An HBS alum explains why he walked away from what seemed like a dream job on Wall Street
Andres Engel started out following a pretty linear career path.
The University of Miami finance and accounting double major went from working for Morgan Stanley on Wall Street to earning his MBA at the Harvard Business School, as he told Alex Grodnick on an episode of the "Virtual MBA Show."
Once he graduated from HBS in 2010, he became a vice president at Morgan Stanley: a dream job for many of his classmates.
Engel moved out to the company's LA office, where he largely worked for Las Vegas-based gaming and leisure companies.
However, as he told Grodnick, he began to "get antsy" after about two years.
He noted that investment banking had always been labelled a "cream of the crop" job at Harvard Business School. However, Engel's heart wasn't in it. He just didn't see himself as an investment banker.
"I realized that continuing down that path and doing what was expected of me and not what I actually wanted to do was not for me was not something that I wanted to keep pursuing for the rest of my life," Engel said on the "Virtual MBA Show."
"It was like peeling onions. When you were in high school, all you needed to do was get into a great undergraduate school to impress your peers, parents, and teachers. Once you got into an undergraduate school, you had to get that kick-ass job. I was always trying to peel that onion, but it felt like it had endless layers."
So, Engel decided to break away from the track he'd been on since college. He knew that he enjoyed working with people and that he wanted to stay in LA, so he took some time off to look for the perfect fit.
"You have to focus, you have to know what's right for you, and you have to figure out what you want to pursue," he told Grodnick.
After weighing some options, he took on the role of business development executive at investment firm Ivory Capital in 2014. He says he's very happy with his new role.
"It's a nice marriage of using my finance skills that I've developed over the past eight or nine years and working closely with people," he told Grodnick.
Engel joins a long line of people who left their successful financial careers to pursue something different, including one former Merrill Lynch exec who now owns a ski lodge, a hedge funder who went on to run a top Hong Hong eatery, and an ex-Goldman Sachs employee who now works on shoe products.
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