NON-MEGA CAP PE/HF/VC/IBs - How and When Did You Tell Your Boss You Were Applying to Business School?

My question is simple: How and when do you tell your boss you're going to apply to business school? This has been briefly touched on in other threads but I'm very curious as to what folks thought the appropriate timing for telling your bosses that you're applying to b-school is. I'm especially interested in those of you that do NOT work for mega funds in PE/HF/VC because the culture isn't necessarily 2 and out (to MBA). I have a ton of friends who work for mega funds - most of them got into HBS and they were basically shooed their by their fund (a few are having it paid for). It's apples and oranges when comparing to MM/specialized funds that don't necessarily value the MBA.

One issue that's been bugging me is that reviews and bonuses generally occur in December, which would leave you with 2-4 weeks to do b-school apps from start to finish if you didn't want your bonus to be affected. (I think it's total bs if you claim that telling your bosses you plan to apply for a MBA has no bearing on your bonus. It absolutely will. You're no longer viewed as a long term investment for the firm...mega-caps aside).

Lastly, some background: I'm an associate in PE and at my shop business school is not valued at all. I'm pretty confident that it would take at least 4-5 more years for a Principal spot to even open up and the upwards mobility is by no means guaranteed. I'm applying to business school either in Round II this year (deadlines in early January) or Round I next year, depending on how quickly I get my apps together over the next 6 weeks and if I figure out how to break the news the right way. I went to a top 3 school, did banking in NYC for one of the top 3 BBs and transitioned to PE after. 760 GMAT.

Comments (7)

Nov 18, 2013

Depends on who is writing your recommendations, what round you are applying in, how confident you are that you will get in, etc. You have a great profile but I think you would benefit by applying R1 next year with an extra year of WE under your belt.

Nov 18, 2013

I was in a very similar position. It was not expected that I would apply to b-school. I had a great relationship with the partners so I told them the summer before I applied (June timeframe). You're way behind. Regardless of how much time passes, it won't get any easier. In fact, it will continue to get worse the closer you get to the application due date. You don't want to rush them on recommendations or even have them write recommendations immediately after you "spring" this on them. Rip off the band-aid and tell them this week.

Nov 18, 2013

Wait until you get your bonus. If you are quitting this place you are not going to get rec's from this dude. Don't screw over your bonus man.

Nov 18, 2013

When is your bonus date? It's a little different situation I think since youre going back for an MBA rather than going to another firm. If you're not planning on leaving until next summer, definitely tell them. People are usually understanding when you leave to go back to school. It depends on your group though - what's your feeling on their reaction?

Nov 18, 2013

Wait till you get your bonus, although if you are a second year analysts, getting and MBA should be expected and I can't see them being too upset. I would wait until after you get your bonus, bc knowing that the person is not coming back can definitely affect your total comp, even if it only affects if by a few grand, that is a few less grand in your pocket to blow on beer while you are getting your MBA.

Nov 18, 2013
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