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MA vs. MBA vs. Experience

 
#1 MA vs. MBA vs. Experience
05/04/2006 18:11

decision

Hi,

I graduated in 2003 with 2:1, and am currently working as a case manager for a mortgage company and wanting to get views on studying for an MBA, MA, or gaining work experience to get into management consulting. Is is beneficial to do an MA/MBA in order to get into management consulting? If yes, which are the best courses?

Alternatively, would it be better to gain experience elsewhere? If so , which companies, types of jobs?

Thanks

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#2 Re: MA vs. MBA vs. Experience
06/04/2006 13:46

Damail

It seems you'd be looking to enter consulting as an analyst. Therefore, the usual questions apply: where is your degree from, in what subject, and (you guessed it) what are your GCSE/A-level results like?

Don't bother doing an MBA at this stage unless you have some substantial management experience under your belt or can get into a very good business school. Possibly do an MA if you have particular specialism you'd like to pursue (e.g. Finance, Operations Research, HR) or if you want to boost your general business awareness. Don't bother if your first degree was in business though as the course content is too similar to really add anything to your knowledge.

Depending on how you like the field, financial services consulting is doing quite well now, so you could concentrate on building knowledge there, get in on as many projects as possible, and use that experience to strengthen your applications to consulting. Alternatively, you could follow the same route but continue as an internal project manager/consultant before moving into external consulting as an experienced hire in a few years time.

I would say that the choice depends on the size of your current company (are they big enough to offer a range of financial services and career opportunities) and how you're finding work there. Having worked in financial services, I have found the culture and business processes can be very antiquated and change very slow compared to consulting. However, that also makes it easier to "pick the low-hanging fruit" and make a big effect as an internal consultant.

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#3 Re: MA vs. MBA vs. Experience
06/04/2006 20:22

douglas

It's worth checking whether some employers might employ you as part of their graduate scheme. 2003 is only 3 years ago, and many employers might still be willing to hire you.

Have you looked into this?

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#4 Re: MA vs. MBA vs. Experience
07/04/2006 16:40

decision

Sorry for the late reply guys. I have a degree in Politics (2:1), 22 UCAS points and 12 GCSE's grade A-Cs.

Regarding my current experience, I have attained the CeMAP (certificate in mortgage advice and practice), this has given me an exemption from Financial Planning Certificate Paper 1. The company I work for is only three years old, so there is limited scope to progress further, and as it is a mortgage company, they do not offer financial advice, just mortgage advice. I am quite interested in financial services consulting, but am unsure how to get into it.

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#5 Re: MA vs. MBA vs. Experience
07/04/2006 16:42

decision

There are a few schemes that are still recruiting, but I am finding it hard to get onto one and time is running out.

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#6 Re: MA vs. MBA vs. Experience
07/04/2006 17:04

Damail

It seems like you'd be better to focus on the financial services career path for the time being. You could go into retirement planning, or switch to financial advice (e.g. as an IFA) which might give you some additional experience to later move into a consulting/advisory role. The way to progress in this sector, as you'll probably know, is through qualifications, qualifications, and more qualifications. I'd get the CFP and, if you don't have the scope to get sponsorship from your current employer then swap to one that will support you.

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#7 Re: MA vs. MBA vs. Experience
07/04/2006 19:04

decision

Thank you for the advice. That has really helped me assess my options.

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