Applying for post-MBA roles: ambitious or just right?


I have an undergrad degree and 3 years full-time investment banking experience. 

My question: would applying for post-MBA roles at each firm, particularly MBB, be ambitious or just right for someone with my background? Would it make more sense to apply as a senior analyst equivalent?

Don't want to be written off for not being qualified, though also don't want to be knocked down a year.


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Comments (2)

  • Summer Associate in IB - Ind
Mar 31, 2021 - 12:06pm

In short, it's ambitious, though not impossible. I know a few anecdotal cases where that was achieved, but by and large, consulting firms (and especially MBBs) have fairly rigid recruiting structure. They hire (a) MBA candidates for (b) "consultant" roles (i.e. two steps above the entry role almost across board, though those earlier titles differ - usually "associate" --> "associate/junior/assistant consultant" --> "consultant" (with the last jump requiring them to take 2-yrs to get an MBA - again this are just the norm, and some can circumvent this). 

Also, despite all the flack that MBA programs get (albeit it much of it valid), I think it would be a fairly significant disadvantage for the consultant-level position. For better or worse, the MBA curriculum is essentially a trade-school for consultants. It's quite crazy when you start seeing the trend, that almost every class, lecture, and assignment is in some way geared towards that profession. I'm not saying you need an MBA for most of the jobs the brochures will tell you it's needed - quite the opposite, I'd say consultancy is maybe the only one for which you could argue its a fairly indispensable requirement. Can you become a chef without going to culinary school? of course, but if that's really your goal, you should probably go to school for it. Same thing with MBA and consultancy (beyond the entry level, in which they expect they'll need to teach you everything). In culinary school you learn cutting techniques, how to make a souffle or how to garnish a plate, while in an MBA you learn marketing techniques, how to make a gant chart or how to garnish a powerpoint (almost diametrically opposite to what you're instructed in banking btw... 1 chart/1 idea per slide, less is always more, variety of slide layout is encouraged, etc.)... 

If you really want to go to an MBB, you could either try for a more junior level, work 2 years, and if you're exceptional be offered a proomition without a requirement of MBA. more likely, they'll ask you get an MBA. the other road is simply spending two fun years at an MBA, going through the recruiting process (which in my estimation, with 3-yrs pre-MBA banking experience you'll absolutely crush), and then enter at the more senior role. 

Just my two cents. Best of luck my friend!

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