I am going to try and be as "MECE" (just learnt this word) as I can here but I'm also going to try and not leave anything out in hope that some of you may be able to shed some light on my life and where I should go with it.
I originally came to this forum after "discovering" the profession of MC and (like, I imagine a lot of people) felt a sense of joy and desire- This is what I have been looking for, a profession with everything I want and that I am ideally suited to!
After reading all the previous posts from graduates and prospective MC's I feel somewhat disappointed by my prospects, but respect that there are a lot of bright people on this forum giving solid advice. Where better to get it from than societies high achievers?
I graduated in 2014 with a 2:1 in Design Engineering (School of Mechanical Engineering but not quite mechanical) from a mid level Uni (with a top 10 engineering department).
My A Levels were ABC. I became very ill during final year A levels and this along with a somewhat turbulent home life resulted in my not achieving my predicted AAB, resulting in a mid tier uni)
At the time I was naive and thought that I was doing the right thing by going traveling as planned, not resiting, accepting my second choice and by choosing a design related degree where I could express all my special unicorn creativity (my parents wanted me to do engineering, hence the compromise).
I somewhat coasted through Uni with no direction or purpose generally having a good time, reading a lot and education myself in everything but my degree topic or the job market. But I got my 2:1 and imagined myself one day working for National Geographic traveling and exploring the world.
Then the real world crushed my spirit and I started looking for jobs. Since then it has been a slow and painful process of compromising my dreams of being a professional unicorn and trying to be realistic with my ambitions.
My personal perspective of how I could fit into the UK graduate job market evolved into this:
Success and happiness = Moving to London and getting a law contract, investment banking scheme, accountant or auditing scheme with a top international company.
Second to this are a lot of "industry' schemes such as IT and manufacturing
Or there's the medicine route (I have always fancied psychiatry)
Or Engineering - The only industry of which seems to offer a decent deal is Energy.
I was so overwhelmed with it all that I decided that sticking to Engineering would narrow it down a bit. I initially didn't want to go into oil on moral grounds, but then grew up and started applying just in time for the industry to implode.
So I got six week placement at the largest Engineering consultancy in the UK followed by a graduate Project Engineer position with a very small renewable energy consultancy (10 people) in my home city.
6 months on I am totally bored and uninspired stuck in my home town watching some of my friends, who I know to be less bright but more focused, getting law contracts and banking schemes in the city.
I was looking for a way I could use my technical background to go into something a bit more "big picture" and business orientated. I really enjoy the strategic, political and business side of my small consultancy but hate the introspective engineering work.
I then read "think and grow rich" and "rich dad poor dad". Both made me think that I should be learning about how to make money, starting businesses, investing and not going back to school... "finding mentors" all that stuff (or fluff?)
Then I discovered Management consulting and thought that is exactly what I have been looking for, why not aim for the top, when we're all completely honest with ourselves this is what we really want isn't it, we're apes, we want to be at the top of society and F the best women? Then I realised that there's a million and one grads with AAA and a top 5 1st class degree thinking the same thing.
So for the first time in my life I have a burning ambition and drive to work hard and realise my potential coupled with the frustration of bad choices and fear of cocking it all up.
At the moment I am considering the following options:
1. Start again:
Work one more year, take night classes to bump up my A levels to AAA or similar, reapply and hope that a top university will take me on a good engineering program straight into second year on the grounds of my illness during A levels (...likelihood??). Don't think I could do or afford all 3 years , graduate with the a top degree and apply for a big 4 consulting firm or large energy company at around the age of 27 (maybe when oil and gas has picked up)
2. Go back a step:
Go back to the same university and see if they will let me take the extra modules to make my degree a 1st class Mechanical (Likelihood?), then apply to big 4 or do a masters.
3. Go forward on a risky route:
Work and save to afford business analyst masters from Warwick or LSE and hope that I'll get a look in with my undergrad as it is
4. Go forward on a slightly less risky route:
Save less and do a Chemical Engineering Msc (I realised in uni that i really like chemistry and could possibly do this as a job) at a top uni (such as UCL) hope that this shows ability enough to get into consulting, also keeps my options open to a well paid chem eng job or the oil industry if it picks up.
(As an irrelevant side note, sorry, I'm gay for nature and like UCL's nature inspired chemical engineering department, maybe I could be fulfilled doing low paid research that I enjoy)
5. Go forward but veer into consultancy
No masters and reapply to jobs closely related to consultancy and work my way in somehow (Likelihood?)
6. Veer into oil and gas
Do a masters in Subsea engineering (the best paid and mostly likely industry to weather the economic oil and gas S storm). Possibly hate it as it highly technical and small scale- but could love it if I get into BP or something like that.
7. Keep on the same track
Stick with my plan to get an engineering role in a big energy or utilites company and hope that the work is bigger scale, maybe move into management or strategy within one of these companies - become an expert engineer and use that as an in, to a job with consultancy like credentials - lots of travel and big picture strategy work where by I can be involved in creative and diverse projects.
In the long run I would really like to be successful enough in consulting to give myself the emotional and financial freedom to not feel guilty about going into wildlife film making or conservation. Whilst still being able to support my family and give my children the best possible start in life.
I will respect brutal honesty. In exchange, if you don't mind, Id appreciate it if you would give your current job or life position briefly in your response.
Thanks in advance