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Total Career Switch with an MBA - advice?

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Total Career Switch with an MBA - advice? [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2017, 09:26
Hello! I recently joined this site in the hopes that I can get some advice from a community that is far more knowledgeable than I when it comes to business school and the workplace afterwards. I believe that I am posting in the appropriate forum but please let me know if there is a better place for me to be asking this question.

Here is my situation; I am currently a public school teacher (band/orchestra) who has been teaching for 4 years and is looking to change careers. I have become licensed as a life insurance agent to make a little extra money and realized that I really do enjoy the business side of things and enjoy working in finance. That, in conjunction with a very strong conviction that I need to leave the world of public education, has brought me to where I am now. After talking to friends/family and doing a little research I believe that business school may be an effective way to pivot my career and get into a different line of work.

My question; Is this a viable way to change careers or will I graduate with an MBA just to discover that I can't find a job? Theoretically, after I complete my MBA, my experience will be: Bachelors of music education, MBA, 4 years running a comprehensive music program (hundreds of students/multiple budgets), whatever internship experience I get during my MBA, and experience as a life insurance producer. If you are someone who is an executive, would you consider hiring someone with that experience? Does anyone out there know of someone who has made a similar change?

I want to keep my expectations realistic so don't pull any punches- any and all advice is much appreciated!

Thank you for your time,
Kevin

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Re: Total Career Switch with an MBA - advice? [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2017, 22:30
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Hi Kevin,

Your question is very legitimate but the answer is difficult. It differs according to the culture an country you come from. If you are in my community the answer would be no. But I'd assume you are American and I would say that you are no the first to do so. I recall one exact experience like you in Kelley schools of Business. Ellen's story is on Kelley channel which were posted in 4 short videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHJCMm-mhZc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA3YCPCMgyQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gIzm0y947E
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yk5pZh4XR10

If I were you, I would contact Kelley (just an example) and ask to connect you with Ellen and have good view of everything.

You contact other schools too for more info.

I hope it helps

Good luck

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Re: Total Career Switch with an MBA - advice? [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2017, 22:43
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Hello kevinbec - Welcome to GMAT Club, you are definitely in the right forum to get some expert advice.

Here is my take on your question - Majority if not all of the students join MBA to change their careers. However, it is easier said than done, one has to put in a lot of effort during the MBA period to develop a strong network in the desired industry.

Though prior experience is considered as good to have, it is not mandatory to join in areas such as - Consulting, Finance, Tech, etc. It all comes down to your applications. You should be able to provide a compelling reason for moving into finance.

Considering your profile, you can definitely stand as a good diversity candidate for the MBA class. You should start researching on the reputed schools for finance and apply accordingly.

Hope this help - Feel free to post here in case you need any further help.
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Re: Total Career Switch with an MBA - advice? [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2017, 10:31
Thank you so much for your responses! I should have given more background information, but Mo2men your assumption is correct- I am American, 25 yrs old, and live in Denver CO.

Mo2men, thank you for the links! Those videos are incredibly helpful, I'll be sure to reach out to Kelley and other sources to get more information.

Ydmuley, I appreciate your insight on the MBA application process and on my unique situation! I think I'm starting to get an idea of where to start, and it is heartening to hear that I'm not being completely unrealistic.

I have a couple of follow up questions, and if either of you has a moment to respond I'd love to hear your input. While finance is what made me realize I'd like to change careers, I've also been researching a lot of other possible careers(In particular product/brand management and project management). Ydmuley, you mentioned that areas such as consulting, finance, tech, etc. are not as dependent on prior experience as other areas.

Do you believe that, due to my lack of experience, I will be limited to the specific areas that you mentioned? Which careers are going to require prior experience where finance and consulting do not? When thinking about an MBA specialization, are there certain specialties that are in higher demand than others? As someone going in without experience it seems that it is in my best interest to choose a specialization wisely to make myself more marketable.

I hope you'll forgive the onslaught of questions, I'd like to gather as much information as possible as I look towards this big career change. Again, any advice or thoughts that either of you have are a huge help and are much appreciated.

Thanks!
Kevin

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Total Career Switch with an MBA - advice? [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2017, 11:49
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kevinbec wrote:
Thank you so much for your responses! I should have given more background information, but Mo2men your assumption is correct- I am American, 25 yrs old, and live in Denver CO.

Mo2men, thank you for the links! Those videos are incredibly helpful, I'll be sure to reach out to Kelley and other sources to get more information.

Ydmuley, I appreciate your insight on the MBA application process and on my unique situation! I think I'm starting to get an idea of where to start, and it is heartening to hear that I'm not being completely unrealistic.

I have a couple of follow up questions, and if either of you has a moment to respond I'd love to hear your input. While finance is what made me realize I'd like to change careers, I've also been researching a lot of other possible careers(In particular product/brand management and project management). Ydmuley, you mentioned that areas such as consulting, finance, tech, etc. are not as dependent on prior experience as other areas.

Do you believe that, due to my lack of experience, I will be limited to the specific areas that you mentioned? Which careers are going to require prior experience where finance and consulting do not? When thinking about an MBA specialization, are there certain specialties that are in higher demand than others? As someone going in without experience it seems that it is in my best interest to choose a specialization wisely to make myself more marketable.

I hope you'll forgive the onslaught of questions, I'd like to gather as much information as possible as I look towards this big career change. Again, any advice or thoughts that either of you have are a huge help and are much appreciated.

Thanks!
Kevin


Hi Kevin,

You are welcome anytime. I can't forget LODO and 16th Street mall. :-D I recall one of horrible in December days when the news said it would -17 Celsius and it became only -4 Celsius (sorry do not know F) ;)

Operation and supply chain do not need prior experience beside consulting and marketing. I maybe conservative about finance. While IB depends on experience. I do not know about the corporate finance. You can check more.

Here is my thought process:

1- Build the desire to do an MBA, which you already did. It is not just I want to do MBA.

2- Try to determine the direction/directions you want to work in (like first focus area and 2nd focus area). Then, choose the the schools that fits your goals. You can US news as it has ranking for disciplines beside the general ranking. After, you have great opportunity to visit some schools to talk more with adcoms and students. It is huge plus in your case.

3- In parallel, you should invest to go from poet to quant side. i.e. invest time in GMAT to prove capabilities for MBA study.

4- You can invest some money with adcom consultant to craft your essay and application. But do not do it early before you have info about the above.

GO ahead and pursue your dreams :thumbup:

Kudos [?]: 285 [1], given: 163

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Joined: 28 Sep 2017
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Re: Total Career Switch with an MBA - advice? [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2017, 13:34
Mo2men wrote:
kevinbec wrote:
Thank you so much for your responses! I should have given more background information, but Mo2men your assumption is correct- I am American, 25 yrs old, and live in Denver CO.

Mo2men, thank you for the links! Those videos are incredibly helpful, I'll be sure to reach out to Kelley and other sources to get more information.

Ydmuley, I appreciate your insight on the MBA application process and on my unique situation! I think I'm starting to get an idea of where to start, and it is heartening to hear that I'm not being completely unrealistic.

I have a couple of follow up questions, and if either of you has a moment to respond I'd love to hear your input. While finance is what made me realize I'd like to change careers, I've also been researching a lot of other possible careers(In particular product/brand management and project management). Ydmuley, you mentioned that areas such as consulting, finance, tech, etc. are not as dependent on prior experience as other areas.

Do you believe that, due to my lack of experience, I will be limited to the specific areas that you mentioned? Which careers are going to require prior experience where finance and consulting do not? When thinking about an MBA specialization, are there certain specialties that are in higher demand than others? As someone going in without experience it seems that it is in my best interest to choose a specialization wisely to make myself more marketable.

I hope you'll forgive the onslaught of questions, I'd like to gather as much information as possible as I look towards this big career change. Again, any advice or thoughts that either of you have are a huge help and are much appreciated.

Thanks!
Kevin


Hi Kevin,

You are welcome anytime. I can't forget LODO and 16th Street mall. :-D I recall one of horrible in December days when the news said it would -17 Celsius and it became only -4 Celsius (sorry do not know F) ;)

Operation and supply chain do not need prior experience beside consulting and marketing. I maybe conservative about finance. While IB depends on experience. I do not know about the corporate finance. You can check more.

Here is my thought process:

1- Build the desire to do an MBA, which you already did. It is not just I want to do MBA.

2- Try to determine the direction/directions you want to work in (like first focus area and 2nd focus area). Then, choose the the schools that fits your goals. You can US news as it has ranking for disciplines beside the general ranking. After, you have great opportunity to visit some schools to talk more with adcoms and students. It is huge plus in your case.

3- In parallel, you should invest to go from poet to quant side. i.e. invest time in GMAT to prove capabilities for MBA study.

4- You can invest some money with adcom consultant to craft your essay and application. But do not do it early before you have info about the above.

GO ahead and pursue your dreams :thumbup:


That's awesome that you know Lodo and the 16th street mall- I love that area! I'm originally from Phoenix AZ so I understand your comment about the December weather haha

Thank you so much for your time and thoughtful responses- I'll be sure to take them to heart.

-Kevin

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Re: Total Career Switch with an MBA - advice? [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2017, 14:07
kevinbec wrote:

That's awesome that you know Lodo and the 16th street mall- I love that area! I'm originally from Phoenix AZ so I understand your comment about the December weather haha

Thank you so much for your time and thoughtful responses- I'll be sure to take them to heart.

-Kevin


I was in Phoenix, Az 2 times staying close to Arizona mills mall :-D

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Re: Total Career Switch with an MBA - advice?   [#permalink] 29 Sep 2017, 14:07
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