Part of an ongoing series "MBA in Finance: Forget It?"
Given the weakness in investment banking, hedge funds, and financial services in general, how does Booth react to applicants who say they want an MBA to enter IB, PE or a related field that has been devastated by the economic downturn? Is the reaction "What planet have you been on?" Or, are you willing to consider those applicants because you feel the market for these skills will come back in a couple of years? Would you like to know that IB et.al. is the primary goal? Would you like to see a Plan B? Is your reaction different if the applicant is coming from IB or a related field as opposed to someone seeking the MBA to change careers?
Rose Martinelli, Chicago Booth's Associate Dean of Student Recruitment and Admissions, responds:
Thanks for your e-mail. My initial reaction was a bit of all of the scenarios you listed. Markets, however, will change and students should pursue their goals, but should do so in the context of today’s realities. I’m all about transparency. Career switchers may have additional challenges especially if they are planning to make big shifts into industries where the competition may be fierce. It’s a great time to do an MBA, but dreams of getting rich quick after the MBA may need to be tempered. Applicants should focus on impact rather than outcomes. Hope that helps. Rose