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Which Job to Take pre-MBA?

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Manager
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Joined: 09 Jun 2010
Posts: 61
Location: Canada
Concentration: Strategy, Finance
Schools: University of Toronto (Rotman) - Class of 2014
GMAT 1: 740 Q48 V44
GPA: 2.57
Followers: 4

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Which Job to Take pre-MBA? [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2011, 10:45
Hello Folks,

I got admission to a well-known MBA but I deferred it for one year. Part of the reason was that I wanted to save up a bit more money and then go to MBA with less pressure and more comfort (=more focus), but also I was offered an adventurous job opportunity - to teach GMAT/GRE/LSAT/SAT prep in Dubai! I thought this will be perfect to blow off steam before I dive in to the MBA challenge and thereafter.. but in the last moment, I was offered an engineering job at a 30M revenue company in the same city as my MBA. Now, my previous experience was shabby, two years working for a family engineering business (not my family) and two years teaching English in Asia. I have an engineering degree, and the engineering option finally gave me the chance to experience true engineering in a real setting. Finally I don't have to feel like a vagabond when I get into the MBA classroom and can talk business with any of the consultants and the like. On the other hand, I think that Dubai, other than providing a great life experience, also offers wonderful networking opportunities. I connect to people very easily anywhere in the world, andd I was thinking that I might miss out on meeting some rich Emirati kids in the classroom, then leveraging those connections later on as a management consultant or an investment banker. The salary is about the same, because I would pay no tax in UAE.

I would appreciate any comments on my dillema, especially from those who've been through an MBA classroom and know how these things are judged there.


Thank you!
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Re: Which Job to Take pre-MBA? [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2011, 13:58
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I would go to Dubai. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity that could offer something unexpected. Working in the engineering firm would feel too much like a normal job to have fund and recharge before your MBA studies. The stories of your travels alone would make your soon-to-be MBA friends jealous!
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Re: Which Job to Take pre-MBA? [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2011, 16:42
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If you have confidence in your MBA programs ROI then I agree with mrblack on going to Dubai. Living in such a high profile foreign city such as Dubai may change your outlook on life.
Manager
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Joined: 09 Jun 2010
Posts: 61
Location: Canada
Concentration: Strategy, Finance
Schools: University of Toronto (Rotman) - Class of 2014
GMAT 1: 740 Q48 V44
GPA: 2.57
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 10 [0], given: 20

Re: Which Job to Take pre-MBA? [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2011, 17:14
getienne wrote:
If you have confidence in your MBA programs ROI then I agree with mrblack on going to Dubai. Living in such a high profile foreign city such as Dubai may change your outlook on life.



Thanks for advice guys. I'm really having totally 50-50 feedback on this one. Though people who are somehow related to MBA tend to tell me Dubai. I guess to a lot of non-engineers, non-MBAs, engineering just sounds "deeper" than teaching, while Dubai sounds glamorous and maybe enviable rather as a bar conversation. For Dubai, I'm afraid of getting smirks from interviewers who might want "real industry" experience from candidates for associate consultant positions.

So I guess I wonder how much pre-MBA experience counts for post-MBA recruitment, and I am counting on being in the top of the class academically (and Rotman is rather academically-focused). In terms of my own feel;ing, I'm starting to think of Dubai as a fun, life experience, while engineering would be a less risky investment into future. But does it really make a difference to my future, that is the question.


getienne, you seem to be an engineer with tech-heavy experience. The engineer job in question is in a company that designs, builds, and then sells metal roll-forming machines, and my position would be Mechanical Designer. What do you think, how much business-relevant knowledge can I gain in one year working at this position, considering its a medium-sized business and the engineering director promised me exposure to as much variety as possible? How do you personally relate your engineering and technology experience to the MBA classroom?

Appreciate your advice.
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>>>>>>> "Fences set on a high place will not stand firm against the wind; so a timid mind with a fool's resolve will not stand firm against any fear." ~~~~~~

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Re: Which Job to Take pre-MBA? [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2011, 17:37
I just joined this forum while studying for the GMAT so I apologize if I gave the impression that I was already in business school. You can always get high-profile (hopefully) internships during the summer of your program. If you can get complete, high-level exposure in the firm then that's a good option as well. It might help you hone your communication skills and team-work abilities before going off to business school. I don't know what you plan on studying in B-school but for post-grad purposes the engineering job would help more with obtaining a consulting job.
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Re: Which Job to Take pre-MBA? [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2011, 19:04
Getting that engineering job won't help improve your chances at landing at MBB or ibanks. Having an interesting personality and life experience may. You need to build a life brand to career switch. The MBA itself will give you the hard skills to get you the interviews but the interesting experiences will get you to the "yes" pile of the resumes and interview panel.
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Joined: 09 Jun 2010
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Location: Canada
Concentration: Strategy, Finance
Schools: University of Toronto (Rotman) - Class of 2014
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GPA: 2.57
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Re: Which Job to Take pre-MBA? [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2011, 11:15
I see you are sticking to your guns mrblack and I like it. I totally agree with you that one must be happy and relaxed and let his personality shine in the MBA in order to end up the right place. And this is where I'm indeed worried about the engineering job, as Dubai would probably get me more high on life.

I have grown a bit skeptical about the whole branding yourself thing though. In my admission applications for various MBA schools I did a pretty good job of branding myself as multicultural and advanterous, based on my teaching work in Asia but also on my multicultural background. However, I sensed that the adcoms didn't buy into that much despite the great amount of lip service they pay to "being unique". Rather, I ended up with the feeling that what got me in eventually was the bottom line kind of stuff: excellent undergrad program, high GMAT, and solid communication skills in essays and interviews (they liked the way I promoted myself). If anything, my travels did show I can make big decisions and thats about it... Yes, a sexy brand and great story are definitely an asset, but I'm not sure how far they go along putting someone on the yes pile if you don't have any straight-laced experience whatsover. I never held a full-time office job. Mind you this was for admissions tho, not post-MBA, but still.
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>>>>>>> "Fences set on a high place will not stand firm against the wind; so a timid mind with a fool's resolve will not stand firm against any fear." ~~~~~~

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Re: Which Job to Take pre-MBA? [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2011, 13:23
I can assure you that when have a "brand" it really comes off naturally and is recognized by those around you. It's like an aura that surrounds you wherever you go. Dressing up yourself to be someone you're not is neither good for your mental well being nor for getting a sought after position. Look at the successful people at the top of the food chain - they're all really unique without peers.
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Re: Which Job to Take pre-MBA? [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2011, 21:01
You have two choices:

- Do what you want to do.
- Do what's good for your career.

A few comments:
- It all depends on your priorities. Nothing wrong with focusing on either choice. Some people want to have a life full of interesting experiences, for others, their career fulfills that role.
- What do you want to do post-MBA? Getting more engineering experience if you don't want to work in an engineering-focused field (tech, energy, etc) post-MBA won't really count for much.
- Teach GMAT to student won't count for much either. However, you could always spin it (abilities to lead others, ability to breakdown complex issues, responsibility of a curriculum, etc)


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Re: Which Job to Take pre-MBA?   [#permalink] 18 Aug 2011, 21:01
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