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So anybody here completed their MBA and regretted it?

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So anybody here completed their MBA and regretted it? [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2010, 05:35
I am seriously considering embarking on an MBA.

I am 33 yrs old and from the UK where I attended a top 10 University and obtained a scientific degree. I successfully managed to secure a graduate trading position at a bulge bracket investment bank where I worked for 2 years. Unfortunately my desk got made redundant following the departures of senior members to other firms. I was unable at the time to secure an alternative front office position. After 1 year of unsuccessful job searching, I decided to accept a role within reuters as a analyst. I've been here 4 years and whilst am doing ok I feel I am limited here. I have tried to get back into an investment bank (front office) but have had no luck mainly due to my non-mathematics degree and my relatively short banking experience (banks seem not to value the Reuters experience that much). I feel that an MBA is my last option to get back into a more challenging role whether investment banking, consulting, PE or even entreprenaurship otherwise I will have to resign myself to staying where I am knowing that my career progression and pay will be limited.

The question I have is will an MBA work for me? First of all, I will only do an MBA if I get accepted to a top 10 school.

I figure my experience will at least get me an internship and possibly a full time graduate offer if I go to a top school e.g Chicago, LBS, Columbia. Is this likely to be correct? The last thing I want to do is embark on an MBA and end up with no job.

What are your thoughts GMATclub?

Other attractions of the MBA for me is developing a useful network, the possibilty of perhaps starting your own business and even the possibility of good jobs outside of Banking that I would never stand a chance to obtain e.g Google, Apple, etc.

Just need advice on whether people think I should do an MBA.
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Re: So anybody here completed their MBA and regretted it? [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2010, 07:43
Obviously the decision is ultimately your own, but I just thought I'd share a few thoughts that come to mind.

    1. At 33, you would be considered an older applicant. You will need to have a great story for why you need an MBA now in your career. Also, you will be 35/36 when you graduate, and you may not be willing or able to work the crazy hours in banking, especially IB.
    2. The kind of finance job you will most likely get out of b-school is in IB. The other functions will take some serious networking to get into. With your previous finance experience, I think it's possible, but it will take effort.
    3. No one can tell you whether an MBA will be worth it for you, because we obviously cannot see into the future. There will be risk involved, and it will largely depend on whether you're willing to take that risk. That said, even in this economy, most grads from top b-schools will be able to land jobs. However, whether you will get the job you want is a whole different story.
    4. The economy is certainly going to have a huge impact on your job outlook post b-school. But again, that's anybody's guess where the economy's going to be in 2 years.
    5. There're other personal factors that come into play, such as family, location, etc. So try to figure those in when you're making your decision.
    6. Obviously there's also the issue of cost, in terms of tuition and lost wages. I have heard that most grads from top schools recoup those losses within 5 years of graduation. Whether that still holds true is anybody's guess. That said, getting an MBA is a sure way to boost your career, so can't be measured in strictly monetary terms.
    7. You may consider doing a part-time MBA instead of full-time. Full-time MBA programs attract mostly career switchers, which is not true in your case. Plus the cost is much lower in terms of opportunity cost.
    8. Finally, I do not know anyone personally who got an MBA from a top school and regretted it.

Best of luck!
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Re: So anybody here completed their MBA and regretted it? [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2010, 08:06
milias - he wants to go into S&T from what I can tell, and does want to switch career.

It is still possible. I have a friend your age who did it. I wouldn't go around with the mind-set that your background should get you an internship - I have seen people with more current experience than yourself end up with nothing. The number of S&T internships is quite low; you have a convincing story I am sure, but the inability to get back onto the trading floor with experience in the mid-2000s is an area I would expect you to get quized on. That you weren't taken with the guys who moved on isn't a great sign, though you were very junior.

An MBA is a good opportunity to become clear on what you want to do (which is clearly something you are seeking) while having ideas of what you are interested in. I think it should serve you well for that.
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Re: So anybody here completed their MBA and regretted it? [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2010, 08:31
Thanks for the advice.

Regarding roles, I would absolutely consider IB although would prefer trading as the hours are less gruesome. I also like the idea of the possibility of good roles at other non finance companies whether start ups or established companies like Google which only an MBAs appear to get.

This is why an MBA sounds like a good option for me as there are more options open.

However, I am aware that there will be costs and risks involved. I currently earn just over £100K per year and a little part of me just tells me to be content and live an easy albeit average life. Whilst this is sometimes appealing I dont feel I am ready to put my ambitious nature in the cupboard just yet.

I also strongly believe that if you dont take risks you will not get anywhere in life so for me I am not concerned about the risks too much.

I am just trying to decide whether my current understanding of what doors an MBA could open is a correct one.

I have considered a part time MBA but again this feels like a cop out. I also feel a full time programme will serve me better in networking terms which to me is one of the key things about an MBA.

Is there a thread on here which details what MBA candidates have gone onto following graduation and also whether they have again changed career paths a few years down the line?

To answer the S$T opportunites for MBA's, when I joined my Bulge Bracket training programme I met plently of MBA students recruited in Trading and Sales although I am not sure if things have changed recently. A lot of the Hedge Funds I have recently interviewed also came from MBA programmes and value it a great deal.
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Re: So anybody here completed their MBA and regretted it? [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2010, 08:41
I don't know too much about S&T, so I can't comment on it too much. With regard to HF, I would think that previous experience and networking count a lot more than an MBA. Honestly, it's one of the toughest places to break into as a freshly minted MBA. Even H/S/W grads have trouble getting into the top funds. There's also a difference between sell-side and buy-side. Obviously, sell-side is easier to get into, and you may do it even without an MBA. IM and PE are also pretty hard to break into. I remember seeing complaints from Wharton/Booth grads on BW forums. It may have to do with the economy, but it does go to show how tough it is.

Lastly, I'm not a finance person - although I am going to b-school in the fall - so please take what I say with a grain - or a pound - of salt. Good luck!
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Re: So anybody here completed their MBA and regretted it? [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2010, 09:29
@ukbondraider:
I wouldn't blame you for being just a little jittery about the decision. I was in your shoes a few years back - around the same age and struggling with similar queries. I hedged my bets and took the plunge. Things ultimately turned out well for me (here's my story in a nutshell).

I moved into an Industry (as opposed to an I-Banking) M&A role. It gives me the opportunity to work on a variety of deals - minus the crazy hours (and minus the fantastic $$$). Though I don't have a bank balance that would make jaws drop, I do have my life back (I was in consulting earlier).

But I do know of others who weren't as lucky. Good guys from the top-10 schools with great potential. Possibly it was the economy, maybe it was luck. I know in the grander scheme of things, they'll do well.

I know in my case, luck played a big role. After going through the rollercoaster ride, I don't think I'm still qualified to state with confidence if the decision will or will not work for someone else. It's ultimately a personal call you've got to take after considering all the aspects - professional, personal, financial.

Good luck to you, buddy.
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Re: So anybody here completed their MBA and regretted it? [#permalink] New post 28 Sep 2010, 16:16
milias wrote:
Obviously the decision is ultimately your own, but I just thought I'd share a few thoughts that come to mind.

    1. At 33, you would be considered an older applicant. You will need to have a great story for why you need an MBA now in your career. Also, you will be 35/36 when you graduate, and you may not be willing or able to work the crazy hours in banking, especially IB.
    2. The kind of finance job you will most likely get out of b-school is in IB. The other functions will take some serious networking to get into. With your previous finance experience, I think it's possible, but it will take effort.
    3. No one can tell you whether an MBA will be worth it for you, because we obviously cannot see into the future. There will be risk involved, and it will largely depend on whether you're willing to take that risk. That said, even in this economy, most grads from top b-schools will be able to land jobs. However, whether you will get the job you want is a whole different story.
    4. The economy is certainly going to have a huge impact on your job outlook post b-school. But again, that's anybody's guess where the economy's going to be in 2 years.
    5. There're other personal factors that come into play, such as family, location, etc. So try to figure those in when you're making your decision.
    6. Obviously there's also the issue of cost, in terms of tuition and lost wages. I have heard that most grads from top schools recoup those losses within 5 years of graduation. Whether that still holds true is anybody's guess. That said, getting an MBA is a sure way to boost your career, so can't be measured in strictly monetary terms.
    7. You may consider doing a part-time MBA instead of full-time. Full-time MBA programs attract mostly career switchers, which is not true in your case. Plus the cost is much lower in terms of opportunity cost.
    8. Finally, I do not know anyone personally who got an MBA from a top school and regretted it.

Best of luck!


Great advice!
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Re: So anybody here completed their MBA and regretted it?   [#permalink] 28 Sep 2010, 16:16
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