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help needed reg MBA in U.S

karthik venkatesan
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 31, 2004
Posts: 26
Hello Ranchers,

I am working as a java/j2ee developer in a small company in india. Now I have 1+ years of experience. I want to do MBA in one of the U.S top universities after 1 or 2 years. Is it worth doing MBA in U.S after 2 or 3 years of work experience. I want to do specialization in Information Systems or General Management. Which one is best(IS or GM or anyother specialization) for a software engineer to get into good management position?

Then If I switch to a famous(famous in U.S) company, will it help me to get the seat in top U.S universities? How is the job market in U.S for M.B.A with technical background? How much money I have to spend for the studies(including living expenses)?

I am little bit confused to take the risk? Any suggestions will be appreciated... thanks in advance...

- Karthik
Paul Bourdeaux
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 24, 2004
Posts: 783
An MBA with a technical background makes a strong candidate for management in a technical firm. However, many firms choose to promote from within their comapany ranks, and replacements at the developer level. If you really intend to work in some type of management capacity in a technical firm, I would recommend getting a job as a developer in the firm you are interested in, obtaining your MBA while working there, and then look for the next internal position to open. Keep in mind though, that the IT career field is not nearly as strong in the US as it was several years ago. Both a slowing economy plus outsourcing has affected the market. What ever you decide, good luck!


“Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.” - Rich Cook
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Paul Bourdeaux:
An MBA with a technical background makes a strong candidate for management in a technical firm. However, many firms choose to promote from within their comapany ranks, and replacements at the developer level.


Many non-technical firms, e.g. financial, MNC, CPG, consulting, actively hire MBAsand it's hard to get such a role as a non-MBA.

--Mark
Jayesh Lalwani
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 05, 2004
Posts: 502
If you are serious about getting a MBA in one of the top schools in US, you need atleast 6-7 years of work experience. Top schools for leadership potential and accomplishments. So, unless you are'nt in a technical lead/project mgmt position before you apply for business school, it's very difficult to get admission.

Another thing they look for is leadership in activities outside your career. It is helpful if your outside interests are diametrically opposite to your career. So, if you are a software engineer, the assumption is that you are a) intelligent, b) logical and c) good at learning new stuff. However, they will also assume that you are a) a loner, b) too technical minded and c) have poor communication skills. So, your outside interests should show that you are not any of those things.

You have a lot of potential if you have an MBA for an Ivy league school with technical background. But, getting in is very difficult. Before applying you need to have a plan regarding what you will do after you get your MBA. So, you need to decide on IT Mgmt or General Mgmt before you apply. Most people come up with a plan before they apply, and most of them change their plan by the time they graduate.

I have a GMAT score of 720, whcih is 95th percentile. I tried for Harvard, MIT and Wharton in 2002 after I had 6 years of IT experience, which included 2 years of technical lead expierience. I didn't get in because I didn't have too many extra-curricular experiences. Most people applying that year had more experience than me. A lot of people were applying that year because of the slowdown in US economy. The only person that I met who got admitted into Harvard right out of college was the captain of an European soccer team. They admitted him because he showed leadership skills while leading his team, and he was kind of a celebirity.

So, if you are applying for MBA at Harvard right after college make sure you are Sachin Tendulkar or something. I encourage you to apply, though. It's a great learning experience.
Jay Shin
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 14, 2004
Posts: 169
you need at least 6-7 years of work experience.

I have a GMAT score of 720, whcih is 95th percentile. I tried for Harvard, MIT and Wharton in 2002 after I had 6 years of IT experience



For top 5 MBA programs (Harvard, Stanford, MIT, University of Pennsylvania), I believe "where" you worked and "what" you did are more important than how many years of experience you have.

Most of people I know who got into top 5 MBA have only about 3-4 years of experience, but most of them have undergraduate degree from Ivy League school and have work experience as financial analyst in investment banks (such as Goldman Sachs or Lehman Brothers) or as consultant in management consulting firms (such as McKinsey or Boston Consulting Group).

If you have more than 8-10 years of experience, I wouldn't apply for regular MBA program. I would rather do Executive MBA (EMBA) program.

After the EMBA program, you get the same MBA degree as the regular students. EMBA is a piece of cakes: usually you only need to attend classes on weekends as a part-time student.

Actually, this is what I'm planning to do. Many schools (such as Wharton and Columbia) offer EMBA programs. You don't even need to take GMAT, it's easy.
Anand Prabhu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 19, 2003
Posts: 299
Jay,

Doesn't EMBA need to be sponsored by a company?
Kripal Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 26, 2001
Posts: 254
No . Benefit of doing EMBA is you get the degree while working . But the cost can still be high . EMBA at wharton will cost you $128,778 .
Originally posted by Anand Prabhu:
Jay,

Doesn't EMBA need to be sponsored by a company?


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karthik venkatesan
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 31, 2004
Posts: 26
Hi all,
Thanks for your responses. Then I will try to pursue M.S in top universities (I think its easy to get then M.B.A) then,I think its easy for me to get the M.B.A in top universities. Is it a good decision? Waiting for ranchers responses....

Thanks,

Regards,
Karthik
Ali Hussain
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 19, 2005
Posts: 211
Originally posted by karthik venkatesan:
Hi all,
Thanks for your responses. Then I will try to pursue M.S in top universities (I think its easy to get then M.B.A) then,I think its easy for me to get the M.B.A in top universities. Is it a good decision? Waiting for ranchers responses....

Thanks,

Regards,
Karthik

It might be a bit of overkill if you have to get a M.S just to get into an MBA. Think about the cost as well (MS + MBA). Why dont you become more active in extra curricular activities instead + social work + sports etc, just to show your leadership skills.


- SCEA, SCJD, SCBCD, SCWCD, SCMAD, SCJP, ICAD (WebSphere), Lotus Principal CLP, Lotus CLP, Lotus CLS
Jogi Poonawala
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 19, 2003
Posts: 33
I would also advise you to look at other options.. e.g. Many european schools and even some top management schools in India are equally good and they also give you an opportunity to establish good network with right people.. and MBA is mostly about networking.. one advantage of European schools is they offer 1 year courses for MBA .. typically if you are not going for EMBA, then you will need to spend 2 years in US school.. so the opportunity cost is also significant apart from the direct cost which may run upto $100K or more.. But typically these schools, ISB, IIMA, XLRI etc expect you to have anywhere from 4-7 years of experience if you want to opt for fasttract MBA.. and you get world class offers from world class companies after completing course.. e.g. top offer last year was $181K at ISB.

HTH

Jogi.
[ August 28, 2005: Message edited by: Jogi Poonawala ]
Jayesh Lalwani
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 05, 2004
Posts: 502



For top 5 MBA programs (Harvard, Stanford, MIT, University of Pennsylvania), I believe "where" you worked and "what" you did are more important than how many years of experience you have.

Most of people I know who got into top 5 MBA have only about 3-4 years of experience, but most of them have undergraduate degree from Ivy League school and have work experience as financial analyst in investment banks (such as Goldman Sachs or Lehman Brothers) or as consultant in management consulting firms (such as McKinsey or Boston Consulting Group).

Yes, but my post was geared towards a person who doesn't have any management or business experience. There are people who get into Ivy league MBA programs with 1 year of experience. I cannot talk about all the people who get into MBA. The OP is a software engineer who doesn't have any management experience. Generally speaking, software engineers need atleast 6 years of work experience to get into a position that will give them business/management exposure.


If you have more than 8-10 years of experience, I wouldn't apply for regular MBA program. I would rather do Executive MBA (EMBA) program.

Yeah.. but at Wharton, you need 8 years of experience that includes 5 years of management experience

After the EMBA program, you get the same MBA degree as the regular students. EMBA is a piece of cakes: usually you only need to attend classes on weekends as a part-time student.

Actually, unless your employer is asking you to do an EMBA and you have a good shot at getting a promotion in your company after you complete the course, part time courses like the EMBA degree may not advance your career too much.

Beleive it or not, the course-work in an MBA program doesn't carry too much weight. What is important is the contacts that you make and the practical experience that you get. A part-time course is not going to give you enough practical experience and contact. The EMBA course is going to concentrate on theory. Anyone can teach you the theory. You can learn all the theory yourself. Unlike engineering degrees, the value of an MBA degree depends on the school you go to, and the kind of course you take. All other factors being equal, you have less chances of getting a six figure income after doing an EMBA program from Wharton, and you have very good chances of getting a six figure income after doing the full-time MBA program from Wharton.

The exception is if your employer is asking you to do an MBA, and promoting you to a management position after you complete the EMBA. If your empoyer is a large company, the new position will give you the requisite practical experience and contacts.


Actually, this is what I'm planning to do. Many schools (such as Wharton and Columbia) offer EMBA programs. You don't even need to take GMAT, it's easy.

I dont know where you are getting your information from, but Wharton requires the applicant to submit the GMAT score.

Here's their admission requirements


All applicants must submit the results of the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). There is no minimum requirement, however GMAT scores have proven to be a useful predictor of success in the quantitative courses that are an important foundation for the MBA program. For this year's entering class, the middle 80% of the class received GMAT scores in the 640-760 range.
Jayesh Lalwani
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 05, 2004
Posts: 502
Originally posted by karthik venkatesan:
Hi all,
Thanks for your responses. Then I will try to pursue M.S in top universities (I think its easy to get then M.B.A) then,I think its easy for me to get the M.B.A in top universities. Is it a good decision? Waiting for ranchers responses....

Thanks,

Regards,
Karthik


You need to assess your goals first. It sounds to me like you are not clear on your long-term goals. It's kind of hard to do when you have just 1 year of experience, though. I know everyone's goal is to earn a lot of money, but you have to flesh out the details, and decide which career track your want to take. Until you are in a position to do that, I would advise you to concentrate on your short-term goals.

If you are really interested in management, then try for an MBA after 2 years or so. It's ok if you don't get an MBA. As I said, just applying to Ivy schools can be a great learning experience, and the application process may help you decide if management is the right thing for you. It's ok if you don't get admitted now. There's no harm in trying. You can always use what you learned and try after 3-4 years. Most Ivy schools don't give you feedback on your application. Actually, when I applied, only Wharton gave me feedback, which was great. I don't know if Wharton still does that, but if it does, then I would encourage you to apply at Wharton.

Only thing is that some schools keep a record of why you were rejected, and when you apply next time, they will see if you have fixed that problem. So, say if you were rejected because you don't have leadership experience outside your job, then next time, they will specifically look at your extra-curricular activities. So, if you are serious about applying again, make sure you are serious about overcoming your shortcomings.
karthik venkatesan
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 31, 2004
Posts: 26
Hi Jayesh, Jogi and other ranchers,

Thanks for ur replies.Its very useful to me. Now I am little bit clear about M.B.A. I want to skip the hierarchy fast. I think, I have little leadership skills (I led a small team in my company with 3 months of experience after college.). I know its not a gr8 thing, but still i want to extend my leadership skills, so that i can move the corporate ladder quickly. I have some more queries.

1. Whether i will get scholarship to study in european top B-Schools and what about the job opportunities compared to U.S top B.Schools?

2. I will defintely try and applying Ivy League schools as Mr.Jayesh said, suppose If I dont get, will it worth doing M.B.A in next grade B.Schools (say University of Texas,Austin or some other schools)and what about opportunites after that?

Waiting for your suggestions...

Thanks,

Regards,
Karthik
 
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