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Old 11-02-2011, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ynwa View Post
Hi guys.. Need some life and career advice pls.. Hopefully some of you wiser and older ppl willing to share your experience/advice..

I'm currently looking for a F/T job after ORD, will be 23 next year. I have a diploma in biotechnology but had failed to work hard enough (read: low gpa). Besides, imo, life sciences industry is too competitive and paper-dependent to stay in. So after some consideration I decided that I shall join the finance industry and applied for P/T Sim-UOL Bach. in Econs and Finance which will commence class in Aug 2011 if I'm successful (most likely ).

Ok, problem right now:
I'm offered a job by a job agency, job scope covering compliance in a reputable bank and doing background checks on clients regarding money laundering etc. Monthly salary 1.5k b4 CPF, 6mths contract. I find it a tad too low, esp when comparing with a starting pay for a dip-holder lab assistant - 1.8k.

The agent tries to convince me it's pretty good pay for entry level (I guess a portion of it has alr been taken off by the agency) and I will be able to hop onto something more relevant in future while in the company.

1) Do you think I will be able to "hop" to something more relevant in future within the company? (Me: highly doubt it's that easy) Or do you think I should persist in looking for a firmer, more relevant, first stepping stone?

2) Should I just stick to a bio job eg. lab assistant etc (@~1.8k starting) for 3 years until I graduate with a full-fledged econs & finance degree, or should I stick to entry level finance jobs (@~1.5k) and work my way up? Is the climb hard for someone like me with no relevant qualifications yet?

I wouldn't mind climbing for that 1.5k; I just don't want to climb and realise there's a glass ceiling 2 steps up, or taking 3 years just to climb that when with a degree 3 years later the starting pay alr beats all that climbing.

Hope to hear from you guys.. And sorry for the WOT. Thanks!

Would you be able to work full time and study UOL part time? That would be the best scenerio and since you are young, you will be able to take the hectic lifestyle for a while until when you settle down in your late 20s.

How I would suggest is to take the bank job first, finish up the 6-months contract and it should be the start of your study at UOL in August. If you could make it a permanent job and study at the same time, best. Otherwise study full time and finish up the degree ASAP with good honours.

When you grad, you are slightly better off from your peers as you have done 6 mths contract in a bank before. Slightly better only but still better than nothing.

From there, you can try the area of the bank you want to venture into (do your research during the time while studying). Front office is very very tough to get in and all the ivy league uni grads are all eyeing the limited slots, so.. good luck if you want to try for it.

The money laundering job should be classified middle or back office and under compliance, these roles are quite mobile between banks and you can move around for higher salary in the future.

Acadamically, there are tons of pple with basic degree and just go to Expo during CFA exams, you will be shocked at the number of pple taking CFA. So I suggest you slowly work your way up to basic degree, then certification like CFA, FRM, etc or second degree MBA (i will not go into the great CFA vs MBA debate)

Technical skills can bring you far enough to be team leaders, junior managers but beyond a certain level, high EQ (of coz with good technical skills) will bring you to the even higher management levels. Last but not least, networking is also of utmost importance.

Hope this helps and good luck!

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