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First Job!!!

soconfusedgradsoconfusedgrad 8 replies1 threads New Member
So after four years, it boils down to three career paths. A bit about myself: college senior (BSc in computer science and BA in economics).

I am currently exploring three different sectors/offers: finance (Goldman Sachs), consulting (Accenture), and pure technology (Amazon). I would like to develop my technical/professional skills first before crossing into uncharted territories such as trading, quant analyst, managerial consulting, MBA, etc. So all these positions revolves around technology. I would eventually want to try something like project management or some form of managerial position (answer to Where do you see yourself in 5 years?)

In terms of salary: Amazon > GS > Accenture.

However, this is a one-dimensional way of thinking about my career.

Regarding relocation, I grew up in NY, so GS is right there (Jersey City). I would need to go to Seattle if I take Amazon. Finally, Accenture allows me to go all over the map, but I will be based in NY.

In terms of location: GS > Accenture > Amazon

I am hoping that anyone from any of these three fields could tell me a bit about their experiences in their respective sector. Why they chose it? If anyone has made the jump across sectors, please share your thoughts on what is different between these sectors from someone who has experienced it all; pros, cons, and anything in between.

Finally, if anyone would like to know more about my college experience, I would be more than happy to share.
edited October 2012
4 replies
Post edited by soconfusedgrad on
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Replies to: First Job!!!

  • Cobra392Cobra392 130 replies1 threads Junior Member
    I worked as an IT consultant for Accn. Great people there, intelligent, really high-character, quality people. ... The work is basically 1) go to client site daily 2) talk to them about what they want a new piece of software to do 3) create piece of software for them 4) make sure it works properly 5) go to next project.

    I have nothing bad to say about Accn. Reasonable hours, good pay, solid opportunities for advancement, often get to work from home on Fridays (huge benefit, trust me). ... Most people in the banking world are a-holes, so, be careful. The hours there are brutal, and it completely takes over your life.

    Sidebar: no thoughts on Amazon, but if you love technology, that seems like a great place to work. Seattle is beautiful, it'd look great on your resume, you'd have plenty of money to travel / nice place.

    Here's the big "BUT..." .... Some people are perfectly fine working in IT their whole life. But being an IT consultant is not glamorous. Most of your projects, you'll be in places like Toledo, OH or a suburb of Chicago in the middle of winter, doing fairly routine work for often non-elite companies. .... This life is fine for some, but others are addicted to the life of banking, and want to make it in there. I know many consultants that found out that the day to day life was far less exciting than they hoped for, and they spent large amounts of time in locations that they had no desire to be at. Some people need to be in NYC yearround. Some people have a huge desire to be part of 'the game'.

    It seems like you've played the "American success" game perfectly at this point, and you're in a position to go in two lucrative / prestigious directions.

    Here's the biggest mistake that I see in your description right now: "before crossing into uncharted territories such as trading, quant analyst, managerial consulting, MBA". Those are all rather divergent career paths.

    Here's my two cents: if you have tech skills, you can always get a tech job. ... I wouldn't say the same about banking, in my opinion, that's a much harder industry to break into. The supply of people wanting to get into banking is super-high, compared to the number of openings. There are so many 20somethings stuck in the finance departments of boring companies, wishing that they were in banking / investment / PE, etc.

    Be sure to google "Mergers and Inquisitions". Great insight into the daily life as an i-banker. It gets pretty boring after a while, and MOST people that do i-banking hate it.

    So figure out what interests you more: banking, or creating technology systems for companies.
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  • oldfortoldfort 23007 replies292 threads Senior Member
    I would say stay away from IB, especially technology now. Their biggest project is how to cut cost. They are looking to pay less and work people harder. It is no fun to be that kind of atmosphere. I was head of technology for global markets at a major firm. I just left few months ago.

    I also don't think it is that much fun or challenging working at a consulting firm. You would need to travel to some undesirable places and working at your client's pace. The work could be boring with very little personal time.

    I would look hard at Amazon. Check out their headquarter. I moved to a tech company that has very similar to Google's work atmosphere - casual dress, young, fun, more flexible hours. There is a lot more energy, more agile and innovation. After 5+ years of cost cutting, it is nice to be at a place that is expanding.
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  • LakeCloudsLakeClouds 530 replies54 threads Member
    I also don't think it is that much fun or challenging working at a consulting firm

    On the contrary, you will learn a ton by working at a consultancy. It's a bit like dog-years in terms of your learning, but also in terms of the intensity. ACN in particular is known as an all-work-no-play kind of place so be prepared to ditch your social life.

    Although with GS, you'll have even less of a social life and the work will be even less interesting than at ACN. IB pays the most and sets you up for B-school down the road (as does ACN) but the investment banking world is in a downturn recently as you can see from picking up any newspaper. However, that could all change in a year - or get a lot worse - who knows?

    Amazon is the most corporate of the options. Expect less intensity but more personal time to enjoy Seattle. Seattle is wonderful in the summer but grey and wet much of the rest of the year. A lot depends on the specific job they've offerered you and what the career development prospects are there.

    You three have great options so I don't think you can go wrong!
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  • Cobra392Cobra392 130 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Accn hours are pretty reasonable, especially if you're staffed on a project in your home location (which can be quite common). IB hours are far more insane.

    Forget money, forget career path, etc. Based on what I'm reading now, you'll be in a pretty good shape for your career. ... Figure out 2 key things:

    1) What's your dream job?
    2) Which job would you enjoy most on an hour-by-hour, day-by-day basis?

    Pick the job that best helps you fill the combo of 'future dream job' / 'current happiness'.
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