Hi all. I am a mechanical engineering grad who graduated from a top Canadian university. Metallurgical/materials specialist. I graduated 2016 June, working in Toronto.
I have worked in 3 different companies since graduation, all different roles. Other than the first one (which is an outlier), I dislike the work. I dislike the career trajectory even more. The thought of being stuck in middle management at manufacturing companies leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
However, I still am in love with the manufacturing sector as a whole and I'm completely sold on devoting my career to it.
Long term, I'd love to be in the position to help set up factories OR improve the operational efficiency of existing factories on a high-level, strategy/financial front. M&A, high-level sales strategy (purchasing factories/client sales) and operations strategy (think Lean, 6sigma, management structure, etc for supply chain/in house). I envy a few individuals I know who work in PE or consulting that do this in the manufacturing sector. I would have strived for this if I knew what I did now in school, but hindsight is 20/20 :(. I was mistakenly informed that people value "boots on the ground" experience for this.
Consulting at a boutique SME would be awesome. PE that explicitly targets the manufacturing sector would be great too (I'm not delusional, I understand how competitive it is + how IB experience is typically essential. However, the company I work for now has been bought by a PE firm. They have strategists in house from the industry to increase our company's value. I want to be that guy).
I'm totally cool with ending up in one of these roles 10-15 years down the line, but in order to avoid being stuck in middle management, I need to start planting the seeds to get there now.
I'd love to hear your guys opinions about transitioning into the types of work I have mentioned. Are my goals unrealistic? Do you think I should focus my efforts somewhere more valuable? Have any of you had similar experiences?