Study finance\business at the age of 30?


Hello everyone!
I need your advice on something..

Currently I am 29 years old. I have a college degree in Hospitality Management and I worked for three years in aviation as a flight attendant. I have a solid customer-service experience in a multicultural environment and I speak four languages (Spanish, Russian, Portuguese and English) After having resigned from my airline I had a short experience working with a family’s friend in international commerce. During this period I had to learn the basics of import\export (such as Incoterms, payment terms, how derivatives work, etc) and I became fascinated with finance. I have been studying finance and economics at home since April and I feel that I truly discovered my passion and now I would like to pursue a career in finance.

It happens that my current degree lacks numerical, financial and economic subjects, so it is of no use to apply for financial positions. I tried applying for Masters degrees, but for the same reason, I was not accepted to any of them (that was about 4 years ago, after I graduated.) So now I am facing a difficult dilemma, in case I chose to take an undergraduate degree, by the time i complete it, I will be 33 years of age searching for my first job in finance.

I would like to work at trading desks (forex, equity, derivatives)-> main option, portfolio management, mutual funds, financial analysis, prop-trading, financial product development and wealth management as secondary option. I guess IB, HFs etc is excluded due to my age and lack of experience.

Assuming I manage to get a good GPA (let’s say a 3.3+) do you think I stand a chance of getting any internships\jobs in any of these positions? I am also planning to apply for an internship summer 2016, before I start university. So if I managed to get one internship this summer, another after my 1st year in college and another one after the 2nd year, do you think it’s realistic to expect to become more competitive in the labor market? I would be competing against 21 year-old grads and this fact concerns me a lot. Do you think that there is a way to go round my age disadvantage? For example my language skills can be applied for emerging markets.

Would any additional certifications such as CFA or CMT would improve my chances? Maybe online courses on trading, M&A or summer courses in a good college in UK to get additional financial subjects? In-person courses on Excel, scripting (R or Math Lab)? Would a lot of self-study, simultaneous to college, be recognized by a potential employer?

The range of colleges I can chose from is rather limited, I don’t have enough GPA to go to a target college, but there is a university in Lisbon (NOVA Lisbon) that stands in 350th of QS ranking and its Masters in Finance is ranked 19th in the world according to FT. Do you think that attending a mid-range college is enough for my circumstances? Or only a top-ranked, target college would be of any use? (I could try to enter a pre-undergraduate program at a top university and then move to undergraduate studies, but that would take more time and be very expensive)

Regarding the degree, what do you think is the best option for me, Business Administration, Economics or Finance? Unfortunately it's hard to “cross” subjects from BA and Finance degrees in Portuguese universities, so I have to choose the degree and stick to it. Which one would you consider to be the most appropriate? Finance is more focused, but it is only available in a mediocre college that is not well-ranked, at the same time Economics and BA are more englobing, but lack specialization. Could that be an issue to get hired? Or as long as the degree is business-related it’s all more or less the same?

As another option, I can go back to aviation and day-trade part-time. The aviation jobs pay quite well, I would be making around 40K\year with all expenses paid, later I could move on to full-time retail trader self-employment, but this option is very risky and I would definitely prefer a solid career rather than an uncertain path such as day-trading.

Sorry the tale is long, but I think it requieres all the details.. I am really concerned with the age issue, it's the main question bothering me about this whole plan.

If any of you has any experience or any hiring experience, your feedback would be very appreciated!

Thank you all :)


Senior member
Years ago iliavko in england people would leave school get a job at 17 and then if lucky retire at about 50/55-teachers civil servants,police,fire service .Times have so changed.Why dont you contact some finance companies direct and ask them what they are looking for.Best of luck.
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