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Need some direction on a career switch

Question :

HI all, I had graduated and worked in a boutique market research firm for one year. And I am thinking of a career switch to an industry that is more professional and promising. And by all means, I want to make this decision quick and under full consideration, so I am dropping a question here for advises.

I have two industries in mind, management consulting and equity research. I know both are very hard to get in, but I am ready to put in effort and preparation for the sake of long term benefit of my career.

For management consulting, this is the field that I am interested in. But it seems to me that there are not many openings in HK for degree holders. For equity research, I think this route is though still difficult, but more realistic at this stage as I have a finance degree background. So my questions are:

- Comparison between the two industries in terms the difficulty of getting in as a junior position and career prospect. (To me, seems like the route of equity research is broader as it could be a gateway to banking)

- From which point that I should get in the industries? (For equity research: i.e. Should I aim at some local brokerage / asset management firms to build up some basic skills?) (For management consulting: I don't see many boutique/ local consulting firms, any other industries would be considered as relevant experience?)

- What skills should I acquire in order to be more competitive to be considered as a competent candidate?

Posted by K on Wednesday, 22 Aug 2012

Comments :


Posted Tuesday 25th September 2012 07:24:00 PM


any boutique mgmt consulting firms in HK?

Rebecca Cheung - Career Doctor

Posted Saturday 15th September 2012 02:46:00 AM


Hi K, Career decisions do require deliberate thinking and full consideration, but you are unlikely to achieve that if you, as you said, want to make a quick decision. Before thinking about your next career move between management consulting and equity research, it is essential to spend time to reflect on your one year fulltime working experience first. What do you like and dislike about your current job? What transferable skills have you developed that can help you move on to the next desired role? This revision exercise will help you to gain a better understanding of your career interests, capabilities, work preferences and the right company cultural fit. Such insight is the foundation for you in making informed and realistic choices among different career options or directions. You are right about the fierce competition in getting into the field of management consulting and equity research in the banking and finance sector. Various industry compensation surveys seem to indicate that these are among the highest paid professions. Putting the obvious financial incentives aside, you need to think hard about what has inspired you to contemplate a career in these two particular fields and the necessary skill sets required to succeed. Indeed working in management consulting and equity research require somewhat different sets of skills. Management consulting is about providing companies advisory service to improve business or organisational performance. Essentially, you have to be someone who enjoys frequent client interaction and networking to build contacts and relationships. Whilst to work in equity research, naturally you need to enjoy financial modelling, be interested in learning the minute details of various companies' operations, and have good analytical writing skills. It doesn’t matter how much effort and preparation you promise that you would be willing to put in, more importantly, spending time today in understanding your own career aspiration and abilities to decide on a career that matches your values and skill set is an investment that will pay off for many years to come.

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