When I was a young kid (like when Wee-Sing children’s videos were cool…Google it), I wanted to be a garbage man. To me, riding on the back of a garbage truck looked absolutely awesome. In what other job would I get to be at the mercy of a giant machine and enjoy the “fresh” air every Friday morning? As time went by, more lucrative options have entered my job seeking portfolio, and the Kogod MBA is adding more and more by the semester, and even by the day. Currently, I work as a civilian (not “civil”) mechanical engineer with the government and it’s no secret that I entered into the MBA program to move on to different things. But where to go?
I’ve spent most of my time at Kogod trying to figure out what it is that I really enjoy doing and why I like doing it. I mean, I became and engineer for some reason, right? Sure. Engineering has given me the chance to explore new challenges, collect and analyze data, plan projects, and publish my findings. All of this is great.
The one BIG thing I feel I miss out on as a research engineer is having a finished product. So I did an experiment, made it work, and wrote a report. If the sponsor is happy with what I discovered, then concept rides off into the sunset. Otherwise, the design is tweaked and comes back to us for more evaluation, only to be sent out again. The work we do is extremely valuable, but I’m looking to produce more than just the report, I want to help something (be it a business or product) grow and prosper.
This brings me to the idea of private equity. Instead of an indirect relationship to a product (as is the case with the engineering research I perform), something like private equity would allow me to have a more acute impact on a direction, goals, and operations of a target company. I like the idea searching for potential, for great ideas, and for the next big thing and then taking a calculated risk toward accomplishing a success-oriented goal.
Private equity has gotten some bad press as of late, but I’ve looked at this field from different perspectives and see a net positive outcome from a majority of the relationships between a PE firm and a target firm…even in the case of failure. PE gives companies a better chance; a better chance to grow, prosper, and even survive. No, it’s not my dream job of riding on the back of a garbage truck, but based on where I am today and my interests and strengths in the MBA program, private equity seems to line up nicely.