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Hi Leo,
Thanks for volunteering to help people like me!

Until six months ago there was nothing in my background that would indicate an interest in business. I work as a cashier in a natural foods coop and, to put it simply, the more cognizant I become of the limitations of my position the more bold my dreams become. The wild idea that first got me dreaming of a business education was this: starting a social venture capital firm with partners.

I looked realistically at my credentials. Not very promising. I have worked as a cashier for the last four years, I have a 2.1 undergrad GPA, I have no formal leadership titles and no evidence of career development. I talked with an MBA admissions consultant. Again, not very promising. She said top 20-40 schools would be "reach" schools for me.

I have spent what seems like every free moment in the last 6 months researching schools, emailing, reading business new and prepping for the GMAT. I feel hopelessly naïve and deflated now that I see the reality of my situation.

I seriously question whether an MBA represents value for me. Perhaps I am wrong, but my general impression has been that if a b-school is not top rated it doesn't warrant the investment. I felt that getting an MBA would sharpen my business knowledge, help me get up to speed and make me competitive in the job market again. After working four years as a cashier there's not much else I'm qualified to do besides...cashier.

I will surely go insane if I keep working in grocery. I have never been good at getting attention, accolades or promotions. My HR director told me last month that I was going to, "get a prize for being the most diligent applicant in the company." My worst nightmare would be going to work for another company with the idea of working my way up and instead getting stuck in a low-level position AGAIN.

So, basically, I am facing these choices:
1. Apply for an MBA that may not provide value,
2. Continue working in grocery (i.e. continue under-achieving and under-earning and hating myself for it),
3. Look for a new job with uncertain outcome (i.e. face my fear of getting stuck in a crappy position and wasting a few more years of my life achieving nothing.)

The most obvious choice is to get a new job with better prospects. I can see immediately that I need a PLAN to help me get over my fears.

I have read heaps of information about career planning but I still can't seem to understand the basics of it. I have never aspired to a specific position. My criteria for a good job are: the ability to earn a decent wage and utilize my strengths and talents, maintain happiness and not have my integrity or sense of self undermined. What truly inspires me is to start my own business so I can become independent and set my own schedule, which is a big part of the reason I wanted to get an MBA.

How do I create a plan to work my way up (at a new company or in my current)? The more specific the better. And can you comment about what you see as the value of an MBA for me? I still like the idea of it, but I need to be realistic.

Thanks for reading :)

Answer
Question:   Hi Leo,
Thanks for volunteering to help people like me!

Until six months ago there was nothing in my background that would indicate an interest in business. I work as a cashier in a natural foods coop and, to put it simply, the more cognizant I become of the limitations of my position the more bold my dreams become. The wild idea that first got me dreaming of a business education was this: starting a social venture capital firm with partners.

I looked realistically at my credentials. Not very promising. I have worked as a cashier for the last four years, I have a 2.1 undergrad GPA, I have no formal leadership titles and no evidence of career development. I talked with an MBA admissions consultant. Again, not very promising. She said top 20-40 schools would be "reach" schools for me.

I have spent what seems like every free moment in the last 6 months researching schools, emailing, reading business new and prepping for the GMAT. I feel hopelessly naïve and deflated now that I see the reality of my situation.

I seriously question whether an MBA represents value for me. Perhaps I am wrong, but my general impression has been that if a b-school is not top rated it doesn't warrant the investment. I felt that getting an MBA would sharpen my business knowledge, help me get up to speed and make me competitive in the job market again. After working four years as a cashier there's not much else I'm qualified to do besides...cashier.

I will surely go insane if I keep working in grocery. I have never been good at getting attention, accolades or promotions. My HR director told me last month that I was going to, "get a prize for being the most diligent applicant in the company." My worst nightmare would be going to work for another company with the idea of working my way up and instead getting stuck in a low-level position AGAIN.

So, basically, I am facing these choices:
1. Apply for an MBA that may not provide value,
2. Continue working in grocery (i.e. continue under-achieving and under-earning and hating myself for it),
3. Look for a new job with uncertain outcome (i.e. face my fear of getting stuck in a crappy position and wasting a few more years of my life achieving nothing.)

The most obvious choice is to get a new job with better prospects. I can see immediately that I need a PLAN to help me get over my fears.

I have read heaps of information about career planning but I still can't seem to understand the basics of it. I have never aspired to a specific position. My criteria for a good job are: the ability to earn a decent wage and utilize my strengths and talents, maintain happiness and not have my integrity or sense of self undermined. What truly inspires me is to start my own business so I can become independent and set my own schedule, which is a big part of the reason I wanted to get an MBA.

How do I create a plan to work my way up (at a new company or in my current)? The more specific the better. And can you comment about what you see as the value of an MBA for me? I still like the idea of it, but I need to be realistic.

Thanks for reading :)

BELLA,
I  understand your situation.

There  is  always  an  opportunity  to grow. From  your current position,as a cashier , you have  developed  certain  talents  like
-trust
-understanding finance
Etc  
Which  can build  up  to a career.

Hence , I  would  suggest   go for  mba  finance.



Principles of Management
Accounts and finance for Managers
Business Environment
ERP & MIS
Production and Operations Management
Marketing Management
Managerial Economics
Strategic Management & Entrepreneurship
Quantitative Techniques for Managers
FOREX Management
Multinational financial Management
Finance Markets & Services
Working Capital Management Security Analysis & Portfolio Management
International Trade
Project Management
Business Laws
Corporate Governance and Business Ethics


         

My  first  suggestion

-contact  career  consultant  and  do an  aptitude  test  .
get  a second  opinion   of  your  interest.

Sometime  some gut feelings / warm feelings   may not
be  in  your   real  interests.

WHAT  IS  YOUR  REAL  INTEREST?

You  need  to  discuss  with  some  people  and  come  to  a
judgement, what  is  best  for  you.

The  questions   are  centered  around  
-personal  interest
-career  interest/ why
-subject interest
-career  plan
-career  goal
etc
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FINANCIAL  ADVISOR   OR  INVESTMENT  CONSULTANT

- Plan  to  achieve  this  through a  planned  program  of  
education  / specialized  courses  and  career activities.
.

a  masters  degree in  business administration.
In  MBA,   plan  to   specialize  in  FINANCE  and  managerial
economics. This  will  provide  YOU   with technical professional
proficiency  in   FINANCE   and  managerial   economics.

===========================================


Finance  studies   addresses the ways in which individuals, businesses and organizations raise, allocate and use monetary resources over time, taking into account the risks entailed in their projects. The term finance may thus incorporate any of the following:
•   The study of MONEY and other ASSETS.
•   The management and control of those MONIES / ASSETS.
•   Profiling and managing project risks
•   Organize    and    provide funds for  PERSONAL /  BUSINESS.


=======================================================

JOB  OPPORTUNITIES   ARE  PLENTY   .

You  would  normally  start  as  a

-financial   analyst

-business  analyst
Etc.


THEN  DEPENDING   ON  YOUR  EXPERIENCE / POTENTIAL YOU  SHOW,  YOU  WOULD   MOVE  ON  TO
-financial  planner

-merchant  banker

-stock  broker

-financial  analyst

-investment   banker

-investment  consultant

-business  manager

-jobs  in  banks

-financial  consultant

-finance  managers

-professor  of  finance

-fund  manager

-wealth  manager

-business loans  ORGANIZERS

-  loans   AGENTS

-mortgage loans  AGENTS

-merchant  bankers

-financial brokers

-venture  capitalists

-insurance  companies

etc etc



AFTER  A  STINT  ON  THE  ABOVE  POSITIONS, YOU  COULD  WORK
FOR  5/6  YEARS  IN  VARIOUS   CAPACITIES
IN  LARGE ORGANIZATION.

THEN  THIS  EXPERIENCE/EXPOSURE  WILL GIVE  THE  INNER
STRENGTH  TO  DEAL   MAJOR   ASSIGNMENTS.

THEN  YOU  CAN  DECIDE

-move  on  to  positions  like  vice  president  [ finance] or  finance  director  etc

OR

-join  large   professional  services   firm  like  pricewaterhouse

OR

-become  self  employed  as   FINANCIAL  CONSULTANT.

================================================

THIS   ADDITIONAL   QUALIFICATION  WILL  BE   VALUABLE  ASSET  ON YOUR  RESUME.

THE  CPA  EXAM  COVERS  THE  FOLLOWING:

The Uniform CPA Examination consists of four sections
Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
Regulation (REG)

The main content areas covered in each section are:
Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
Planning the engagement
Internal controls
Obtain and document information
Review engagement and evaluate information
Prepare communications
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)
Business structure
Economic concepts
Financial management
Information technology
Planning and measurement
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
Concepts and standards for financial statements
Typical items in financial statements
Specific types of transactions and events
Accounting and reporting for governmental entities
Accounting and reporting for nongovernmental and not-for-profit organizations
Regulation (REG)
Ethics and professional responsibility
Business law
Federal tax procedures and accounting issues
Federal taxation of property transactions
Federal taxation—individuals
Federal taxation—entities
================================

Educational and Experience Requirements:
The minimum educational requirement for the CPA certificate is a diploma from a four (4) year high school. The experience requirement for the CPA Certificate is six (6) years of public accounting experience preceding the date of the application.

Candidates who hold degrees from recognized colleges or universities are required to have three (3) years of experience immediately preceding application, in public accounting or in governmental accounting as an auditor or internal revenue agent.

Candidates who hold degrees from recognized colleges or universities and who have completed thirty (30) or more semester hours of study in accounting, business law, economics, and finance (of which a minimum of twenty (20) semester hours are in accounting), must have two (2) years of experience, immediately preceding application, in public accounting or governmental accounting as an auditor or internal revenue agent.
Conditioning:
A candidate who passes two (2) or more parts of the Uniform CPA Examination may be granted credit for those parts on subsequent examinations. Each candidate is required to pass a local CPA Examination in addition to the Uniform CPA Examination.
=======================================================
THE   FEES   ARE  CHARGED  PER  PAPER  YOU  SELECT.
THE  CURRENT  DETAILS  ARE   AVAILABLE  ON THIS  BELOW  SITE.
YOU  CAN  GET  MORE  DETAIL  FROM  THIS  SITE.
www.cpa-exam.org/
================================
NOW  HERE  IS SOME  SUGGESTIONS  FOR  YOUR CAREER
-every job  is  made  up  of  OF FOUR AREAS.
A competency map is made up of four areas of competence attributes:
I.   Personal Attributes - The characteristics which enable the employee to attract others to well reasoned and logical points of view, to effectively communicate, and to relate to others. These include:
A.   Insight and Judgment
B.   Integrity and Ethics
C.   Continuous Personal Improvement
D.   Commitment and Performance Stability
E.   Interpersonal Orientation
F.   Project Management Skills
G.   Innovative/Creative Thinking
H.   Presenting/Speaking
I.   Business Writing
J.   Professional Demeanor
II.   Leadership Qualities - The skills that allow the employee to assume a position of influence by assembling and leveraging a variety of resources that address problems and opportunities throughout the organization. These include:
A.   Strategic Thinking and Planning
B.   Facilitating
C.   Negotiating and Persuading
D.   Teamwork
E.   Coaching and Empowerment
F.   Problem Solving
G.   Decision Making
H.   Cross-Functional Perspective
III.   Broad Business Perspective - The body of knowledge that encompasses an understanding of the organization and its industry. These include:
A.   The Organization and Industry Knowledge
B.   Internal and External Consulting
C.   Business Relationships/Partnerships
D.   Current and Emerging Management Practices
E.   Best Practices
F.   Risk Management
G.   Mergers, Acquisitions and Strategic Alliances
H.   Management Accounting
I.   Organizational Systems and Processes

IV.   Functional Expertise - The traditional technical skills that the employee should possess and which form the basis for their unique ability to understand an organization from a perspective that others cannot. For eg. A finance professional should have knowledge in the following:
A.   Financial Analysis
B.   Treasury Management
C.   Cost Management
D.   Human Resources
E.   Taxation
F.   Information Technology
G.   Control Environment
H.   Financial and Statutory Reporting and Accounting Principles
I.   Internal Audit
J.   Budgeting, Forecasting and Business Planning
I  am  sure  you  will  be  having  good  coverage  of   
-business  perspective
-functional  expertise.
BUT  COULD  BE  LACKING  IN SOME  ELEMENTS  OF
-personal   attributes
-leadership   qualities.
THE  LACKING  OF  THESE  ELEMENTS    AFFECTS  ONE’S  CONFIDENCE.
HENCE  I   WOULD  SUGGEST,  PLEASE  ATTEND  SOME SKILLS
DEVELOPMENT  PROGRAMME  WITH
---------------------------------------------------------
DALE  CARNEGIE   ARE  THE  BEST    TRAINERS,
IN  USA. THEY  HAVE  A  CHAPTER   IN  MOST  OF  THE  STATES  IN  USA.

THESE  FOUR  COURSES    SHOULD  GIVE  YOU  THE  EDGE/ADVANTAGE.
IN THIS  ORDER.

1.INTERPERSONAL   SKILLS.
2.NEGOTIATION  SKILLS.
3.How to Sell CONCEPTS/ IDEAS
4.High-Impact Presentations

================================
AS  YOU  DEVELOP  YOUR   FINANCE  KNOWLEDGE,
YOU  MUST  ALSO   DEVELOP  THE  COMPETENCES
WHICH   WILL  HELP  YOUR FINANCE  CAREER.


1.Innovation
Taking risks, adapting quickly to change, leading the change process

2.Leadership
Positively influencing people and events

3.Impact & Influence
Persuading, convincing or influencing

4.Organizational Awareness
Understanding business plan goals

5.Teamwork
Working cooperatively and productively with others to achieve results

6.Self-Management
Managing and continually improving one's own performance

7.Client Focus
Understanding and meeting or exceeding client needs

8.Results Orientation
Knowing what results are important, and focusing resources to achieve them

9.Communication
Clearly conveying and receiving messages to meet the needs of all

10.Organizational Commitment
Aligning behaviour with department values, principles and goals

11.Relationship Building
Developing and maintaining win/win relationships and partnerships

12.Service Facilitation
Ensuring contracted services are delivered effectively to clients

13.Resource Management
Effectively managing internal and external resources to achieve organizational goals

14.Strategic Thinking
Taking a broad scale, long term view, assessing options and implications
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Careers: Business

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Leo Lingham

Expertise

I can answer the following -career opportunities -planning a career -development plans for career -self development needs -training plans for individuals -growth plans for individuals.

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