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Chances of landing jobs for career switchers

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Chances of landing jobs for career switchers [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2007, 22:05
I'm a career switcher looking to see what my best options are. I have some circumstances that will keep me limited to local full-time MBA programs or a part-time one.

I'm currently a software developer in enterprise software. I have been getting more and more interested in being involved with business decisions especially in the area of corporate development... helping scour the market to find strategic technology that will help grow the company inorganically or organically.

Having spoken with the person in that role at my work, he says most people come in through investment banking because the valuation/modeling and deal making skills come in handy in the role.

Now, I have a few questions regarding part-time programs. I'm interested in enrolling in Haas - Berkeley but the questions may apply to most programs.

1. Even if you are enrolled in the part-time program, are you allowed to partake in the events and activities held for full-time students?

2. Also, I may have enough time to take more classes than is usual for most part-time people. Is it possible to take more and finish earlier (perhaps close to 2 years rather than 3 years)?

3. How do recruiting companies perceive part-timers versus full-time students? If I want to transition into IB for my career path, will it be just as possible for a part-timer as it is for a full-timer?

I know that a full-time program can only help given my career objectives, what do you think?

Thanks for your help.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2007, 07:46
Here is my two cents for what is worth,
1. most programs are pretty liberal nowadays for allowing PTs to particitpate in recruiting event with FTs, though you may have a lower priority in getting interviews.
2. there is no limit to how many classes you can take in PT in all programs I looked into. The limiting factor may be how many are offered in a quarter or a semester and how many you can handle.
3. getting into IB is going to be a long shot for a PT no matter where. Most IBs at BB folllow two paths, one is entering the field right out of an ivy college with stellar grades, the other is getting into it with a professional degree like a MBA or JD from a top program after a successful internship. And internships are almost a must for IB jobs and that is what's missing for PTs. Getting those internships are competative at most top Bschools and PTs even if allowed, would come at the bottom of bidding list. I do think that recruiters are usually biased in favor of FTs especially in IB. One reason is that all of them are likely graduates of FT MBAs who generally look down upon PTs, the other is the common perception that PTs are less devoted students. When new IBs are expected to put in 100+ hour/ week, the recruiters are looking for young bodies usually under 29 who can take the beatings. Of course there were exceptions to the rules, such as during 98-00 years when BB banks were begging for warm bodies to fill those 100+ hours jobs because all top MBA graduates went to dot coms. But those were once in a lifetime events.
If you are interested in IB you may want to read the book "Money Business" which kind of describes the junior IB's life. Sure the money is good but unless you have a stomach for it the life is going to be miserable for quite a few years, at least that's what my friends in IB have told me. And the worst part of it there will be no personal circumstance that stands in the way of an IB job. You leave everything behind for that job.
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My thoughts [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2007, 11:34
It is great that you are thinking about career options before applying.

Your career direction is common for folks with technology background. However, I don't think IB is the only way to be in such positions. The route technology folks usually take is through the E-ship and VC paths.

In order to "find strategic technologies that help company grow". There are at least two critical pieces here: #1 is identify the "right" technology, and #2 is experienced deal makers.

IMO, you should use your enterprise/technology background as an advantage, and go to b-school to fill in the valuation/modeling and deal making skills.

Your questions were great for Berkeley's EWMBA (and most PT programs). Answers for 1 and 2 can be found online:

1. There are ethical considerations for a company-sponsored students to participate in recruiting events. Many schools will address this in their career service policies. Berkeley can be found here: http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/EWMBA/careers/FAQs.html

2. Most PT programs have policies for acceleration. Acceleration for EWMBA can be found here: http://ewmba.haas.berkeley.edu/chat_3.htm

3. There are several parts of the question. IMO.

Quote:
How do recruiting companies perceive part-timers versus full-time students?

I do not believe recruiters would look at part-timers and full-timers in such a broad generalized way. The admission for good PT programs such as Berkeley is competitive as well. The acceptance rate may be lower than some FT programs.
Recruiters usually have good ideas on the type of people and experience level they are looking for.

Quote:
If I want to transition into IB for my career path, will it be just as possible for a part-timer as it is for a full-timer?

Age is a big factor as olderguy said. IB recruiters usually look for young and fresh FT folks from top schools. If you are young, the best bet is to go to a top FT school, going to a good PT program would be a possible alternative. If you are older, you may find difficult to compete with younger folks even from a top FT school.

Quote:
I know that a full-time program can only help given my career objectives, what do you think?

FT program would be important, but age is also an important factor.

If you are interested in Haas EWMBA, there is a great online forum at chatuniversity, where admission officers and current students will answer questions. Just google chatuniversity and Berkeley EWMBA.

My $0.02.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2007, 15:39
Thanks to both of you for very informative replies.

Yes, I have thought about the VC route as well but that field seems harder to break into that IB. They want certain skills that IBankers have as well as the ability to seek great ideas in a portfolio company.

Hmm...
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Re: Chances of landing jobs for career switchers [#permalink] New post 01 Jan 2008, 11:52
Quote:
Yes, I have thought about the VC route as well but that field seems harder to break into that IB. They want certain skills that IBankers have as well as the ability to seek great ideas in a portfolio company.


Can you elaborate more on the IBankers skills needed for VC route? Can some of those skills, at least academically, be filled from schools?
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Re: Chances of landing jobs for career switchers [#permalink] New post 01 Jan 2008, 19:40
nbooky wrote:
Quote:
Yes, I have thought about the VC route as well but that field seems harder to break into that IB. They want certain skills that IBankers have as well as the ability to seek great ideas in a portfolio company.


Can you elaborate more on the IBankers skills needed for VC route? Can some of those skills, at least academically, be filled from schools?


Well, not being in the industry I do not really know what they are. But I see a lot of requirements sought in job postings and they list previous IB/PE/VC experience in their candidates. I would love to seek a path into VC. Corp Dev would be satisfying but VC would be exciting!

If you have any more insight into how other people get into VC, please share. I would really appreciate it.
Re: Chances of landing jobs for career switchers   [#permalink] 01 Jan 2008, 19:40
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