Which job offer to choose to get into top MBA?

Economica's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 8

So as the title says, I have two offers on the table which I need to decide between soon. Assuming all my other metrics are top-notch, which of the two jobs below likely offers me the smoother path into a top 10 MBA program (to be followed up with a job in MBB or internal Corp Strategy or Corp Development)?

Title: Senior Financial Analyst - FP&A
Company: Top Tech Firm based in Seattle
Industry: Internet/Tech
Area of business: Cloud based business topping market share with stunning growth rates anticipated by the street.
role: likely more typical vanilla FP&A (forecasting without truly understanding much of the business, reporting the metrics to management on a monthly basis, a bit more on the systems/accounting side as well)

Title: Senior Strategy Analyst
Company: Smaller PE backed company looking to exit in 2-3 years (300-500M in Annual Revenue)
Industry: Retail/apparel
area of business: Corporate
role: far more responsibility than the FP&A role above, I will be formulating business cases, go-to market strategy, value propositions, merchandise mix decisions, far more interaction with CEO, COO, PE backers...

my prior roles:

working in FP&A for five years, with an assortment of more system/accounting focused roles and analytical/strategic roles. This included a mid sized software company and a large well known hardware/tech company.

My next goal:

Make it into a top 10 MBA program (assume all other stats are acceptable). Thinking Berkley, Chicago, Northwestern, London Business School, MIT, Columbia, etc.. maybe throw in a UCLA as a safety and Harvard/Stanford as a reach.

End goal:

Make it into either MBB or an internal Corporate Strategy/ Corporate Development position. I'd prefer this to be in the tech industry, which is partly why the above job choice is a bit more difficult for me.

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Comments (11)

Jun 29, 2017

If I were you, I would go with number 2


Jun 29, 2017

Since company #1 is clearly Amazon and you have an interest to go into tech long-term i'd say that it may be better for 'brand name recognition.'

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Jun 29, 2017

Since company #1 is clearly Amazon and you have an interest to go into tech long-term i'd say that it may be better for 'brand name recognition.'

Could be Microsoft

Jun 29, 2017

"Cloud based business topping market share" ... I respectfully disagree

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Jun 30, 2017

"Stunning growth rates anticipated by the Street" - probably not Microsoft


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Jun 29, 2017

1. Preserves more optionality for later down the road.

Jun 30, 2017

I would say early career benefits from your Top Tech company name brand, but the job itself may be boring for a bit before lateral transfer.

The second job looks the same in FP&A work, but I guess it will be lesser known, and it'd be just owned by some MMPE firm.

I'd probably Pick #1 if I was you, but I definitely try to kick ass in either job

M7 MBA, iBanking. Top MSF grad. AntiTNA. Truth is hard to hear! But... :
DickFuld: Yeah....most of these people give terrible advice.:
Jun 30, 2017

To be clear, the 2nd job would be titled "Senior Strategy and Corporate Development Associate" but that corp dev portion is only a buzzword (they won't have much in the way of M&A or my developing of those skills). I figure it would atleast get me past the recruiters into Corp Dev/ Corp Strategy interviews, post MBA.

So to summarize,

Vanilla FP&A role at top tech company


Strategy role (+corp dev in name only) that provides me great responsibility, but at a small apparel/merchandise company

I plan on spending 2-3 years in either role before going straight to a top MBA. Which role looks sexier to an MBA admin? also which role on my resume gets hiring managers most interested in bringing me in for MBB consulting or Corp Strat/Corp Dev interviews during the on campus recruiting stage?

Jun 30, 2017

"which job looks sexy to MBA" is a stupid question. MBB and BB equivalents isn't a shoe-in for MBA.
Like I said, you're better off asking how to kick ass in the job.

M7 MBA, iBanking. Top MSF grad. AntiTNA. Truth is hard to hear! But... :
DickFuld: Yeah....most of these people give terrible advice.:
Best Response
Jul 1, 2017

This is too nuanced of a question for me to really have a good sense of how adcoms would look at it, but I'll give my general thoughts/

Gut feeling is that the first option would be slightly better. You'd get the Amazon brand name, you will hopefully be able to get promoted in short order(you've been doing FP&A for 5+ years) and then the story makes more logical sense of "Hey I've done well at FP&A but want to transition into Corp Dev/Tech Banking type of role and I need an MBA to do this" vs "Hey I've done well at FP&A already moved to a Corp Dev/Strat type of role at a tech company and now I want to do an MBA to do Corp Dev at a better company?"

Also if you start off in that Corp Strat/Dev group you'll be more likely get bucketed with them. Honestly, I have no idea how Adcoms group applicants, but there would be some risk if your title had Corp Dev in it. So you'd be competing against the BB IBD TMT --> Big Tech Corp Dev guys except you'll be more junior and will have less of a compelling story. I don't think this should be as much of a concern but something to think about.

In all honestly its probably a 6 vs 1/2 dozen type argument anayways. You probably won't get into HSW just because its tough to get in from FP&A unless you're doing killer FP&A stuff. You'll have an outside shot at the rest of the M7, maybe converting 1 with good execution, and then a solid shot at any 10-15 schools. Any M7/Top 10-15 will get you into Corp Dev if you want, so beyond that its just deciding what school is the best fit.

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