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Durham or Birmingham MBA

 
#1 Durham or Birmingham MBA
25/04/2005 02:35

Joe

Hi,

I have been accepted at the Universitiy of Durham and Birmingham for the full time MBA. I hold a Ph.D. in Chemistry from UCL and am looking to get into consultancy post-MBA. Which MBA program is better recognised at consulting firms? Any thoughts on this matter are wanted!

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#2 Re: Durham or Birmingham MBA
25/04/2005 13:04

RecruitGal

Both good schools. I'd say Durham by a whisker, but it's more important for you to go with the one where you feel more comfortable, and where you will excel.

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#3 Re: Durham or Birmingham MBA
25/04/2005 22:55

Joe

Hi RecruitGal,

Thanks for your post!

I would be interested in how important you view the 12 week practical internship of the MBA program- when recruiting new MBAs? Is it important to have a intership in a consulting firm?

Thanks!

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#4 Re: Durham or Birmingham MBA
26/04/2005 12:18

RecruitGal

The MBAs that have the most value are the ones that are backed up with high quality work experience. Getting a placement in a consulting firm would be very helpful whether you eventually decide on that path or not. An MBA graduate without solid work experience is a definite high risk hire.

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#5 Re: Durham or Birmingham MBA
26/04/2005 17:25

Joe

Hi RecruitGal,

Thanks for your post.

I have one question- how would you view me as a potential hire? I hold a Ph.D. in Chemistry from UCL and worked for 3 years as a researcher at Stanford (USA). Thus, I have no formal business work experience. After my MBA and a 12 week internship- would you see me as a "high risk" hire ?

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question!

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#6 Re: Durham or Birmingham MBA
27/04/2005 17:29

OneAndAll

Everything in consulting is high risk. If the firm doesn't find you up to scratch, they'll happily dump you in one of the appraisal rounds. So the risk works both ways.

A piece of advise on the MBA - in the eyes of the consulting firms, atleast the big ones, all MBA programmes are definitely not equal and I don't honestly think that B'ham or Durham are amongst their most wanted list (no matter what the ratings are). I'm sure you'll find a job at the end but don't assume it will be a top firm, unless the market really takes off in the next few months and there is a hiring frenzy.

You have a PhD from UCL, a post-doc from Stanford and now soon an MBA so you are going to be a very well qualified candidate, but with little experience of the real world. You will probably get entry level (or just above entry level) consulting offers which you should most certainly consider because it will break you in easy as well as allow you to learn the ropes as you go along.

I got in as a PhD with many years experience, mostly in academic research, with little business experience and at a mid level consulting track and man did I suffer because of the dramatic shift in just about everything - workstyle, lifestyle, etc etc. So take time to learn and I am sure you will be fine.

Good luck.

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#7 Re: Durham or Birmingham MBA
27/04/2005 22:00

Joe

Hi OneAndAll,

Thank you for your insightful post.

I will keep in mind what you have said!

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#8 Re: Durham or Birmingham MBA
28/04/2005 17:09

LAB

You have had some good responses so I will add my bit on basis that I am an MBA and a consultant and now am partner/owner of a small international consultancy (sorry not hiring). Choice of school is not (my opinion) the main point although I would go for Durham but which offers the best for you - have you talked to MBAs who have gone through both. The real key to this is what are you going to offer an employer - everyone has an MBA now and knows the theory so that doesn't cut it. It has been said elsewhere but practical experience is the differentiator. It is unlikely that a "top firm" would take you on except at entry level (which devalues you a bit) but who cares as there are lots and lots of second level companies doing very good business and in many cases with better client reputations than the top ones (contentious) - BUT they are very focussed and niche players. So think about - international, europe or country focussed? what industry sector? what consulting sector (i.e. change, strategy, ...)? Why should anyone employ you over another candidate (differentiation)? This should also factor into your MBA as your assignments and projects can be focussed to where you want to go after study AND you can approach some of the consultancies early on basis of project studies etc. Good Luck - its a fun life!

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