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IE MBA Rejects Job With McKinsey to Study at Yale

Former IE MBA Aditya Sinha turned down an internship with McKinsey for a “perfect combination” of b-school qualifications

Thu Aug 1 2013

Aditya Sinha finished his full-time MBA at IE Business School earlier this year and has since had a three-month internship offer from McKinsey & Company. To most MBAs, this would be a route into a consulting career that would be hard to resist. But Aditya, a consulting specialist and husband from Dubai, turned down the offer to work at one of the world’s leading global management consulting firms.

Despite a rich background in strategy consulting at IBM - and an embedded software internship at Honeywell – Aditya strives to achieve what he considers the “perfect combination” of an MBA from IE as well as a masters in Advanced Management.

As it happens, Aditya turned down the job offer from a world-renowned organisation to study at another. Yale School of Management, the Ivy League graduate business school, is currently ranked #14 in the Financial Times’ list of top 100 business schools and is ranked #2 in Business Insider’s 2013 Best Business Schools. Aditya began his program at the prestigious American university in late July but said that his experiences studying for an MBA at IE taught him how to operate on a global business scale. “One of the biggest things (I learnt) is diversity,” he said.

“I was studying in a class with kids from all over the globe and I think that’s what actually really sets IE apart. We have five terms and every single term they rotate your work groups.

“So, I have worked with people from the Middle East, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, with Japanese students, Americans, Columbians and Venezuelans. I’ve had the opportunity to interact and work with people from all over the globe with varying degrees of work experience.

“It’s phenomenal. It is really remarkable.”

Like many MBAs, Aditya has a background in engineering and graduated with a BSc in Electrical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University. “My entire family are engineers. From my dad to my granddad to my uncle,” he said. “So it wasn’t very clear at the start that I wanted to go into business, to be perfectly honest.”

Aditya thought that he would end up in an oil and gas company after graduating, but decided against it because, in the Middle East, “it’s a dime a dozen” for really big energy companies. “But IBM just sort of happened to fall in my lap and I attended their assessment day and I was extremely impressed,” he said. “That really intrigued me to really do something completely different than what I had been studying for the last four years.”

So why the MBA program at IE?

“One of the biggest things that factored into my decision was the one-year program: the time-limit. Because I didn’t really want to stay away from the work-force for too long,” he said. “The driving force that drove me to take the IE MBA was its association with the Global Network of Advanced Management.

“It is a network of MBA universities all over the globe and they had this interesting dual-degree program with Yale.

“That really sparked something in my head. The way I figured is that I’d be done in one to one-and-a-half years, I would have an MBA from IE, as well as a Masters in Advanced Management from Yale. That’s like a perfect combination in my head.”

It is no surprise that Aditya enjoyed the benefits of such an internationally diverse MBA program at IE. Before studying at their campus in Madrid, the former engineer travelled across the Middle East to countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia while working for Teknowear. Aditya was born and raised in Dubai and says that he has grown up “interacting with other cultures” and that he fit in with his role as an MBA student working in a diverse team “because that’s what I did at IBM”.

Aditya also helped other aspiring entrepreneurs at IE through managing Impact Weekend – the weekend-long group event. He spent his time giving fellow MBAs support with their business ideas and providing an environment for support for start-up businesses. But he stresses that he was open to helping everyone, not just ‘entrepreneurs’. “This is not just for entrepreneurs,” he said. “It’s for people who just have an idea and who need help in getting and solidifying their idea. It really came up really well.”

Although receiving a three-month job offer from Mckinsey & Company, Aditya said he needed to look at his long-term future. “I almost accepted the offer but I would have to say that my wife and dad had a big role to play in this,” he explained. “They said something that actually resonated well for me: ‘You need to look long-term’.

“There’s no doubt IE is a prestigious university, but the kind of people you get to meet at a place like Yale, being an Ivy League school, the professors that have very strong ties to industry; they really help the industry in shaping strategy and are really defining industry standard.

“So, you would be going to a place where you would have very good exposure to not just industry leaders but also academic leaders and that, to me at least, made a lot of sense.”

A bold move. But one that Aditya hopes will pay off.

The IE MBA plans to go into consulting once he graduates from Yale and thinks that the campuses “strategic” location will help him land the job of his dreams. “I think that Yale will only go to developing me professionally and academically,” he said. “Not to mention the fact that Yale is very strategically located: its very close to Boston and New York.'

“And since I would like to continue in consulting, a lot of the big names such as Mckinsey, Bain and BCG are very close to Yale which would make it easy if I had to attend sessions or company presentations at their offices.”

Looking towards the future, Aditya added: “Successful MBA candidates, the ones who do get jobs that they want, they are the ones who differentiate themselves from the crowd.'

“I’m not there yet. But that’s where the thinking came for me to go to Yale.'

"To really differentiate my entire profile.”