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Career opportunities for a young MBA prospect

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Career opportunities for a young MBA prospect [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2006, 11:47
Hi MBA GamePlan forum! I posted this at Hjort's forum too, but I thought I'd get some additional advice here as well, hope that's not a problem!

=======================================

As the topic says, I'm looking for some guidance in terms of evaluating if/when I should pursue my MBA. Here's my background:

Sex: Male
Race: Chinese-Canadian
Age: 25
Location: Toronto, Canada
Education: University of Toronto Bachelor of Computer Engineering, B- to B+ average, depending on the admission req.
Career Progression: Software Support Developer -> Software Developer -> Software Developer in Architecture (current, which is a technical role with some project planning responsibilties)
Work experience: 2 years
Other experience: Co-founder/owner of entertainment company for 3 years, music producer, martial arts black belt, several school-held engineering contest awards
Goal: Canadian MBA school...?

Since it's so early in my career, why an MBA? There're many reasons, but mainly I feel career as an IT engineer is too volatile to changes and that it isn't allowing me to flex all my muscles in my work. So with an MBA, I'm hoping to learn the tools to becoming a project or a people manager responsible for overseeing operations from a higher level. So I'd probably stay in the IT field, but just not in a hands-on engineering role. Is this a reasonable career change that can be brought on with an MBA? About how many % of students pursue non-financial careers after MBA graduation?

Another consideration I'm having is TIMING. I've been thinking about the MBA alot lately, as I think I'm at a stage in my life where I'll never have so *few* responsibilities again, ie. right now I have the best possible environment to concentrate on the GMAT + possibly take a year or so off work to go back to school full-time. HOWEVER - I understand that alot of MBA students have sufficient work experience to graduate to management roles, and although I've made some career progressions in the past 2 years, I simply don't have that experience yet. So my question is, if I do my MBA now, realistically what types of career opportunities can I pursue, with my lack of management experience? Would I have painted myself into a corner, being "neither here nor there"?

One last thing, a wildcard question: would it be possible for me to pursue a career in marketing, after an MBA? Keep in mind that I don't have any practical experience in marketing. But I've always been interested in how products are marketed, ie. why iPod became the success that it is, how do companies like McDonald's maintain its market without much changes at all, etc., so will an MBA open doors for me to opportunities in marketing?

I've been rambling on for too long now, but please give some advice Hjort, and thanks in advance. Actually other members on this club can feel free to comment as well! Thanks!
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2006, 17:57
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I don't think you're too young to be thinking about an MBA. One weakness in your profile is that you haven't taken on managerial roles on the job (based on what you wrote), but the nice thing is that you have your entrepreneurial experience to balance this out somewhat. Use this experience to show how you've taken initiative, taken on leadership roles, etc.

I think your post-MBA career goals make sense, and aren't at all unusual or inappropriate. Maybe 10%-20% of MBA grads go into a job like what you're describing (meaning tech-related).

You're right that the more managerial experience you have before b-school, the better off your job prospects are after b-school, but only to a certain extent. And, you have your entrepreneurial experience to help here. If you think you have a good shot to get a promotion to a management role within the next year or so, then consider waiting before applying. Otherwise, I would go ahead and apply now.

You absolutely can get into marketing from business school, even if you don't have a marketing background. The majority of MBA grads who go into marketing / brand management did *not* have marketing experience before b-school. So, the majority of them are career switchers.

Scott
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2006, 10:17
Thanks for getting back to me. I don't think I'll be getting a promotion into a management role in the next year or so (there are very few managers at my company and department), but I do see myself gradually picking up more coordination/project duties and less hands-on engineering work.

But it's good to know that a brand management/marketing career is a possibility! I've always been interested in this area, even before my engineering studies.

By the way, what other common non-management career opportunities are out there for MBA grads? I just want to get a better sense of the possibilities that come with these 3 hard-earned alphabets behind your name...

Clarence


quixx23 wrote:
I don't think you're too young to be thinking about an MBA. One weakness in your profile is that you haven't taken on managerial roles on the job (based on what you wrote), but the nice thing is that you have your entrepreneurial experience to balance this out somewhat. Use this experience to show how you've taken initiative, taken on leadership roles, etc.

I think your post-MBA career goals make sense, and aren't at all unusual or inappropriate. Maybe 10%-20% of MBA grads go into a job like what you're describing (meaning tech-related).

You're right that the more managerial experience you have before b-school, the better off your job prospects are after b-school, but only to a certain extent. And, you have your entrepreneurial experience to help here. If you think you have a good shot to get a promotion to a management role within the next year or so, then consider waiting before applying. Otherwise, I would go ahead and apply now.

You absolutely can get into marketing from business school, even if you don't have a marketing background. The majority of MBA grads who go into marketing / brand management did *not* have marketing experience before b-school. So, the majority of them are career switchers.

Scott
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2006, 11:03
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I'm not sure what other types of opportunities you have in mind, but many MBA grads go into non-profit work or become entrepreneurs and do their own thing!

Scott
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2006, 12:27
Sounds good.. thanks for your help Scott. :-D


quixx23 wrote:
I'm not sure what other types of opportunities you have in mind, but many MBA grads go into non-profit work or become entrepreneurs and do their own thing!

Scott
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