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To MBA or not to MBA that is the Question?

 
#1 To MBA or not to MBA that is the Question?
11/08/2005 10:45

Big Money

People. Just wanted some advise as to whether or not it would be a good move for me a complete a MBA (top 5 b school) in order to help me get into a top consultancy firm. I understand that its a very costly route to take and the risks associated with not getting in are high but should I?? I have been working for at as a tax consultant for a number of years with the big 4 but want a change in direction. Salary is not an issue nor is position?

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#2 Re: To MBA or not to MBA that is the Question?
11/08/2005 13:58

Anon

You ask this as though you are anticipating a yes or no answer, but it is not as simple as that. There are top consultants with MBA's and top consultants without MBA's. The chances are that any method that compared the risks and probabilities of both career routes would likely as not be assuming too much anyway, quite apart from the fact that you would struggle to get reliable data from all the top consulting firms on application numbers, and whether they had MBA's or not. There are data privacy laws to consider as well. Few consultancies stipulate that you must have an MBA, and few consultants stipulate that you must not have one. It's your decision, not ours.

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#3 Re: To MBA or not to MBA that is the Question?
11/08/2005 19:36

anon

Depends a bit on what you mean by "a top consultancy": if you mean the strat firms, then from where you are now it's probably the only realistic route in without an intermediate career change. A (very) good GMAT and GPA/Dean's List from a leading school is pretty much a pre-requisite for consultant-level hires unless you have significant industry experience (or, for some firms, a PhD). Alternatively, if your financial analytical skills are particularly strong, you could try out the analyst-level market and aim for internal promotions - it might work. Good luck.

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#4 Re: To MBA or not to MBA that is the Question?
11/08/2005 21:03

Big Money

Thanks for your thoughts - tho I'm not sure if 740 is a good GMAT score? As I'm not having any luck getting in the normal way I think it maybe a good idea to go do a MBA. A few people have said to me that with a score of 740 plus good written essay answers I shouldn't have a problem getting in to HBS, LBS, INSEAD? I guess the question begging to be answered is will somewhere like HBS/LBS get me into a pure SC role! Thanks Anon and anon for your help!

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#5 Re: To MBA or not to MBA that is the Question?
12/08/2005 12:04

anon

Yes, and yes! 740 is a perfectly good score - I've never come across discrimination being applied above that level. And HBS, LBS and INSEAD are very typical routes into SC (also Wharton and Stanford) - all the big SC firms have active contacts with their careers advisory teams. However, for both B-school and SC the same holds: GMAT/essays/GPA are necessary but not sufficient conditions to get in - it is still very competitive. For B-school you also need good experience that they will think will be useful in class and you need a good 'story' for why you want to go. For SC you will need to demonstrate strong commercial acumen and (depending a bit on the firm) analytics, ideally on your CV as well as in interview. But you are definitely on the right lines. Even if it doesn't lead you to SC in the end, a top MBA will open many new career opportunities!

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#6 Re: To MBA or not to MBA that is the Question?
12/08/2005 18:53

Big Money

Cheers! Its nice to get some encouraging words... I'm going to have a bash and see what happens... I'm not too sure about Wharton or Stanford although I know they are very good schools but as I live in the UK I would rather try for INSEAD or LBS? The reason why I say HBS is purely on the fact that its the best - right?? In any case INSEAD might not be the right school for me due to the fact that I dont really have any SC experience so I guess I should go for the 2 year deal and get a summer placement? Do you agree? Thanks!

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#7 Re: To MBA or not to MBA that is the Question?
15/08/2005 11:32

londoc

Speaking as someone that also has a GMAT of 740, and acceptances to a couple of the schools that you have so far mentioned, I would re-iterate that the GMAT is only really a hurdle to jump over in terms of getting the rest of your application (ie essays) looked at seriously. 740 alone won't get you in, but a low score will ensure you don't get in. You need to write compelling essays as to why you want an MBA, why now, why that paricular school, what you will contribute to class, what you hope to get out of the experience, and make the whole application flow so that it is coherent and makes complete sense to adcoms. In your essays you also need to demonstrate your leadership potential, ambition, and all the other soft skills that b-schools value so highly.

I have spent the last few weeks talking to people in my incoming class, many of whom have scores less than 700. However, they all have very compelling and interesting stories to tell, and the education and work experience to back it up. Most have worked all round the World and speak 2-3 languages too.

I agree that a 2 year course would be better for a career changer, though INSEAD will be more than adequate to get you in as long as you are good enough yourself.

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#8 Re: To MBA or not to MBA that is the Question?
15/08/2005 20:06

Big Money

Yes I have heard this from a number of MBA people! The application is of the upper most importants - however I have 5 years work experience at two top banks and 1 Big 4. So hopefully their reputation will carry some weight too! Plus I have ACCA and CTA. I'm still not too sure about INSEAD purely on the basis that if I do a summer internship the chances are that they will offer me a place? Am I right??

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#9 Re: To MBA or not to MBA that is the Question?
18/08/2005 16:36

londoc

Don't rely on your company name to get you in. What you actually did there is more important. INSEAD's January intake have the opportunity for a summer internship. Not sure what percentage of summer interners are offered full-time positions. Depends on the individual I guess.

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