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33 years old. Is it too late for an MBA to do IB?

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33 years old. Is it too late for an MBA to do IB? [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2010, 04:38
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Right, I am getting conflicting info here.

I am 33 and am considering an MBA in 2012 (i.e class 2014) where I will be 36 upon graduation. Is this too old to work in IB following the MBA.

I have 3 years front office experience (top tier bank) and 5 years financial markets experience (not at a bank).

Aim is to get back into a front office position at a bank. Will it be possible for me. Anyone know of many people in a similar situation to myself who were successful? I can understand it being difficult for MBA grads without any financial experience but what about those that do have some solid financial experience?

Is there anyway to disguise age in the application process for jobs?

I also try and tell myself about other benefits of an MBA outside of IB but the large investment involved makes it very difficult. What are the other opportunities that will be available to me if I decided to pursue an MBA?

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Re: 33 years old. Is it too late for an MBA to do IB? [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2010, 04:56
You're saying that you aim to still work in front office position right after MBA,am I correct ?
Then why do you need to pursue an MBA to keep doing the same job ?
To my own believe doing an MBA is to leverage and jump higher from your current position ( it can be in the same industry or different industry ).
Disguising age is not an ethical thing to do. You have to remember that at the end of the day people surrounding you will know it eventually.
May I know as well where do you currently reside / work ?
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Re: 33 years old. Is it too late for an MBA to do IB? [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2010, 05:28
Why do you want to get an MBA?

I'm asking this question because you already work in a front office position for a top tier bank and you have plenty of experience. Even if you currently don't work in IBD (which I assume) but in another division such as e.g. PWM you will probably know people working in IBD. If I were in your shoes I'd start networking. This seems to me the faster, cheaper, and more promising route to get a position in IB.

As you fall outside of the target age range of (most) MBA programs (at least US programs, with schools in Europe it's a bit different) you will have a certain disadvantage compared to younger applicants. Besides excellent credentials you need to sell to adcom a compelling story on why you want to embark on your MBA at this stage of your career. I don't think it's possible to disguise your age when you apply.

The age disadvantage unfortunately also holds for post MBA recruiting. From what I've read and been told by MBA students (full disclaimer: I haven't done my MBA yet, others please correct me) IB recruitment at business schools is almost exclusively for associate positions. To be frank with you, most associates I know are below 30 and evidently have far less experience. The reality is that for an associate position you are likely to be too old (at the age of 36) and actually too experience (with 8 years of work experience in financial markets).

I don't mean to discourage you but I think that an MBA wouldn't help you that much from a professional standpoint; I would try networking.
If you really want to embark on an MBA I'd strongly encourage you to apply to schools in Europe (LBS, INSEAD) where students tend to have more prior experience. Moreover, associates in IB in Europe (at least in continental Europe) tend to be a bit older than in the US.
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Re: 33 years old. Is it too late for an MBA to do IB? [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2010, 05:33
age might be a big old but i dont think it is horrible. Are you looking for an executive mba or you dont think you qualify for that? Does your front office job need an MBA now or you want to climb the ladder?

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Re: 33 years old. Is it too late for an MBA to do IB? [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2010, 07:48
Take a look into executive MBAs.

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Re: 33 years old. Is it too late for an MBA to do IB? [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2010, 07:55
Dawgie wrote:
Take a look into executive MBAs.



i dont think i am qualified for that..

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Re: 33 years old. Is it too late for an MBA to do IB? [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2010, 11:22
I am turning 35 this year and I am in the same quandary. I waited too long and didnot realize that US schools favor younger applicants. I was thinking of doing a 1 year MBA from cornell or USC Marshall... but people please send in your suggestions.

I am an engineer with almost 10 yrs experience and would like to switch to marketing or strategic planning or such. (I would like to move to finance but have to be realistic here).

thanks all....
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Re: 33 years old. Is it too late for an MBA to do IB? [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2010, 12:06
I wouldn't say it is impossible. They might be somewhat cautious about why you left previously, and also about how you will feel when a VP as your boss may be five years younger than you.

Otherwise, age doesn't really matter much (at least for S&T. For M&A it is bad news, because at 36 you would die doing associate hours).

There are enough people with some relevant experience and eagreness, versus such a limited set of jobs that it is rarely, if ever, a sure thing. Especially since it sounds like you have been out for five years.

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Re: 33 years old. Is it too late for an MBA to do IB? [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2010, 12:19
pranrasvij wrote:
I am turning 35 this year and I am in the same quandary. I waited too long and didnot realize that US schools favor younger applicants. I was thinking of doing a 1 year MBA from cornell or USC Marshall... but people please send in your suggestions.

I am an engineer with almost 10 yrs experience and would like to switch to marketing or strategic planning or such. (I would like to move to finance but have to be realistic here).

thanks all....

You are a prime candidate for executive MBA, they are for "more experienced" (hehe), and it is also a part time program. Your company may pay for it!

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Re: 33 years old. Is it too late for an MBA to do IB? [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2010, 12:40
pranrasvij wrote:
I am turning 35 this year and I am in the same quandary. I waited too long and didnot realize that US schools favor younger applicants. I was thinking of doing a 1 year MBA from cornell or USC Marshall... but people please send in your suggestions.

I am an engineer with almost 10 yrs experience and would like to switch to marketing or strategic planning or such. (I would like to move to finance but have to be realistic here).

thanks all....


try EMBA. I talked to a duke guy before and he said you get a consular and basically he helps you in figuring out if you are qualified or not...

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Re: 33 years old. Is it too late for an MBA to do IB? [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2010, 14:17
shaselai wrote:
pranrasvij wrote:
I am turning 35 this year and I am in the same quandary. I waited too long and didnot realize that US schools favor younger applicants. I was thinking of doing a 1 year MBA from cornell or USC Marshall... but people please send in your suggestions.

I am an engineer with almost 10 yrs experience and would like to switch to marketing or strategic planning or such. (I would like to move to finance but have to be realistic here).

thanks all....


try EMBA. I talked to a duke guy before and he said you get a consular and basically he helps you in figuring out if you are qualified or not...



thanks for the suggestions, ppl.

the only problem is that our company doesnt pay for any MBAs or EMBAs (only tech degrees) + the EMBA would end up taking 3 years before I can switch - hence I was thinking atleast 1 yr MBA would help "leapfrog" some loss of years!

I like the HAAS and Duke programs but again not sure if 2.5-3 yrs is too much of a drag for an MBA.
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Re: 33 years old. Is it too late for an MBA to do IB? [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2010, 18:48
pranrasvij wrote:

the only problem is that our company doesnt pay for any MBAs or EMBAs (only tech degrees) + the EMBA would end up taking 3 years before I can switch - hence I was thinking atleast 1 yr MBA would help "leapfrog" some loss of years!

I like the HAAS and Duke programs but again not sure if 2.5-3 yrs is too much of a drag for an MBA.


does it matter if your company doesnt pay? although it is nice for them to pay but you wont get the recruiting opportunities....

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Re: 33 years old. Is it too late for an MBA to do IB? [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2010, 22:32
I mean, for a man aged at 33, it is more stable for him to stay with his current job in CS; but for a man aged at 25, it is another story. If you are 33 years old, I think you should consider more about potential development, family and energy.
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Re: 33 years old. Is it too late for an MBA to do IB? [#permalink] New post 11 Sep 2010, 14:17
I agree family is more important!

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Re: 33 years old. Is it too late for an MBA to do IB? [#permalink] New post 11 Sep 2010, 15:31
depends if he has a family or not. If he does then it is definitely hard because of one side no income and maybe moving or separate for 2 years. If it brings in lots of great opportunities it *might* be worth it. diff people have diff priorities...

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Re: 33 years old. Is it too late for an MBA to do IB? [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2010, 06:56
I am so close to just abandoning this MBA idea.

I dont have a family although do have along time girlfriend.

An eMBA will not provide any opportunities for me to move out of my current role in my opinion. The eMBA does not have the careers event where banks come to campus to recruit. In my opinion this is key and why I would never do a 1 year normal MBA (INSEAD, IMD) nor a part time MBA.

I have been trying to get back into a front position at a bank for the last couple of years but the credit crisis hasnt helped.

Sure I can continue to look but the longer it takes, the longer I will be stuck in my current dead end role or have to settle for a mediocre role in the middle office at a bank.

My initial thought was that the MBA would at least give me a chance to apply to the associate graduate posistions that come up every year at banks. From my experience, once you are out of the front office circle it is virtually impossible to get back in except through the analyst or associate graduate training programmes. Hence why the MBA will give me a second chance.

However, if people are saying that my age will mean that I will not be even looked at for these associate positions, then it will not be worth taking the MBA unless the MBA will open doors to other interesting jobs (am not interested in consulting).

So what do people think?

Any older MBA graduates available to give your opinion?
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Re: 33 years old. Is it too late for an MBA to do IB? [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2010, 12:34
I know married guys with kids about the age you will be who graduated and made the move. They had traded (floor) before, recruiting went well for them.

That said, there are equally people who have traded before that don't make it.

The MBA should open up doors that aren't there right now, but can't guarantee the front office. Then again, I have seen folk work through to the front from back / middle by building desk relationships. Neither are necessarily easy, and absolutely not certain.

I guess what you need to work out most is how annoyed you would be if it didn't work out and you had an MBA, to go on to other opportunities. It sounds in some ways you are only prepared to go through with the MBA if it can assure you a return, which in the current environment may not be a good plan.

Though as a trader, you should like some risk.

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Re: 33 years old. Is it too late for an MBA to do IB? [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2010, 12:38
good points... I still think the MBA can help in getting some oppurtunities within the same company (if they rehire you).
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Re: 33 years old. Is it too late for an MBA to do IB? [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2010, 14:30
ukbondraider wrote:
I am so close to just abandoning this MBA idea.

I dont have a family although do have along time girlfriend.

An eMBA will not provide any opportunities for me to move out of my current role in my opinion. The eMBA does not have the careers event where banks come to campus to recruit. In my opinion this is key and why I would never do a 1 year normal MBA (INSEAD, IMD) nor a part time MBA.

I have been trying to get back into a front position at a bank for the last couple of years but the credit crisis hasnt helped.

Sure I can continue to look but the longer it takes, the longer I will be stuck in my current dead end role or have to settle for a mediocre role in the middle office at a bank.

My initial thought was that the MBA would at least give me a chance to apply to the associate graduate posistions that come up every year at banks. From my experience, once you are out of the front office circle it is virtually impossible to get back in except through the analyst or associate graduate training programmes. Hence why the MBA will give me a second chance.

However, if people are saying that my age will mean that I will not be even looked at for these associate positions, then it will not be worth taking the MBA unless the MBA will open doors to other interesting jobs (am not interested in consulting).

So what do people think?

Any older MBA graduates available to give your opinion?


Think that the MBA can open you OTHER doors. I know plenty of people that changed their post-career objectives while at the MBA:

1 - MIT-Sloan: A friend with stellar academics and engineering work experience changed his mind from IB to consulting before the summer. He graduated and is now working for Mckinsey.
2 - WHARTON: A friend from BCG wanted to move to IB. Got his dream summer internship at a big bank in Wall Street and hated it. After graduation he got a offer as M&A director from a big real state company and is making more than he would in IB and only works 40hr./week
3 - Berkeley: A friend from IT wanted to switch to consulting. Was dinged on every consulting internship process. After graduation he got a product manager position in the Silicon Valley and is loving it.

Since you are already 33, the best you can do is to market yourself interesting for the MBA admissions. Say you want to move to director of front office or something.

Upon admission, then it is another story !!!!

Most of the people like to glorify its career future path and admissions people seems to like good stories... But LIFE is not predictable. So give a shot and apply !
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Re: 33 years old. Is it too late for an MBA to do IB? [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2010, 14:41
By the way, as far as I know you are not requested to specify your age during recruiting, right ? I know ball head man with 25 years that looks over 30, on the other hand I know a 35-year girl who looks 28 !

How is it in Great Britain ? Do you have to state your age ?
Re: 33 years old. Is it too late for an MBA to do IB?   [#permalink] 14 Sep 2010, 14:41
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