Civil Engineering → Finance. How Suryansh made a successful transition.
Undergrad - Civil Engineering, NIT - Jalandhar
Grad - Engineering Management, Washington University
Work - Morningstar, Chicago
Interesting things about Suryansh
Worked on getting his CFA certification while in his bachelor’s degree
Compelled by the family to prepare for Common Admission Test (CAT)
Dropped out of Indian Institute of Management after 6 weeks
GRE score: 325 (168Q, 157V)
What is Engineering Management?
70% of management but focused from the point of view of an engineer
30% of courses are geared towards engineering
What was the best thing about coming to the US for you?
While in the US I was able to gain a broader perspective on life by meeting professors who have been extremely successful in their careers but are still very humble.
Why did you choose US over other countries?
US was my preference because I wanted to work for the best companies in the world. In the US, you get paid more for the same job that the other person who might be working in Canada or Australia.
What were the biggest challenges that you faced at the start?
It was very difficult for me to figure out the first steps to start my process. Getting the right guidance at the right time is very important. I believe, this is where Connexio helps out because a lot of students won’t know where to start. When you try to google information about a course, it’s very crowded. The best part about Connexio’s platform is that it’s very simple and the counsellors are very helpful.
What advice would you give to the students?
School ranking does not matter. It does not matter in your job search or future prospects. In India, if you are from a top ranked school and don’t know anything else, you’ll still get a job but in the US, things are very different. Here, your job prospects depend on the kind of skills that you have.
Start preparing early and prepare for the verbal because quant is easy to tackle later on. Start preparing in the sophomore (2nd) year of college and take the GRE by the junior (3rd) year.
In retrospect, what would you change?
In retrospect, I would make smarter decisions on selecting the university.
While Wash U. is a top school, I still think that a student should definitely think about how much money does he/she want to spend on the education and perhaps pick schools that make more financial sense.
Make sure that you are financially independent at the end of the degree.
Think about the worst case scenario (like not getting a chance to land a job) and then make decisions accordingly.
What's your parting advice for aspiring students?
Start preparing early and prepare for the verbal because quant is easy to tackle later on.
For admission, GRE and GPA are the most important aspects.
For top schools, you should at least have a GRE score of 320.
Spend a lot of time exploring different avenues before you make a decision and when you’ve made the decision, stick to it.
It’s not the courses that you have taken but what you have done outside the courses is what’s employable.
Have questions for Suryansh?
Post them in the comments below👇 and we'd be happy to answer them for you.