Engineer thinking of getting an MBA, then possibly Management or IT Consulting

FMoney's picture
Rank: Monkey | 37


I'm currently an electrical engineer working in the Silicon Valley, I've been thinking of quitting my current job and moving back home to San Diego. I'll have 1.75 years work experience if I moved next month.

Also been thinking about a career change, and possibly getting an MBA from SDSU. Its cheap, and I plan to stay local within San Diego.

Afterwards, I was potentially thinking that Management or IT consulting could be an option for me. How does my current situation look? Is this a good route to take? Do I need further work experience, or will the time I've put in already suffice or not matter if I'm relabeled with an MBA?

Was hoping I'd make at least $85K+ after graduation. What should I expect to make after graduating?

If this plan sounds ludicrous would love to hear your feedback or other options.


Comments (18)

Aug 1, 2014

I think that is an awful idea. You're in a "sexy" industry, you probably can do well on the GMAT. Get a years more experience and apply to better schools. What was your GPA? Are you at a name brand company?

Aug 2, 2014

Understood, but thinking engineering isn't my cup of tea. (the people are not as social as I'd like, hence the transition to finance or something related). And absolutely cant stand silicon valley. Once you come from the bubble of San Diego, you don't really want to live anywhere else.

I work at Lockheed Martin. But I'm getting to the point where if I stay another week here, I'm about to tie a belt around my neck. (I work in a cube farm and there's absolutely nothing to do around here.)

I know no one likes a complainer, but I'm really ready for a change of pace. Was hoping my 1.75 years exp would be enough (for employers). SDSU is a lower ranked MBA school, and doesn't require job experience to get in... but from what I hear on the wallstreet oasis here, is that if its a local school it will work for your area (in this case San Diego).

Its possible I'll land another job before school starts up, and I'd try if its absolutely necessary to get my foot in the door for employers. But was hoping with my experience and a freshly labeled MBA would get me in the right direction/ and could work. - Can it? What would I start at salary wise if I tried to get into a management consulting firm? Or is this not how it works?

Aug 2, 2014

So make moves into a more operations focused role, move internally, but don't squander your MBA reset. If you're deadest on California you would be aiming for a top MBA, in CA it's basically Stanford>>>>>>>>>Haas>>>Anderson>>USC. You're not likely to get tech consulting and certainly not management consulting from SDSU.

Aug 2, 2014

Yeah you won't get management consulting from SDSU. As others have said, find another job (probably actually better in the eyes of admissions committees than staying at your current one) that is hopefully more relevant to what you want to do after your MBA. Work for another couple of years (at least one more) and then apply to better schools - you will want to get outside SD for your MBA and come back for work, rather than stay for your MBA because you won't get management consulting jobs etc from SDSU.

Also, management consulting is probably not a good choice for you if you want to stay in the area....there's a lot of travel involved etc.

Aug 2, 2014

It will be an uphill battle accomplishing your goals at SDSU. Plus, if you ever change your mind about consulting (like you are now about engineering) the SDSU brand name and alumni network is not going to be much help to you. If you can find a job now that moves a step closer to what you want, even if it is far from your ideal job, it will benefit you in two major ways: 1) it will give you more personal insight into your own commitment to the career change, and 2) it will demonstrate to adcoms that you take initiative and know the direction you want to pursue in b-school. Combine this with a your (assumedly) strong academic background as an engineer, and you will be a candidate for higher level schools that can place you into a better job and provide you with a stronger ongoing network. Giving that up now to go to SDSU is an opportunity missed - think long-term and be patient.

Aug 2, 2014

Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated. - Does SDSU have any exit opportunities whatsoever? What types of careers would this get me into? (besides engineering management).

Aug 2, 2014

Can I ask why you're so obsessed with SDSU? It's an awful choice for what you want. Go to USC or UCLA if you want to be in Southern California or try and network your way into a tech consulting firm with an SD office. But don't get a non-target MBA.

Aug 2, 2014

I can't find a detailed employment report from SDSU, but a $58K average base salary and a 57% job offer rate at graduation (both stats taken from P&Q) sounds like you're setting yourself up for disappointment. I believe anything can be accomplished with enough hustle, but the value of an MBA is largely in the people you meet, the alumni network, and the brand name, and SDSU leaves much to be desired in all categories. I can't speak to specific exit opportunities out of SDSU though, so try searching Linkedin and reaching out for advice from people who went to SDSU and work in consulting. Their feedback would be more insightful than mine.

Aug 6, 2014

M7 MBA grab here. I live in San Diego.

I worked at a Tier 2 consulting firm, and now MBB, while living in San Diego. For both I've been aligned to the LA office. It's a bit of a pain being so far from the office, but you can make it work.

That said if you think lockheed has a tough definitely isn't for you.

Aug 6, 2014

Don't squander your reset on SDSU. You'd be surprised what schools you might be able to get into, even if you can't yet it's worth waiting a few years to get that top program. The last thing you want is to prematurely shuffle into a less than ideal program for expedience sake and miss out on your goal all together. In that scenario you might end up going into engineering again because that's where the money will be.

Aug 25, 2014

I was focused on SDSU because the overall tuition is pretty cheap. Slightly over $16K. - Going to a top ranked school and taking on $120K+ in loans seems pretty high risk, yes? And if I'm aiming to stay local within San Diego, thought it would be an OK choice.
I don't have to do Management Consulting, I just saw that field and had interest at the time of this post, but I'm open to anything that will get me $90K+ out of school (I might be dreaming though, seeing as the stats say grads start at $70K on average, hence why I'm here inquiring.)

My primary goal here is a possible career change and maybe land a job that brings in at least $85K within the area , (hopefully this is possible?).

Doesnt have to be management consulting, and not sure if an M7 is ideal for that goal . I don't see the point in having $120K in debt. Nor could I even get that loan to begin with, which brings another question but less in priority, how do you even pay to get through an M7?

Aug 26, 2014

It's a pay to play world, the type of companies you are going to want to work for only recruit from the top schools. Those programs have excellent placement stats to show for it. If you want consulting it sounds like you should be gunning for Northwestern or Haas. You could go the cheap way with shitty placement stats and salaries, or you could go the expensive way and have a 95% chance of hitting above 110k starting salary.

I don't understand why you stuck out 4 years for an electrical engineering degree if you didn't like the work. It makes me think that you are prone to the path of least resistance and it has already bitten you in the ass. If I were you, I'd try to find a job for electrical engineering in SD if possible or another location and then decide on an MBA. I guess what I'm saying is, you really need to plan out this next move before you really get stuck and it's hard for me to imagine a 24-25/yr old having that good of an idea of what they'd be happy with for the next 25 years. Not to throw it in your face, but how has electrical engineering worked out? How has working in the Silicon Valley worked out? How has Lockheed Martin worked out? How has your undergrad school worked out (opportunities upon graduation)? I ask that last question because it sounds like you only took the job because it was the only thing available. Don't look at it as a failure, just be cognizant of what led you to where you are and the gravity of your upcoming decision.

As novel an idea as: "I'd gladly take a pay cut to live in paradise with a laid back schedule" sounds, it rarely works out that way. Hypothetically even if you find a consulting gig in SD, are you prepared for living out of a suitcase? How many companies in SD are you going to pay the kind of salary you want for the job you want even if that isn't consulting? If it's only a handful, you need to think about your long term job security. So you get laid off at X company in San Diego, presumably the business environment would have to be pretty bad for that to happen (I'm assuming you bust your ass at work), how many jobs do you think are going to be waiting for you and how many people are going to be applying to those jobs?

If you don't like Silicon Valley, move up to SF. If you can't find something to do there, you've got bigger problems than a shitty job.

Aug 25, 2014

There are three important things here to you:


You seem to place Job in a distant third yet Job is the one that makes you want to hang yourself. As a former engineer who was almost killed with boredom, finding the right post-MBA job was the most important thing to me. PM me for my story, but the long/short is that the most important of these was finding the right job- something that I'm actually excited to do. The money, and the location really don't matter at this level.

I'd echo the comments above- Your other options are to find a new job outside of an MBA, or get a better MBA.
For most people who are super ambitious about there careers, I couldn't recommend enough that they get the best MBA money can buy. For you, hard to say.

Aug 25, 2014

Oh and to add really quick- a $120K MBA that places 90+% of grads, and whose average exiting salary is 110K, is probably WAY LESS risky for you than what Vandelay Industries pointed out above about SDSU. I actually passed up a full ride at a school that was probably very similar to SDSU because of this very reason.

Aug 25, 2014

As a petro engineer who broke into IBD with top 20 MBA...

You have already been infected by Lockheed people with this SDSU mindset...horrible idea; dont fall into the trap

If you want to open up your career options you better go to the best MBA possible in CA if you must be in CA

If you are deadset on SDSU noone here can help you, but good luck at recruiting time and wondering "wow, the companies hiring here suck or they are only hiring for crappy positions and not the top talent positions" and being in a worse off financial position

Don't fall into the Engineering mindset of the cheaper + the same textbooks -> the same results

Engineering is not like business, business is all about prestige for better or worse

I know what it's like to feel trapped in a big corp, everyday and every meeting you are yearning to bust out the office; everything starts looking rosier , law school, b-school, anything starts looking rosier...BUT do not leave before your 2 years are up , in fact don't leave until your GMAT is locked down and you get into a very good school

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Aug 27, 2014