The real power of a big name MBA from a top Business School abroad is that it multiplies your choices. Yes, it gives you many options within your own career: you can continue in a senior version of your current role, or move laterally to pretty much any company of your choice in the field. However, its real power lies in the fact that it can enable you to identify a different field in which you are interested, and give you all the tools you need to shift into that field, and become a respected, successful professional there.
How exactly does the MBA do this – identify a skill set that you possess, and allow you to use it in a completely different industry? Well, the answer lies in the extremely detailed placement structure – one that gives every student access to all information, and lets them choose where they want to go. To better understand just how surprising these career shifts can be, we are bringing you a few real world examples, in today’s Jamboree in depth feature.
Read on to understand the full implications of what we meant when we said that a big name foreign MBA multiplies your choices:
Sales Executive to UN Representative: A substantial minority in any MBA class enters having completed half a decade in sales or marketing. Without a top foreign MBA, their career path would be pretty clear – they would rise through the ranks, and possibly end up as Sales Directors or Marketing General Managers in a large multi-national. However, with an MBA, the possibilities for career change are limitless: they are able to discover industries which have a requirement for their skill set. For example, many branches of the UN need better publicity, marketing and fund raising, something which will come naturally to them. A great MBA gives them the knowledge of all such industries, and opens doors so that these opportunities can be explored.
Application Developer to Tech Guru: One great thing about an MBA abroad is that it facilitates movement to leadership roles within an industry. If you’ve been in developer jobs for a while before your MBA, you might feel that you would like a shift to something more strategy based; something where you can identify and act on industry trends. Well, an MBA can help you do just that; you can quickly transition to a role where you use your business knowledge to add value to the technology you know so well.
Corporate consultant to non profit fundraiser: In different schools, up to 25% of the incoming class could have a consulting background – management, technology or boutique – before their MBA. A significant proportion of these choose to switch fields post MBA, and a lot of them use their all round business experience to benefit millions of people. Consulting equips them with many useful corporate skills – including proposal creation, model validation, communication skills and senior management interactions – that can help a non profit go from good to great. So, if you’ve always been interested in social impact, an MBA can give you the keys to changing the world!
Private Sector worker to Public Sector worker: Without a big name foreign MBA, it might be hard to climb the ladder in a Government organization; you start at the bottom and work your way up. This is why a lot of otherwise interested candidates take up private sector jobs initially. But the MBA can change all that; we have seen people become Executive Assistants to Members of Parliament, manage capital intensive public infrastructure projects at the leadership level, and even work closely with Collectors in District to ensure grassroots impact. An MBA short circuits at least 10 years of your public career, enabling you to spend your most productive work years where it really matters.
Industry executive to Management Consultant: There are many reasons that MBA candidates to make the big leap – from industry work to consulting. The ability to work across sectors and geographies is definitely one, as is the slightly higher pay package (20% to 30% at most levels). In addition, consulting usually has more problem solving and uncertainty, and that appeals to a certain profile of candidate. Without a top MBA, making the shift will involve many additional years, and difficult lateral movements. With a top global MBA, up to a 100 students per batch make this shift as a matter of routine; it is almost definitely the most popular career switch seen in a top business school in the US.
Financial Analyst to Tech Startup Founder: Many schools have 20% to 30% of their entrants coming from the financial sector – whether they’re quant analysts, investment bankers, or traders. A lot of these continue in the same sector, but a few are able to explore completely different fields. For example, a few always find promising startups in Silicon Valley that need someone with sound analytics / financial skills, and end up as the future czars of the technology world.
Corporate Operations to Corporate Strategy: Many people enjoy the location stability and increased intellectual engagement that comes with a strategy role. Without a good MBA, the switch can be long and agonizing – it could take up to 15 years, and involve a lot of work that you don’t really want to do, just in order to get that movement opportunity. With a big name MBA, it can happen in just two years: a Harvard or Stanford MBA (or any other of the big ones) fits you uniquely for strategy, and your story is actually helped by the fact that you have an operations background, so that you can integrate more quickly into the industry side of things than a consultant could.
Small finance firm to the world’s largest hedge fund: Business School can help you switch careers, but it can also make your dreams bigger. If you have had a lot of finance experience in the past, you might be looking to make it even bigger in a related field. Well, a big name MBA can help you with that: if you have the temperament and skills needed to make it through the multi round, gruelling hedge fund interviews, you could find yourself at one of the most sought after – and most high paying – jobs in the world; something which would have been impossible without your degree.
Test prep expert to University Recruiting Manager: Before getting in to the coveted US MBA, many students use their GMAT and GRE skills to help others, and become test prep experts. This skill – and interest – can be taken forward post your MBA as well; if you have a passion for identifying, nurturing, and acquiring talent, you will be able to work with multiple top Business Schools across the world as an Admissions Manager, or a Placement Representative. In terms of sheer impact, this is as big as anything else you can do – you will be indirectly or directly responsible for generations of future Business School admits, and choose the cohort that will change the world in the best possible way.
Family business representative to an associate at the largest family run business in the world: The biggest MBA programs try to create the most diverse and most highly networked cohorts possible. Many of the members of these cohorts are, therefore, senior members of a family business. For them, it is all about learning best practices related to scaling up a family business, and making it a 100% professionally run enterprise. A top foreign MBA will open the doors for them that enable them to work for a few years in a global firm that made the transition from family run business to professional behemoth, and learn lessons there that will pay off for them in the long run – helping them to do the same with their own business. Getting these opportunities without an MBA would be extremely difficult, given the lack of connections, access and information. An MBA increases their potential pool of relevant places to work by 5000 – 10,000 – and only an MBA from one of the best Business Schools abroad can do this.
We hope that this edition of the Jamboree in depth look has given you a better idea of the options that a top MBA abroad can give you, and increased your conviction that such an MBA is the ideal route to be whatever you want to be.
In case you want to know more about how an MBA from one of the best Business Schools abroad can transform your life, we invite you to set up time at one of our centres with a career coach or GMAT expert. If you’re looking to embark on your journey of success, do visit our website and choose the program that’s right for you today!