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Profile Eval / Part Timer

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Joined: 17 Jan 2018
Posts: 1
Profile Eval / Part Timer [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2018, 16:51

I'm new to GMAT club and wanted to try to focus on my program search; however, I'm not sure if it's the right route. So let's get to it:

1. Why Part time/Online? I like the flexibility and programs that require the students to come to campus regularly (CMU/Florida) for residentials. I'm also having to pay out of pocket, so typically I've viewed FT programs as too much of a loss on the opportunity costs as my salary is roughly $105-110k range unless it was a 1 year like Cornell or Northwestern.

2. My background: I'm an early 30s contractor (currently) with 10 years experience in finance and accounting, primarily in corporate finance and erp conversions. My industry is Oil and Gas in Houston, TX, so I've been contract/consulting (on my 4th project engagement) for the last year and 8 months due to the economic downturn in the market. I started in management accounting/corp fp&a finance at a O&G services company out of Uni (econ degree from a major top 25 state University) where I spent 4 years and earned a promotion during the recession, was recruited to a mid-major O&G exploration company for 4 years with two promotions where I did something similar (crude accounting, corporate finance/fp&a, and SAP ERP implementation) and was laid off in one of the last rounds of lay offs. Almost immediately, I got a call to become a consultant on a team led by a national second-tier (third tier, maybe?) management consulting firm who was consulting a foreign national exploration company. I spent four months there completing an IT/accounting project that another contracted consultant left from. Then decided to travel in South America for a month and then came back take care of my father who was ill. When I came back to the job market, it was at its worst time, but I was able to get a contracted consultant position at a national midstream services company where I created some new processes for their accounting team and assisted in the implementation of a Microsoft ERP system. I was then recruited for a foreign super-major where I spent 9 months as a contractor doing corporate finance the first three months; however, my position was transferred to another city (no relocation opportunity) and I was asked to do more database analytics for the finance team and creating business intelligence solutions for them. I was then picked up for another position (current one) at a foreign manufacturing company where I'm a dual-threat company controller (most responsible/rewarding position I've had so far (financial/management accounting and corporate finance) and SAP business analyst (third chair).

3. What I want I want to eventually become a CFO or the chair below a CFO. I've done management accounting /corp finance for so long that I wouldn't mind going into treasury before moving it up the chain (so I can see three of the five sides of a Accounting/Finance group: FP&A/Corp Finance/Mgmt Acct, Financial Accounting, and Treasury. I'm not interested in Tax or Audit.).

I'm not interested in MBB consulting and let's face it - I'm too old and not eager for those kinds of hours as I have a family. Investment banking (Private Equity) was recommended to me, but again, I'm not sure I'm too old plus my program focus is not conducive for that kind of recruitment unless it were a small shop. I enjoy working in my industry and manufacturing - I like the "we make things" kind of career. I plan to finish 2018 with my CPA, so any MBA programs would be for 2019 intakes.

4. Questions - Do I need a top M7 MBA? Let's be pragmatic about costs vs what I'll get out of it. Most of the leading people in my industry don't have MBAs unless they're a former banker turned CFO or an engineer turned CEO. In my field, I don't see an MBA unless they were career or industry changers with none holding a top 25 degree. I've crunched the numbers and given some assumptions about salary increase post-MBA, say 15-20% gained from getting another job, I could afford a program with a cost in the low 6 figures under the assumption that I'm solely paying for it without any financial assistance, but, of course, I'm asking all my targets if they offer financial assistance (scholarships, grants, or fellowships).

It's been recommended by younger colleagues to wait until I get a job that pays for school, but I've been around to multiple companies in Houston and that perk is nonexistent in this market unless you've been told to get your MBA.

5. My Targets:
Part time: Rice University and possibly UT Austin or Tulane (Texas A&M and UHouston offer programs in town as well, but I'm not interested in them).
Online: Johns Hopkins, UMiami, Carnegie Mellon (whoo expensive), Temple, Drexel, Penn State, Kelley IU, Delaware (finance/business analysis focus), Lehigh, Florida, UMass, and Illinois. These programs were selected because of their Finance focus option.
1 Year Options: Cornell or Northwestern. Those are stretches though, due to family obligations.

6. GMAT - I haven't taken it and have contacted schools to find out their waver possibilities. I'm aware that my score would help my admissions/financial aid package, so I'm prepared to study for it. I took a prep exam on a whim and I was in the 660 range.

7. Based on the above, am I doing this right? Feel free to talk to me like a 5 year old. I've maintained a more pragmatic approach to this search because I'm myopically focused on my net worth (life of being a contractor without any safety nets) and my desired outcome: path to CFO. The impact that a sub $200k MBA would do to said net worth is a huge fear, especially in my market. Multiple MBA (local state schools) holders are applying for lower level positions at the company I'm contracting for and they aren't interviewing any of them.

Should I be looking at EMBA programs like Duke or Cornell?

Thanks for reading!
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Joined: 24 Mar 2015
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Farrell D Hehn: MBA
Re: Profile Eval / Part Timer [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2018, 17:25
This is a lot of great information but we're missing a couple important pieces here..first of all where do you live? And how far would you be willing to travel? And the second is what is early thirties? Meaning how old are you? If you're 32 it's a different situation than if you're 35. You're kind of viable for full-time programs 31/32 but at 35 it's time to hang it up and go for the emba imo. Let's reverse engineer this whole damn thing. Think about where you want to be, the job you want to be recruited for post-mba, what company that is, where. and then approach recruiters for said company and ask them these exact same questions. The worst thing in the world would be for you to hope and guess you're getting it right and then be wrong. I have my clients make gratuitous use of the advanced search feature on LinkedIn. And connect with both recruiters and also new graduates in the jobs that you want. It's just really worth it to do that research before laying out the 200k. I would talk to recruiters internally they have a job called MBA recruiter...also Headhunters, regular recruiters anybody who is evaluating your resume and making a decision about you based on the school you went to. They know who they recruit from and who they don't. For someone in your age range I think about Wharton emba as a good fit because it's actually the full-time MBA program but crammed into a part-time schedule. You can't go wrong with Wharton when it comes to finance, they have the residencies every couple of weeks in either San Francisco or Philly. You might also consider Sloan fellows or Stanford MSx. I think you should think about this as a big decision not onesies twosies here. You're not probably going to get the job you want from Tallahassee Junior College. And given that you have an initial run with the GMAT that's fairly decent I think you have a good shot. Get a clear vision of what you want to make manifest by way of an MBA do the research and then you will probably feel differently about the investment knowing if it makes sense or not. But I don't want you to compromise with some low-grade part-time program that's just not going to get the job done or open doors for you. PT Austin or Rice might, however, but do they have the recruiting relationships with industry as much as energy startups and o&g. That's something to look at. Track people that have come out of each of the program's you're looking at, and start some conversations with the people you're trying to sell this to. My feeling is why fly to Paris for peanut butter sandwiches. And please do not even think about online programs unless you are not ambulatory. I think those are such a rip off. If you want to go that direction why not Coursera. The idea behind an MBA is establishing a network.

Farrell Dyan
"You don't often come across people so perceptive and empathetic." - EM, NYC

Re: Profile Eval / Part Timer   [#permalink] 17 Jan 2018, 17:25
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