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Need some advice...

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Manager
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Joined: 02 Mar 2008
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Concentration: Finance, Strategy
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Need some advice... [#permalink] New post 22 Jun 2009, 07:58
Hi everyone,

Actually I was heading to a business school (ranking arnd 15-20). But recently I decided to stay for a family reason. As such, I am finding a job (again!) since I quitted the previous one in preparation for an MBA class.

I have been working for 4 years in engineering. Although I have project management experience, my titles were non-manager ones. I want to have a switch to strategic management once I complete an MBA and get into consulting industry. Therefore, I hope to seek some advice on what step should I take next.

Should I continue my engineering life (which I want to change in the future) or begin anew in a position that is more related to business. I am thinking of getting a CFA and jump into financial field. What could be a better move if I want to re-apply in the next 2-3 years to a top 10 program? Will my switch considered 'lack of focus in career' if I apply to B-school again? Otherwise, do you think it's better to get along with my current industry and try to find a change to bolster my management experience, only switch after an MBA?

Thanks for sharing your advices.
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Joined: 12 Nov 2008
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Schools: Ross (R2), Cornell (R3) , UNC (R3) , INSEAD (R1 Jan)
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Re: Need some advice... [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2009, 18:31
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Based on my research so far (and I know there are a lot more experienced folks on the forum than me, so I hope some of them chime in), I would say that b-schools more often than not look for career progression. Perhaps staying in the same industry and assuming more of a managerial type of role will serve you better in the long-run.

The situation in which you might want to consider switching industries is if the new job will provide a breadth and variety to your responsibilities that you might not be able to achieve otherwise. So IMHO you're better off moving toward a managerial position in your current industry than assuming a junior role in finance unless your long-term goals absolutely dictate that, in which case the adcoms will probably be looking for your motivation to do so and how you tie this into your post-MBA goals.

Last edited by ariel on 24 Jun 2009, 04:15, edited 1 time in total.
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Concentration: Finance, Strategy
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Re: Need some advice... [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2009, 23:39
ariel, thanks for your advices. I have been pondering over the aspects that you mentioned. The weak side is that I go too deep into technical. So even when I get a managerial role in the same industry at the moment, I don't see much opportunities to gain necessary business skills (eg. finance-related skills, budgeting, business strategy etc). But I guess you have a critical point that probably adcoms 'd prefer a career progress into management rather than a restart to unrelated field.
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Joined: 12 Nov 2008
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Schools: Ross (R2), Cornell (R3) , UNC (R3) , INSEAD (R1 Jan)
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Kudos [?]: 86 [0], given: 45

Re: Need some advice... [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2009, 04:20
I wouldn't be overly concerned about lack of business skills. If you really want to go the extra mile though, you can always enroll in economics, accounting, corporate finance, etc courses to get a head start and show initiative/dedication to the field to the adcoms. Personally I would focus more on differentiating myself (especially if you belong to an oversubscribed demographic), as that can prove a bigger hurdle to overcome than a perceived lack of core business courses.
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Re: Need some advice... [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2009, 10:40
AlbertNTN wrote:

I want to have a switch to strategic management once I complete an MBA and get into consulting industry.

I am thinking of getting a CFA and jump into financial field.

Will my switch considered 'lack of focus in career' if I apply to B-school again?


In reading your post I don't get a strong sense of where you want to go, and that will change my advice a little. Are you interested in strategic management? if so why would you want a CFA or financial field? or Are you looking specifically at strategic management within finance? if so, then are you sure you want to go into consulting vs IB or finance?

I think that might just show a lack of focus if you're going from engineering into finance so that you get an MBA for strategy management consulting. I'm in engineering and one route I've concidered is to go from engineering to a mid-teir consulting firm IE Deloitte/Accenture. This for me would show solid career progression toward my goal of Management Consulting. If that was the case then it would actually help your application for MBA.
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Manager
Manager
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Joined: 02 Mar 2008
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Concentration: Finance, Strategy
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Kudos [?]: 38 [0], given: 1

Re: Need some advice... [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2009, 23:17
@ariel: i want to bolster my knowledge in finance/business, so I thought a CFA can give me both the knowledge and some 'credit' to show dedication for a switch to business side. I agree that differentiating from the crowd is more important in this case.
@GoBruins: i'm interested in doing strategic management and involving more on corporate finance side. Seems that I should not narrow down so early. Thanks for a good suggestion about switching to a consulting firm now. I'm researching on that direction, and the concern is to overcome the competition with those fresh grads for a starting position (vs me who are in engineering for a few years)

many thanks for the inputs. I realize there are many points that I overlooked...
Re: Need some advice...   [#permalink] 24 Jun 2009, 23:17
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