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Tech Startups or Business Strategy via Management Consulting

Career Advise MBA tech
New answer on Oct 24, 2023
6 Answers
368 Views
Anonymous A asked on Oct 18, 2023

This might be a little off topic. 
I'm enrolling in a top MBA program with a long-term goal of supporting innovative tech startups in their growth or specializing in business strategy for tech companies. I'm unsure about the best path to achieve these goals. Would gaining experience in management consulting in the short term, where I can work with various businesses and talented individuals, be a helpful way to broaden my business expertise before transitioning into the industry? Are there any alternative routes I should consider? I come from an engineering background.

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Raj
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Content Creator
replied on Oct 24, 2023
FREE 15MIN CONSULTATION | #1 Strategy& / OW coach | >70 5* reviews |90% offers ⇨ prep-success.super.site | MENA, DE, UK

It's great to hear about your long-term goals of supporting innovative tech startups or specializing in business strategy for tech companies. As someone with an engineering background, gaining experience in management consulting can indeed be a helpful way to broaden your business expertise and prepare for a transition into the tech industry.

Management consulting offers the opportunity to work with a diverse range of businesses and talented individuals, providing exposure to different industries, business models, and strategic challenges. This experience can enhance your problem-solving skills, analytical thinking, and ability to navigate complex business environments. Consulting also offers the chance to develop a strong network and learn from experienced professionals who can provide valuable insights and guidance.

By working in management consulting, you can gain exposure to various aspects of business strategy, including market analysis, growth strategies, operational improvements, and organizational design. This broad exposure can be beneficial when transitioning into the tech industry, as it provides a solid foundation in business fundamentals and strategic thinking.

However, it's important to note that there are alternative routes to consider as well. Depending on your specific interests and goals, you may also explore opportunities in venture capital, entrepreneurship, or working directly for tech startups in roles such as business development or strategy. These paths can provide more direct exposure to the tech industry and allow you to work closely with startups from the early stages of their growth.

Ultimately, the best path for you will depend on your individual circumstances, interests, and long-term goals. I recommend researching and networking with professionals in the tech industry to gain insights into different career paths and determine which aligns best with your aspirations. Additionally, consider leveraging the resources and career services available at your MBA program to explore various opportunities and make informed decisions.

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and it's important to stay open-minded and adaptable as you navigate your career journey. Good luck with your MBA program and your future endeavors in the tech industry

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Cristian
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replied on Oct 20, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Management consulting is a great avenue for getting a good understanding of corporate structures and organizational management. 

Plus, you'll really sharpen your skills during that time.

Honestly, I can't think of anything better, but I'm also obviously biased here since this was my own track. 

You can read more about the job and what to expect here:


Best,
Cristian

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Practicing for interviews? Check out my latest case based on a first-round MBB interview >>> SoyTechnologies   

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Ian
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replied on Oct 19, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

It's a good path!

It's also not the only one.

The are multiple paths you can take (as Sidi has outlined).

Look, ultimately, you should be picking up the phone (and coffee) and talking to people across these areas. Learn about their experiences and journeys.

Then, importantly, do not predetermine your journey. Rather, find the ones that make sense and then see which ones actually accept you. From there, with multiple offers (across an MBA, or a startup, or a consulting firm) THEN make your decision about what sits before you.

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Benjamin
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replied on Oct 19, 2023
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer

Hi,

From what you described, it sounds like you want to eventually end up in these 2 roles

  1. Startup advisory role, could be either
    • VC
    • Startup board member
    • Independent advisor
    • Startup management team (Chief Growth / Strategy)
  2. Tech corporate strategy role

Management consulting can definitely add value to your experience for both these roles. But there are definitely other alternatives that will help you get the right experience, especially for role #1 as a Startup advisor. Here are some alternative (non-MC) backgrounds that I've seen in actual startup advisors that I've worked with

  1. Successful startup founders / members
    • You would have had actual experience running a startup and leverage this experience
  2. VC 
    • You would have broad exposure to the VC and deal making world as well as likely supporting portfolio companies in their growth
  3. PE
    • Similar to VC, but you would have more experience in slightly larger size companies, as well potentially having seen through a few value creation plans
  4. Senior executive levels in SMEs or MNCs
    • You have actual experience running or operating a business and can leverage this as an advisor

All the best!

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Francesco
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replied on Oct 19, 2023
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

1) Would gaining experience in management consulting in the short term be a helpful way to broaden my business expertise before transitioning into the industry? 

In general, yes. It also depends on which company you join and what exactly you will cover that.

2) Are there any alternative routes I should consider?

You might be able to join your target company directly after the MBA – in some cases (not always) this could speed up your career growth. Depending on what exactly you would like to do, VC might work as well. Please keep in mind that the VC industry is extremely competitive.

If you need more help please feel free to PM, I worked in consulting and VC before founding my own companies.

Best,

Francesco

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Sidi
Expert
replied on Oct 18, 2023
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi!

Enrolling in a top MBA program is already a fantastic start to reaching your long-term goals of supporting innovative tech startups or specializing in business strategy for tech firms.

Management Consulting: This is a tried-and-true path for many with your aspirations. It's an excellent way to gain broad exposure to different business problems, industries, and functional areas. Given your engineering background, you'd bring a unique problem-solving lens to the table, which many consulting firms value. The analytical rigor and client management experience you'd gain can be invaluable when transitioning into more specialized roles in the tech industry.

Tech-focused Corporate Strategy Roles: Jumping directly into corporate strategy roles in established tech companies is also an option. This path would allow you to gain deep insights into the tech industry faster, understanding the nuances and specific challenges tech companies face.

Venture Capital: If your interest leans more towards startups, consider roles in venture capital. It would give you exposure to evaluating startups, understanding market dynamics, and even helping portfolio companies scale and grow.

Startup Incubators/Accelerators: Engaging with startup incubators or accelerators can provide a deep dive into the startup world. You'll work closely with early-stage companies, helping them refine their business models, connect with investors, and navigate their growth challenges.

Entrepreneurship: Given your engineering background, you may also consider joining a startup in its early stages or even launching your own. This is a more hands-on and risky approach, but it provides invaluable firsthand experience.

In essence, the right path depends on your risk appetite, desired learning pace, and where you see yourself fitting best. For me personally, while there are multiple avenues to explore, management consulting stands out as the most comprehensive. But whatever path you choose, your MBA program should provide a strong foundation and network to support your journey. Best of luck! 🚀

 

Hope this helps!

Cheers, Sidi

_______________________

Dr. Sidi Koné 

(Former Senior Engagement Manager and Interviewer at McKinsey | Former Senior Consultant and Interviewer at BCG)

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