As we come to the downhill portion of this race, my ADD has me looking ahead to the next thing. I must admit that the thought of completing my MSc Finance is exciting, especially given the fact that I didn’t initially join the program with an intent to get a masters degree. Now, I’m completing my final two taught modules before beginning the dissertation, and the reality of completion (and graduation) is starting to hit me. I’ve enjoyed the journey so much that graduation seems somewhat anticlimactic. Hmm, I wonder if I have ‘professional student’ syndrome.
I’ve been checking out finance jobs in the region, and while I believe that the MSc will put me in good position to get interviews, I’m thinking that I need at least one professional qualification to pair with it to strengthen my candidacy against swarms of other hopefuls. I’ve more or less decided that I would sit the CAIA exams and leverage the MSc to get the maximum number of CIMA exemptions so that I can finish that qualification as quickly as possible. I’m undecided about whether to take the CFA exemption, though. Because of University of Leicester’s arrangement with the CFA Institute, I am entitled to an exemption for the Level 1 exam. However, because the series of exams is so notoriously difficult to pass, I wonder if it makes sense to sit the Level 1 exam, by far the easiest of the three exams to pass, so that I can at least add that to my CV. I’ve been thinking a lot about the alphabet soup approach of adding as many professional acronyms to my CV as possible – funny what depressed economies and hypercompetitive job markets will make you do.
Along the same lines, I’ve been thinking of adding an MBA to my CV, as well. I have a PgD in business administration from a British university, but I withdrew from the program before the dissertation because the MBA program isn’t accredited by any of the MBA accrediting bodies, and it makes little sense (in my mind) to have an MBA that will be looked upon with a raised eyebrow. I had been considering doing an elite EMBA program because, after all, when you are a couple of centuries post-experience, getting an MBA and competing with a bunch of 25 year olds for positions is an exercise in futility. The issue is that EMBA programs are pricey, and elite ones are even moreseo. However, as a qualification, I’m not even sure that it’s going to be the career boost that people make it out to be; I honestly believe that being a specialist in finance offers much better long-range career prospects. On the other hand, something in my ADD brain won’t allow me to let go of the idea of having an MBA, so I’m weighing the costs and benefits of getting one. I know that ultimately, having one is better than not having one, so my inclination is to go ahead and do it. I’ve got a couple of friends who have gotten a dual MSc (in something) and an MBA from British universities by taking only a handful of additional classes. Hopefully, University of Leicester’s School of Business will allow me a dispensation so that I don’t have to sit through the entire program to get the degree. I’m planning to apply immediately after finishing my dissertation, and I’m hoping for a quick turnaround with an acceptance so that I’m not out of school for very long.