The Goal

I am still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up and that is part of the reason an MBA was perfect for me. Of course I did not write this in my applications, but ultimately the world of business is vast and there are many routes to take.

 

The one downside to an MBA's short duration is the fact recruitment for the two traditional routes of consulting and investment banking begin even BEFORE you get to campus. You need to know which firms you are targeting and should probably have networked with alumni from your MBA program before arriving on campus to know how to navigate the information sessions, coffee chats and interviews with recruiters who (hopefully) come to campus.

 

Based on my brief research I have the following notes on post MBA career goals:
 

  • Generally speaking, I enjoy finance and I intend to build upon my current work experience. Investment Banking seemed like a good path especially because of the 'exit opportunities' I seemed to consistently read about (PE/VC/HF) but there is obviously a reason why the industry has such a bad rap; a reason why there are so few women in the industry and a reason why people have consistently suggested it’s not a good post MBA career choice for a partnered QWoC especially.

    • From what I currently understand the life of an IB Associate (Fresh MBA grad) involves working from 9am to well after midnight primarily on PowerPoint formatting while analysts (aka recent undergrad graduates who will run circles around any newly minted associate) perform analysis requested by your boss and their bosses (the Vice President, Director and Managing Director), who often doesn’t submit a request for changes and updates for the morning meeting until 8pm after you’ve spent the past 4 hours waiting to hear back. Despite the annual base salary of $150k and multiple bonuses which can ultimately double your all in salary, it sounds like hell. It also sounds like a horrible corporate hazing when combined with the fact it is an environment comprised predominantly of white men.

      • In my head, I fantasize about breaking down the barriers and being able to succeed and rise through the ranks of a BB. The fact of the matter appears to be, a MM may be the best route if IB is my intended path because the hours and culture are subjectively ‘better,’ but the bigger question I need to answer is WTF do I really want to do when I grow up and whether IB is a must.
         

  • I am 99.9% sure I DO NOT want to be a Management Consultant. I have friends who work for MBBs, I read Duff McDonald’s ‘The Firm’ and I am pretty sure the traveling from Monday through Thursday life with questionable value add is not my bag. Despite the gorgeous paydays (base salary starting at $160k as a new MBA with performance bonuses to boost you up well above $200k), cheap lifestyle because everything is subsidized by the firm and the exit opportunities associated with the prestige- the idea of traveling every single week just does not fit into my life goals.
     

  • Corporate finance sounds like a solid career path, managing the finances for a Fortune 500 company I believe in and working my way up to CFO or CEO would be awesome!
     

  • Product management is questionable to me because it sounds a lot like a glorified task management role where you are theoretically ensuring engineers can design a site or product that meets revenue targets and aligns with corporate strategy.
     

At the end of the day I want to pursue a job where I am adding actual measurable value, generally enjoy the nature of my work because it is challenging and requires me to learn a lot on an ongoing basis, all while mastering transferable skills I can apply to my own firm.

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