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MBB -> academia

 
#1 MBB -> academia
21/01/2010 19:00

franz

Background:

From Europe, 24 years old

Great academic background

Two years of part time experience from a tier 2/3 consultancy

Almost two years of a PhD program in Finance completed at a tier 2 university while working, sponsored by my employer

Have recently been invited to an MBB interview

Career ambition:

Academic career at top university (business school)

Questions:

Would it make sense for me to leave academia for a few years and get some MBB experience given my career ambitions? That is, would I be able leverage that experience when applying to post-doc positions or similar later on? Or possibly, when applying to a PhD program assuming that I don’t finish it at my current university…

Any advice appreciated…

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#2 RE: MBB -> academia
22/01/2010 07:45

Anon to franz (#1)

Yes, it would make sense.

But, you're being a little presumptious.

And, the hours will be so different as to make you think you're working on an alien planet.

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#3 RE: MBB -> academia
22/01/2010 13:07

franz to Anon (#2)

Ok, thanks!

It's clear to me that the MBB name is very strong among industry people. But is it as valuable within academia as well? As you point out, the hours are longer which means I will have to put my academic progression on hold for a few years... Would it really be worth that sacrifice?

Sorry for sounding presumptious, but am not taking anything for granted..

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#4 RE: MBB -> academia
22/01/2010 13:32

Anon to franz (#3)

Hi, it's me again.

Yes, MBB name is valuable if you want to be a professor at a business school. In fact, it would be the ultimate badge of experience.

Whenever anybody starts getting a little too theoretical, you could always relate back to your experience from MBB. It would be a very good credential.

Getting into MBB is very difficult however.

And even if you get in - do you really want to? I mean, it's long hours and all.

Maybe you could find somewhere that will sponsor an MBA? Could be a good outcome?

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#5 RE: MBB -> academia
22/01/2010 14:30

Mars A Day to Anon (#4)

I quote: 'Whenever anybody starts getting a little too theoretical, you could always relate back to your experience from MBB'... and join in?

The recurring issue with the likes of McKinsey et al I hear from line managers who have worked alongside them is that they are TOO theoretical, great with the modelling etc but don't understand - or maybe just don't try to understand - what really makes the business work. I could relate many examples but would blow my anonymity in the process.

If you want to be a business professor the clue is in the title - get industry experience with a major blue chip on some significant change programmes.

MBA? Why would he do that? He is 2 years into a PhD.

OP the golden rule of academia (and you already know this I assume) is publish or be damned. Your PhD will lead to something publishable... unlike either an MBA or a couple of years being beasted in MBB.

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#6 RE: MBB -> academia
22/01/2010 18:09

franz to Mars A Day (#5)

Thanks again for your thoughts on this.

I am aware of what you say Mars A Day, publishing is what matters most in the long run. However, I just thought a stint at MBB would make me stand out more among the candidates when applying for post-doc or other “junior” positions at top universities. After all, most fresh PhDs haven’t published more than just a few articles, if any, at the time of graduation.

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#7 RE: MBB -> academia
25/01/2010 11:37

Mars A Day to franz (#6)

I do understand what you're thinking Franz - and on paper it's logical.

But the reality of academia is that it is hermetically sealed away from reality, and being on the inside, having the relationships will count for far more than a couple of years at MBB unless you are very senior in such a firm.

Better off spending your time and efforts building a network in your target faculties.

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#8 RE: MBB -> academia
25/01/2010 13:29

mac to Mars A Day (#7)

University Business Schools often have a real problem with the practicalities of business life. The so-called 'interesting' academic elements are not directly transferable to the real world and, frankly, many academics look down on those with an 'applied' focus and have never done a day's work outside a university in their lives.

For what it's worth, this is based on extensive experience working with a major Russell Group redbrick.

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#9 RE: MBB -> academia
17/02/2010 16:06

JT to mac (#8)

finish your PhD, get a post at a good university/business school for a few years. then as assistant prof try to get some part-time involvement in econ consulting / consulting in your specific field as a guru/expert.

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#10 RE: MBB -> academia
17/02/2010 17:09

anon to franz (#1)

Hi Franz,

Here are my thoughts as a former McKinsey and former MBA student at Warwick.

1) True, academics look down what they call “practitioners”. However I can’t remember one module of my MBA where a McKinsey model, book… was not mentioned.

2) Don’t believe what Mars says. The fact that the shop floor employees he interviews for IBM roles don’t have a strategic mindset doesn’t mean that McKinsey is too theoretical. Do you think they would still be in the business if their strategies were not executable? I had a strategy professor who used to work with McKinsey and indeed he was able to criticize models, frameworks… based on their relevance for the business.

3) Don’t believe those who say that academics never leave the university. Most of the MBA lecturers at Warwick – well known for its research - are also consultants

The question is: is the investment (poor work/life balance) worth it? I don’t think so. I would say that an academic with MBB experience is great credential for the students, but I seriously doubt it’s a competitive advantage in the academic world.

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#11 RE: MBB -> academia
17/02/2010 17:26

Mars A Day to anon (#10)

anon I don't recruit shopfloor employees for IBM... but then I also screen out up their @rse little p1llocks who like you.

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#12 RE: MBB -> academia
18/02/2010 00:16

True anon to anon (#10)

Wow, you're showing off your WBS MBA. Your <b>WBS</b> MBA. Enough said.

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