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another MBA, or Phd or Exec Ed. for boost

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another MBA, or Phd or Exec Ed. for boost [#permalink]

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New post 22 May 2009, 10:49
I was wondering what would be the best option for me from: 1) Doing another MBA but at HBS; 2) Doing a Phd; 3) Doing the Executive Education Professional Leadership Program at HBS, given the following experience ( I want to boost my salary from current 180k to lets say 300k+):

• Banking professional with strong exposure in Eastern Europe across a diverse number of sectors for more than 10 years, backed by professional training, international education and an MBA.

• Aptitude to quickly integrate into cross-cultural environments facilitated by international experience in various countries.

For the past 9.5 years till now working at an International Development bank (focusing on Eastern Europe)

2 Years work experience at Arthur Andersen

1 Year experience at the European Commission (Belgium)

1 Year Experience at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Vienna)

Fulfiled military obligations

I have MBA already from Edinburgh University (upper 2:1) (1st Class in Quantitative Forecasting )
I have a Bsc.BA already from BU (GPA 2.96) (A in math though)

Various high level professional training courses

Currently in progress for the Professional certificate in derivatives and risk management (New York Institute of Finance)

I am 39

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Re: another MBA, or Phd or Exec Ed. for boost [#permalink]

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New post 25 May 2009, 10:02
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First, you're not getting into the full-time MBA program with the kids at HBS. You're exec MBA material.

Also, keep in mind that educational credentials matter most when you are EARLY in your career. So for example, if you decide you now want to be a lawyer after having spent a decade in business, then getting a law degree will be necessary to make that switch (since you're starting a NEW career). Or if you decide to become a schoolteacher after having spent a decade in another profession - then getting a teaching certificate/degree will be helpful in making that switch into teaching.

But you're not switching careers really - maybe switching jobs or industries, but you're sticking with a corporate/business career. You're basically looking to boost your salary in a preexisting career (corporate or business). At your experience level (10 years in business), any additional credentials you get isn't going to matter as much as your experience. They will pay you based on what you can contribute based on your past experience/achievements, and not on some degree program that you just joined at your age.

I hate to be fatalistic, but if you can't find the job opportunities that you want with your experience as it is, going back to school won't really do you much good. Go do an exec program if you feel you need to be refreshed, challenged intellectually, etc. (i.e. it's purely for self-development and NOT a resume builder) -- but don't go in expecting that it will suddenly make others see you in a different light. If you were a decade less experienced that may matter, but not now.
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New post 25 May 2009, 13:00
Alex thanks for your great inputs. You may be right. I may look into exec ed for intellectual challenge though. Market is tough now anyway. I was thinking that a 3rd language could probably be better option like for instance Russian...

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New post 25 May 2009, 20:58
I fully agree with Alex, but would like to add something. One way (and probably the only way) you can land that pay jump is through a strong network. Now obviously your current network is not helping you here and hence you should focus on programs that will provide you with those new networks. There are a ton of Exec education options available to you starting from Harvard to Wharton to Sloan to LBS to Columbia depending on your needs.

Good luck.

busconnect wrote:
Alex thanks for your great inputs. You may be right. I may look into exec ed for intellectual challenge though. Market is tough now anyway. I was thinking that a 3rd language could probably be better option like for instance Russian...

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Re: another MBA, or Phd or Exec Ed. for boost [#permalink]

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New post 26 May 2009, 09:52
Sorry Alex - don't want to crash your thread! But just to add: have you considered switching out of the int'l dev bank into a consulting firm like McKinsey? Depending on what your focus is, I know that M/Bain hire a lot of ex-devBank folks with salaries that are often higher. Also, some of those banks have options where you can be posted to a different country and not pay income tax due to citizenship. If you're really after the money, might be worth doing that as well.

just a few ideas :)

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New post 26 May 2009, 11:06
Thanks all for your great inputs. Why would McKinsey hire ex Dev. Bank folks?

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New post 26 May 2009, 11:39
busconnect wrote:
Thanks all for your great inputs. Why would McKinsey hire ex Dev. Bank folks?


To work on projects with various govts. I know in the health sector, a lot of ex-bank folks get offers from consulting firms working w/ various govts. It increases the likelihood that the consulting firm will get some of those projects if they can mention "we have Person X who worked at ADB" or "person Y who worked at IADB," etc. It tends to be more sector specific than country specific.

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New post 26 May 2009, 12:54
Interesting thought never thought about it :-D

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New post 26 May 2009, 21:43
busconnect,

I think the common theme amongst the feedback you've been getting here is that your work experience and network should be able to get you further than you may realize. The common refrain I've seen with many folks I've encountered who are interested in b-schools is the "grass is greener" syndrome -- that they overestimate the value of an MBA (not saying that it's useless, but that more often than not prospective applicants ascribe way more value to an MBA than it actually deserves).
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New post 21 Jun 2009, 14:46
What about the MPA program at Harvard designed for more senior levels (min 7 years work experience)? You can tailor it and make it very identical to an MBA curiculum.

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New post 22 Jun 2009, 12:20
Sure, the MPA is an option, but it's not a "back door MBA". It's for people who are in public sector or nonprofit careers, or for those who are transitioning into public sector careers (i.e. Washington DC - lobbyists, foundations, etc.).

To be blunt, it just sounds like you're lost right now - like you don't know what it is you want to do professionally. You have to figure out what kind of career you want first, and then work backwards from there -- you're not going to find the "answer" by going back to school (or the "I'll get into a school, and worry about it later" approach). I just get a sense that you see "school" (whether it's an MBA, PhD, Exec MBA, MPA, MA, etc.) as a one-size-fits-all solution that will help you figure that out, or that somehow at your age a prestigious school name on your resume will somehow give you the currency that you don't have. The thing is, none of this is relevant at all if you aren't clear about what you're after in terms of your career, especially now at your age. Employers can be more forgiving of folks in their 20s for being open-ended, but far less forgiving of someone at your age - if you're unsure of yourself or your options, no degree program is going to make up for that.

And no, I'm not saying it's easy to figure out your career, but it's something you absolutely have to do before anything else, because if you're lost inside, no amount of external things you have (prestigious schools, high salary, etc.) is going to allow you to progress.
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New post 23 Jun 2009, 08:16
Thanks Alex I will do so. :)

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Re: another MBA, or Phd or Exec Ed. for boost   [#permalink] 23 Jun 2009, 08:16
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