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CBS or LBS for Asia-Pacific? (existing PE associate)

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Which would you choose if you were me

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CBS or LBS for Asia-Pacific? (existing PE associate)  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 28 May 2020, 16:56
Hi all,

I'm a PE associate with 3 years of experience and prior to this I worked for 3 years at a US investment bank. I'm currently tossing up between LBS and CBS and have listed my pros and cons for each school below. Would love if others can chime in with their thoughts.

Post-MBA my goal is to stay in PE but relocate to Singapore or HK (at a mid or large cap fund). I don't have Chinese language skills so Singapore is probably more likely (though still not a given without SE Asian language skills). Failing finding something in Asia, I would be trying to recruit in the UK (as I would have working rights there but not in the U.S*), ideally with an employer with an Asia-Pac office that I could eventually return to in the medium term. * note if I was able to get sponsorship for a US role then that would be a dream come true, I just think it's highly improbable, especially in the current environment, so not something I'm factoring in to my decision making

Columbia
Pros:
-a school I've always wanted to attend
-a city I've always wanted to live in (have close friends there)
-more layman's prestige
-potentially better brand in Singapore/HK in the finance/PE sectors (?)

Cons:
-at current exchange rates, at least double(!!) the cost of an LBS MBA in my home currency
-if Asia didn't work out and I needed to recruit for UK roles, it would be tougher from CBS compared with LBS
-wife will not have working rights in the U.S.
-a guess but I feel the COVID situation is likely to persist for longer in the U.S. than in the UK which will impact the classroom experience as well as recruiting to some extent

London Business School
Pros:
-half the price of CBS
-if Asia recruiting doesn't work out, I can easily recruit for UK roles. Can also try to find a part time internship while studying to reduce cost
-flexible entry / exit points - potentially important during uncertain COVID recruiting environment
-wife will have working rights in the U.K.


Cons:
-less brand prestige despite the MBA being similarly ranked to CBS
-whilst we don't mind the idea of living in London and think we would enjoy it, it was never one of our 'must live' places
-class profiles of non-US schools in general seem a bit weaker than the US schools (on paper)

Originally posted by roce on 25 May 2020, 03:32.
Last edited by roce on 28 May 2020, 16:56, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: CBS or LBS for Asia-Pacific? (existing PE associate)  [#permalink]

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New post 25 May 2020, 04:21
1) What does your wife do? How important is it for her to have career continuity? How easy / hard would it be for her to get a job in London? Whatever she could make would further reduce your costs vs Columbia.

2) What would she do for two years while in the US if Columbia was the option?

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Re: CBS or LBS for Asia-Pacific? (existing PE associate)  [#permalink]

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New post 25 May 2020, 04:49
Regenerate wrote:
1) What does your wife do? How important is it for her to have career continuity? How easy / hard would it be for her to get a job in London? Whatever she could make would further reduce your costs vs Columbia.

2) What would she do for two years while in the US if Columbia was the option?

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Thanks for the response. Answers to your Qs:

1) She works in financial services. It will be easy for her to find a job in London and very hard to find one in NYC due as she'll need sponsorship. Career continuity is important for her.
2) She would likely not work so the financial burden would be significant
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Re: CBS or LBS for Asia-Pacific? (existing PE associate)  [#permalink]

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New post 25 May 2020, 05:18
Sounds like LBS.

Married life is a team sport. London is a pretty neat place.

PS - Start hustling now and helpful internships / career networking will more likely lead to your preferred outcome.

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Re: CBS or LBS for Asia-Pacific? (existing PE associate)  [#permalink]

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New post 25 May 2020, 18:42
Hi. Congrats on your admits!!! Here is what I just got from an LBS current student:

Pros: #1 in UK, easier job visa, recognized as one the best finance driven mbas, cheaper than the US schools, very diverse school community, considered very highly in Asia. Supportive alumni network.

Cons: less intern and full time opportunities than the US schools. London rains a lot.

CBS is also a great school but as for me, i would choose LBS over CBS.
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New post 25 May 2020, 19:20
I would go LBS. Happy spouse, happy house. If career continuity is important to your wife then go to the school that would allow her to continue to excel and grow in her career as well.

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New post 25 May 2020, 19:39
Thanks for the responses so far. Anyone willing to fly the flag and share their opinion in favour of CBS?
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Re: CBS or LBS for Asia-Pacific? (existing PE associate)  [#permalink]

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New post 25 May 2020, 20:08
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Again congrats on your admits. I just posted real quick a PM i received from the current student (not sure why they did not post directly).... :-)

Now about your situation and predicament, I think HK is out with all the things happening over there. Also, quality of life is tough with the RE as expensive as it is there. What about AU? You want to leave the country with the most stringest immigration policies in the world?

It depends a bit when you need to make your decision by. The gov in the US rattling their sabres again (https://gmatclub.com/forum/trump-trying ... 25008.html) which will hopefully blow over. UK has done this in the past as well and limited their OPT to 4 months (then recognized the stupidity of that move and is in the process of changing it back to 1 or 2 years) but it is not changed and done either.

However, OPT may not matter if you can recruit out of BSchool and apply for H1B. Even if OPT is limited, you can still succeed. My understanding is that LBS is only strong in London and even that with the comments by the student, internships and jobs are scarce. The question is whether you are open to paying more for a program that will provide you with better chances and better options but no guarantee of success. Is it worth paying for that?

In my view, if you are going to sink 2 years of your life into something, sink it into something great and something you are not doubting. One thing is if you got a free ride from LBS and it was risk-free but in reality, if you always wanted to head to Columbia and be in New York where all the PE in the largest economy in the world is concentrated, I don't think you would be making a mistake :cool:
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Re: CBS or LBS for Asia-Pacific? (existing PE associate)  [#permalink]

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New post 25 May 2020, 20:11
roce wrote:
Thanks for the responses so far. Anyone willing to fly the flag and share their opinion in favour of CBS?


I mean, Columbia Business School is well...Columbia. It is an Ivy League school that has a strong global presence. The biggest thing for me though is that you would put yourself in a financial burden with your wife unable to work. That just does not sound smart to me.

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Re: CBS or LBS for Asia-Pacific? (existing PE associate)  [#permalink]

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New post 25 May 2020, 20:13
voted for LBS. not sure why you would want to work in HK, it's going downhill fast
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Re: CBS or LBS for Asia-Pacific? (existing PE associate)  [#permalink]

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New post 25 May 2020, 22:35
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roce wrote:
Hi all,

I'm a PE associate at a local mid-market firm in Australia where I've had 3 years of experience. Prior to this I worked for 3 years at a US investment bank also in Australia. I'm currently tossing up between LBS and CBS and have listed my pros and cons for each school below. Would love if others can chime in with their thoughts.

Post-MBA my goal is to stay in PE but relocate to Singapore or HK (at a mid or large cap fund). I don't have Chinese language skills so Singapore is probably more likely (though still not a given without SE Asian language skills). Failing finding something in Asia, I would be trying to recruit in the UK (as I would have working rights there but not in the U.S*), ideally with an employer with an Asia-Pac office that I could eventually return to in the medium term. I'll be 30 at matriculation. * note if I was able to get sponsorship for a US role then that would be a dream come true, I just think it's highly improbable, especially in the current environment, so not something I'm factoring in to my decision making

Columbia
Pros:
-a school I've always wanted to attend
-a city I've always wanted to live in (have close friends there)
-more layman's prestige
-potentially better brand in Singapore/HK in the finance/PE sectors (?)

Cons:
-at current exchange rates, at least double(!!) the cost of an LBS MBA in AUD terms
-if Asia didn't work out and I needed to recruit for UK roles, it would be tougher from CBS compared with LBS
-wife will not have working rights in the U.S.
-a guess but I feel the COVID situation is likely to persist for longer in the U.S. than in the UK which will impact the classroom experience as well as recruiting to some extent

London Business School
Pros:
-half the price of CBS
-if Asia recruiting doesn't work out, I can easily recruit for UK roles. Can also try to find a part time internship while studying to reduce cost
-flexible entry / exit points - potentially important during uncertain COVID recruiting environment
-wife will have working rights in the U.K.
-bigger alumni network in Australia (not sure this is really that important)

Cons:
-less brand prestige despite the MBA being similarly ranked to CBS
-whilst we don't mind the idea of living in London and think we would enjoy it, it was never one of our 'must live' places
-class profiles of non-US schools in general seem a bit weaker than the US schools (on paper)


Congratulations for the admits! Well done!

First of all, The Disclaimer: I just graduated from CBS and am a part of Hermes Society, student body that helps the admissions team. Yes, I am part of the society even after graduating because it is a lifetime membership :)

New, lemme start with a small immigration thing - A couple of people have told me that if you work in Australia for 3 years, you don't need to apply for H1B lottery. Please confirm each and every detail in this statement as neither of those people are lawyers.

A few relevant details about CBS -
1. The whole MBA program became STEM certified in last week of Feb. So, the MBA graduates get 3 years of OPT to work in US if their immigration lawyer can fill a form stating a STEM job profile.

2. CBS has a dedicated PE Program for the interested MBA students. It has an application process and the graduating students are called PE Fellows. On the similar note, the Director of the program Prof. Donna Hitscherich is quite connected with the PE firms in the and KKR hosts an annual PE competition with the winning team meeting Henry Kravis for breakfast. Among other people things, there are a lot of dedicated career resources for students interested in PE like career advisor, career fellows, career coaches, and executives in residence.

3. COVID: Let's get real about it and think rationally. There is no curative medicine for it. Neither is there any preventive medicine. So, I don't see any rationale saying that it can persist longer in US than UK. Both the countries are equally developed. So, whenever the medicine is approved it will reach people in both countries at almost the same pace. The delay at either of these places would not be longer than a week.
To that extent, I cannot say anything about future of recruiting process but the Deans office here is contemplating some Hybrid form of classroom in which some students would attend online and other would attend in person and then alternate periodically.

4. CBS definitely has a strong and active alumni Network in Singapore and HK. Not sure about Australia. I know about Singapore and HK because the career advisor helping with international job searches gave me the contacts.

5. Part-time internships are pretty easy to come by at CBS as well (New York!) and course credits can be claimed for them.

6. Work rights for the spouse: Spouses of two friends of mine, both international, are working here in US. I don't know how but there must be a way. I'd suggest talking to someone in Better Halves Club about that. Btw, CBS allows significant others to audit classes.

7. Operations Strategy, Service Operations Management, and Organizational Change are some of the most sought after courses at CBS. I specifically mentioned these courses because only a few large cap funds have in-house Operations teams. So, MBA are expected to know their way around Operational Improvement in PE shops.


Having said all this, LBS is also a good school. So, you really cannot go wrong with your decision. Btw, did I mention that there is also an exchange program between CBS and LBS?
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Re: CBS or LBS for Asia-Pacific? (existing PE associate)   [#permalink] 25 May 2020, 22:35

CBS or LBS for Asia-Pacific? (existing PE associate)

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