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Industry experienced - MBA or not before moving into consultancy?

 
#1 Industry experienced - MBA or not before moving into consultancy?
29/08/2018 18:07

eurouk

Hi,

I've always wanted to go into consulting (strategy or financial) but felt earlier on in my career that I would like to experience industry before doing so.

I have worked my way up to Head of Financial Planning & Analysis for a division of a Global Airline Group, based in the Middle East, having worked in multiple Commercial Finance roles in FMCG, Banking and Travel on the way. I am CIMA qualified, and have been able to experience a number of disciplines over the past 5-10 years (FP&A, commercial finance, business start-up, internal audit, M&A, contract tendering etc.

I will be in my mid 30s by the time I make the switch to consulting (after business school if that's the route I take), but my concerns are the following:

- will the cost of the MBA ever pay back ? I think I could achieve a role in industry of c. GBP 100-120,000 (FTSE 250, Fortune 500 divisional FD type position), yet when I look at average MBA graduate salaries, even for LBS they come back at GBP 80,000. Given this, the maths just doesn't seem to add up, unless there is significant hike in salary once you get your foot in the door.

- would it be better to simply apply for a consultancy position now, without an MBA? What kind of position would I be looking at as an entry level?

- have I left it too late? do consulting firms place greater emphasis on young hires, just out of higher education, with limited experience in industry?

Any advice would we greatly appreciated, particular from those who have moved into consulting later on in their careers.

Thanks

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#2 RE: Industry experienced - MBA or not before moving into consultancy?
30/08/2018 12:02

McNutty to eurouk (#1)

My background - I moved to Management Consulting Finance (Big 4), after 3 years in Industry finance.

FYI I have no experience/interaction with the MBA - so i'll leave that to others.

1. " would it be better to simply apply for a consultancy position now, without an MBA? What kind of position would I be looking at as an entry level?"

-Do you have 5 or 10 years experience? You could be pitching anywhere from Senior Consultant and up.

-My sense is you may struggle to come in at the Senior Manager grade, because you just won't have that consulting toolkit, including connections.

-Seems like Senior Con to Manager would be where you'd pitch.

2. " have I left it too late? do consulting firms place greater emphasis on young hires, just out of higher education, with limited experience in industry?"

- It's never too late, if you are willing to take relevant paycut/demoralising kick in the balls, there's nothing like seeing people 4/5 years younger as your peers, purely because time in grade is a thing, even if they won't say it!

- My only experience is Big 4 and they have a very strong line on recruiting experienced hires at most grades up to Manager.

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