With the IT industry losing some of its sheen, some capable and ambitious professionals are taking proactive steps to re-skill themselves before its too late. Here are some career change options after MBA for software engineers.
When you look outside the sphere of IT jobs, the possibilities open up even more. Finance is one of the fields that offers exciting opportunities to those with the right aptitude and qualifications.
Prateek Shukla, is among those seeking to change his career from information technology to finance. Here’s how he planned the first step (re-skilling) in his longer career transition strategy.
Top ranking Masters in Finance from Germany with scholarship
My selection as Masters of Finance candidate in Frankfurt School of Finance and Management with a Risk Management Scholarship gives me the much-needed boost of self-confidence after persistently getting knocked by personal and professional hurdles.
I did my engineering from a Private University in Computer Science. During my four years at college, I focused on building my profile because I knew I was already in the common application pool from India. This was the time when I only knew about Harvard’s 2+2 program and had no idea about B-school applications.
I applied for every opportunity in college to gain some leadership experience may it be an event, internship or project. I headed sponsorship drives, worked in events, designed adverts and wrote articles.
And the perseverance paid off when these opportunities became key data points to land a role as Project Coordinator of SRMSAT, India’s first student-built Nano-satellite launched by ISRO.
Steve Jobs may have been right about the dots that get connected but I believe, we have to create as many dots as possible, each dot an opportunity in itself. This learning has helped me to reach a stage where I am now and keep going upwards and onwards.
Oh yes! I am a typical male IT engineer because, after college, I got into TCS. The B-School ambition was still alive and many of you may resonate with this feeling. Even in TCS, I worked towards building a business profile and got myself enrolled into SAP technology only to have direct client interaction and stay in tune with functional side of IT.
In this role, I interacted with clients across various geographies and had my hands in Sales and Distribution, Finance and Supply Chain. I never let the IT tag push me down. Not to sound like a hard-working nerd, but I did use my weekends to learn the German language only with an aim that someday if everything falls apart, I will go to Germany. Although nothing fell apart, I am now going to Germany :-)
Preparing for the GMAT
It was during my second year at work that I started preparing for GMAT. The first attempt at real GMAT was bad yet it was the best ‘mock’ test I had given because none in the market showed me the mirror. I realized how important it is to condition your brain by giving mocks regularly and focus on foundational principles behind each section.
My quant was strong so I didn’t give it much thought but I changed my entire mindset to work on verbal. I went to the basics for Sentence correction, learned tricks for CR not only for GMAT but also for LSAT and regularly solved 5-6 RCs during office hours. In my personal journey, I found the Veritas Mocks to be closest to the real exam.
Personally, I wasn’t a bright child but then scoring the 700 in my other attempt, well, I gave a pat on my back. I know it’s not competitive but it worked out fine for me. For the curious minds, I did apply to B-Schools and got rejected from ISB and Darden. Got an interview call from NUS Singapore and waitlist from USC Marshall. Due to financial constraints, I didn’t apply to many schools. PS: Frankfurt School’s application for masters in finance in Germany was free.
Choosing the right admissions consultant
Once GMAT was done with, I reached out to a few international application consultants to test the waters. It was difficult for me to manage my health, finances, work, and applications. Moreover, with the competition so high, choosing a right consultant for MBA can really make a huge difference. Like the GMAT 1st attempt, I needed someone to show me the mirror again.
MBA Crystal Ball team with Sameer and MG do exactly that. They have their own pedagogy in this arena.
MG’s analysis of my essay for USC Marshall was so insightful that a 700 GMAT-Engineer-IT guy with a fledgling entrepreneurial idea was taken seriously by the USC Adcom.
I also used the learnings from this essay to draft the one for Frankfurt School as well as for the Risk Management Scholarship. Reading the final essay review from MG changed my perspective about representing my unique strengths. I could use the right vocabulary with the appropriate sentence construction to showcase various experiences with weight and concision.
Thanks to MCB team!
Career change from IT to Finance jobs in Germany
Transitioning from IT to Finance, I have my eyes set on FinTech companies, especially startups. Frankfurt is home to many such German companies. Looking at Industry trends now, I gathered that a specialist skill, especially in Finance, could help me build a better profile for employers or further studies, and gain necessary insights and experience to take action on my entrepreneurial goals. Furthermore, I wanted to gain knowledge in Mergers and Acquisition, Financial Modelling and Risk Management. These were a few primary reasons why I chose the Masters of Finance course at Frankfurt School.
The curriculum is pretty sorted for someone starting as a fresher in Finance field and the school has ties with Frankfurt Institute of Risk Management and Regulation (FIRM). The latter has scholarship worth 9,100 Euros for people who get selected in Frankfurt School’s MS Finance Program (Note: Its First come First serve on an Individual basis. So apply early).
To add, the Frankfurt School, like few others in Germany, provides the discount for selected students applying early worth 3000 Euros (mostly apply before April). Overall, I received a total waiver of 12,100 Euros. Yup, that is a lot of savings!
MS in Finance interview questions and experience
The interview for the MS of Finance in Germany course was pretty relaxed. It was conducted over Skype by the Frankfurt School representative in India. I received my interview call within two weeks of my application submission.
The interview questions ranged from typical ones to some unusual ones.
Tell me about yourself? What are your goals? Why Frankfurt School? Why Germany? To Why Finance? What were my views on Brexit? Who is my role model? Why entrepreneurship?
To add, Frankfurt school also had an essay on Integrity. I related a lot of my points to that essay. I got my selection result within 20 days and I wasted no time in applying for the Risk Management Scholarship. I had to send an additional essay on Why I chose to do Risk Management?.
As I write this article, wishes are still pouring in and the feeling is awesome. It is important to cherish these congratulatory messages just to get the feel that a milestone is achieved.
Yet there is still a long journey ahead and I would love to hitch-hike with like-minded people and share a dialogue or two to gain some wisdom for career growth.
I re-iterate, keep yourself open to as many opportunities as possible. The dots do connect.
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