I am facing an important decision for my career and I like to share it with you.
• Italian Management Consultant, I've been working for almost 3 years now for Second Tier Consulting firm (Top 4/5 in Europe according to most rankings , way below in US)
• Planning to apply to MBA (2nd round, starting date August 2017), targeting HBS/Wharton/Columbia in USA or LBS/Insead in Europe
• My firm is willing to finance (partly) my MBA but this will theoretically imply a lock-in period of 2 years
• Short / medium-term career goal: switch to PE
I know that it will sound pretty challenging to most of you, but beside being aware of the daunting task I will be facing, I'd like to get your constructive point of view.
I am targeting an MBA both for the experience/network/personal & professional growth but also to facilitate the career move.
Recently, it happened that two different headhunters reached out and suggested me that the move would be possible even now, without an MBA (they referred to specific hires occurred recently and not only from MBB).
This made me wondering a bit about my choice, even though I was very determined initially (already done the GMAT with 730, collected recommendations letters from Partners / customers and currently preparing essays).
Now, the PE market in Italy is very peculiar, being not very advanced and mostly made by small family offices / boutiques. So, while large firms hire almost exclusively ex-bankers, I think it is reasonable to assume that a boutique could be interested in my profile (even though I would be competing with better fit).
However, my objective is not constrained by geographical boundaries (I am totally open to move to London or even in the USA; assuming Visa will not be a deal-breaker).
Now the questions are:
• Do the MBA will enhance my chances? Or should I indeed try recruiting directly? (In that case I would lose the company sponsorship and probably won't do the MBA at all)
• Generally speaking, how is an MBA perceived in the PE industry?
• Are there firms which are willing to repay (at least partly) the sponsorship received?
• What would be the best fit among BS (apart from HBS) and would the value of an North American Master be high also in Europe for PE?
Thanks a lot