MBB vs. Apple Operations post-MBA for LT goals (Series B/C startup)

kobalt's picture
Rank: Senior Baboon | 181

Background: I'm in my 2nd year at a M7 full-time MBA program (not HBS/GSB) and am trying to figure out my recruiting plan. Prior to MBA I worked 4 years in Deloitte's S&O group, and I spent this past summer at Apple in Operations (role close to manufacturing). Undergrad is Finance at a solid state school
Goal: Senior operations role at a Series B/C startup in consumer electronics, healthcare, or technology (ideally all three combined), or potentially consumer products--within 2-3 years post-MBA preferred
Question: What sets me up best to achieve this--Ops at MBB or Apple Ops?

I've been thinking about this along three main dimensions: resume brand value/network, short-term happiness, and personal development (i.e., learning/growth).

  1. As far as resume brand value/network, I think MBB gets the edge here given the eliteness and the fact that so many people from MBB go on to the startup world, and also the fact that I'm not at HBS/GSB (i.e., I don't have that top-tier prestige factor). However, I don't think Ops at Apple would put me too far behind (especially given my industry interests), and I'm also wary of the optics of only having consulting experience 8-10 years post-undergrad ("Does this guy actually have the ability to operate, or just make slides and Excel models?").
  2. For short-term happiness, I'm pretty confident I'd be a lot happier at Apple based on my summer and prior consulting experience. Hours are likely better than MBB, travel is less and more concentrated, I'd probably be more interested in the work (who knows what industry I'd work in at MBB), I don't really want to go back to consulting, etc. This is my main hesitation towards MBB.
  3. For personal development, I think Apple has the edge here due to the short-term happiness (I'd be more motivated), I've yet to have a day-to-day operations job, and I've already developed most of that consulting skillset (PPT, data analytics, soft skills, etc.)

Overall/Summary: I think it comes down to how much better the MBB prestige factor and network is compared to Apple (and how much I'll need that) vs. the trade-offs in short-term happiness (larger) and learning/growth (less significant). My gut is that going after the prestige factor isn't a good enough reason alone to go back to consulting, but I'm hesitant to pass up the opportunity to get that MBB stamp on my resume for the rest of my life.

Other notes:
* Assume all offers are for SF area and pay is relatively comparable.
* I will also be trying to recruit for startups as well (ideally I just go straight to a startup), but the timing is tricky with Apple/MBB timeline.
* No MBB offers yet--interviews are in a few weeks (so I need to decide very soon whether to go after it or not)

Thoughts appreciated!

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Sep 25, 2017
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