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Pre-MBA job decision

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Should I stay in Strat Planning or switch to become an Analyst?

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Pre-MBA job decision [#permalink] New post 26 Oct 2010, 10:40
I am 2.5 years out of undergrad and have been working in a Strat Planning capacity at a growing Regional Bank. In my current role I provide strategy/ special projects analysis and implementation support for the commercial banking group head (and direct reports).

Due to a shakeup in executive managment I have an opportunity to switch roles to become an analyst with a very successful Project Finance group within the organization.

I am planning to use Bschool to switch careers and pursue IB (eventually PE) applying fall 2011. Should i stay in my current strat planning role or switch to get credit/deal experience?

Which would make me a better Bschool applicant? Assuming i get into a top 15 school, would either experience be attractive to an IB?
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Re: Pre-MBA job decision [#permalink] New post 27 Oct 2010, 09:15
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This decisions should always be made with "how does this impact your life right now" as the first consideration. Quality of life and day-to-day experience is so underrated in this context. You will do better in your work, on the GMAT, just across the board if you are happy, challenged, and fulfilled by your work. So let that be your primary compass - especially when you consider that *either* platform can be effective for b-school applications. You can certainly springboard from an analyst position, but many, many applicants use an MBA is the instrument for switching career functions, so that is appropriate too. I think getting an analyst position just for the sake of it is probably not worth it - perhaps if it was at a major feeder/hiring partner of a school and all you needed was the rubber stamping of an MBA to climb the ladder, but you are going to be making a shift from a regional bank to investment banking/PE so it's already a bit apples-to-oranges. In fact, "selling" the career goal of "from finance to better finance" might be harder than "from strategy to finance" when the time comes. If you like your current job, I would stay put.

One final thing - your choice today has implications on your choice of schools later. There's no avoiding that, but just be aware. If you stay in strategy and look to an MBA to later help you make the switch, schools like Stern, Tuck, Haas, and Sloan are going to be great fits. If you switch now and then want to elevate your financial path, you are going to be looking more to programs like Columbia, Wharton, Booth, and Yale. Again, it's this way for everyone, but just something to be aware of.

Good luck.

Respectfully,

Paul Lanzillotti

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