Every week, we give you the opportunity to ask one of our chosen admissions experts anything you want to know about getting into business school. One question each week is chosen for our expert to answer.
This week, the question comes from Ruchir Singh, a business school applicant from India. He has eight years of experience in sales in the building materials industry. As well as a bachelors degree in civil engineering, Ruchir already has an MBA degree from an Australian university.
Now, Ruchir is looking to do a second MBA at a higher-ranked university in Europe in order to transition into consulting.
His question is answered by Dr. Markus Maedler, head of MBA programs at Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
Applicant Question of the Week:
I have already done an MBA in my home country but would like to do another at a more prestigious university to transition into consulting. How easy is it to go into consulting after an MBA?
This is a question that we hear rather often from aspiring MBA students. The consulting industry has not lost any of its eternal appeal for many future MBAs and entering it remains one of the most popular career choices. The answer, though, is one that you will hear quite often during your MBA: it depends.
It depends on your pre-MBA background, the skills that you build and develop during the studies on your MBA, and your clarity of which type of consulting you would want to do.
First, consulting companies often value specific industry expertise and real-world experience that you have acquired during your career so far, for example in operations, marketing or client-facing responsibilities.
An MBA can help you frame your unique experience profile, identify which transferable skills you have built that will be an asset, and link both to the requirements of consulting companies in a way that appeals to them. As in any client-facing professions, cultural and language fit also play an important role in setting you up for success.
Second, consulting is a profession that requires a certain set of knowledge, skills and capabilities; an MBA is an ideal vehicle to foster and build exactly those skills in a quite efficient and effective way.
Think of cross-functional knowledge; working knowledge of frameworks and methodologies; independent, critical and strategic thinking; research and analysis; self-management skill; personal agility to work in a fast-paced, pressured environment within a multi-functional, multi-cultural team; ability to rapidly absorb scattered information, learn new things and embrace them; or project management and presentation skills.
Third, which type of consulting is it that you are looking for? Consulting is a broad sector with many segments, and players come in many shapes and shades. Strategy consulting, implementation consulting, or transformation consulting, just to name a few? Intensive research is required to understand the market and to find the area—or even niche—that is the right fit for you.
But then, an MBA equips you with the skills to perform such research, the career services to identify your fit, the contacts that allow you to reach out to your target companies, and the network that increases your chances of success.
In summary, with the new insights, perspectives and networking opportunities that an MBA provides, it surely is an excellent educational vehicle to put you on the right track towards consulting and open many doors for you. But then, ultimately, again it depends—it depends on you to actually walk through these doors.
So, that was the final Applicant Question of the Week for this year! Thanks to all the applicants who submitted questions to us, and the admissions experts for providing help each week. We'll be back again in January, but in the meantime, you can read all our previous Applicant Questions of the Week right here.