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Help! I'm stuck, near depressed! watch

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    Hi all,

    I'm currently going through a big career driven crisis!! (crisis in my head anyway!)

    I really want to pursue a career in front office sales / trading / research or global capital markets, but have totally the wrong start: I graduates studying Mathematics & Economics at one of the best universities in the UK, had an internship at a mediocre Australian bank for IBD, and then after graduating have joined a Top Tier Investment Bank - however I joined in a Finance / Ops role.

    I've been there for over a year, and they are willing to pay for a management accounting course, which I really have no interest in, and now risk being typecast as Middle / Back Office. I feel i have a lot of promise, but entered the job market in Sept 2009 (possible the worst time i could have) and, looking back now rather stupidly took the first offer that came along! I feel really trapped now, and really need some advice regarding my options, and the best available route into that FO position.

    I can :

    leave the graduate scheme, staying in the current role i am in (which is pretty dead end as far as i can see) and then study to take the CFA level 1 in December (and hopefully the next stage in June2012)

    Look for a new role (which has been fruitless and time consuming so far). Even recruiters have told me my move is pretty much unheard of and if so in very special circumstances - and given the market now, firms pretty much have their choice of new grads.

    Do a finance based (recommendations for Trading and Research roles please) Masters degree somewhere prestigious, and then try to again apply and find a FO role.

    Sorry for the essay, I am just really trapped trying to find a route out of where I am. Any opinions on whether a CFA is better than a Masters? If Level 1 is better than a Masters, or if theres even any point in doing a CFA!? How about an offcycle internship, although i've graduated and in a role already?

    Any other advice?

    Really could do with some help! Thanks for listening!

    J
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    http://www.mergersandinquisitions.co...sales-trading/
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    move to HK
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    MBA - > Research
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    I'm not saying it's your best choice but.. a masters degree in a top uni would be a good option. Whoever you're applying to the next year will notice your dedication you've gone through to finding the best possible career, and this would come through well in interviews if you explain the reasons for changing and how passionate you are for (whatever) division.

    Also, since you've worked in an investment bank, you've obviously learned a lot from various divisions and they'll recognize this.

    You're not in a bad position in any means, it's just a difficult choice you've to make. Take your time and hopefully it'l work out. Good luck
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    Trust me, FO is not worth it.
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    (Original post by uthinkilltellu)
    Trust me, FO is not worth it.
    why do you say this?
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    (Original post by PortfolioManager1)
    why do you say this?
    Funny, a lot of TSR users would probably ridicule him for saying that. But really, it bears a lot of truth. Something that my financial knowledge is too superficial to explain.

    However I attended the London Trader's expo last week, and had the opportunity to talk to many traders and analysts.

    The most common opinion I heard: "it's not worth applying for an FO role in IB anymore". I don't exactly know why, but I heard that IB's are cutting a lot of FO roles, and they aren't as lucrative as they used to be. They're supposedly even more volatile now.

    They recommended that I opt for BO or MO.

    I don't want to throw anyone off FO, but it's just what I heard.
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    (Original post by Ilustrius)
    Funny, a lot of TSR users would probably ridicule him for saying that. But really, it bears a lot of truth. Something that my financial knowledge is too superficial to explain.

    However I attended the London Trader's expo last week, and had the opportunity to talk to many traders and analysts.

    The most common opinion I heard: "it's not worth applying for an FO role in IB anymore". I don't exactly know why, but I heard that IB's are cutting a lot of FO roles, and they aren't as lucrative as they used to be. They're supposedly even more volatile now.

    They recommended that I opt for BO or MO.

    I don't want to throw anyone off FO, but it's just what I heard.

    Back Office is the new Front Office.

    You heard it here first!!!
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    What sort of jobs in BO are you thinking of? Does that include compliance, documentation and the likes..
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    (Original post by Ilustrius)
    Funny, a lot of TSR users would probably ridicule him for saying that. But really, it bears a lot of truth. Something that my financial knowledge is too superficial to explain.

    However I attended the London Trader's expo last week, and had the opportunity to talk to many traders and analysts.

    The most common opinion I heard: "it's not worth applying for an FO role in IB anymore". I don't exactly know why, but I heard that IB's are cutting a lot of FO roles, and they aren't as lucrative as they used to be. They're supposedly even more volatile now.

    They recommended that I opt for BO or MO.

    I don't want to throw anyone off FO, but it's just what I heard.
    I appreciate the point you're trying to make but (and please excuse my ignorance) that begs the question- why are they still pursuing a FO/ trading role if it's such a terrible place to be atm?
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    (Original post by PortfolioManager1)
    I appreciate the point you're trying to make but (and please excuse my ignorance) that begs the question- why are they still pursuing a FO/ trading role if it's such a terrible place to be atm?
    As I said, I'm by no means an expert. But I'm guessing you have to be the best of the best to succeed in FO. Firstly, it's very competitive to get into. Secondly, as far as I know, it's inherently volatile and has recently become even more so.

    There are those who have genuine and informed reasons for pursuing IB FO, and I wish them luck. However there are also those in this forum who know virtually nothing about IB (and these individuals know even less than myself: now that's saying something!), and are under the impression that FO is the best job out there, and that it's fun and incredibly lucrative. Yes it is lucrative if you're good at it, but is it fun to be working 80 hour weeks? The majority of FO analysts and associates would believe otherwise. Most of them are in it for the money, but they're also good at what they do.

    Do you even know why you want to go into FO?

    EDIT: And by the way, IB FO isn't restricted to trading. There's also IBD and Sales. But of course, even these broad FO divisions are split into further roles. I'm not going to write an essay on it, you can google it yourself.
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    (Original post by Ilustrius)
    EDIT: And by the way, IB FO isn't restricted to trading. There's also IBD and Sales. But of course, even these broad FO divisions are split into further roles. I'm not going to write an essay on it, you can google it yourself.
    I've made some questionable decisions in the past but largely for these reasons- I simply didn't personally feel like the role was right for me. I'm not an expert either but by no means clueless.
    I don't know why you assumed I don't even know what FO is?
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    For me, I have experienced a MO role, and know what it is like in a BO role. Mundane. Thats the most attractive word I can describe for it. Some people are really good at it, and make brilliant careers out of it (MDs will still earn in the GBP100,000s), and I have nothing against that.

    However its not for me. I joined an IB to be at the heart, where the fundamentals kick in, strategies are used and the revenue is generated. The challenges of an FO role far outweigh those of a MO or BO role, and I tend to seek challenges, its just the person I am. I have nothing against MO or BO people, its still a good career, make plenty of money and live comfortably. I feel that it would be the right match for me and my skills set, and my interests, if i do it and find its not for me, then at least I can say I know for sure.
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    (Original post by PortfolioManager1)
    why do you say this?
    I'm in FO. I still earn more money than almost anyone else at my age, whereas if I had worked in the golden age I could have earnt a lot more. There comes a point when you have to ask yourself if earning more is worth all the downside. But that's just a personal opinion though.
 
 
 
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