Analyst Position or B-School?

I'm looking for advice to help me choose between two courses of action to try to break into PE.

My background
-Enlisted military
-Undergrad: 4.0 in Liberal Arts major at non-target school
-GMAT: 730 (first time with no prep courses- I could bring it up if I had to)
-No consulting contacts at all, but networked my way into consulting firm in DC (think Booz/Deloitte/Accenture)
-Accepted to T40 b-school for class of '14 with half scholarship (only applied to one school- didn't really know what I wanted to do until this Spring)
-Non-native speaker of Mandarin; studied abroad in China

Just figured out I want to do PE, then read a post on WSO saying that Vets should try to network into PE or IB at the analyst level, then go MBA later. I've already given notice to my current firm that I'm leaving in the fall. Should I try to network like crazy between now and the fall with the goal of getting into PE or IB at the analyst level and only go to b-school if that fails, or is the b-school route better?

Thanks for any insight.


Comments (6)

May 23, 2012 - 10:26am

I was enlisted as well, and am currently finishing my undergrad. I was able to network my way into a PE summer internship that could lead to a FT offer, but I'm sure as you've read here, those opportunities are incredibly rare. Also, this would have been 10x more difficult for me if I wasn't currently studying finance and didn't have my alumni network to leverage -- so for you, I would focus all of my efforts to gaining an IB position at the analyst level if possible, do that for two years, then try to make the jump to PE. Feel free to pm me if you have more detailed questions.

May 23, 2012 - 12:21pm

Agreed with above - don't bother with a t40 school - that won't get you to IB or PE for that matter. Try and get yourself a IB position at the analyst level, go through recruiting after a year or continue your analyst position for ~2 years and then apply to B-School. You have a pretty interesting background and you should be able to do better school-wise.

May 23, 2012 - 2:45pm

I don't understand why people haven't gotten yet. My friend recently completed his MBA at Top 40 program and I told him DO NOT GO TO B SCHOOL UNLESS IT'S TOP 5 or 10. He regrets his MBA and not listening.

Did you even apply to top B school programs? I ask because they are bringing in vets like crazy?

May 26, 2012 - 2:12pm


Did you even apply to top B school programs? I ask because they are bringing in vets like crazy?

This is mainly true for officers exiting the military into b-school. The number of prior enlisted military who got out, earned their UG, then spent time in IB, PE, or consulting and get accepted into top 5 or 10 schools is much smaller. I think it's because military experience is no longer the most recent on their resumes, so they're seen as an older-than-average finance or consulting guy rather than a veteran.
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