MBA - should I do it, and when?

MBA
New answer on Dec 13, 2019
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Dec 13, 2019

Hey everyone,

I'll soon be joining a top tier 2 firm in Europe (think Roland Berger, Oliver Wyman..) at the entry-level post undergrad.

I've always been interested in doing an MBA at some point. I have two main questions:

1) In your experience, what is the main benefit of an MBA to one's career?

2) When would you recommend doing an MBA? Two years in, four years in? If a firm is sponsoring your MBA, when's the best time to do it to jump position-wise upon your return (e.g. leave as an Associate, come back as an EM)?

Would appreciate any insights.

Cheers!

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Francesco
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replied on Dec 13, 2019
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

please find below the answers to your questions.

1) In your experience, what is the main benefit of an MBA to one's career?

Generally speaking an MBA is good for three things:

  1. Building a network – you could easily get in touch with people who attended the same MBA in the past
  2. Allow to switch career – after an MBA you will be qualified for industries not available before
  3. Business knowledge – the actual classes you will take

The most useful long-term is usually the network. An MBA gives also credibility for a corporate career.

2) When would you recommend doing an MBA? Two years in, four years in? If a firm is sponsoring your MBA, when's the best time to do it to jump position-wise upon your return (e.g. leave as an Associate, come back as an EM)?

In many consulting firms you can join an MBA program after 2-2.5 years. You may have a chance to do that also later, but usually, the sooner the better since you will have an increasing opportunity cost later on.

The standard process is that you leave as an analyst and are hired in a pre-manager position after the MBA (Associate at McKinsey, Consultant at BCG and Bain).

Best,
Francesco

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Luca
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replied on Dec 13, 2019
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Hello,

1) Network, possibilities to switch and start a new career. Talking about business knowledge it depends on your background: if you have a business background, it will not add that much

2) As soos as possible. After the MBA you will have this "Lock-in" period and they won't let you to switch career immediately. The sooner you do it, the sooner you will be owner of your career.

Best,
Luca

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Antonello
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replied on Dec 13, 2019
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi,
1. Network and CV are the most important benefit of a top MBA
2. With an experience in consulting 2 years are enough. You will come back as an associate but after few months you will be became a junior manager

Hope it helps,
Antonello

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Clara
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replied on Dec 13, 2019
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello and congrats!

I would indeed advise you to do an MBA. Responding your points:

1. Why?

- Knowledge - particularly when you come from a tech background

- Network you build + the school´s alumni

- Personal growth

- Chance to chnge industry, position, etc.

2. When is the best time?

When MBB are the ones sponsoring it, the decision of wheter to sponsor comes after 2-3 years -depending on firms and offices-. This implies that they cover most of the cost, but you need to come back at least 2 years.

However, most people who have actually done an MBA would say that is too soon, and that you profit much more when you have more working experience.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Vlad
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replied on Dec 13, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

1) First of all it's network. Soon you will be at the point when you will be "Pulled" for the job rather than searching for yourself. For example, in my current company, 70% of the VP / CXO level are from HBS.

Secondly, it's a good option to switch and restart the career (e.g. switch to PE, Product management, Startups, General Management with P&L ownership)

2) Your application should be very strong to get into top schools (and in my subjective opinion only Top schools make sense). Thus it can be 2-5 years, depending on how much time you need to build a strong case

(Usually, the strongest cases have a double profile - e.g Tech and consulting)

Best!

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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