his older brother. For the past 3 years, although I have been a part of it, I have always wanted a professional (corporate) career, preferably in Finance or Financial Management.

As a result, I have been planning for a Masters programme overseas. I have researched extensively about Universities and programmes in Finance in the U.K. I have taken up the IELTS and have a 7.5 overall in it. Some Universities also require a GMAT score,especially the top ones but I do not have a score as of now.

Essentially, I want to acquire a Masters qualification and only then hit the job market because I know for a fact that with mere under-graduate degree, my chances of getting a respectable job with a decent starting salary are very slim.

Initially, I had also contemplated a 2 year MBA in India and was interested in the CAT as well. However, with the fierce competitive scene in India for MBA seats in the top B-Schools and a half-hearted interest, I did not consider it seriously. Moreover, the thought of international exposure and perspective and a one year programme in a reputed Univerity in the United Kingdom has from the very beginning appealed to me. Therefore, I had initiated my research a good while ago.

Presently, with the global economic slowdown and a recessionary job market (no or reduced fresh hiring/recruitment), it is being said that this is the best time to acquire an additional qualification and enhance skill-sets. I have a very profound dilemma in this regard and seek advice and guidance for a bright future.

My dilemma is whether:

I should go to the U.K for a one year Taught Masters programme in Finance or Financial Management, which is my domain of interest with the programme beginning in Sept/Oct 2009 (I have applied to a few Universities in the U.K, just a few days ago), complete the programme by Sept/Oct 2010 and after my dissertation, start looking for a job there (in the U.K) before deciding upon the next course of action, including, a possible return to India


Look for jobs right now and if I end up with a decent job in Finance, at an entry level, work for a few years, at least 3 if not more and then apply for an MBA at ISB, Hyderabad and a few of the One year MBA programmes in the U.K and Europe.

In both cases, there are several If's and But's and I am looking for advice and guidance so as to better plan for my future career. One thing is certain that I am not keen on continuing with my father's (family) business as there are quite a few family-related complications and hence I would like to start afresh.

A B.Com degree with very little B.P.O industry experience and a Post-graduate Certificate in Management Programme is what my current profile is. Kindly advice my plan of action from here on, considering that I am willing to invest money for my education (Post-graduate) and want to save time, rather than money.

Please advise!

I found this query interesting because the problem is multi-layered:
a) Banda wants to escape from his family business
b) He is very sure he wants to get into finance - despite the recent setbacks in that sector.

I sometimes wonder, when people say "I want to do finance", what does it really mean to them? Industry enter karne ke pehle aapne kya socha aur phir kya paaya... Do share for the benefit of aspirants!

And yeah, do let AG know what his chances of getting a job are - after investing in that 1 year UK degree.


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  2. Let me take a tangent on this query and ask a question back: While looking to complete a Masters degree, what is your end goal? a. Qualify yourself for a career in finance? If yes, and considering you can pay for your UK education in a bleak job scenario, please prepare for the GMAT, and apply to universities for either an MBA, or a Masters degree in financial management. Invest some more months to get into the very best course you can....the network really matters

    b. Consolidate your business experience, and whatever little financial background to eventually set up a business, work in a senior management position in the financial services industry? If option B, I would look at joining a well known company in the financial industry at entry level. It may not be the most glamorous of jobs, but it will help you derisk your future options by letting you observe people, process in the field of your choice (preferably not an outsourced job, since that robs you of any chance to learn how a senior finance professional goes about his day). Couple of years in this role will allow you to show 5good work experience on your CV, and relevant last workex in a corporate at junior level. This will matter when you apply for a reputed MBA. You can plan out GMAT etc in parallel. Then the ISB, better business school route.

  3. My 2 cents about the job market:
    The job market in UK is pretty competitive, especially in this economic downturn. UK has been the worst victim of financial crisis in West Europe as UK economy was heavily dependent on financial services.
    Based on my discussions with people working in UK, I could say that it would take some time before the job market (especially in the financial sector) to improve. It would make sense to go to UK only if you can get into a top ranked school/program.

  4. If he is serious abt finance, why not a CA or CPA in India/US? Why not a core Finance certificate? Why an MBA? OK, why ONLY an MBA?

    Also, finance needs a lot of focus, but he doesnt want to do Indian CAT bcs he is not that serious... whats more, Finance is a one way street.. once he is in it, it will be difficult to look at another stream..

    My advice will be to prepare for a one year PG from outside India, bcs it gives a wide exposure. Think abt a job only after joining the course. Also, during the course, keep your options open for other streams that might interest you. At any rate, do pick up some cross functional courses in college to get the right grounding in all aspects of business management.

  5. if I were you I would take a Masters Programme overseas...
    tarif seluler


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