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Career change into MC, with MBA & Asia work exp

 
#1 Career change into MC, with MBA & Asia work exp
11/04/2013 05:07

sumubai

Hi All - this is my first post so apologies if any no-noes in here... I would appreciate any advice on possible paths i should be investigating over the next 18mths - 2 yrs.

I've read through a lot of the posts here and would like to get your expert take on matters.

I am a UK citizen and have had a fairly long career in export operations management in Asia; I've spent total 12 yrs in China, Vietnam & Indonesia and speak a decent standard of the 3 languages, although not good enough to act as a full business consultant, my Chinese Mandarin is the closest.

My work has been in operations - manufacturing for export. General managment, setting up of local operations, purchasing and running local teams.

I am soon to return to Europe and take a full time MBA at HEC Paris, which i will complete at the age of 36. At that point i would like to go into MC, and am identifying the best routes for me to take in investigating and getting into the field. Based on my background, my strengths will be in operations area, and for projects in Asia and SE Asia, but i would like to expand into a more general developing world speciality, and will aim to work on this through projects at HEC in Africa, and through an exchange semester to South America.

From reading on the forum here, it seems ATK is considered top of the charts for operations. Bain is very active at HEC, and is looking to expand into SEA, BCG have an office in Jakarta where i am currently based and are also looking to expand into Vietnam. Does anyone on the forum have any advice or insights into other ways i may look to direct myself, and companies that i should be looking at, or who would be interested in this profile?

I am prepared to go down a notch in terms of salary and level of responsibility to get into interesting work with good potential for career development. I will be happy to be based in Europe or overseas as starting posting.

Your comments much appreciated. Any further questions to clarify my situation - please advise.

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#2 RE: Career change into MC, with MBA & Asia work exp
13/04/2013 03:59

Hypothesis-driven to sumubai (#1)

sumubai,

Couple of thoughts...

(1) Good start researching companies that you find have the right mix of functional capabilities (operations) and geographic location. Find out what other firms recruit from HEC and continue to build your target list of firms.

(2) If you want to be situated in the emerging markets from the start, then you may want to try get a role directly with an office in Asia or Africa after your MBA (rather than beginning in Europe). Of course, you will need a convincing story and strong local language skills (could be something you improve during your MBA studies). Be aware that not all firms are that accommodating however.

(3) If you are based out of Europe after business school (the more likely scenario), then the option of working around the world comes down to getting staffed on an international case. While there is global mobility, it is not guaranteed -- even for someone with your extensive background in the region.

(4) My final parting words is in relation to your comment: "I am prepared to go down a notch in terms of salary and level of responsibility to get into interesting work." That's a good attitude to have, but check your expectations of what a MBA hire does day to day (i.e. cranking analysis, getting to insights and convincing your case team and client you are worth the premium rate being charged for your work).

Good luck.

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