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Career change from IT (with MBA)

 
#1 Career change from IT (with MBA)
18/04/2007 15:53

Andrea

Hello.

I have about 7 years of international experience in IT Governance and post-merger integration at a leading European Financial Institution.

I got an interview in September with Mckinsey but the result was poor because they said "my poor business knowledge".

Now I've been admiteed to Dartmouth (Tuck) MBA and I'm considering re-apply to Mck or other top-tier firms in the industry.

I'd like to have your opinion on my chances...

thanks

Andrea

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#2 RE: Career change from IT (with MBA)
18/04/2007 16:31

anon to Andrea (#1)

Andrea, how does that MBA compare with some of the other more well known one's like Insead, Wharton, Harvard etc.?

Top tier firms like McKinsey are quite choosey about what business schools the people they interview went to.

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#3 RE: Career change from IT (with MBA)
18/04/2007 16:45

Andrea to anon (#2)

Hi,

Dartmouth usually ranks among the top-10, should the rank be done by WSJ, Economist, Businessweek, etc.

For instance this year it is ranked 2nd in the Economist's rank.

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#4 RE: Career change from IT (with MBA)
18/04/2007 20:09

Dave to Andrea (#3)

Dartmouth is a well regarded school, at least in the US, and I know many people who went there with much lesser experience than yourself and jumpstarted their careers at top start firms. Go for it. I am planning the same, should I get through Accenture - work in IT consulting for a few years, then follow it up with an MBA.

Dartmouth will be good enough for you to get interviews at the top firms, plus the small size and the loyal alumni base helps.

Met a BCG consultant from Dartmouth recently, and quite a few fiercely loyal alumni in I banking London.

You should be able to land an interview at Mck after your MBA. After that, it depends on your performance on the case.

How did you fare on the cases this time?

The only caveat might be age. How old are you, if I might ask.

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#5 RE: Career change from IT (with MBA)
18/04/2007 22:45

Raghu to Andrea (#1)

Most consulting firms dont interview you again if your last interview was not 6 mths old atleast. Now that you have a fair knowledge on how the interview would be, its a great idea to re-apply at the appropriate time. Nevertheless, there are lot many consulting firms in the market who would be willing to take you. If not this, you would surely get into something else.

The other thing could be this - Your academic background and experience play an important role in recruitment. You need to demonstrate some knowledge on the subject which Mck looks for; though you may be the strongest at yours! Hope it answers your query. If not, someone else surely would answer it better :)

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#6 RE: Career change from IT (with MBA)
19/04/2007 10:53

Andrea to Dave (#4)

Thanks a lot for your comments.

I'm 32 right now - I know this might be a problem because, as far as I know, the majority of the hires are a little bit younger.

I did not have a specific and detailed feedback on how I performed with my case.

As a personal evaluation, I'd say it did not perform very well. I was able to ask a few good questions but I did not fit with the time available.

I tried to prepare by myself with some books, however, the feedback I got, even before the interview started, was that the best way is to have mock interviews with friends that are already consultants or MBA students.

Unfortunately at that time I had none.

thanks once again

Andrea

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#7 RE: Career change from IT (with MBA)
19/04/2007 11:57

Rob to Andrea (#6)

Andrea

You are showing your naivety in your last message. 32 may be older than some hires at larger consultancies - but they are taking people who have gone straight from 1st Degree to MBA. Not a route I would ever recommend for anyone. It just leaves you with a glaring lack of experience and frankly most younger MBAs just can't cut it because of that. (Sorry if that offends some but 30+ years of experience tells me I'm right).

You are unlikely ever to get a job with McKinsey - you just don't fit the model they work to. Rather like knowing that getting a top job in the Foreign Office requires an Oxbridge background... That said there are plenty of other opportunities out there.

What was it about McK that appealed (apart from the Brand)? Look for others delivering in similar ways and you stand a real chance.

First however you need to get yourself sorted. Work out what your skills/experience REALLY are (don't lie about it 'cos it is yourself you are talking to). Next work out what the likely requirements of your target consultancies are. It's called Gap analysis and is something consultants do all the time without thinking.

That will then let you know what you need to fix. How you fix it will depend on the answers but if one thing you are lacking is experience then an experiential learning MBA is better for you and Tuck may not give you that answer (I haven't read their prospectus but I bet they are similar to Harvard). I'm always extremely wary of people who have done MBAs on the Harvard Model - because the vast majority of businesses on this planet aren't MNCs. Over 50% of the UK working population work for organisations of 25 people or fewer.

Just look at how stupid some of the so-called high-flyers are who appear on The Apprentice (either UK or US versions). They fall over due to lack of maturity and I think THAT is what you should be seeking to develop.

Getting highly paid and rewarding jobs (like a good consulting position) requires effort and frankly the vast majority of candidates aren't truly up to it. However getting to understand yourself better through psychometrics etc would give you insights that could pay dividends.

For starters have you even done a Belbin Test? Or a web-based version of Myers-Briggs? These will give you some insights into your personal style that will help you understand where your strengths lie. As most experts will tell you - trying to back-fill gaps in personal style is virtually impossible. One should always build on strengths not train on weaknesses.

From what you have said in your posts it looks like your strengths may be in areas that are not appropriate for where you think you want to be. Nothing wrong with that - thousands have been that route before - but far better if you get behind the issues and work out that there might be an even BETTER place for you that will build on you not put you under pressure.

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#8 RE: Career change from IT (with MBA)
19/04/2007 12:35

Andrea to Rob (#7)

Thanks for this really open feedback!

I'll definitely take it in strong consideration; I'll try the tests you suggested in order to perfom this kind of gap analysis on myself.

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#9 RE: Career change from IT (with MBA)
19/04/2007 13:03

Andrea to Rob (#7)

Thanks for this really open feedback!

I'll definitely take it in strong consideration; I'll try the tests you suggested in order to perfom this kind of gap analysis on myself.

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#10 RE: Career change from IT (with MBA)
19/04/2007 15:22

ananon to Rob (#7)

Hi Rob

'You are unlikely ever to get a job with McKinsey - you just don't fit the model they work to. Rather like knowing that getting a top job in the Foreign Office requires an Oxbridge background... That said there are plenty of other opportunities out there.'

Could you clarify what sort of model it is they work to? Why would Andrea have been invited to interview if she didn't conform to this?

Thanks

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