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So, why an MBA from the US?

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So, why an MBA from the US? [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2007, 09:17
Ok, so I am talking to one of my friends in Indian Instiute of Management Bangalore (IIM-B) and he is telling about he spent his summer internship at Barcalys London which paid, by the way, about 8000 GBP per month. Another tells me that he is joining BCG. From what I am told, the days of non-dollar salary are passe for students in IIMs who want to go abroad.

So, my question is, why an MBA from US? I mean, lets be honest, almost all of us want to jump a career ladder or two after the MBA and earn big bucks. I dont think any one is out there writing essays who thinks that an MBA is not about a big paycheck, excluding, of course, the non-profit people. So, why the rush to attend Harvard when you can get something similar in terms of MBA education at a lesser price in the IIMs?

Seeing the context, this question is of course primarily aimed at all the Indian bhais out there. But of course, anyone feel free to reply...
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 [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2007, 09:59
i think diversity of the class plays a part. what is the makeup of the IIMs? i assume the class is almost all indian?
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 [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2007, 13:56
And is everyone getting into BCG or Barclays? Or are your friends exceptions? My first job after my Masters in the US, I worked for a company that recruited heavily from IIM A, at probably around the same salary range as mine. I wouldn't want an MBA, if at the end of it, I am doing IT implementation. Just my opinion, of course.
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 [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2007, 17:27
8000 pounds a month?

I don't believe your friend.....

Vault.com expected salaries in GBP in that industry are far far far lower.

Citigroup Corporate & Investment Banking Associate London £57,500
Citigroup Corporate & Investment Banking Associate London £66,000
Credit Suisse Associate London £58,000
JPMorgan Investment Bank Associate London £45,000
JPMorgan Investment Bank Associate London £65,000
Lehman Brothers Associate London £58,000
Lehman Brothers Associate London £58,000
UBS Investment Bank Associate London £40,000

Your friend is claiming to make nearly twice these figures for an internship?

Goldman Sachs Third-Year Associate London £68,000
JPMorgan Investment Bank Third-Year Associate London £63,000
JPMorgan Investment Bank Third-Year Associate London US $63,000
Lehman Brothers Third-Year Associate London £50,000
Lehman Brothers Third-Year Associate London £75,000

Even at a VP level - his supposed salary is very very high.

Credit Suisse Vice President London £80,000
Credit Suisse Vice President London US $160,000
JPMorgan Investment Bank Vice President London $140,000
JPMorgan Investment Bank Vice President London £75,000
Lehman Brothers Vice President London $200,000

Granted, these are without bonus -- and with bonus an effective rate of 8000 GBP is plausible, but interns don't get $100,000 bonuses...
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 [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2007, 17:41
I'm not an expert on the subject, but as I understand it, IIM graduates typically do not land the same types of jobs as grads from top US business schools. A few are able to land MBA level jobs, primarily because of their prior work experience, but the majority are actually hired in at the analyst, or pre-MBA, level compared to the US. Again, I don't have any first hand knowledge on the subject; that's just what I've heard.

Also with an MBA from a top US school you'll have access to a much greater variety of jobs and your school reputation will be much more widely accepted, for whatever that's worth. Aother major plus for the US programs are that they are recognized leaders, and have been for lots and lots of years. I wouldn't be going out on a limb if I suggested that 10, 20, 30, 50 years from now, Harvard will still be recognized as a (the) top business school worldwide. IIM? Who knows, but I wouldn't be my lunch money. The schools that have been the most consistenly good over the years are the ones that seem to always rise to the top of the pile.

Certainly, IIM might be a reasonable alternative for someone that wants to stay in India, but I haven't yet ever heard of a person from another country asking about how to gain admission to IIM. If it were truly a good alternative to Harvard, or any of the top US schools with international reputations, there would be more people from around the world seeking admissions.
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 [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2007, 23:52
rhyme wrote:
8000 pounds a month?

I don't believe your friend.....

Vault.com expected salaries in GBP in that industry are far far far lower.

Citigroup Corporate & Investment Banking Associate London £57,500
Citigroup Corporate & Investment Banking Associate London £66,000
Credit Suisse Associate London £58,000
JPMorgan Investment Bank Associate London £45,000
JPMorgan Investment Bank Associate London £65,000
Lehman Brothers Associate London £58,000
Lehman Brothers Associate London £58,000
UBS Investment Bank Associate London £40,000

Your friend is claiming to make nearly twice these figures for an internship?

Goldman Sachs Third-Year Associate London £68,000
JPMorgan Investment Bank Third-Year Associate London £63,000
JPMorgan Investment Bank Third-Year Associate London US $63,000
Lehman Brothers Third-Year Associate London £50,000
Lehman Brothers Third-Year Associate London £75,000

Even at a VP level - his supposed salary is very very high.

Credit Suisse Vice President London £80,000
Credit Suisse Vice President London US $160,000
JPMorgan Investment Bank Vice President London $140,000
JPMorgan Investment Bank Vice President London £75,000
Lehman Brothers Vice President London $200,000

Granted, these are without bonus -- and with bonus an effective rate of 8000 GBP is plausible, but interns don't get $100,000 bonuses...


Ok...I called him up...turns out its my mistake...he was paid 8000 GBP for the complete period of internship that was 2 months and not per month...

On the bright side, I have been trying to look up these salary figures for a long time... Thanks Rhyme :P

As far as the BCG and Barclays thing is concerned, I do believe a lot of people are landing up international jobs. And with very competitive salaries.

I suppose Pelihu has a point about the IIM graduates not getting into positions where a Harvard grad, for example, may get. I went through some of the old threads and I beleive someone mentioned that while US MBA start as Associates in IB, Indian MBAs start as Analysts. Of course, that could be simply because the average experience of IIM grads is not more than an year or two and a sizeable percentage are college grads.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2007, 03:53
pelihu wrote:
I'm not an expert on the subject, but as I understand it, IIM graduates typically do not land the same types of jobs as grads from top US business schools. A few are able to land MBA level jobs, primarily because of their prior work experience, but the majority are actually hired in at the analyst, or pre-MBA, level compared to the US. Again, I don't have any first hand knowledge on the subject; that's just what I've heard.

Also with an MBA from a top US school you'll have access to a much greater variety of jobs and your school reputation will be much more widely accepted, for whatever that's worth. Aother major plus for the US programs are that they are recognized leaders, and have been for lots and lots of years. I wouldn't be going out on a limb if I suggested that 10, 20, 30, 50 years from now, Harvard will still be recognized as a (the) top business school worldwide. IIM? Who knows, but I wouldn't be my lunch money. The schools that have been the most consistenly good over the years are the ones that seem to always rise to the top of the pile.

Certainly, IIM might be a reasonable alternative for someone that wants to stay in India, but I haven't yet ever heard of a person from another country asking about how to gain admission to IIM. If it were truly a good alternative to Harvard, or any of the top US schools with international reputations, there would be more people from around the world seeking admissions.


Agree with Pelihu. Also would like to add my 2 cents.

At least 50-60% of the students in the batch at any IIM has no work experience or negligible experience. Can students learn much from each other if that is the case? Isn't b-school about learning from our batch mates to a large extent?

Look at the diversity at IIMs. At least 50% of the batch consists of engineers. Almost everybody is an Indian. And every student has just graduated in the usual manner. They complete their under graduation, and IIM is a hot place to get good jobs. And they attempt to enter IIMs. No people from military. Not many with entrepreneurial background. That is not the case at US b-schools I guess. Not that engineers make bad batch mates. But at IIMs one will not have people from diverse backgrounds.

I wonder how much importance IIMs give to extracurriculars.

In my opinion, the orientation of the programs at IIMs is different from those of programs at top US Schools.

IIMs take people with high level of competitive spirit, and raw intelligence. IIM graduates, except in rare cases, end up in middle management at best. I guess that is not the case in the US schools. Agreed. To a certain extent that is due to lack of work experience of IIM graduates.

I have been part of both selection processes. I find US school selection process to be much more meaningful and mature.

In my opinion, we can benefit from MBA the most only when we have first hand experience of workplace. In top US schools workplace is created in class room. But I wonder whether that happens at IIMs.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2007, 05:42
This is a great thread,

From the very little that I have heard about the IIMs, I get the feeling that it is a very academic program. The courses are extremely challenging and competitive, which is to be expected, from the extremely intelligent student body and a selection process with a high emphasis on academic achievement.

The American MBA program, however, focuses on admitting the type of student that is more than just academically bright. They know that in real life, the top guys are not necessarily the ones with the best marks in academia. It is the softer skills - communication, written, negotiations, leadership, teamwork - that foster a certain level of confidence and make a candidate ready for the major challenges in their future. As pelihu mentioned earlier, the American programs have run for several years now and have fine tuned their programs to be extremely relevant to the real world to a level where the IIMs will take some time to reach.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2007, 05:58
I'm not sure anyones mentioned it yet .... but what about network? I don't know about IIMs at all, but the networks of US based mba programs is stellar.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2007, 06:19
I think IIMs cater to a different group than the top US MBA programs. Like others pointed out, the IIM classes are filled with top undergrads (mostly from IITs - engineers) who are academic super-achievers. 2 years at IIM gives these super achievers a life as far as salaries are concerned. A lot of them go back to technical roles.

I recall reading a critic of the IIMs a while back: The premise was that since the IIMs admit a lot of fresh IIT grads who then enter middle management, the money IITs spends on these grads are not being put to good use as the society dont benefit from this would be smart engineers as they end up going to IIM without working in the industry and then enter management/business roles...
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Aug 2007, 13:34
Let me link to a similar discussion on this issue from some time back, as some of the information contained therein may be useful.

http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=42995

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 [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2007, 04:23
Here is my 16 paise on this topic

First of all the IIM's are tougher to get into than H/B/S or any other B-School in the world (statistically at least) ........5000 odd seats for 125000 applicants.

The biggest problem that I have with the IIM's is that they take in freshers......that totally totally dilutes the course. How in the world can studying Electronics from DCE an scoring well on the CAT prepare me for a life in Business.

My personal take is that if India is your ballpark then IIM's/ISB/ even MDI is the place for you........but if you want to be a "world player" then its better to go in for the Phoren MBA

I am not saying that NO-ONE from the IIM's does the global circuit, all I am saying is that going to a top 15 US school increases your chances
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 [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2007, 11:24
pelihu wrote:
I'm not an expert on the subject, but as I understand it, IIM graduates typically do not land the same types of jobs as grads from top US business schools. A few are able to land MBA level jobs, primarily because of their prior work experience, but the majority are actually hired in at the analyst, or pre-MBA, level compared to the US. Again, I don't have any first hand knowledge on the subject; that's just what I've heard.

Also with an MBA from a top US school you'll have access to a much greater variety of jobs and your school reputation will be much more widely accepted, for whatever that's worth. Aother major plus for the US programs are that they are recognized leaders, and have been for lots and lots of years. I wouldn't be going out on a limb if I suggested that 10, 20, 30, 50 years from now, Harvard will still be recognized as a (the) top business school worldwide. IIM? Who knows, but I wouldn't be my lunch money. The schools that have been the most consistenly good over the years are the ones that seem to always rise to the top of the pile.

Certainly, IIM might be a reasonable alternative for someone that wants to stay in India, but I haven't yet ever heard of a person from another country asking about how to gain admission to IIM. If it were truly a good alternative to Harvard, or any of the top US schools with international reputations, there would be more people from around the world seeking admissions.


Pelihu and rhyme (or anyone who knows about the subject), in your general discussion with fellow MBA aspirants and MBA alumni, what sort of reputation do top European MBA schools (especially INSEAD) enjoy? Overall, are they are at par with M7 schools or not? Again, there are lots of caveats to this discussion but what is your overall impression?
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 [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2007, 12:23
haddy74 wrote:
pelihu wrote:
I'm not an expert on the subject, but as I understand it, IIM graduates typically do not land the same types of jobs as grads from top US business schools. A few are able to land MBA level jobs, primarily because of their prior work experience, but the majority are actually hired in at the analyst, or pre-MBA, level compared to the US. Again, I don't have any first hand knowledge on the subject; that's just what I've heard.

Also with an MBA from a top US school you'll have access to a much greater variety of jobs and your school reputation will be much more widely accepted, for whatever that's worth. Aother major plus for the US programs are that they are recognized leaders, and have been for lots and lots of years. I wouldn't be going out on a limb if I suggested that 10, 20, 30, 50 years from now, Harvard will still be recognized as a (the) top business school worldwide. IIM? Who knows, but I wouldn't be my lunch money. The schools that have been the most consistenly good over the years are the ones that seem to always rise to the top of the pile.

Certainly, IIM might be a reasonable alternative for someone that wants to stay in India, but I haven't yet ever heard of a person from another country asking about how to gain admission to IIM. If it were truly a good alternative to Harvard, or any of the top US schools with international reputations, there would be more people from around the world seeking admissions.


Pelihu and rhyme (or anyone who knows about the subject), in your general discussion with fellow MBA aspirants and MBA alumni, what sort of reputation do top European MBA schools (especially INSEAD) enjoy? Overall, are they are at par with M7 schools or not? Again, there are lots of caveats to this discussion but what is your overall impression?


I think it depends on who you are talking to. INSEAD vs an M7 to, say, a recruiter (that is, someone in the know) are going to be largely considered comparable schools. INSEAD to another MBA grad is going to be equally well respected. This is the category that "matters" (in the sense that these are hte people you work with, not people you drink with) - managers at MC firms, people in the finance industry, etc... these people, for the most part (and thats the key), should know the name INSEAD.

The place where you see "a difference", in my experience, is with those not in the know. People in the US - whether or not they know about MBA programs are going to know names like "MIT" "Chicago" "Harvard" "Stanford" etc... these tend to be household names..... INSEAD, is not. Thunderbird, is not. etc.

It's the cocktail party difference. When someone says "Ah Mr. Chumsuccle the third, if I might inquire, were did you pursue your masters degree exactly?" and you reply "Indeed your inquiry is appropriate. I graduated from Stanford University." they will say "Ah yes, my neighboor who summers in the Hamptons attended that prestigious university.", whereas, if you say INSEAD, they might say "Ah yes. I see. Rightio."

In my view, the only real difference is in the "everyday" panache - beyond that... theres little difference when it comes to recruiting and dealing with mgmt. There's also the argument that once you get a job out of grad school, what you do from there matters more...

But...Not all are as optimistic... I had a similar series of thoughts myself a year ago and I managed to talk to a senior executive at PIMCO who basically laid it out like this "On average, a top tier us MBA will be recognized in Europe. However, the reverse is not always true."
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 [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2007, 13:25
Here are my 2 cents!

In my view, the difference is also in the model of education followed by the Indian Schools. Most of the education is theoretical and there is very less imphasis on the practical aspect of it. I think same is the case with IIT's. There is very less concentration on practical aspects.

In Contrast, the Schools in US let it be engineering or B schools are concentrated more on the practical aspects then theoretical ones.

e.g. the IIM's in India will not have a simulated trading floor for the people to practice. Nor do they follow the case study method in all the IIM's.

So, the model of education is also one factor that is responsible for a different kind of learning that happens in US B Schools.
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 [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2007, 17:27
rhyme, thanks for a detailed answer and as usual, you are spot on. For my INSEAD application, I was interviewed by two alumni (both in NY, one was Principal at McKinsey whereas the other one was Principal at AT Kearney). Upon my inquiry both of them confirmed that within management consultants’ circle, which by the way is extremely pedigree driven, they never faced any problem in terms of social/professional interaction with their follow counterparts from M7 schools. They also told me that in Europe, INSEAD would easily take precedence over any other top USA business school with an exception of H/S/W. But they also conceded that outside business circles, INSEAD name will not carry the same reputation as is displayed by some famous USA schools such H/S/Chi/Col.

In the end I had an interesting debate with AT Kearney’s principal that given a choice one should pursue an MBA @ INSEAD or he/she should go for Kellogg/Cornell/Oxford/Cambridge’s one-year MBA program. We were of the same impression that while Oxford/Cambridge/Cornell would provide someone with more brand recognition among masses, INSEAD MBA would almost always overrule these programs in the MBA world both from prestige and network/career opportunities standpoint.

They also made an interesting point (they could be biased) that outside H/S/W, your chances of encountering with “superstars” are much higher at INSEAD than any other business school in the world. Of course the reason being the format of program (10-month) and to some extent its sexy location in Paris – heart of Europe which attracts a lot of super-achievers especially in consulting and industry who tend to go back to their respective fields and do not want to spend 2 years away from job. INSEAD alumni may have a point considering 40% of INSEAD applicants apply to INSEAD only.
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Aug 2007, 23:49
I have full respect to your opinions w.r.t. diversity

Please do not forget the fact that Diversity in India is enormous
Look around you? Every engineer has a different culture.

Being a very religious country people of differet cultures think and behave differently. Which country boasts of such diversity?

In US the job is not skewed at IT alone while in India if you are not Engineer/Doctor you are doomed (not exactly but you get the idea)

WHat diversity are the US colleges talking about when 80% of jobs are in consulting and finance a field dominated by Science and engineering grads

I think US colleges need to come up with a measure to evaluate the diversity that candidate brings based on demographic subgroups to ensure a fair admission round. Situations in US is not same in other countries.

What is the value a humanities guy can bring ? that an engineer cannot

I have herad that over 40% of admits to HSW have non profit goals like red cross etc, how many actually end up doing all that, hardly 1%. Still this trend contiues unabated.

Well diversity is a value add I am not denying, but at what cost? denial of meritorious candidates admission - certainly not worth

just my 2 cents

No offence meant
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Aug 2007, 23:57
venky1979 wrote:
I have full respect to your opinions w.r.t. diversity

Please do not forget the fact that Diversity in India is enormous
Look around you? Every engineer has a different culture.

Being a very religious country people of differet cultures think and behave differently. Which country boasts of such diversity?

In US the job is not skewed at IT alone while in India if you are not Engineer/Doctor you are doomed (not exactly but you get the idea)

WHat diversity are the US colleges talking about when 80% of jobs are in consulting and finance a field dominated by Science and engineering grads

I think US colleges need to come up with a measure to evaluate the diversity that candidate brings based on demographic subgroups to ensure a fair admission round. Situations in US is not same in other countries.

What is the value a humanities guy can bring ? that an engineer cannot

I have herad that over 40% of admits to HSW have non profit goals like red cross etc, how many actually end up doing all that, hardly 1%. Still this trend contiues unabated.

Well diversity is a value add I am not denying, but at what cost? denial of meritorious candidates admission - certainly not worth

just my 2 cents

No offence meant


All I am trying to say is in US where jobs are abundant and salaries structures have lesser relative differentials (thanks to US counsulate mandating a minimum pay on your visa) Its great to talk about diversity and engineers with similar background tend to have similar thinking.

But In India where the salary differentials are disproportionatle high Whether people have a liking or not around 80% are forced to end up in IT (The % of non computerscience bacgrounds in IT in India is disproportinatley high as compared to other demographies)

Thus not all Indian IT are the same :( as would be the case with say US raised non Indian Engineers in IT (who probably do not contribute to diversity)

There needs to be a different way of measuring diversity than just saying he is Indian IT just another face in the crowd

So the statement saying IIMS dont have diversity is not correct in a true logical sense
Just my thoughts :)
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2007, 07:49
haddy74 wrote:
rhyme, thanks for a detailed answer and as usual, you are spot on. For my INSEAD application, I was interviewed by two alumni (both in NY, one was Principal at McKinsey whereas the other one was Principal at AT Kearney). Upon my inquiry both of them confirmed that within management consultants’ circle, which by the way is extremely pedigree driven, they never faced any problem in terms of social/professional interaction with their follow counterparts from M7 schools. They also told me that in Europe, INSEAD would easily take precedence over any other top USA business school with an exception of H/S/W. But they also conceded that outside business circles, INSEAD name will not carry the same reputation as is displayed by some famous USA schools such H/S/Chi/Col.

In the end I had an interesting debate with AT Kearney’s principal that given a choice one should pursue an MBA @ INSEAD or he/she should go for Kellogg/Cornell/Oxford/Cambridge’s one-year MBA program. We were of the same impression that while Oxford/Cambridge/Cornell would provide someone with more brand recognition among masses, INSEAD MBA would almost always overrule these programs in the MBA world both from prestige and network/career opportunities standpoint.

They also made an interesting point (they could be biased) that outside H/S/W, your chances of encountering with “superstars” are much higher at INSEAD than any other business school in the world. Of course the reason being the format of program (10-month) and to some extent its sexy location in Paris – heart of Europe which attracts a lot of super-achievers especially in consulting and industry who tend to go back to their respective fields and do not want to spend 2 years away from job. INSEAD alumni may have a point considering 40% of INSEAD applicants apply to INSEAD only.


Indeed, INSEAD is an excellent school... and especially strong within Europe. That 40% thing is interesting, I never knew that.
  [#permalink] 15 Aug 2007, 07:49
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