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MBA Exit Strategy?

This topic has 1 expert reply and 1 member reply
southhobart Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
18 Feb 2008
10 messages
Test Date:
March 1, 2008
Target GMAT Score:

MBA Exit Strategy?

Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:52 pm
Hello, all! Can anyone recommend a book/blog/forum/etc for MBA candidates seeking to chart a career path post-business school? I know this is primarily a website for people on their way *in* to business school...but it was so helpful when I was taking the GMAT and preparing applications that I thought I would stop by and ask.

Specifically, I am a part-time student at Villanova University in suburban Philadelphia, and I will be finishing my degree in the next 12-18 months. I have spent the past eight years working in the development office of a non-profit org, and I want to change careers--or at least jobs--in the worst way. I've been job-hunting for over a year, and have had a very sobering experience in the labor market. I'm finding that I'm overqualified for most jobs in my current industry (non-profit management), and that most of the jobs in my target industries (accounting, finance, business analytics, or perhaps operations management) won't even consider me because I don't have any professional experience in those areas. All this is complicated by the fact I am now well into my early 30s--and thus too old for most "entry level" positions that would allow me to rack up some experience--and by my part-time status, which doesn't offer me a chance to spend a summer as an intern like most full-time students.

I know all this will work out fine in the long-run--and indeed, the degree has already paid for itself through raises and advancement at the company I want to escape, and I am on track to graduate completely debt-free--but right now I feel like I have dug myself into a very deep hole. It seems like the MBA program has only compounded the very problems I set out to resolve when I decided pursue the degree. I felt "stuck" then, and even more trapped now that I have moved farther along my pre-MBA trajectory. I doubt I am the only person experiencing this kind of dilemma, though, and there must be some sort of resource out there for navigating the transition between a degree program and a career change. Anything come to mind?

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Anurag@Gurome GMAT Instructor
02 Apr 2010
3835 messages
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Post Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:59 am

This is a very timely and pertinent question facing scores of part-time (and full-time) MBA students. I counsel many on a weekly basis, and can empathize with your plight. Although a better approach would have been to plot your exit right when you got in to the MBA program - by starting to engage in student-organized events, building a network, and seeking "projects" in the area of your interest.

In your case, you would be best served by seeking the functional roles you are targeting, but within the non-profit world. Additionally, there are a number of non-profits that are starting to play key roles in the industries you are interested in. That may be another entry point into those industries. Bottom line is: if lack of experience is what keeps you away from what you want to do (chicken-and-egg situation), create that experience.

I have been succinct in my response - but if you need more elaboration, fell free to follow up. Good luck. It WILL get better.

Anurag Mairal, Ph.D., MBA
GMAT Expert, Admissions and Career Guidance
Gurome, Inc.
1-800-566-4043 (USA)

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Thanked by: vangoun
vangoun Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
23 Dec 2010
7 messages
Post Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:21 am
Very nice answer.
My opinion as well. Since you are in your late 30s i regret to say that you have lost the train that could have taken you to the industry of your dreams. Unfortunately you (and all of us) are born in a world here a Business Degree is not enough. You have to have the experience PLUS the business degree. And the word experience is not by luck based before the word degree in the sentence. The best move for you would be to follow your current job and use the degree to elevate your position in it. All business all companies all corporations are made with one condition that is followed in every country of the world. The higher the level within the company the best the life is. The person who build a company did it because he had a vision and he is willing to be very generous to those, fulfilling that vision.

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