After B-school

If the "typical" career path is IB for 2 years, PE/HF for a few years, then top MBA program, what do most people do after they get their MBA? Is PE/HF not where most want to end up? If not...what is the goal? What is the ideal job for those who take this path for after business school?

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Comments (8)

Feb 22, 2009 - 3:34pm

It is where an individual interests and goals lie. People need to get it out of their head that you need to follow the typical path, many people do not follow the typical path and end up where they want to be on their own terms...

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Feb 25, 2009 - 1:25pm

There really isn't a typical path and there is no "goal".

After a while, you take it a year at a time. Life changes. You change. Circumstances change.

Sure, a lot of IB->PE->MBA types think about going back to PE, and quite a number will, but whether they stay long or not is really random. There's only room for so many partners, and most realize that the doors to being partner are closed (even if the door is ajar and looks like it could open up). Some continue on with the hope of getting in, others bounce from fund to fund with that same hope, and yet others give up or lose interest or they end up having a family and move to the midwest or some other more "life-oriented" decisions. Also, the industry could change or you happen to join at a time when a certain sector is out of favor (which your fund focuses on) and so you move on. And there are also others who will not do PE at all post-MBA, but go into something different (work at a portfolio company, start their own business, etc.)

It may be hard to appreciate it before you get to that stage in your life, but for many folks, career decisions become heavily influenced by personal circumstances as you get older, trust me on this - you get married, and where/when/why you work isn't just your decision to make (it's a joint decision no matter what anyone says). When kids come into the equation, that also weighs into what kind of jobs you take (i.e. deciding where you want to raise the kids, which isn't really your decision, but a joint- or ahem the wife's decision).

Again, don't think in terms of "typical path" because I can guarantee you once you get older it becomes irrelevant - your career choices and the basic assumptions you make about your career WILL change.

I know it's easy to think 15 steps ahead (many of us were like that at one time or another) but as counter-intuitive as it sounds, so many things in your life WILL change over the next decade that it's pointless. Focus on NOW and maybe one step ahead at most. That's really all you know about yourself and what you want.

Alex Chu
www.mbaapply.com

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