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"I want to work in M&A despite a chronic condition that exhausts me"

I have an aggressive illness that can make me very tired, but I would like to work in M&A and I feel that I should qualify for diversity programs on the grounds of disability. Can anyone give me some advice?

The illness that I have is chronic, but I am also hopeful of a cure. While a cure doesn't exist yet, I am living my life in the hope and belief that one will be available in the future. 

Until then, however, I am stuck taking a cocktail of medications with a range of side effects including brain fog and anemia. I have trouble concentrating and fatigue, and to counteract this I have to be extremely diligent about my health. I am currently studying a top MBA and I feel that I need to study much harder than everyone else to get the same grades. 

My ambition is to work in banking or in private equity. I understand that the work can involve long hours, but I have been able to handle the MBA course and see no reason why I can't handle finance too - especially if my condition is cured. 

My interest in finance is twofold. On one hand, I am genuinely interested in the role: I love building models and valuing businesses; I enjoy being an expert on hand for clients, and I like structuring deals. On the other, I want to earn good money. The drugs I need to treat my condition are expensive and cost $13k a month. Even when covered by health insurance most plans ask me to max my deductible in the first month, and this typically costs around $3.5k. I feel a sense of general anxiety about accessing my medication. 

As I apply for banking jobs, however, I feel that employers should recognize the challenges I have faced and overcome. Until there is a cure, I am effectively disabled, but this has not prevented me from studying an extremely demanding MBA. Are there banks out there that will recognize my achievement and make allowances for my disability? Asking for a friend....

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Photo by Zachary Kyra-Derksen on Unsplash

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AUTHORMaryam Mitchell Insider Comment
  • Ca
    Campus recruiter
    8 August 2022

    Answer below is terrible, please ignore it.

    Firstly, from a student recruitment perspective, I can guarantee you that no employer in their right mind would ignore your application on the basis of your disability. When you fill an application, you need to submit an equal opportunities statement that recognizes that the employer is not discriminating you as a candidate. This is a legal requirement. Any recruiter that ignores your application is putting themselves and their company at risk.

    Secondly, if you are in the UK, please contact EmployAbility. Tab Ahmad is doing an excellent job at making companies (and candidates!) disability-confident. She will help you get the job in banking you are after. If you are based in the US, look for the American equivalent.

    Thirdly and most importantly... if the hours are already long and your illness causes chronic fatigue, aren't you risking your health for a role that would cost you so much of your personal time? Wouldn't you rather go into tech where the pay is great and the hours are your standard 9-5?

    If you are still keen to go into banking then I'd recommend getting in touch on LI with a current M&A junior banker see what their personal experience is like.

    Good luck to you, hope everything works out in your career and in your health!

  • To
    Tom
    4 August 2022

    Another quota initiative that would further fuel resentment from those who achieved via merit, and decrease the quality of the workforce

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