Looking for some opinions here. Even if nobody responds I guess it's helpful to get my thoughts out!
TL;DR: work at top firm, considering part-time MBA, does it make more sense to do T15 part time or shoot for M7 full time if plan is to transition from acquisitions in one asset class to development or generalist acquisitions?
I currently work for a well known firm on the level of Hines, PGIM, CBRE GI in NYC/LA. I currently work on acquisitions for one asset class. I'm 2.5 years in, love the culture/company and overall fit in really well with the team. I went to a (very) non-target school and have always thought that I'd apply to MBA programs after 4-5 years.
I love RE, and my goal has always been to end up in development. So while not 100% required to do so, my plan was to get an MBA to pivot from acquisitions at current firm to development at a similar tier firm while stamping a brand name on the resume ( 4-5 years acq > MBA > development).
However, I've realized the caliber of people these firms hire, my own firm included. We get so many qualified post-MBA prospects from HBS, GSB, Wharton, etc. that I am thinking even if I do happen to get in to a top program, getting the role I want would be far from a shoe in. I'm starting to think - why leave my relatively cushy job (which hires from top MBA's / where I will be at the post-MBA level within 1-2 years / where I have a long-term career opportunity) in order to spend $225k+, lose 2 years of income, and come out the other end possibly making less money/at a lesser firm (have seen this last post happen a fair bit with people in RE).
I know opportunity cost probably needs to be looked at on a longer time horizon (unfair to compare just those 2-4 years - need to value MBA benefits over the course of a career). Which brings me to my next point.
What about a part-time MBA from a school like NYU Stern/UCLA Anderson? To me, this "checks all of the boxes" except it is slightly lower on the "prestige" totem pole compared to a FT MBA at Wharton/HBS/Columbia. It would give me a bigger brand name school on the resume, a much larger alumni network than I currently have, check the MBA box for future roles, cost significantly less, allow me to continue to gain work experience. My reservations are that it might not directly provide as many career opportunities, making a transition to another asset class or development may be difficult, and the long-term value in an MBA is arguably the network which is surely better at Wharton/HBS/Columbia (more localized at an NYU/UCLA).
I guess by the time I wrap up grad school I'd either be...
- ~28-29 years old with 6-7 years of institutional acquisitions at large REPE + T15 MBA + a lot more $ in the bank
- ~28-29 years old with 4-5 years of acquisitions experience + M7 MBA + 0$ in the bank
Would be curious to hear thoughts from WSO!