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MBA straight after BA? (or Teach First?)

#1 MBA straight after BA? (or Teach First?)
26/07/2006 11:19

na to deleted (#0)

I am currently a 2nd year undergrad, exploring post-uni options. I have long been interested in a career in consulting, and am curious as to what people believe to be the best route into it.

What do people think about trying to do an MBA straight after a bachelors degree? Would it put me at an advantage? are the costs simply too prohibitive to "go it alone" so to speak? Would any of the prestigious institutions even consider me?

Other options I was considering, were to apply to the big four prof service firms to get an accountancy qualification under my belt, only numeracy isn't my strongest point! (will this be a total barrier for getting into MC?).

I am also very interested in applying to the Teach First scheme- what are recruiters honest opinions of such a scheme?

I would be very grateful for anyones constructive opinion/advice on the matter!

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#2 RE: MBA straight after BA? (or Teach First?)
26/07/2006 11:51

john to na (#1)

Ideal is to start your career doing what you want to do. Second choice is to do something that leads to what you want to do. Third choice is to do something else that interests you. So if you want to be a consultant and feel you have reasonable chance then apply for this first. Then if you get rejected move on to your next choice.

In my view MBA is much better after a 3-4 years experience. You will get more value out of it and will have credibility in the job market. Also you will be less concerned about the cost. MBA is not like accountancy/law/medicine. There is limited "MBA job market" and doing it without experience is quite bold/risky.

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#3 RE: MBA straight after BA? (or Teach First?)
26/07/2006 12:09

RG to john (#2)

Also, most decent schools want you to have a bit of experience and will likely knock you back unless you are a real wunderkind. The courses are more set up with this in mind. Not necessarily the same in the US however.

You must be brave to consider taking on even more student debt at ths stage without the intervening few years in a decent job to stash some cash!

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#4 RE: MBA straight after BA? (or Teach First?)
26/07/2006 15:35

D to RG (#3)

Don't do an MBA straight after your degree unless you are one of those child prodigies that has a BSc and PhD aged 19 and can get into Harvard or Stanford.

If you are not one of these you will not get into a top school and will find that you have made yourself uncompetitive across the board: 1)you have an MBA so can't go for undergrad positions

2)you have no work experience and an MBA from a lesser school so are not competitive for MBA positions.

Do consulting if you can get in. If not go into industry on a training scheme then do a top MBA and go into consulting then if you still want to.

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#5 RE: MBA straight after BA? (or Teach First?)
26/07/2006 16:35

Matthew to na (#1)

Do what you love! By the way--some experience in industry helps--it brings insight to the client's issues when you become a consultant. Many quality consultants--the ones I've watched flourish, earn promotions, etc. over the years have industry experience.

For Pete's sake, keep the "teaching for a year" thing down, or you'll turn into a crusty sourpuss pedantic mothball like 'Ex-Teacher'. (See post "Not getting past the first interview".) I took a year off to teach, and it was wonderful in ways that have been useful in my consulting career; some people, I guess, never leave the undertrodden mindset of the profession, and wear their 'poor-me'/'I'm a person too' mentality on their sleeves. Pass the tissue.

Good luck.

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#6 RE: MBA straight after BA? (or Teach First?)
26/07/2006 17:15

ex teacher to Matthew (#5)

No harm in teaching whatsoever...I did it for 9 years, then got a scholarship to do an MBA at a top tier BS, and now work at McK.

Far from being a sourpuss, I simply find people who look down on others for silly reasons (such as due to their profession) to be particularly lacking in intelligence. They usually have some hierarchy of jobs in their imagination, with themselves somewhere near the top and others (sneer sneer) near the bottom. Ignore them. Fortunately, the type of people who are interviewing potential recruits at Big 4 firms (I am one) are trained to see the wood from the trees, and to recognise real value when they see it.

Bottom line: do whatever job you do before your MBA as well as you can; learn as much as you can about the world of work. Then you'll be of a lot more value than some young hotshot with little work experience who does an MBA and then thinks they can go round advising others on managment.

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#7 RE: MBA straight after BA? (or Teach First?)
27/07/2006 14:25

D to na (#1)

TeachFirst is I think pretty well regarded.

Mckinsey have taken at least three of them on in the last couple of years (quite a few when you consider that Mck only hires about 10-15 BAs per year).

I wouldn't bother doing it just for the career points though - it's a pretty tough experience if you aren't passionate about teaching.

In terms of doing an MBA straight away - absolutely don't do it.

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#8 MBA straight after BA? (or Teach First?)
27/07/2006 15:47

na to D (#7)

Thank you all for your advice!

I think I already knew in myself that doing an MBA straight away would not be the best option- i'd just had lots of people advise me that I should consider it.

I think I will definately apply to Teach First though, as I think it sounds like a challenge that would really suit me, and I can't imagine it doing any harm to my future career path...

Just one query though, am I wasting my time pursuing MC what with not exactly being a maths-whizz?!

Thank you again to you all, I will definately heed your advice

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#9 RE: MBA straight after BA? (or Teach First?)
27/07/2006 16:28

john to na (#8)

All the major consultancies use psycho tests that require high level of numeracy similar to GMAT, IQ tests etc..

You do not need a high level of Maths in the sense of ability to apply calculus. However you do need to be able to estimate/calculate sums in your head quickly for most forms of consultancy. If you can get thru ACA then you are probably numerate enough.

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#10 RE: MBA straight after BA? (or Teach First?)
27/07/2006 19:07

ex-teacher to john (#9)

You don´t need to be a maths whizz. My first degree was in English. So long as you can do fairly well on the GMAT (which you can swot up for with a good preparation book) you'll be fine. Good luck.

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