Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Same but different... About Career changes

Someone asked about Career Change (see comments of Previous post). The question was: being an engineer, how possible is it to go to Investment Banking.
Well, I'm definitely not an authority on any part of the subject, and for this kind of very specific question, the first thing to do probably is to ask the Career Service.
However, I have made my short enquiry across campus, and come up to the following conclusions. First, all career changes are possible at INSEAD, and are done every year by grads. Yet, there's one change that is less "obvious" than the others: going to Finance, like IB. To me, people should have 3 ground rules when it comes to recruitment: you choose just as much as are being chosen (how many times in life can you afford to choose to change after all), everything is negotiable, and high performers are taken anyway. It's a matter of consistency, fit, and potential.
Indeed, someone who interviewed during P2 in IB made the following remarks: one ultra-bright person with a legal background got an offer in M&A, yet IB gets so much demand that it's only natural if, all being equal, they should select from past experience. Then, for the engineer with no IB background, if he/she has extraordinary analytical skills and outstanding personality, it should be ok. Otherwise, I suspect that if he/she is "only" super skilled super great, someone equally so with previous experience in IB my be chosen. Alternatively, I do believe being on the Dean's List could help as well. Then again, that's just my call. In this kind of switch, that MBA participant advised to get summer internships (December intakes) and catch up the others.
Tonight was the big Bain event, yesterday the big BCG event. These companies even invite grads by countries in restaurants. It's funny how many people claim they don't want to go into Consulting, yet the amphi was full tonight. Must be the buffet after as well...
Tomorrow, I have my mock interview. You get to select an industry or a type of interview you want to practice in. I got Private Equity/VC.

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