Part-time / executive mba?

5th year banking and finance lawyer here interested in breaking into banking. Obviously an MBA is a natural path to the major banking associate programs. However, since I am not in a position to drop my current job to go back to school for two years I'm looking into a part-time/executive MBA-mainly, the NYU or Columbia programs (I scored 98th percentile / 750 on the GMAT). While these are great schools, I think they may not work logistically to get into the major banking associate programs because I would be unable to participate anywhere as a summer associate and most of the first-year full-time associate class is filled by offers to the prior year summer associate class. Openings/availability to go straight into a full-time banking associate class are few and far between and could very well be filled entirely from offers to the prior year's summer associate class. Can anyone confirm if this is correct? I've heard this from two reliable sources in the industry with respect to the banks they work at...but there are a lot of banks out there and it may not be the case for all...it will be highly determinative for my decision to pursue a part-time / executive mba so your help is MUCH appreciated.

Comments (44)

Oct 29, 2017 - 7:03pm

Since you are a banking and finance lawyer, I am sure you have connections with bankers (I hope). I would hate for you to spend even more money on a part-time MBA (Executive MBA's are for executives I assume) given your law school background. Just ask if there are open spots available and apply. Entry into banking is not as hard as people make it seem, you just have to be gifted at networking and elementary math.

Oct 30, 2017 - 1:39pm

I'm close with a couple people who broke in through a part-time program, however, they also completed a summer internship. It's risky to try to jump in FT recruiting after not doing an internship given the limited amount of spots any given year. To give yourself the best shot you would need to quit your current job to do the summer internship and be a full time student the final year of your studies prior to starting FT. The other option would be to try to network into banking from your current role, which may be easier than you think and MUCH cheaper.

Nov 11, 2017 - 7:55pm

Thanks Both, helpful input.

While I do have some pretty solid professional relationships with a number of bankers, they are largely on the corporate banking side, and I am interested in the investment banking side. I've even had some conversations with MDs on the ibanking side, but without having worked with them before, finding it difficult to transition from an initial conversation introducing myself and discussing my interest/their views on investment banking to "would you consider referring me for job X" (perhaps maybe not in such blunt terms).

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Best Response
Nov 12, 2017 - 6:03pm

@apollo95 - a few reasons:

Working as a transactional lawyer on the law firm side can get very tedious and I think the long hours are probably worse than in banking...for example, the banker might be working late, but he/she will also get to tell the lawyer to turn a draft of X document for tomorrow. So the lawyer's the one burning the midnight oil drafting what is likely a very long document that requires extreme precision. I've found the bankers may often only even give a cursory glance over of the document. (This of course is not to discount that the banker may as well be up late doing their work.)

I actually work in-house at a BB bank, it happens to be a great job - balanced lifestyle/hours, interesting work, healthy pay (although always challenging in NYC). However, I've come to the point that I want a little more. Sure I can slowly move up the corporate ladder as an in-house attorney and hope to one day have enough connections to become a Legal department MD making about as much a 30-year old investment banking VP, but I'm still relatively young and looking to get out there a little more. I like that investment banking provides the opportunity to earn a lot if you do a great job. And the job itself seems like a great complement to what I've learned over the years as a lawyer. Valuation, assessing industries, etc - I think these are valuable skills and would complement my legal skills well--contracts, bankruptcy, risks, etc.

Of course, I can't say one area is objectively better than the other. These are just a few opinions formed from about 5 years or so working in the industry.

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Nov 12, 2017 - 6:05pm

I think the knock against PT isn't so much the label but the logistics around being a PT MBA:

1) No OCR use (which you've addressed isn't the case)
2) Fewer opportunities to network (given that PTers are usually tied up with work and miss out on recruiting events and chances to conduct informational interviews)

If you want to stay in Charlotte and aren't concerned with working for a BB, it's not a bad expectation to be able to transition so long as you're still networking and meeting people the entire time at school. Playing the student card can get you places sometimes.

Have you thought about accelerating as a PT? I've heard of PTers quitting their job partway through to focus more on school and job hunting. Not to judge, but doesn't $150K single salary out in NC get you pretty far? I'd focus on spending time going to events and meeting people, even current students who may have connections.

So in summary, I do think it sounds do-able. Get after it.

Nov 12, 2017 - 6:06pm

Kjl,

Thank you for the response. Your post is very encouraging. Im definitely considering quiting my job after the 1st year to focus on job search/school. Also, regarding the 150k in NC, I probably was not clear but for me to go full time we would have to move and both quit our jobs. That is why I said we couldnt lose the 150k salary (my wifes salary). She works for a big firm and is on a career track. We could handle losing mine since it is not that great but there are no full time programs that I am interested in where we live.

Nov 12, 2017 - 6:07pm

i considered applying to uchicago's part time program. but given that it's the same cost as the full-time program without the benefits like on-campus recruiting (which is EXTREMELY valuable) and networking, it's just not a good deal. most of the people who do part-time MBA's do it because their current employers pay for it, and they want to move up within their firm. it's not a great option for those who want to switch careers.

Nov 12, 2017 - 6:08pm
jjc1122:
i considered applying to uchicago's part time program. but given that it's the same cost as the full-time program without the benefits like on-campus recruiting (which is EXTREMELY valuable) and networking, it's just not a good deal. most of the people who do part-time MBA's do it because their current employers pay for it, and they want to move up within their firm. it's not a great option for those who want to switch careers.

Yeah I definitely understand the shortcomings of the PT program but based on my post it just was not in the cards so I am trying to make the best of the opportunity. I think PT is better than nothing.

Nov 12, 2017 - 6:11pm

These kind of transitions are possible, but they are extremely difficult. Think of it like a mountainclimb. Nothing is explicitly blocking your way up the mountain, and there's no reason you can't do it, but it will take a long time and a lot of work and unless you are completely dedicated to the task, you will fail. The reason people fail at career switching with PT MBA is not because it's impossible, but because too many think they will get their degree, walk into an interview with their diploma held high above their head bathed in a beam of light, and then after their interviewer finishes orgasming in his pants right then and there, be offered the job on the spot. I don't think I need to tell you that this is not how it works.

Nov 12, 2017 - 6:12pm
jhoratio:
These kind of transitions are possible, but they are extremely difficult. Think of it like a mountainclimb. Nothing is explicitly blocking your way up the mountain, and there's no reason you can't do it, but it will take a long time and a lot of work and unless you are completely dedicated to the task, you will fail. The reason people fail at career switching with PT MBA is not because it's impossible, but because too many think they will get their degree, walk into an interview with their diploma held high above their head bathed in a beam of light, and then after their interviewer finishes orgasming in his pants right then and there, be offered the job on the spot. I don't think I need to tell you that this is not how it works.

unfortunately you are probably right about the attitude of some folks. I'm definitely not one of them. I'm fully aware of the uphill battle I just want to make sure it is possible in this industry.

Nov 12, 2017 - 6:13pm

Part time MBA vertical movement? (Originally Posted: 07/26/2014)

Hi all,

Relatively new to this site, so bear with me if I'm posting a repeat (likely) or am posting in the wrong place (redirect please!).

I'd like to get your opinion on doing a part time MBA at a top tier school while at a tier 2 consulting firm in their MC practice (think ATK, ACN, Deloitte, Booz, etc.). If you are at a junior level (pre manager at most of these firms), how does the MBA leverage you to get better pay within the firm, if at all? I imagine that they will not just bump you up 2 pay scales (90k--->135k) right after you graduate or something. So what usually happens in this case?

And also, how hard is it to get a new job within consulting (so moving to another tier 2 or tier 1 firm), after you've finished your part time mba? I've seen a lot about how difficult it is to do a career switch with part time, but what about within the same field? And during that switch, can you expect a big jump (90k-135k/ or average entry level MBA salary?)

Thank you for your comments in advance!

Nov 12, 2017 - 6:14pm

Unless you are talking about an online program, a part time MBA will require face time on campus nights and weekends. I don't see balancing this with the travel schedule of a consultant as being feasible. Are you thinking of a specific program that you already know will be compatible with your work?

Nov 12, 2017 - 6:15pm

Part-time students generally don't have access to internship recruiting, but when business is good (like now), most consulting firms (including MBB) do recruit from p/t programs for post-MBA roles. The list of target p/t programs is roughly the same as it is for f/t ones. If you want MBB, that pretty much means Booth, Kellogg, or Stern since the rest of the MBA business schools">M7 doesn't have p/t AFAIK. Even then, my impression is that recruiting is much more regional from p/t programs than from f/t ones.

In terms of salary, if you switched firms, you should expect the same offer as any other post-MBA hire.

If you're staying put, it would depend on company policu, but it's routine at most firms (MBB/Bz/D) to move into the post-MBA role (so $130-140k) upon completing your degree. Most firms cover part or all of tuition as well.

Nov 12, 2017 - 6:17pm

Thank you for your comments!

Could you clarify what you mean by regional? As in, locally strong offices will hire more from local p/t programs?

Also in terms of staying in the same firm, I guess you would have to somehow work that deal out with your manager regarding a salary bump prior to you starting the program. I could totally envision a firm forcing you to be stuck with pre-mba salary even though you've already completed your MBA since you're not coming in as a new hire...

Nov 12, 2017 - 6:19pm

Admissions into EMBA (Originally Posted: 06/14/2017)

I understand that an EMBA is worse for career switchers, but just from the stand point of admissions. Is it possible to be admitted into an EMBA with 1-3 years of WE and being below 30 years old? Just curious

Nov 12, 2017 - 6:21pm

EMBA vs Part-time MBA (Originally Posted: 04/19/2008)

I was just wondering if someone could explain to me what the difference between these two programs. Thank you

Nov 12, 2017 - 6:22pm

EMBA are for people (executives) with 5 or more professional experience. The classes are usually all day on a Friday and Saturday. Need company sponsership for most of the programs out there.

Part Time is jus that...part time at night a couple of days a week.

The excutive MBA programs are more expensive and alot of time offsite. With a couple of weeks on the campus each year plus a two week overseas trip.

Nov 12, 2017 - 6:23pm

themilkman is basically right, although if you look at the incoming class profiles of EMBA programs the work experience is usually closer to 10 years. I've heard some people describe it as a program to help someone advance from a Director (i.e. senior middle management) position to a VP (executive) position. Part-time MBA programs, to contrast, tend to be designed more for advancing from "employee" to Manager or Manager to Director.

Nov 12, 2017 - 6:24pm

What's the value of a PT MBA? Well Regarded? Dogshit? Better than nothing? (Originally Posted: 10/07/2017)

So I'm currently working in a non-IB finance job. I'm blessed and fortunate in that my family has offered to pay for an MBA. They'd like me to check out part time MBAs in my area (the Carolinas, so Wake, South Carolina) etc. My undergrad grades kinda stink (sub 3.0 out of an SEC school). Is it a PT MBA truly worthwhile? Or should I take some community college classes, get A's, get experience, and apply to FT MBA in a few years? Thanks all!

Nov 12, 2017 - 6:25pm

Go FT. Focus on crushing the GMAT to make up for your low GPA. PT only makes sense IMO if company sponsored and a requirement to move up within a company.

Nov 12, 2017 - 6:27pm

PT MBA - How to help make the transition (current engineer) (Originally Posted: 01/06/2011)

Hi guys,

Long time reader, first time poster. I am looking for some advice as a pursue a career change. I know a lot of you have probably never heard of an engineer trying to make the switch to finance, but I am trying to (if there was a sarcasm font, I would've used it here...ha).

So, I am currently in a part-time MBA program at a non-target school. I did very well as an undergraduate (3.9 GPA in engineering) and am doing well as an MBA student (3.9 GPA).

I am not an individual that wants an IB position and nothing else...I just want a good career within finance because I enjoy it. I have grown particularly interested in investment type roles (and secondarily real estate).

Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of being able to do a summer internship to gain experience in finance before trying for a FT position so I was wondering what I can do to potentially make this easier and better my chances (b/c I know this will certainly be difficult).

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I know this will be a long and arduous journey for me but I think it will be worth it...

Thanks for all your replies and advice.

Nov 12, 2017 - 6:28pm

You will have to limit your scope as the finance industry is quite large and diverse. Without additional detail (name of school, current location, # of years out of college, etc.) it is difficult to given any real advice. You should certainly network with your undergraduate and MBA alum as that will be your best bet of switching fields. I would read everything that you can related to finance and specifically asset management (search book lists on this site or Google). I would read the WSJ everyday, follow the markets, stay on top of major business/political issues, etc. The jump from engineering to finance is very common and I suspect that with your solid academic record you will be able to find something in the field.

Nov 12, 2017 - 6:31pm

I attended Rutgers Engineering as an undergraduate (2007) and am back at Rutgers Business School for my MBA as well. Rutgers is in the geographic of which I would prefer to build my career (aside from referring to NJ, the school is close to NYC and Philadelphia).

Nov 12, 2017 - 6:29pm

Is your MBA program somewhere geographically attractive to you? If not then you're going to have a more difficult time...

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford
Nov 12, 2017 - 6:32pm

EMBA or MBA for Hedge funds/Asset Management (Originally Posted: 12/26/2012)

Contemplating between EMBA (Columbia/Wharton) and Full Time MBA (Booth/Columbia/Wharton). I need to move to hedge funds are Asset Management post MBA. I have 5-6 years of experience in Derivatives Pricing/Risk in a financial services provider and a Masters in Financial Engineering. But I am not/ don't intend to be a hardcore quant. Is it better to do EMBA or FTMBA to get into the fields mentioned above? Its not total field change post MBA but slightly different/better than what I am doing right now. With EMBA I won't be able to do an internship. Is Internship really that important to get into hedge-funds /asset management?

Nov 12, 2017 - 6:34pm

Career Advice - Go back to B School or Executive MBA? (Originally Posted: 04/30/2013)

I'm 27 years old and been working for a hedge fund for almost 2 years. Prior to that I worked as an investment banking analyst. I'm curious on everyone's thoughts if I should go back to business school. All in making around 170K (85K base) and not sure if I should try to pursue an executive mba at Columbia/Wharton (if i get in!), a part-time mba at NYU or apply to full-time programs. Is it even worth it going back to school? Any thoughts would be highly appreciated. Thanks

Nov 12, 2017 - 6:35pm

The first question I will ask is what is your current progression at the firm?

If you are on track for a promotion, then you will be right around $200K all in. Under 30 at $200K, I wouldn't go for an MBA unless it's holding my career back at that point. You would forgo a large amount of all in income for marginal bump in return at that point, ONLY if you are on track for a promotion. Now if you are tapping out at the firm you are at and looking to move soon, then I'd do a EMBA like you are thinking. But that's only if there is no promotion in the future.

Nov 12, 2017 - 6:37pm

Just a quick thing--an executive MBA is different than a part-time MBA. Not sure what Columbia EMBA program looks like, but the EMBA programs are typically targeting 30 somethings with substantial management experience. Doubt many 27/28-year-olds have the type of managerial experience they are looking for. Columbia's average age, for example, is 33.

Nov 12, 2017 - 6:38pm

Lol why is this in Real Estate?

Commercial Real Estate Developer

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