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Teaching to Business School?

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Teaching to Business School? [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2009, 18:46
Hey I was wondering - with the economy the way it is, I'd rather be a teacher and enjoy working with kids for a bit then getting whatever consulting or banking job I can get...so long as I could still get to business school.

I know top schools love TFA candidates, but what if I just got a job at a prep school for 2-3 years? Would that still work? Particularly if I did a lot of extracurricular work and what not?
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Re: Teaching to Business School? [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2009, 19:58
I think if you have a good "impact" message and your story makes sense all the way through you'll be OK. However, getting in is only part of the struggle. If you want to go into some industries, I don't get the sense that they will look as favorably on teaching experience as they might on some other types of jobs. Riverripper, Kryzak, or someone else that has actual b-school recruiting experience can probably shed more light on this.
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Re: Teaching to Business School? [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2009, 20:34
What about for consulting? My main interest is M/B/B followed by Private Wealth Management if I can come by it.
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Re: Teaching to Business School? [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2009, 14:58
anyone else have any insight?
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Re: Teaching to Business School? [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2009, 19:32
I did TFA and I know plenty of people (not necessarily from TFA) who made the leap from teaching to top business programs. They were very good at telling their story and articulating why they needed business school. I think if anything teaching could help you gain admission b/c you would be competing against a much smaller segment of the applicant pool.
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Re: Teaching to Business School? [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2009, 19:44
I have friends who were in a variety of educational positions before b-school. TFA, non-profit, administration...getting in wont be the most challenging thing. However, getting into a top level MC/IB job will be much tougher. These companies value either prior work experience or hard skills. If you teach high school AP calculus maybe not so bad, if you are teaching 5th grade geography its going to be a tough sell. Based on what I have seen from my friends its a tough sell at times for some of these positions since its so far removed from the stereotypical skillset of a teacher.

I think for these places your undergrad degree and school might play a role. If you have an electrical engineering degree from MIT you will be taken far more seriously if you end up teaching than someone from U of XXX with a sociology major. Its possible to do lots of switches, but with a lot of great talent to choose from, the safest bet for companies is often the known commodity.

Doing TFA and then doing a few years at a company before business school will be a very attractive profile for lots of business schools. TFA also gives you a fairly safe place to spend these next two years.
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Re: Teaching to Business School? [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2009, 20:10
Thanks for the responses. I'm graduating from an Ivy with a degree in History, and I've had several business/finance internships under my belt. Provided that I go back home after graduation, a group of friends and I who went to Ivy League + Stanford/Duke/MIT are going to start a college counseling firm together. I'd be offering free services to minorities and low-income students. I'd also continue working with a charity I founded in HS and do another foundation spin off to get minority & low income kids playing tennis, lacrosse, squash, involved in the arts, etc.

I honestly don't know if I can handle TFA, and I can't really afford to basically work for free, which is why I think teaching at a top prep school would be ideal. It'd give me the time to pursue my other interests.

As for building hard skills for M/B/B I-banking is there something else that might be of value I could do? Maybe a night-time masters program in finance?
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Re: Teaching to Business School? [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2009, 04:31
though I am not at business school and my recruiting experience is limited what I do with my job, I agree with River that, with your profile, the hard part isn't necessarily going to be getting into bschool, it's going to be selling to McBain & Co that you have the hard quantitative and analytical skills necessary to credibly convince CXO of Major Corporation Y that you know what you are talking about.

As far as getting into business school, since you undergrad was in History, I think its very important that you do well on the GMAT, particulary the quantitative section, since this will be the prime metric that adcoms are going to have when assessing your ability to handle the math heavy first year course work. As far as taking night courses at Local U, well, let's be honest, if you were a hiring manager at McBain & Co and were comparing a resume that includes teaching over-indulged prepubecents and while taking night classes at Whoville Community College, to someone with 3-5 years of previous consulting/I banking experience, who would you choose? Not to mention, with the measely salaries preschool teachers get paid, you probably wouldn't be able to afford accounting 101 :-D

Ultimately you need to ask yourself the question how sure are you that you really want to do MC or I banking? I think the question you are going to have to be able to slickly answer is, "if you really wanted to do I banking/ MC, why did you major in history and then on top of that go and teach?" Not that there is anything wrong with teaching, you just have to think from the firms perspective.
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Re: Teaching to Business School? [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2009, 06:22
mcds wrote:
I'd also continue working with a charity I founded in HS and do another foundation spin off to get minority & low income kids playing tennis, lacrosse, squash, involved in the arts, etc.

I honestly don't know if I can handle TFA, and I can't really afford to basically work for free, which is why I think teaching at a top prep school would be ideal. It'd give me the time to pursue my other interests.


(cough cough)

Agreed with the above - getting into b-school won't be the biggest hurdle. I have a good friend who spent years as a teacher in a low-income school in the Bronx, and then at a charter school, who then went to Yale's SOM. But then, she's not going into banking.

More importantly, you may want to be a bit more realistic about those goals above. Getting poor kids to play lax? Squash? And TFA teachers definitely do not work for free - though they certainly don't make huge incomes, you'll do just fine on a public school teacher's income. Especially right out of college. Good luck finding a "top prep school" that will hire a kid right out of his undergrad at an inflated salary (especially with a history degree). That just reeks of a sense of entitlement.
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Re: Teaching to Business School? [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2009, 06:46
I agree with RR, etc that the difficult part won't be getting into b-school but transitioning to your desired job afterwards.

I think you'll also have to carefully answer questions about if you wanted to go into banking/consulting, why you didn't do either of those right after undergrad. I understand that banks aren't hiring much right now but consulting firms still are (even of undergrad business analyst positions). You just need to make sure your answer doesn't sound like "well the economy sucked and I wanted to wait to go into banking until I could get the crazy bonuses again."
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Re: Teaching to Business School? [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2009, 07:09
mcds wrote:
As for building hard skills for M/B/B I-banking is there something else that might be of value I could do? Maybe a night-time masters program in finance?


you might want to consider the CFA program, definitely cheaper than a MS in Finance
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Re: Teaching to Business School? [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2009, 08:40
domtri33 wrote:
though I am not at business school and my recruiting experience is limited what I do with my job, I agree with River that, with your profile, the hard part isn't necessarily going to be getting into bschool, it's going to be selling to McBain & Co that you have the hard quantitative and analytical skills necessary to credibly convince CXO of Major Corporation Y that you know what you are talking about.

As far as getting into business school, since you undergrad was in History, I think its very important that you do well on the GMAT, particulary the quantitative section, since this will be the prime metric that adcoms are going to have when assessing your ability to handle the math heavy first year course work. As far as taking night courses at Local U, well, let's be honest, if you were a hiring manager at McBain & Co and were comparing a resume that includes teaching over-indulged prepubecents and while taking night classes at Whoville Community College, to someone with 3-5 years of previous consulting/I banking experience, who would you choose? Not to mention, with the measely salaries preschool teachers get paid, you probably wouldn't be able to afford accounting 101 :-D

Ultimately you need to ask yourself the question how sure are you that you really want to do MC or I banking? I think the question you are going to have to be able to slickly answer is, "if you really wanted to do I banking/ MC, why did you major in history and then on top of that go and teach?" Not that there is anything wrong with teaching, you just have to think from the firms perspective.


Very good points. I didn't really think about that.

Definitely interested in consulting, banking or being a lawyer other possibilities. Everyone told me that your major didn't matter and some alums have been saying that in the current market it might not be a bad idea to go off and do something different before you commit to the professional world.

Then again I can see why it might be off-putting to a firm...
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Re: Teaching to Business School? [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2009, 08:46
Toubab wrote:
mcds wrote:
I'd also continue working with a charity I founded in HS and do another foundation spin off to get minority & low income kids playing tennis, lacrosse, squash, involved in the arts, etc.

I honestly don't know if I can handle TFA, and I can't really afford to basically work for free, which is why I think teaching at a top prep school would be ideal. It'd give me the time to pursue my other interests.


(cough cough)

Agreed with the above - getting into b-school won't be the biggest hurdle. I have a good friend who spent years as a teacher in a low-income school in the Bronx, and then at a charter school, who then went to Yale's SOM. But then, she's not going into banking.

More importantly, you may want to be a bit more realistic about those goals above. Getting poor kids to play lax? Squash? And TFA teachers definitely do not work for free - though they certainly don't make huge incomes, you'll do just fine on a public school teacher's income. Especially right out of college. Good luck finding a "top prep school" that will hire a kid right out of his undergrad at an inflated salary (especially with a history degree). That just reeks of a sense of entitlement.


Interesting.

Well, lacrosse and squash are excellent feeder sports into top schools and boarding schools, they're both relatively inexpensive sports and, particularly in lacrosse, are rising sports in more urban areas. Squash is also incredibly homogenous and if a lower income/minority student took it up and enjoyed it it would be a much better asset come college admission time than football or basketball would.

St. Paul's recruits at my school, and I know several of the DC schools will take candidates on a 2-year program. Landon, Bullis, St. Andrew's Episcopal, etc. I would rather do private school than public school as it'd be a little easier on the stress level.

I agree, it does sound somewhat like entitlement, but if the option is there I'll take it. :wink:

Thanks for the advice. I'll certainly still apply to banking/consulting positions, but I'll diversify my pool with a few teaching apps.
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Re: Teaching to Business School? [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2009, 08:58
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As a former public school teacher, most of this thread is offensive. However, I would like to respond to two things in particular.

First, you would likely make at least 20% more doing TFA than you would teaching in a private school. Second, teaching before you enter the "professional world" implies that teachers are not professionals. We don't use Excel or wear expensive cuff links, but I promise we are professionals. As with any other profession, it takes time and training to become proficient. You can't just go up there and wing it. Think about why you want to be a teacher before you go into those interviews.
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Re: Teaching to Business School? [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2009, 09:06
misterlev wrote:
As a former public school teacher, most of this thread is offensive. However, I would like to respond to two things in particular.

First, you would likely make at least 20% more doing TFA than you would teaching in a private school. Second, teaching before you enter the "professional world" implies that teachers are not professionals. We don't use Excel or wear expensive cuff links, but I promise we are professionals. As with any other profession, it takes time and training to become proficient. You can't just go up there and wing it. Think about why you want to be a teacher before you go into those interviews.


Agree 100%. Unfortunately, that attitude seems pervasive in the B-school setting.

Teaching is far too important a career to be left to anyone who bothers to show up.
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Re: Teaching to Business School? [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2009, 09:49
Why exactly do you want to be a teacher? If it's just to get a paycheck while the economy is in the tank, I'd suggest you think again. It's not an easy job. Sure, you won't have 90-100 hour weeks like an IB'er, but managing a classroom presents its own set of challenges.

I don't think you should make any career decision just based on what job will look best on your bschool application. Do what you're interested in doing. If you want to go into banking, go into banking. If you want to teach, then become a teacher. If you want to be a banker but there are no jobs available in banking, look for related fields you find interesting.

I'm not even going to comment on the value of teaching lacrosse and squash to disadvantaged youth...
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Re: Teaching to Business School? [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2009, 10:11
misterlev wrote:
As a former public school teacher, most of this thread is offensive. However, I would like to respond to two things in particular.

First, you would likely make at least 20% more doing TFA than you would teaching in a private school. Second, teaching before you enter the "professional world" implies that teachers are not professionals. We don't use Excel or wear expensive cuff links, but I promise we are professionals. As with any other profession, it takes time and training to become proficient. You can't just go up there and wing it. Think about why you want to be a teacher before you go into those interviews.


Forgive me if I came off as dismissive to teachers - clearly its a very important profession. Public school teachers in particular have a lot to deal with and I admire those who take that path. I wouldn't teach in public school primarily because of the time it takes for certification, and because of the competitiveness of the school districts in my area. I thought TFA only paid ~$20K? If not, I'm mistaken.

I just think that coming from a liberal arts degree, teaching would be a good lead in to grad school. My 9th grade teacher taught for 3 years then went to Stanford Law and is not a practicing lawyer, and several of my other high school teachers did it the other way around. Everyone is different, but I think I'd enjoy working with students.
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Re: Teaching to Business School? [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2009, 10:14
misterlev wrote:
As a former public school teacher, most of this thread is offensive.


Okay, let's not overreact, I don't think anyone is implying that teaching is not hard or that it doesn't take skill, patience, creativity, etc. I think the original intent of this thread was to get a general feeling if teaching a couple of years and then going to bschool can translate into a consulting or IB job. And I think the general concensus is that mcds needs to think hard about both teaching and business school because niether should be undertaken for the wrong reasons.

As an aside, I'm pretty sure that Landon, St. Ablans, et al will not hire you straight out of undergraduate school to be a teacher.
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Re: Teaching to Business School? [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2009, 10:24
NJMike wrote:
Why exactly do you want to be a teacher? If it's just to get a paycheck while the economy is in the tank, I'd suggest you think again. It's not an easy job. Sure, you won't have 90-100 hour weeks like an IB'er, but managing a classroom presents its own set of challenges.

I don't think you should make any career decision just based on what job will look best on your bschool application. Do what you're interested in doing. If you want to go into banking, go into banking. If you want to teach, then become a teacher. If you want to be a banker but there are no jobs available in banking, look for related fields you find interesting.

I'm not even going to comment on the value of teaching lacrosse and squash to disadvantaged youth...


Obviously, teaching isn't easy. But it can be quite enjoyable particularly if you're working with motivated students. I have always liked the idea of teaching after my career and with the economy with the way it is, I think it presents a good opportunity to either teach abroad or here domestically. I'm pretty bad with culture shock so I thought it might be worth looking into around my area. I like the idea of giving back a bit by teaching and also pursuing other entrepreneurial and charitable interests of mine with the (relatively) lesser workload before going on to pursue my other professional interests. I'm certainly not expecting to just show up and "collect a check," but at the same time you can do quite a bit with the extra 50 hours a week you have in teaching versus banking, etc. Also, I'm not interested in it for the sake of getting into bschool, rather I want to make sure it won't harm my chances of bschool and beyond - I'm not as familiar with the business school process so thats why I was asking. It seems that it might pose a problem for recruiting down the road, so I'll think very hard about whether that should be an option on the table.

In regards to your last comment, there are programs in the DC area where low income athletes get to participate in non-traditional sports that they can't afford, namely tennis and rowing. Its a great opportunity for kids to get involved in sports that they might not have otherwise gotten exposure to, in addition to the opportunities that those sports inevitably open up. After the Williams sisters became kind of a case example of what can happen when others get the same chances, these programs have become more popular. I coached kids in college in tennis so I would definitely do a program like that (actually James Blake, Andy Roddick and Serena Williams came to Legg Mason Tennis Center for this sort of program), but having been in college now I've started to see the value of other sports such as golf, lacrosse and squash and wonder that it might be valuable to expand to other sports that have typically been closed off to others. It might sound naive or narrow minded, etc., but its something that I personally care about.
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Re: Teaching to Business School? [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2009, 10:28
domtri33 wrote:
misterlev wrote:
As a former public school teacher, most of this thread is offensive.


Okay, let's not overreact, I don't think anyone is implying that teaching is not hard or that it doesn't take skill, patience, creativity, etc. I think the original intent of this thread was to get a general feeling if teaching a couple of years and then going to bschool can translate into a consulting or IB job. And I think the general concensus is that mcds needs to think hard about both teaching and business school because niether should be undertaken for the wrong reasons.

As an aside, I'm pretty sure that Landon, St. Ablans, et al will not hire you straight out of undergraduate school to be a teacher.


Thanks...thats what I was getting at.

I e-mailed the headmaster at Landon and he invited me to send him a resume, and forwarded me to attend a Carney Sandoe conference, where they match college graudates with independent schools. I also e-mailed an alum who graduated in '04 and went straight to the Edmund Burke School, so I've looked into it on that end. Thanks for all the input!
Re: Teaching to Business School?   [#permalink] 27 Jan 2009, 10:28
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