Saturday, December 29, 2007

Thoughts for the new year

I have not been writing much recently, but that does not mean I am not thinking :-). I have mentioned before that the key switch in my thinking over the last year has been that I do not see myself as an employee anymore, and I do not care about finding the perfect company or the perfect job that someone gives me to make me happy. It is a combination of thinking more and more like a shareholder or entrepreneur during the MBA and of reading the book "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" several times over the last year, which has influenced me a lot. As a result, I see a job as something I do for a considerable amount of time of my day for different reasons, mainly to acquire skills and experience that will help me become independent in the financial and personal sense. From this perspective, looking for a job is a very different task than how I understood finding the perfect job only one year ago.

Looking back one year, I cannot believe how my thinking has changed. One year ago, I was still unsure if I should quit my consulting job - a job that made me unhappy and miserable 90% of the time I spent there and that today I would not consider going back to even for a week! I was asking myself every day what to do with my life, a question so vague and all encompassing that answering it was beyond my horizon. I was stuck in the belief that I would never be rich, since I hadn't been born rich, and that the world in general and work places in particular were unfair.

Today, I see everything very differently, and I hope that this stays that way - I have a little fear that my free mind does not only stem from the comforts of happy student life - everybody has heard the complaint about MBAs who graduate thinking they should go into companies at least as CEOs and really know nothing, and partly that's true, so I don't want to fall into the trap of being one of thousands of megalomaniac spoilt MBAs. But what I can say is that I absolutely recongnize that I know something between nothing and 5% of what I need to know for future jobs, and I'm very happy about this fact, because work is more interesting when you learn something new, and the less you know about a job the more interesting it is.

With all this in mind, I am very excited about the next year. I have half a year of student life ahead of me, and of intense learning. I have six electives left, all of which are either in finance or related subjects:
- Times Series Analysis for Forecasting
- Fixed Income Securities
- Financing the Entrepreneurial Business
- Credit Risk
- International Finance
- Advanced Financial Analysis

For those who think this is overly technical (I have decided to miss out on courses like Negotiation & Bargaining or Creativity and Personal Mastery or Brand Management...), I must say that I have spent all my undergraduate and postgraduate education in psychology and political sciences, and that as much as I enjoy the literary side of life, if I pursue it I like to pursue it properly, not at an MBA level, which is quite superficial, so for now I have noticed I get much more out of technical subjects. Last term I have done the same, and probably unlike 95% of the class, the course I have enjoyed the most has been Options & Futures. I have enjoyed setting up Excel files to do options pricing and hedging, and being honest about what I enjoy, no matter how geeky it sounds, has been very helpful for me to be happier and clearer about what I want to do. Apart from learning, I will also travel a lot over the next six months and enjoy the freedom of student life.

The second six months I will be trained for my new job - first on classroom training in New York, and then in severla rotations through trading desks in London. I am very excited about this as well, and can't wait to find out which desk I will be working on full-time, but luckily the wait will be easy because student life is sweet.

Obviously then, I am looking forward to the next year, and I wish my readers all the best for the new year, may your dreams come true!

3 comments:

Iday said...

Definitely, an exciting year ahead of you. Wish you a great new year.

Rahul said...

Wish you a great year too Angie. Have a great time ahead.

Arun Ram said...

Angie, Wish you a fabulous new year ahead. I will be attending the International finance too and will be looking forward to see you there !

Regards
Arun