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Is MBA the right choice?

#1 Is MBA the right choice?
08/05/2009 13:23

aspiring MBA

I am currently in my 3rd year at Accenture having worked in supply chain and strategy. I'm considering a top MBA in two-three years when hopefully recruiting will be slightly better. This is with a view to moving into investment banking or strategy consulting (end goal PE)

I'm interested to know how pre-MBA experience is viewed by these firms? i.e is it a case of if you haven't worked for a top strat firm or IB before then it will be very difficult to do so post MBA or does this kind of career change often take place? (i'm refering more to the banking side there).

I understand PE jobs immediately post MBA require IB experience but is a move to IB post MBA for example unrealistic given I haven't done modelling/financial work pre-MBA?

It's a hell of a lot of money to go to Insead or LBS so I'm trying to research whether my career goals keen be reached in this way.

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#2 RE: Is MBA the right choice?
08/05/2009 14:56

MBA Choice to aspiring MBA (#1)

It's the right choice: MBA will considerably improve your chances of switching to MBB or top banks. However, a lot will depend on you: LBS/INSEAD will help you to get a first interview with McKs/Goldmans, but the rest is your job.

You can leverage risks by:

(1) switching to M&A or modeling/valuation group in ACN before MBA - it will give you additional exp and right network, so you will be able to apply to MBB/banks right from ACN and in case of rejection after MBA second time

(2) passing CFA L1/L2 is enough to show the commitment and apply to banks without MBA; I have friends who switched from PwC to 2nd year analyst in Goldman&Morgan.

Good luck!

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#3 RE: Is MBA the right choice?
08/05/2009 15:16

Mars A Day to aspiring MBA (#1)

If you want IB or PE without going via MBB (and frankly it won't increase your chances of making PE by much if you do) take the cheaper - and more relevant route of a good Masters in Finance at a top uni in the UK (check to see which IBs recruit there) and possibly the CFA 1. Really no need for an MBA. Also bear in mind that this economic crisis has called into question - in finance - the relevance of an MBA over more directly correlated qualifications. The suggestion of moving into financial modelling group at ACN is a wise one - you'll definately need modelling and valuations skills - in fact you won't get through your first PE interview without them

The whole ACN - MBB - PE route is over tortuous and frankly unnecessary. PE and IB hire from Big 4 as much as MBB.

One other route would be to move across now to a restructuring/turnaround firm - one of the specialists like Alix, Alvarez, Zolo, Huron etc. This would place you inside the front door of many PE firms who need to undertake substantial value creation and turnarounds in invested companies to realise a profit.

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#4 RE: Is MBA the right choice?
08/05/2009 15:18

Mars A Day to Mars A Day (#3)

Meant Zolfo not Zolo.

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#5 RE: Is MBA the right choice?
08/05/2009 15:43

Apiring Accenture to aspiring MBA (#1)

a bit off topic.. but I'm interested in supplychain strategy with the Big4. Can you tell me what kinds of work you have been involved with since you started and a rough estimate of how many you work on in say a year? I need a mentor with inside knowledge to give me some kind of road map..

thanks for any help mate!

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#6 RE: Is MBA the right choice?
09/05/2009 08:25

aspiring MBA to Apiring Accenture (#5)

Many thanks for the suggestions.

Regarding MSc, this is tricky as most Analyst programs only recruit fresh young grads with internships and deem 3 yrs experience as too old yet there doesn't appear to be a clear route in as Associate from MSc unless you've worked in IB as an Analyst. Am I correct?

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#7 RE: Is MBA the right choice?
09/05/2009 08:29

aspiring MBA to aspiring MBA (#6)

To the above poster,

One of the big 4 is building their supply chain practice in particular right now though I'm not sure which one. Kind of work varies but could be a short term strategic review of a companies supply chain operations to a longer term project putting in a new IT system for something like inventory management.

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