back office -> MBA

How much harder is it to get into a top 15 or so MBA program, if someone (ie me?) has a risk management/accounting/IT etc BB experience? Would that be considered "good" work experience? Is it better to go the Big 4 Audit route instead?

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Comments (31)

Jan 29, 2008 - 6:02pm

From what I've researched (submitted this year for several top programs), you can get into business school from any career-its a lot more important what you do while you are there, how strongly your supervisors recommend you, whether or not you get promoted, etc. Not to mention destroying the GMAT, having strong extracurriculars (community service, etc), having good undergrad grades, and writing good essays.

Jan 29, 2008 - 6:21pm

Chance to get into top B-school from Back Office IB? (Originally Posted: 02/08/2010)

I just settled with an entry level tech position in a top IB at NYC. The responsibility is just half trading support and half trading application development. I'm thinking to apply for MBA after 3-4+ years and jump to FO IB in Asia. So suppose I have these background in 3 years:

Work: Tech Associate, Small team leading experience, good RL from supervisor
Education: non-us undergrad, top engineering school master, good gpa (>3.7), high GMAT (>760)

Is it possible to get into top 5 b-school like Columbia or Wharton? How about top 15 like Yale?

I actually have a lot of useful experiences for b-school application in my undergrad such as leadership and entrepreneurship. But I don't know if it matters for MBA application because I already have 3+ ft working experiences.

I know ppl's case differ a lot from one to one. But there must be a general probability. Just like ppl always say it is impossible from BO to FO even if rare case do happen some times

Thanks.

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Jan 29, 2008 - 6:25pm
macro:
If you want to start your own business, then why don't you just start it. No need to take a roundabout way.

Maybe the case is different here. But in China, most time u need network and polish experience/degree to start ur business. Smart/idea is not enough.

Jan 29, 2008 - 6:28pm

I am in a very similar boat as you. I am from China with many "MBA" suitable activities in undergrad and a good Engineering MS degree in US. I have interned at a top IB IT, got the offer, but I took offer from a big name tech, as I see engineering is more respected in a tech shop. I am pursuing the startup route and also thinking about MBA.

I think you should seriously ponder another option which is to stick to financial information system as there is less competition and rising demand in Asia. You can jump to a quant fund later and go back China when you get to VP level which normally takes around 6 years and it is approximately the same time it takes if you pursue the MBA. But the key advantage is:

1) You are in an area you have an edge (FInancial Technologies) and your career is more consistent. Instead, if you go MBA and want to break into Consulting/PE, since you don't work in industry (So you dont have any real "operation" experience), your three years of Financial IT is pretty much wasted. They do not contribute to your consulting/PE career at all. You are a newbie after 5 years.

2) You advance to management positions. From my experience in both IB and tech shop, it is not possible to get reasonable leadership experience within 3 years (unless you are super super star). So upon MBA graduation, you are still entry level without any significant management experiences.

Jan 29, 2008 - 6:29pm
moonhorse:
I am in a very similar boat as you. I am from China with many "MBA" suitable activities in undergrad and a good Engineering MS degree in US. I have interned at a top IB IT, got the offer, but I took offer from a big name tech, as I see engineering is more respected in a tech shop. I am pursuing the startup route and also thinking about MBA.

I think you should seriously ponder another option which is to stick to financial information system as there is less competition and rising demand in Asia. You can jump to a quant fund later and go back China when you get to VP level which normally takes around 6 years and it is approximately the same time it takes if you pursue the MBA. But the key advantage is:

1) You are in an area you have an edge (FInancial Technologies) and your career is more consistent. Instead, if you go MBA and want to break into Consulting/PE, since you don't work in industry (So you dont have any real "operation" experience), your three years of Financial IT is pretty much wasted. They do not contribute to your consulting/PE career at all. You are a newbie after 5 years.

2) You advance to management positions. From my experience in both IB and tech shop, it is not possible to get reasonable leadership experience within 3 years (unless you are super super star). So upon MBA graduation, you are still entry level without any significant management experiences.

Thanks for the reply. I will seriously consider it. Btw, I also think tech position in big name tech firm (MSFT/GOOG) is more appreciated compared with Back office position in IB.

Jan 29, 2008 - 6:30pm

To answer your original question, yes, it is most definitely possible to get into Columbia and Wharton tier schools out of back office positions, assuming you are a top performer and are well liked by your group.

To be perfectly honest though, your writing ability appears to be quite sub-par.
I can't imagine this will work in your favor.

Jan 29, 2008 - 6:31pm

build network while in BO then get MBA - worth it? (Originally Posted: 01/12/2011)

I'm in BO and just realized that I and friends at other banks have access to the company directories and see the front office people in the hall, elevators, etc.... I even go boozing with these guys sometimes just for the hell of it

How worthwhile is building a network, then getting an MBA, and then using this network. Is it possible to get MBA paid for / line up interships or a job beforehand?

Get busy living
  • 1
Jan 29, 2008 - 6:32pm

I'm already doing this, I'm just curious how far I can push it....

Get busy living
  • 1
Jan 29, 2008 - 6:33pm

I think you should avoid taking the 'getting into a top MBA' part as a given. It takes a solid profile to get in, and having only BO experience probably won't cut it.

-MBP
  • 1
Jan 29, 2008 - 6:34pm
everythingsucks:
I think you should avoid taking the 'getting into a top MBA' part as a given. It takes a solid profile to get in, and having only BO experience probably won't cut it.
  1. This does not address my question and you're taking up space here. Now I see the difference between finance and consulting....what is it that you people do again?

  2. I don't need top 5 MBA, I'll do just fine with the schools I'm applying to (and what the fuck do you know? I'm CURRENTLY in BO, but you haven't seen the rest of my resume. Know whay you're talking about asshole)

Get busy living
  • 2
Jan 29, 2008 - 6:35pm

That's not the question. Thank you, now go away

Get busy living
  • 2
Jan 29, 2008 - 6:36pm
UFOinsider:
everythingsucks:
I think you should avoid taking the 'getting into a top MBA' part as a given. It takes a solid profile to get in, and having only BO experience probably won't cut it.
  1. This does not address my question and you're taking up space here. Now I see the difference between finance and consulting....what is it that you people do again?

  2. I don't need top 5 MBA, I'll do just fine with the schools I'm applying to (and what the fuck do you know? I'm CURRENTLY in BO, but you haven't seen the rest of my resume. Know whay you're talking about asshole)

lol, you are a seriously insecure dbag. I find it funny how the back office guy with a 2.0 GPA is sh!tting on consulting...

As for your original question:

  1. obviously it's worthwhile to network and then use the network. If you weren't planning on using the network, why network in the first place ?!

  2. as for the companies paying for your MBA, this will only happen if you have been with the company for a while, and commit to working for the company for x number of years after the MBA

  3. you can secure internships on your own through your network, sure, but OCR for summer internships won't happen before the MBA starts.

anyway, next time, try not to be such a pansy about everything.

-MBP
  • 1
Jan 29, 2008 - 6:38pm

To the two D'bag's above, the OP is 100% right. He's asking a specific question that has a specific answer. It's not for you to jump all over his profile and assume he can't go through with his end of it, he'll take care of that himself and it is not for anybody to make assumptions upon because it is irrelevant...has nothing to do with the question which is theoretical in nature.

However, I would also add that the three points in everythingsucks' second response was pretty spot on. I haven't seen BO to FO personally, but obviously relationships do drive the industry and if you can create good rapport with these people, there's no reason you won't be able to work a few of them for a job down the line.

Jan 29, 2008 - 6:41pm
rebelcross:
To the two D'bag's above, the OP is 100% right. He's asking a specific question that has a specific answer. It's not for you to jump all over his profile and assume he can't go through with his end of it, he'll take care of that himself and it is not for anybody to make assumptions upon because it is irrelevant...has nothing to do with the question which is theoretical in nature.

However, I would also add that the three points in everythingsucks' second response was pretty spot on. I haven't seen BO to FO personally, but obviously relationships do drive the industry and if you can create good rapport with these people, there's no reason you won't be able to work a few of them for a job down the line.

Dude, I said absolutely nothing to invoke her hostility. I was just pointing out that it's only worth it to pay for a top (however you define it) MBA, and that a lot of effort will need to go into getting in. I didn't say she can't get in. Just that BO experience by itself probably won't cut it, and so perhaps she should focus on the MBA for now, rather than getting ahead of herself.

-MBP
  • 1
Jan 29, 2008 - 6:40pm
HarvardOrBust:
Why sh1t on consulting? Still better than BO.

I do agree he was probably out of line too for shitting on consulting. He'll probably wish he's a consultant after a few miserable nights in IB (every night).

Jan 29, 2008 - 6:44pm

Ugh, you've taken up too much space on this post and the question still isn't answered. Now it's going to be ignored by others who potentially would have contributed but doesn't want to read through your pointless debate. Why am I shitting on consulting?......just look at the above post

I'm new to industry and decided to move into it long after I graduated, largely because I cashed out of my previous business. The degree was never more than a formality for my last career, which, by the way, did WAY more for me than any analyst position ever would have paid. With all due respect, the 'track' is a narrow subset of career possiblities, and since I'm not on the track, I'm forced to be as creative as possible. I don't care what the standard recruiting protocol is, b/c I'm already out of that loop: what I'm looking for here is the parameters of the larger system in which we all function. For example, would a M&A MD facilitate the company paying for a BO slave's MBA should said slave demonstrate potential? If you don't ask the question and PUSH THE ENVELOPE, you don't know.

This finance thing is new and interesting and I'm trying to figure out what works, SO, do your busy busy selves a favor in the future: if you don't know an answer to a question, don't waste other people's time by not answering.

Get busy living
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