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.