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rampa001 12-07-2010 04:03 AM

Fresh Engineering Grad want to switch to Banking
 
Hi All !!

I just graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering from university
of South Australia and i did it part time while working as an engineering Assistant. Due to the salary limitations in Engineering, I want to join for a job in banking but i have no idea on banking jobs.... can some one explain what jobs i can apply for and what kind of starting salary can i expect. why i choose banking is that from what i know it's the only field you can change to with almost any degree...am i right ??? any ways plz advice. Thank You:)

financepil 23-05-2011 11:01 PM

Hi Rampa001,

You seem very confident about your switch towards banking :-) which looks like a good decision to me!!! Since this post was 7~8 months back what stage are you at now?? have you switched your job to banking/finance or started related course such as CFA/MBA ???

Im keen on your decision since I wanna change my career to finance too :-)

Thanks

Unregistered 24-05-2011 12:49 PM

Don't switch to banking. Its saturated enough. Didn't you read that engineers are one of the most sought after positions in singapore? Stay in engineering, you'll do well :)

financepil 25-05-2011 09:55 AM

Hi,
Thanks for your reply.After working 4 years in engineering line Im really considering for a lifelong switch.As an engineer I dont see a good future in 10 years time .My pay aint gonna shoot up above 8 k .Tough life and underpaid :-(

lazyplane 25-05-2011 10:51 AM

For those really considering a switch to financial service, you must read the labour report from Ministry of Manpower Singapore.

I have extracted some pages of it for your reference.

Pg 1. show the average grad pay in singapore by age.
Pg 2. shows that financial services are really getting more pay compared to other industries
pg 3. shows that there are only 172k workers in financial sector out of 3.1 million jobs in singapore.. that is around 5.5% of the workforce.

pg 4. this is the MOST HIDDEN DARK FACT of the financial services. Look under "Reorganisation/restructuring" for financial services and also see the kind of people whom are made redundant .

Then decide on the kind of risk you are willing to take.

lazyplane 25-05-2011 10:53 AM

Could not attach the file because the file size is too big.

Here are links and you may need to do your own extraction of the data

http://www.mom.gov.sg/Documents/stat...abourForce.pdf

http://www.mom.gov.sg/Documents/stat...sd_2009ROW.pdf

Unregistered 25-05-2011 12:04 PM

lazyplane,

1-3, I think most already know roughly. 4 is interesting, could you point out which page its on in the MOM reports?

TS,

I did what you mentioned, went straight into banking after graduating with an engineering degree through one of the management training programs for fresh grads. That's one possible avenue. They tend to be less judgmental on your lack of formal knowledge in the field but you'll have to prove to them your interest and aptitude/potential in financial services, as well as personality, etc etc the usual. As a fresh grad, I wouldn't worry too much about salary too (its usually dictated to you anyway, especially given your background). I would advise learning more about banking (research it yourself, talk to friends in the industry, etc, its important, not everything is about IB, FO/BO, etc), and when you get the job to just be contented. There will always be someone else doing better than you.

lazyplane 25-05-2011 01:45 PM

http://www.mom.gov.sg/Publications/mrsd_qtlmr104.pdf

Page A5 : 3.1 REDUNDANCY
WORKERS MADE REDUNDANT BY INDUSTRY AND OCCUPATIONAL GROUP



Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 12584)
lazyplane,

1-3, I think most already know roughly. 4 is interesting, could you point out which page its on in the MOM reports?

TS,

I did what you mentioned, went straight into banking after graduating with an engineering degree through one of the management training programs for fresh grads. That's one possible avenue. They tend to be less judgmental on your lack of formal knowledge in the field but you'll have to prove to them your interest and aptitude/potential in financial services, as well as personality, etc etc the usual. As a fresh grad, I wouldn't worry too much about salary too (its usually dictated to you anyway, especially given your background). I would advise learning more about banking (research it yourself, talk to friends in the industry, etc, its important, not everything is about IB, FO/BO, etc), and when you get the job to just be contented. There will always be someone else doing better than you.


lazyplane 25-05-2011 01:47 PM

Sorry, it should be A6.

financepil 26-05-2011 01:43 AM

That is some valuble info.Thanks for that mate.
Im gonna graduate with a engineering degree in another 3 months time.It's part time degree is there any route for me to get in to financial sector??? which specific area should I focus ??

Unregistered 27-05-2011 07:55 AM

an ex-engineer chips in
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 12543)
Don't switch to banking. Its saturated enough. Didn't you read that engineers are one of the most sought after positions in singapore? Stay in engineering, you'll do well :)

Agreed with the OP. I was a engineer for a few years, and I decided to move to banking for the same considerations. I loved my engineering job, but there's clearly a problem in terms of career & salary advancement in engineering :-

- Most of the jobs are factory and manufacturing type jobs - very stable both in terms of employment, and unfortunately, in salary. Typically, you get 3-6% pay rise every year. And getting a SGD1k pay raise will take forever (unless you work at a place like Exxon or Shell).

- If you are in a design engineering job, not easy to job hop because people in these roles in other companies tend to stick around for a long time, so not many vacancies. If you want to hop to a unrelated industry, you will likely have to take a pay cut.

So in essence, I agree with you in that, if salary is what you are after, do move to banking. And am happy for you that you have come to that realisation earlier than me.

But do note:-
- finding a banking job is not easy. it was very very challenging for me. knowing people in the industry that are willing to give you a chance definitely helps, especially in the front office roles. Be ready to get a foot into the industry via an internship (very critical), even if it means a pay cut.

- front office jobs in foreign banks definitely are less stable than engineering jobs. I've seen many colleagues laidoff in the financial crisis in 2008. And my older colleagues have seen several rounds of layoffs.

- Work life balance is much tilted towards work in the early years and 70-80 hr weeks are not uncommon.

So, its a balance - go in with your eyes open. But from a pay perspective definitely better, cos banks have to pay you market rate or you can easily run off to a competitor bank (and unlike engineering, there are many many other banks which have exactly the same function you are in, whichever function that is).

Unregistered 27-05-2011 10:05 AM

As someone who had a short stint in the finance industry for 2 years, I always tell my friends from various jobs who are thinking of moving to banks to think twice before leaping. Too many of them always say want to go banking, but most don't have a clue what it means to work in banks.

First off, if you are thinking of moving to back office bank operations like IT, Compliance, CC, Marcom, HR, Accounts etc, then really no need to join a bank. Not much difference in terms of pay, maybe benefits a little better that's all. Progression also similar to other MNC, bonus maybe a bit higher but also very volatile.

Front office operations generally a lot of the 'banker' roles got fancy titles, but most of them are actually glorified sales or business development. Like most of this kind of jobs, the money from incentive really more dependent on individual capabilities than you joining a bank. It is a common misconception that bank / finance co. pays the highest sales incentive / bonus - not true at all.

I moved from a US trading house at downtown CBD to a lok kok shipping brokerage firm in Chinatown area. The shipping firm pays nearly double incentives on a meet KPI basis. I also know a lot of peers in niche industries where people with a flair for CRM or trading can make much more than in bank.

In short, think smart, dun just follow the herd. The banks & finance co. know reputation for them is very good and many ppl are fighting over one another to join them, what this means is also they can afford to pay less since supply is endless and many ppl willing to accept less pay just to put a bank name in their CV.

Unregistered 27-05-2011 04:49 PM

PP,

My guess is you are a shipbroker?

I do not understand why everyone wants to switch to finance. If you are not interested in Engineering, fine then but because of bonuses, benefits? Think again.Many i-banks are quietly drawing up plans for redundancies as revenues this year has slumped. Plus ome banks are actually losing market share, so they can't have too many mouths on expensive packages to feed.

Anyway I am not bullish on Singapore. It can never pit against HK now or Shanghai later. The rising cost here is not helping too.

Unregistered 28-05-2011 03:30 PM

ex-engineer chips in
 
I read the various responses with interest, and there have been fair points made on both ends of the spectrum i.e. pro-engineering and pro-finance.

At the end of the day, my view is that, for a graduate with 2nd upper and above, its a very simple question of stability + work life balance (enginneering) vs salary (finance).

There is no question that finance pays better for graduates with 2nd upper and above. And this is not only true for front office IB and Treasury functions, as is commonly mentioned.

Typical starting salaries for for higher potential graduates in banks are as follows:
- Management Associate (Local Bank) : S$3-4k
- Management Associate (Foreign Banks) : S$4 - 5k
- I-banking / Treasury Analyst (fresh grad) : S$8-10k
- I-banking / Treasury Associate (MBAs) : S$10-13k

Conversely, typical starting salaries for for higher potential graduates in engineering firms are as follows:

- Local Manufacturing Co : S$2.2-3k
- MNC Manufacturing : S$2.5 - 3.5k
- Oil Majors : S$3.2 - 4.5k
- Govt (DSTA etc) : S$3.2-4k

That's for starting salaries. What about going forward?

Well, people in the banking sector tend to enjoy quicker jumps in salaries for the following reasons:-
- Market pricing : As mentioned by others in this thread, for every role in banking, there are likely a few other banks out there doing exactly the same thing, and a strong performer can easily jump if the salaries are not market competitive. For engineering, that's very hard to get a big pay rise via a jump. In the banking world, I sometimes get a few calls from headhunters a month (or a week sometimes when the market is good). In 3 years as an engineer, I never received even 1 call.

- Dynamics of manufacturing industry is not conducive for pay raises: Most engineers in Singapore work in manufacturing companies. The plant manager is evaluated on how efficiently he runs the plant, and productivity is broadly defined as output divided by input. For most manufacturing plants, output is capped by plant capacity, hence effectively most plant managers are gauged by how well they keep costs down, and salary is usually a big component of cost. Hence, in other words, your big boss is indirectly incentivized by keeping your salaries down.

So what is the nett result? Lets just look at base case and optimistic scenarios 6-8 years after graduation (and ignore highly opimistic scenarios, which are possible but unlikely)

In engineering:
- Base case : Likely to be a senior engineer in MNC drawing S$500 to 1,500 more than starting salary i.e. about S$3.5 to 4.5k pm assuming a starting of S$3k
- Optimistic case : S$7-10k pm, assuming started at an oil major or 1st class honours at DSTA, and assuming a promotion

In finance:
- Base case : VP, which will draw about S$7 - 12k, depending on bank or dept
- Optimistic case : VP in i-bank/treasury, which is S$15 -22k (depending on bank), plus 6mths to 18 mths bonus

The above is based on my observations of hving been in both industries for sufficient time. In finance, I've seen folks make director in 8 yrs, which is abt $25 - 35k per mth excl bonus, but thats rare.

Other engineers or bankers, pls feel free to comment if the observations above do not tie in with what you have seen.

Unregistered 28-05-2011 04:39 PM

To all the engineers with good brains,

Why do banks make so much money and can afford "spoil the market" to hire the best talent?

I read somewhere that this phenomenon is the same throughout the developed world, but only in recent decades. One theory says that it's all due to the liberalization of the investment banking industry in US many years ago.

Unregistered 28-05-2011 09:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 12703)

Typical starting salaries for for higher potential graduates in banks are as follows:
- Management Associate (Local Bank) : S$3-4k
- Management Associate (Foreign Banks) : S$4 - 5k
- I-banking / Treasury Analyst (fresh grad) : S$8-10k
- I-banking / Treasury Associate (MBAs) : S$10-13k

Sorry, base on my experience this is definitely not true.

Management Associate can be $3-4k, but many of them are on 12 month basis. So if you convert to 13 month it's only $2.8-3.5k, this is not very different from most management trainee program in big companies / civil service. In short, if one is so good that can get into hipo programes in big companies, joining a bank doesn't really add anything in terms of starting salary.

Up to 5k for foreign banks I am very sceptical. Maybe some niche positions, but definitely not a general starting pay. Treasury Analyst are paid rather high, but 8-10k sounds way too high for a fresh grad, more like 6-8k if you ask me.

As for MBAs, salary range is more like 3-30k. It kind of depends on your previous experience and what kind of MBA it is.

I know is not good to generalize, but then hor something I want to say is many banking people really like to hao lianz one. They will seldom tell you how much they earn exactly, but will always do or say things indirectly that imply some sort of very high number. This one from my observation, no offense intended to any particular persons. So if you are hearing things especially about pay & bonus from banking dudes, take it with a barrel of salt!

Unregistered 28-05-2011 09:36 PM

an ex-engineer chips in
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 12712)
Sorry, base on my experience this is definitely not true.

Management Associate can be $3-4k, but many of them are on 12 month basis. So if you convert to 13 month it's only $2.8-3.5k, this is not very different from most management trainee program in big companies / civil service. In short, if one is so good that can get into hipo programes in big companies, joining a bank doesn't really add anything in terms of starting salary.

Up to 5k for foreign banks I am very sceptical. Maybe some niche positions, but definitely not a general starting pay. Treasury Analyst are paid rather high, but 8-10k sounds way too high for a fresh grad, more like 6-8k if you ask me.

As for MBAs, salary range is more like 3-30k. It kind of depends on your previous experience and what kind of MBA it is.

I know is not good to generalize, but then hor something I want to say is many banking people really like to hao lianz one. They will seldom tell you how much they earn exactly, but will always do or say things indirectly that imply some sort of very high number. This one from my observation, no offense intended to any particular persons. So if you are hearing things especially about pay & bonus from banking dudes, take it with a barrel of salt!

Sorry - should have made myself more clear.

The salaries I mentioned are for hiring in specific programmes within banks for high potential graduatnew hires, hence my comment on 2nd class upper and above qualification (i.e. Managament Associate Prog. / BB Analyst or Associate Prog) :-

- Up to S$5k is for MAs in global banks i.e. Citi
- S$8-10k is for analyst programmes in bulge bracket banks

You are probably right in respect general fresh grad salaries in banks, but my general comment on banking being better than engineering from a pure salary standpoint stands.

Of course, life is not all about pay. There's work-life balance, and there's job stability and of course, there's passion for the job. So on balance, everyone has to make his own call as to what industry is most right for them.

Rgds

Unregistered 30-05-2011 12:24 PM

I notice every time the word "bank" get thrown out, there will be a wave of "experts" all claiming to be from the banking sector dishing out advice on pay and bonus one after another. I always think if banks can really offer out of the world salary to so many, then why anyone bother to work in the other 99% non-bank companies?

I duno man, all the friends I know who work in banks dun seem to have the pay that anonymous people online always say they have. Either all the bank people I know are all bottom losers who cannot command all this fancy money or there is a lot of loose big cannon fairies here.

Unregistered 30-05-2011 01:54 PM

I think you have to distinguish "commercial bank" from "investment bank". If you work in the commercial banking operations of one of the local banks, your salary will be unremarkable and you will get just a few months bonus.

Investment banking does pay very well, but often requires an almost unreasonable time commitment. Generally engineers make poor investment bankers. The training is just different. Investment bankers have high EQ, are creative, like to deal with people, are imprecise (i.e., can bullshit well). Engineers are generally the opposite. They have high IQ, like to be precise, are often introverted etc...

Unregistered 30-05-2011 11:43 PM

its reality... take it as you will
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 12741)
I notice every time the word "bank" get thrown out, there will be a wave of "experts" all claiming to be from the banking sector dishing out advice on pay and bonus one after another. I always think if banks can really offer out of the world salary to so many, then why anyone bother to work in the other 99% non-bank companies?

I duno man, all the friends I know who work in banks dun seem to have the pay that anonymous people online always say they have. Either all the bank people I know are all bottom losers who cannot command all this fancy money or there is a lot of loose big cannon fairies here.

Well, reality is, I have been on both sides of the fence.

I've been the engineer racking my brains as to how I am ever going to hit S$4k with my $50-100 annual increments.

And I've been the intern that was shocked at the intern pay - I was hoping for an intern pay of S$4k per month and quite disappointed to see that it was only S$1,200 per month...
Until I looked more closely to see that it was actually S$12,000 per month as a MBA intern.

So that's the reality. And I wish I knew that reality earlier.

Hence, all I do here is to provide information that I wish I knew many years ago, to help me decide on that is the right industry or sector to go into. Not only starting pay (which can easily be verified if you check with NUS, NTU or SMU career services), but also the likely pay 6 to 8 years down the road (the salary ranges can be easily verified if you talk to any VP in corporate banking or ibanking).

Take it as you will - whether as gospel or with a barrel of salt, that's your choice. But it is reality as I have known it, and I hope that it benefits some folks in making their career decisions.

Unregistered 31-05-2011 03:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 12741)
I notice every time the word "bank" get thrown out, there will be a wave of "experts" all claiming to be from the banking sector dishing out advice on pay and bonus one after another. I always think if banks can really offer out of the world salary to so many, then why anyone bother to work in the other 99% non-bank companies?

I duno man, all the friends I know who work in banks dun seem to have the pay that anonymous people online always say they have. Either all the bank people I know are all bottom losers who cannot command all this fancy money or there is a lot of loose big cannon fairies here.

Aiya, online chatter just listen & talk talk lor, why so serious? I hope nobody is dumb enough here to really negotiate for pay base on what is written here.

At the end of the day, only HR from the banks have access to all the employee pay & I think they have confidential agreement cannot divulge what they know, it is considered commercial secret.

Anyone either in real life or online can claim whatever they want, I can also go around my friends and relatives & tell them I got 10 months bonus last year, nobody will ask me for payslip to verify wat...

My HR friend tell me the only way to get real verified info is to buy market intelligence from management consultants, but then they are more for professional use, so also not cheap ~ US$1,500 per report.

Unregistered 31-05-2011 05:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 12760)
Well, reality is, I have been on both sides of the fence.

I've been the engineer racking my brains as to how I am ever going to hit S$4k with my $50-100 annual increments.

And I've been the intern that was shocked at the intern pay - I was hoping for an intern pay of S$4k per month and quite disappointed to see that it was only S$1,200 per month...
Until I looked more closely to see that it was actually S$12,000 per month as a MBA intern.

So that's the reality. And I wish I knew that reality earlier.

Hence, all I do here is to provide information that I wish I knew many years ago, to help me decide on that is the right industry or sector to go into. Not only starting pay (which can easily be verified if you check with NUS, NTU or SMU career services), but also the likely pay 6 to 8 years down the road (the salary ranges can be easily verified if you talk to any VP in corporate banking or ibanking).

Take it as you will - whether as gospel or with a barrel of salt, that's your choice. But it is reality as I have known it, and I hope that it benefits some folks in making their career decisions.

What path did you take again? I gather you were formerly an engineer who got into MBA program and then to banking? How many years did you work in engineering before going to MBA?

Unregistered 31-05-2011 10:21 PM

Yes I was an engineer for about 3 years... Starting pay was good at just sub $3000 but Pay only increased by $300 thru 4pay reviews ...

Loved the job, my colleagues and my boss, but nonetheless felt like I was in a real rut career wise with no easy way out. I could clearly foresee where I'd be in 5 or 15 years and it wasn't exciting.

Looked to move into sales engineering, starting up a tuition agency on the side, doing property agency part time etc but none of these panned out.

So an MBA was the other thing I tried, and thankfully it worked out. but getting into finance was about the toughest and most frustrating thing I had to do in my life, with shameless cold calling and countless rejections. But all it takes is one company to accept you, I guess.

If I knew back then what I know now, I wld have tried like crazy to get into finance from the start, instead of taking the long detour that I ended up taking.

Unregistered 31-05-2011 10:27 PM

Im been sending out my CV for the past 2yrs looking for a career switch to finance industry. Countless rejections from recruitment agencies and companies. Im on the verge of depression if im not already...

Unregistered 31-05-2011 11:51 PM

don't worry - you're not alone in this ... me and about a half of my mba classmates were at that stage at some point in time or other in the two years we were in the mba programme...

here's what i learnt about applying for front office roles:-
- applying thru newspaper ads/recruiter is a very low probability exercise
- for front office roles, its not what you know its who you know - so start with talking with your parents / siblings / uncles / aunties / friends / classmates etc etc etc about your interest and mine them for info on openings or recommendations etc (sometimes an uncle may have a good friend in the finance sector who just happens to have a job opening or an internship op)
- if you are able to afford the time, take a 1 or 2 yr MBA course from a good uni and concentrate all your energies on securing the internship in the sector you want (work for free if need be)

even with all the above, you still need some luck in this exercise... if you take an MBA and graduate at the wrong time, (i.e. 2008), then it would all have been for nought... so sometimes I do wonder if I may have been better off if I expended all the energies, frustration, and capital from my MBA school fees into starting my own business instead!!

however, the other thing i realised is that front office is not the be all and end all. MO and BO roles can pay quite well too. For eg, if you are in IT line , you may be able to find a related role in banks which may very well pay better than IT in a non-bank industry.

so don't be disheartened and good luck...

Unregistered 01-06-2011 06:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 12798)
Yes I was an engineer for about 3 years... Starting pay was good at just sub $3000 but Pay only increased by $300 thru 4pay reviews ...

Loved the job, my colleagues and my boss, but nonetheless felt like I was in a real rut career wise with no easy way out. I could clearly foresee where I'd be in 5 or 15 years and it wasn't exciting.

Looked to move into sales engineering, starting up a tuition agency on the side, doing property agency part time etc but none of these panned out.

So an MBA was the other thing I tried, and thankfully it worked out. but getting into finance was about the toughest and most frustrating thing I had to do in my life, with shameless cold calling and countless rejections. But all it takes is one company to accept you, I guess.

If I knew back then what I know now, I wld have tried like crazy to get into finance from the start, instead of taking the long detour that I ended up taking.

i see... do you mind saying which mba program you did? was it ntu/nus, or a foreign branded one like insead or wharton?

Unregistered 01-06-2011 07:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 12815)
i see... do you mind saying which mba program you did? was it ntu/nus, or a foreign branded one like insead or wharton?

I did a foreign mba, from a top 20 school.

of course, if you are able to get into a top school like insead or wharton, it boosts your chances even more than my top 20 school, as their career services offices are even stronger.

Also, all banks will have their 'key recruitment' schools, where there's a certain no of allocated seats. For eg, a bank may want to recruit 100 MBA grads for their annual management associate programme. So assume the bank has 4 'key recruitment schools', each with 20 allocated seats, that means that 80 seats (4 X 20) are accounted for and they will only take in a total of 20 people (100 - 80) from the thousands of other MBA schools globally. That's why its so hard to get in if you are not in one of the 'key recruitment schools'.

Unregistered 01-06-2011 09:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 12818)
I did a foreign mba, from a top 20 school.

of course, if you are able to get into a top school like insead or wharton, it boosts your chances even more than my top 20 school, as their career services offices are even stronger.

Also, all banks will have their 'key recruitment' schools, where there's a certain no of allocated seats. For eg, a bank may want to recruit 100 MBA grads for their annual management associate programme. So assume the bank has 4 'key recruitment schools', each with 20 allocated seats, that means that 80 seats (4 X 20) are accounted for and they will only take in a total of 20 people (100 - 80) from the thousands of other MBA schools globally. That's why its so hard to get in if you are not in one of the 'key recruitment schools'.

I see. Congrats, that's pretty amazing what you did there. I've heard that banks usually prefer to recruit MBAs with pre-MBA finance experience, so it must have been even harder for an ex-engineer like yourself to get in. How did you sell yourself to interviewers who were doubtful of your previous experience? I have about 5 years worth of government experience (ex-scholar), and now that my bond is over I'm looking to go into finance, so I am really hoping that getting into a top MBA will help me overcome my experience handicap.

financepil 01-06-2011 10:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 12818)
I did a foreign mba, from a top 20 school.

of course, if you are able to get into a top school like insead or wharton, it boosts your chances even more than my top 20 school, as their career services offices are even stronger.

Also, all banks will have their 'key recruitment' schools, where there's a certain no of allocated seats. For eg, a bank may want to recruit 100 MBA grads for their annual management associate programme. So assume the bank has 4 'key recruitment schools', each with 20 allocated seats, that means that 80 seats (4 X 20) are accounted for and they will only take in a total of 20 people (100 - 80) from the thousands of other MBA schools globally. That's why its so hard to get in if you are not in one of the 'key recruitment schools'.

So you did a foreign MBA!! That means u were out of Singapore for a while doing ure MBA?? After completion did you get good job offers?? Globally or just in Singapore??

I am graduating soon with mechanical eng degree(part time) I have abt 4 years of eng exp!!! do u think I can get in to a well known MBA programme??

Vinatab 01-06-2011 05:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 12772)
Aiya, online chatter just listen & talk talk lor, why so serious? I hope nobody is dumb enough here to really negotiate for pay base on what is written here.

Anyone either in real life or online can claim whatever they want, I can also go around my friends and relatives & tell them I got 10 months bonus last year, nobody will ask me for payslip to verify wat...

Just because you cannot make it doesn't mean other cannot. Most banking graduate make more money than a 40 year old engineer or department manager. You just need to face reality.

Unregistered 02-06-2011 12:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 12820)
I see. Congrats, that's pretty amazing what you did there. I've heard that banks usually prefer to recruit MBAs with pre-MBA finance experience, so it must have been even harder for an ex-engineer like yourself to get in. How did you sell yourself to interviewers who were doubtful of your previous experience? I have about 5 years worth of government experience (ex-scholar), and now that my bond is over I'm looking to go into finance, so I am really hoping that getting into a top MBA will help me overcome my experience handicap.

thanks... but i will not underestimate the influence of luck in the whole equation..

if you are thinking of changing career via the MBA route, the absolute key is to secure an internship in the industry of choice... and this you do by begging, grovelling, cold calling and just about every non glamourous route you can think of, and doing so persistently. i got lucky in this - after i did all of that nonsense, i managed to secure one via a contact of mine who knew of an opening [and via further begging and grovelling, albeit of a more targeted kind]...

once you secure that all important internship, half the battle is won... at least you get invited for interviews [without excessive begging and grovelling]...

then the other rule of thumb is that - you either change country or you change industry - you cannot do both... so if you study in UK or US, and you want to change into the finance industry, you best bet is to apply for finance jobs in Singapore... if you want to work in UK or US (as the case may be) then you need to pick a job in the same industry as your pre-MBA days...

so at the end of the day, it comes down to basically luck and preserverence... i.e. you preservere long enough (or in other words, beg and grovel long enough) and broadcast your intentions widely enough to relatives/friends/acquintances, you eventually get lucky...

now, is a role in finance worth all that pain? that's a whole other question altogether...

oh ya, one other thing, remember that it is much easier to move from a non-glamourous company to a glamourous company in the same industry than it is to change industries... so even if you get an offer from a never-before-heard-of bank in the industry of your choice, you should give it serious consideration, because once people in the industry know you, you can move between banks in the same role without an extraordinary amount of effort...

gd luck

Unregistered 02-06-2011 12:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by financepil (Post 12822)
So you did a foreign MBA!! That means u were out of Singapore for a while doing ure MBA?? After completion did you get good job offers?? Globally or just in Singapore??

I am graduating soon with mechanical eng degree(part time) I have abt 4 years of eng exp!!! do u think I can get in to a well known MBA programme??

in evaluating candidate, MBA schools look at a few things, the more important factors being (i) prior job experience (ii) GMAT scores and (iii) nationality, because these 3 factors have strong impacts on their rankings (and rankings are v v important to MBA schools, as highly ranked MBA programmes are viewed as a cash cow within the university)...

Prior job experience because it affects post MBA pay (i.e. if you are a consultant or ibanker pre MBA, chances are you get a pretty high paying job after your MBA, which will skew the school's average salary statistic upwards). GMAT scores cos its one of the factors of MBA rankings. Nationality because student diversity is also one of the factors of MBA rankings.

As a Singaporean, you already have a plus point because you will contribute to the diversity of the university be it a US or UK uni. If you are consultant with a high GMAT score, you are a shoo-in. But if your previous job experience is nothing to shout about (like mine, which was why i was thinking of doing a MBA in the first place), then I would focus an extraordinary amount of effort in doing well in the GMAT exam.

If you can get 750 and above, you greatly enhance your chances because some schools manage the various MBA ranking factors on a portfolio basis i.e. (instead of targeting for a class full of bankers/consultants with high GMATs, which is not easy) balance a few banker/consultant types with middling GMAT scores with a few students with spectacular GMAT scores, such that on average, both the average post MBA salaries and the GMAT scores look respectable.

so long story short, get a few years working experience, and focus on doing very well on your GMAT, and you should be ok... there's no guarantee of course, as with everything else in life, but you optimize your probabilities...

financepil 03-06-2011 08:14 AM

Thanks mate.Wise advie for me to consider.After completeing my Engineering degree gonna grab a engineer job first(cos it's tough to find a finance job ) mean while planning to do CFA qualification and sit for Dec exam hopefully after level 1 would seek for some finance job!!! and will continue doing level 2 & 3 !!!!!
What kind of FO jobs do u recommend for me to consider given that im a engineering grad(part time degree) good with no's/stats/maths thou!!!

Unregistered 04-06-2011 11:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by financepil (Post 12888)
Thanks mate.Wise advie for me to consider.After completeing my Engineering degree gonna grab a engineer job first(cos it's tough to find a finance job ) mean while planning to do CFA qualification and sit for Dec exam hopefully after level 1 would seek for some finance job!!! and will continue doing level 2 & 3 !!!!!
What kind of FO jobs do u recommend for me to consider given that im a engineering grad(part time degree) good with no's/stats/maths thou!!!

To be honest, there is no straightforward answer. The best way for an engineer to break into the finance industry is via a related role i.e. IT or programming role in a bank.

If you are keen on a front office role, it may be better to try find an internship now, nevermind that the pay may be middling and that the role may be quite difficult to come by. If you do 2 to 3 years of engineering, its going to be quite difficult to get out thereafter (you will need a pay cut as your engineering experience will not be recognized) and its even harder to be an intern when you are around 30. Also, a CFA helps if you are already in the industry, but not sure how useful it is in actually getting someone into the industry (as a few friends of mine have not managed to land a role after passing all the exams).

The above is based on what I've seen, so should not be taken as gospel truth. Am sure the CFA has helped some engineers get into finance, but I just have not seen it. If anyone has done it, pls do chip in as to how you managed the transition.

financepil 05-06-2011 08:13 AM

Do you think with a part time engineering degree I could apply for finance internships??? I have about 4 years of engineering experience(Junior lever)Currentley working as an assistant engineer.

financepil 05-06-2011 09:10 AM

Yea since my degree is Mechanical Eng I dont have much exposure towards IT or programming!!
So i dont have much luck towards those roles pretty good in excel and normal engineering softwares like SPC & CAM .Given that what sort of role would you suggest me??

Thanks folks

Unregistered 05-06-2011 09:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by financepil (Post 12968)
Yea since my degree is Mechanical Eng I dont have much exposure towards IT or programming!!
So i dont have much luck towards those roles pretty good in excel and normal engineering softwares like SPC & CAM .Given that what sort of role would you suggest me??

Thanks folks

One obvious route is through the retail banking personal banker route. If you do well, you can move to premier banking (higher net worth clients), and once you build up your client base and asset under managerment (AUM), you can try to make the jump to private banking. But, (i) that's a sales job with sales quotas and competitive ranking systems etc and (ii) the move up to premier banking and subsequently to private banking is not assured (actually quite difficult, especially private banking).

But have seen people do it before, and is not impossible.

The other way is to try to get into SME corporate banking covering the industry you are in, where you will probably know all the main players and therefore have a competitive advantage. If you have proven yourself within your company, maybe you can try to effect a move into the finance & treasury department, then a move into SME corporate banking from there is a relatively natural transition.

Finally, an internship. Typically, for fresh grads, the university's career office will help you find a placement. For grads without the assistance of a career office, the most realistic way is via contacts or cold calling companies (very low probability).

Unregistered 05-06-2011 10:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 12970)
Finally, an internship. Typically, for fresh grads, the university's career office will help you find a placement. For grads without the assistance of a career office, the most realistic way is via contacts or cold calling companies (very low probability).

What I meant is cold calling companies is very low probability and via contacts is actually quite high probability (if you have the right contacts).

Try to get to either MO or FO, but you should do some research into which areas you are interested in, can contribute to and can speak relatively intelligently about (most folks - like me in the past - only know ibanking and capital markets which are darn difficult to get into).

There is a very good series of books - Vault (can check Vault.com) - that will tell you everything you need about most of the top companies and about whatever area of finance you are keen to learn about.

Unregistered 19-06-2011 11:11 PM

is there any point in getting a good hons?
 
I will be taking NTU mech engineering next year, and i'm wondering, with the stagnation of salary of the engineering industry here, is there any point for me to study hard for a 1st class hons ( which im intending to do) ?

I read of many engineers salary reaching only 4k+ after so many years, and I'm already thinking of moving to finance sector after i graduate, as the salary increment is much better there. However, is there any point in studying for a good hons since I apparently heard that only govt/civil service cares about the honours and not pvte sectors like banks?

I for one am already inclined to going to work at a bank after i graduate, so should I bother to study hard for a good hons in engineering, which is totally unrelated...?

Thanks for any input!

Unregistered 20-06-2011 01:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 13378)
I will be taking NTU mech engineering next year, and i'm wondering, with the stagnation of salary of the engineering industry here, is there any point for me to study hard for a 1st class hons ( which im intending to do) ?

I read of many engineers salary reaching only 4k+ after so many years, and I'm already thinking of moving to finance sector after i graduate, as the salary increment is much better there. However, is there any point in studying for a good hons since I apparently heard that only govt/civil service cares about the honours and not pvte sectors like banks?

I for one am already inclined to going to work at a bank after i graduate, so should I bother to study hard for a good hons in engineering, which is totally unrelated...?

Thanks for any input!

If you can get 1st class hons, go for it. Its always good to have that in your resume, it shows you have brains. Even if you don't join the gov sector. And if you do join the gov sector, you'll probably get around $200 more than someone with 2nd upper. Good luck.

If I could turn back the clock I should have studied law, or studied finance and become a banker instead of being a typical engineer. Its not that being an engineer is bad, but compared to the pay you can get in US, what we get in Singapore is lousy.


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