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MBA or Level 3?

I am facing a very difficult decision…….
I can take my GMAT within a month (which itself difficult) and apply for the B-School which I want to go…
but that means devoting less time to L3 ….
so should i go for the B-school or study for L3??????????????
I am considering this option since I have work ex of only 1.5 years so any ways I am not going to get my charter till 2.5 years…..
So should I complete my MBA and take my CFA L3 next year or should i go for L3 this year itself since i have cleared my L1 in Dec 06 L2 in June 07 ?
Also i am 25 years old so am I too late for MBA?

I am confused need your valuable inputs…..

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I would say that being 25 years old most of the times means being too YOUNG for MBA. With only 1.5 years of experience I also doubt it would be very useful to you.

In any case it depends from what you want to do with your career…

Level III Candidate
7 June, Milan
Contact me if you want to go together to the test center!

Too old??? I would say too young. I have always heard that most top tier schools won’t even look at you if you have less than 5 years experience. Don’t get an MBA to just get one like many do right out of college…use it as a learning tool and be able to apply what you learn to real world experiences.

I am struggling to get a break in good organization and also in my interviews i have been going to preference is always to an MBA . Presently i work as an equity research analyst at an local brokerage house…I know this is not a forum to discuss this….but i think my interest lies in quantitative finance…..and i am struggling to get into that field…so is viewing an MBA as an gateway to enter into an organization right way of looking at it???? or should completing my L3 would guide me towards it?

your guidance would be appreciated

Forget the MBA for a while. If you think you’re too old to get an MBA, you clearly haven’t researched this MBA thing enough. The average work experience of students at good MBA programs is 5 years. The average age is late twenties.

This is a no-brainer – finish the CFA. Unless you have an 800 GMAT, you have virtually no shot at getting into an elite MBA program with only a year or two of experience

Also dude, you’re late to the party. All the main deadlines were in January. Even the final deadlines will have elapsed by the time you finish the GMAT and write your application essays.

….but i think my interest
> lies in quantitative finance…..and i am
> struggling to get into that field…so is viewing
> an MBA as an gateway to enter into an organization
> right way of looking at it????

MBA is a general management degree. Unless you already have a great quant background, you’re not going to get a quant job with an MBA.

You should be thinking about a Master’s in Quantitative Finance, or a regular MS finance. The good thing about these degrees is that you don’t need any work experience to get into good programs. You do, however, need a very good quant score on the GMAT, a good undergrad math background, and for the quantitative finance programs, computer programming skills.

bigwilly Wrote:
——————————————————-
> Too old??? I would say too young. I have always
> heard that most top tier schools won’t even look
> at you if you have less than 5 years experience.
> Don’t get an MBA to just get one like many do
> right out of college…use it as a learning tool
> and be able to apply what you learn to real world
> experiences.

This is not true anymore. Many top schools consider people, with 2-year experience, as long as they have worked for a top I-bank or consulting company.

Agree with Joemontana. You cannot expect good quantitative finance training from the bschool. Even at good bschools, the majority of the courses will be basic corp. finance and accouting as the programs target to students who want to be bankers or consultants. A master degree in Finance is better.

MBA vs. Level III q: I think they are not comparable at all. CFA level III is just one time test. After you finish that, you are done and you only need to wait for 4 year experience to become the chater holder.
MBA has more long term impact and you need to consider more about its financial impact on your current life and two year cost opportunity. You need to have a long term goal or at least five year goal before you apply to bschool.

If you have decided MBA is the degree you want, you should go for it rather than CFA level III. You can take CFA level III at school anyway.

“This is not true anymore. Many top schools consider people, with 2-year experience, as long as they have worked for a top I-bank or consulting company”

The median is still 4-6 years for pretty much every top 15 program.

I would take my advice from a 3X Superbowl MVP if I were you…

I am too frustrated with m current job…. only one good thing is CFA level 3
I am not enjoying my job….
plus the average age of an MBA student in India is 25-26 so am confused… also the numero uno B-school in India “IIM-A ” requires no prior work ex

many top schools consider people with 2 years experience but getting a top job out of the mba program with only 2 years experience ain’t easy.

> plus the average age of an MBA student in India is
> 25-26 so am confused… also the numero uno
> B-school in India “IIM-A ” requires no prior
> work ex

You should have noted that in your initial post. I wouldn’t have wasted my time by posting. I don’t know anything about India. You need to talk to people who understand the Indian education and job markets.

That was kind of a crucial detail.

IIM-A, it should be no problem for a savvy fellow like you to gain admission. I can learn a lot from you!

>You should have noted that in your initial post. I wouldn’t have wasted my time by posting. I don’t know anything about India. You need to talk to people who understand the Indian education and job markets.

>That was kind of a crucial detail.

Agree. We need to give clear information before asking for help.

India is a whole different scenario …btw i thought you cd’nt write the exams in India anymore or has that changed ??

\\\"Sometimes the Bird sometimes the statue \\\"

I am sorry guys….
we cant write the test in india but we have been allowed to take the test outside india.

Hi Guys,
The whole concept of education in India is different than the rest of the world. Due to the large population and cut-throat competition the focus is on differentiating yourself by gathering as many qualifications possible as quickly as you can. As per Indian standards an intelligent student should finish Graduation by 21/22, get straight into MBA and finish it by 24/25. The Indian Institute of Management (IIM) is the top business school in India which has 6 campuses. Every year approximately 150,000 students take the entrance test to try to secure around 1200 seats available. Hence the popular perception is that if you manage to “get in”, you are exceptionally brilliant and hence secured in terms of jobs and opportunities.

Equity,
This is the popular perception. Remember even if you are “in”, you are in the same boat as all your batchmates. You will still need to differentiate yourself to get the top jobs. When it comes to campus recruitments, the ones with additional qualifications and work experience hold an edge over the kids directly out of uni. Especially for getting placed with multinationals who scoff at 24/25 year olds who have never worked in their life. Finishing your CFA would help you compete against your batchmates when you finish your MBA. 25 is not too old to get an MBA. In fact its too young. Dont let the frustration get to you. Think long term!

All I can say is that, It’s damm impossible to get into an IIM (especially IIM-Ahmedabad). With the kind of competition (CAT entrance exam) there in India, if you make it to any of the 6 IIM’s, you will kick-a$$ any damm thing possible in this little world.

On a separate note, The only B-school that made it to top 20 this year on the FT list of Global MBA Rankings was ISB [http://rankings.ft.com/global-mba-rankings]

I personally feel I can do a HBS, If I try hard enought, but getting into an IIM is just a far-off-dream as it stands today.

equity_research_nds, you can afford to start your MBA in Jan 09 or even Sept 09. i’d suggest focusing on level III.

Hey equity_research_nds,

If you are trying for schools in India, the GMAT is valid only for ISB, otherwise its the CAT.

So essentially you are asking whether you should start studding for the CAT? The exam is in November if I am not wrong and is held once a year.

Go ahead and study for your CFA L3. After which begin your preparations for the CAT.
If after 4 months you cannot crack the cat, 8 months would not be of greater help as it is more of an aptitude test than something you can prepare for.

A lot of the premier BB firms do prefer candidates who are enrolled in the CFA program and it would help you in placements (summers and final).

And yes from your age I presume you would have given the CAT a couple of tries already, so you would be a best judge of clearing it this time.

Greater experience is positive and would enable you to clear the interviews. So concentrate on the CFA L3 and then plan on the CAT.

arakhanna….I havent taken CAT even once…..but then realised i shuld take it this time…maybe…

Even if you have your charter…what do you have to offer the person hiring you if you have 2 years of work experience. An MBA will not allow you to get further work experience. And India is a big diploma mill, so I would advise you to take your CFA knowledge and apply it and create opportunities to excel. What would buying an MBA give you? You would still be viewed as naive/green and probably not a good fit.

I hate to say this, but I will. And I will say this because of first hand experience from hiring candidates. And hopefully I can help you and anybody else looking for a job.

A CFA is great. Hey, I’m busting my fat __ to get one, not because I need one, but I want one, and let’s be honest, it is the gold standard. I have passed that stage of needing qualifications to open doors, but we know the CFA gets more than your foot in the door when necessary. So the CFA in my rubbish opinion is the best benchmark and highest common denominator by which to measure candidates. I never hired a charterholder who was incompetent, maybe hired a bunch who were jerks, but all are/were smart.

MBA’s on the other hand, most were from top tier schools. Knowledge of finance came from prior work experience. They were experts at delegating work and making things look nice. Lots of polish. Some were bright, some were the undergrad jocks who got good b-bracket jobs and then went to good b-schools but didnt’ learn anything there…good candidates on paper. But not bad people.

The overqualified people from India that I interviewed would try very hard to impress me all their degrees and what they know. Work experience was definitely a problem. Hey, I want to hire talented, people with all the tools to get the job done, but what I learned that most people with multiple degrees in India, were very rigid in their thinking. Problem solving within boundaries was excellent, but when creativity and imagination was required, they were totally helpless. I discussed this with them during reviews and the explanation I got was that they were taught not to be creative. They had to think within the curriculum. They were penalized for thinking outside the box.

Here in NYC, if you are looking for a job in fiance, you need to have the basic tools and you must be viewed as someone who can thinking on his/her feet. Someone who can thrive under pressure and not get bogged down by convention. Work experience…street cred is a must. Get it.

If you are having a problem getting the job you want, think about updating some of your other skills. Are you a good speaker? Can you present to the board of directors? Can you be interviewed on TV and not say “you know, like, and ya” a hundred times? Do you wear white socks with your suit? MBA school is almost like finishing school. I doubt you have any deficiencies when it comes to mathematical/quantitative/accounting skills…but perhaps you can save yourself $150K fees and $300-$600k opportunity cost (hey if you’re earning more than a buck and go to B school you’re a moron).

B-School now is increasingly used just for networking. There are some that churn out good thoughtful candidates like Tuck, but the rest seem to give us some generic vanilla eager beavers. I’d rather hire a hungry CFA from Staten Island than a prep school, Ivy League MBA.

And that’s my two bits.

88fiveo…. One of the best posts I have read here ! Thank you….

Thanks a ton!!!! 88fiveo…. would continue to concentrate on my L3 test this year….. it was an extremely useful post providing some great insights….
Everyone thanks a ton for taking out time and responding..

MBA looks good on paper and has many applications, but if you are talking quanitative finance, go with what Joe says. You need a strong math background (as in a whole slew of university level training) as well as computer programming, usually C++ (which in and of itself will take time to master) and a solid finance background. The CFA can definitely help with the latter, but an MBA would be of limited applications with a heavy quant guy (IMO), so I would bid my time.

Hey 88Fiveo, great post may I ask what is your background and job experience? Thanks

Kinda hard to get a student loan now anyway.. so unless you can pay for this on your own.. just go for the cheaper alternative.. L3

Except for 88’s post, I’ve never seen so many false statements strung together. Kinda hard to get a student loan? 25 years old too young? MBA not useful? WTF?!?!

Anyone interested in the CFA and or/MBA, read 88’s post and also check out gmatclub.
http://gmatclub.com/forum/103

It’s a very friendly online forum.

RG

ManVsCFA…

My background…same as yours and everybody else here.

Passed Level 1.

Passed Level 2.

Studying for Level 3. Must past Level 3.

The rest is irrelevant.

I’m no Bleron.

ryguy904 Wrote:
——————————————————-
> Except for 88’s post, I’ve never seen so many
> false statements strung together. Kinda hard to
> get a student loan? 25 years old too young? MBA
> not useful? WTF?!?!
>
> Anyone interested in the CFA and or/MBA, read 88’s
> post and also check out gmatclub.
> http://gmatclub.com/forum/103
>
> It’s a very friendly online forum.
>
> RG

25 means just a few years of experience. That’s not enough for an elite American MBA. Some people enter the big programs at 25, but they will have something ridiculous on their app (780 GMAT, successful entrepreneur).

Generally, 25 IS too young for a an elite (American) program.