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So coming from the extremely oversubscribed group of Indians applying for an MBA, my main goal at this point is to somehow stand out from the herd. Keeping that in mind, I have an opportunity to go two ways as far as my career path is concerned. One option is a well paid job as a Verification Engineer in one of the best semiconductor companies in the world (which is very relevant to the subject of my actual degree). The other is the role of Business Technology Analyst or basically IT Consulting (pays significantly lesser), in one of the top five consulting firms.
I can see how it would be easier to climb up the ladder and gain business expertise working as an Analyst. It would also be easier to get quantifiable experiences (leadership, teamwork, exposure to different clients and so on) to put down in my application. But I worry that IT Consulting would plant me firmly in the stereotypical Indian applicant category.
Working in a technical role in the semiconductor industry would probably not be very glamorous. While there is scope for growth, it is slower. It would also be harder to demonstrate leadership qualities while working in an engineering team. But they are infinitely more selective in terms of new hires, and I am guessing the number of applicants from this industry would be significantly lower.
So there it is my career quandary. Honestly, I can see myself being happy in either of the two roles. At face value being an Analyst sounds so much more exciting but I am told it is dull work to start with (SAP, Oracle and the like). In which case, the work at the semiconductor place would be more intellectually stimulating.
Any feedback regarding this would be greatly appreciated. As Admission Consultants I'm sure you've seen it all, I'd like a bit more insight into this before I make a final decision. Thanks in advance.
The answer to your question is simpler than you might imagine: Take the better job that is better for you without too much consideration for the MBA. Salary is of course a very important matter, but not the only. More important I would say is where you can develop, and what you WANT to do. What are you more interested in? I think that whether you apply as an Analyst or with your semiconductor job, either will still be a bit "standard" seeming, so the most important thing would be: where would you succeed more? Because people come from all scopes of life and all industries, and your relative success in your industry counts for a lot. And don't ignore the compensation either. I mean if one offers you a lot more money, it's hard to turn that down.
You do make some very valid points, thank you Jon. I think I'm getting tunnel vision looking at it through the narrow lens of an MBA. But this comes in part, because I'm so ambitious about the whole thing.
Honestly though disregarding pay and everything, I do think I'd thrive better in a business related field. I'm a people person and I enjoy a challenge. Money, I suppose can always come later. I just worry that the work the role 'analyst' entails won't be what I would ideally like it to be, in which case I would have made the wrong decision.
But that's life eh? I'm a newbie at this though, fresh off the college boat maybe things will look better after some perspective.
There you go! I think really that doing what you are interested in, all things aside is one of the most important factors to make choice. It makes you more interested, more curious, more excited and more passionate. Of course more than just "love" is necessary, for that dies down sort of quickly, but it's the interest of the challenge, the enjoyment of the tasks, the teamwork, all those things together. Anyhow, you seem to have a good idea of what you want to try at this time, and you know, no choice is final, esp. not at this early point in your life. Choose the path that seems right for now, and if things change then they change...