Career change into management consultancy - MBA essential (UK)?


Hello

I have posted before on here before, but long story short is that I'm a law gradate with six years of legal work experience and am a qualified UK lawyer. I have been unhappy for a while and know my skills are better suited to more general professional service and think I would be better suited too consulting.

Is an MBA essential to try to make this change? Is it even a realistic change at the age of 30 with only a law degree or should I try to get a masters or MBA to signal to market that I want to change?

Would it be possible to simply apply to consulting firms with my existing academic and professional experience? Are there any smaller consulting firms that would be willing to take someone with my background (I'm totally realistic that as someone from just a Russell Group university, I'm not going to be aiming for Bain, McKinsey etc).

I basically want to try to achieve this transition in the next two years once. If I had to do a masters or MBA, which would be the best places after LBS to do this in London? I know there is a suggestion of Cass but do they even have decent links with the consulting industry? I've heard poor reviews of Cass and it doesn't sound very portable.

Hello

I have posted before on here before, but long story short is that I'm a law gradate with six years of legal work experience and am a qualified UK lawyer. I have been unhappy for a while and know my skills are better suited to more general professional service and think I would be better suited too consulting.

Is an MBA essential to try to make this change? Is it even a realistic change at the age of 30 with only a law degree or should I try to get a masters or MBA to signal to market that I want to change?

Would it be possible to simply apply to consulting firms with my existing academic and professional experience? Are there any smaller consulting firms that would be willing to take someone with my background (I'm totally realistic that as someone from just a Russell Group university, I'm not going to be aiming for Bain, McKinsey etc).

I basically want to try to achieve this transition in the next two years once. If I had to do a masters or MBA, which would be the best places after LBS to do this in London? I know there is a suggestion of Cass but do they even have decent links with the consulting industry? I've heard poor reviews of Cass and it doesn't sound very portable.
quote
Duncan

Consulting a big field, and there are lots of routes into it. Take a look at: How to use LinkedIn to find the best school www.find-mba.com/board/33571

Consulting a big field, and there are lots of routes into it. Take a look at: How to use LinkedIn to find the best school www.find-mba.com/board/33571
quote

Consulting a big field, and there are lots of routes into it. Take a look at: How to use LinkedIn to find the best school www.find-mba.com/board/33571


Sorry, to be honest I meant strategy consulting.

Profile:

-30 years old
- Russell Group law degree
- trained and worked at a global law firm
- currently working in-house as a lawyer at one of the biggest tech companies in the world
- no masters or MBA

How to transition into strategy consulting?

[quote]Consulting a big field, and there are lots of routes into it. Take a look at: How to use LinkedIn to find the best school www.find-mba.com/board/33571 [/quote]

Sorry, to be honest I meant strategy consulting.

Profile:

-30 years old
- Russell Group law degree
- trained and worked at a global law firm
- currently working in-house as a lawyer at one of the biggest tech companies in the world
- no masters or MBA

How to transition into strategy consulting?
quote
Duncan

Odds are hugely against you unless you attend LBS or Insead. Maybe easier to work into consulting to legal firms on operations for a big four firm like Deloitte, and then move into strategy as an engagement manager.

Odds are hugely against you unless you attend LBS or Insead. Maybe easier to work into consulting to legal firms on operations for a big four firm like Deloitte, and then move into strategy as an engagement manager.
quote

Odds are hugely against you unless you attend LBS or Insead. Maybe easier to work into consulting to legal firms on operations for a big four firm like Deloitte, and then move into strategy as an engagement manager.


Thanks, do I have the profile of someone for either of these schools?

[quote]Odds are hugely against you unless you attend LBS or Insead. Maybe easier to work into consulting to legal firms on operations for a big four firm like Deloitte, and then move into strategy as an engagement manager. [/quote]

Thanks, do I have the profile of someone for either of these schools?
quote
Duncan

Lots of lawyers go to do MBAs, sure. You're a bit old for Insead, but LBS, Cambridge might work for strategy. For anyone considering a diagonal transition (like Accenture/in-house consulting/Big Four etc, and then strategy after a few years) I would also suggest Manchester and Cass.

Lots of lawyers go to do MBAs, sure. You're a bit old for Insead, but LBS, Cambridge might work for strategy. For anyone considering a diagonal transition (like Accenture/in-house consulting/Big Four etc, and then strategy after a few years) I would also suggest Manchester and Cass.
quote

Lots of lawyers go to do MBAs, sure. You're a bit old for Insead, but LBS, Cambridge might work for strategy. For anyone considering a diagonal transition (like Accenture/in-house consulting/Big Four etc, and then strategy after a few years) I would also suggest Manchester and Cass.


Thank you Duncan. How old would be too old for LBS MBA thinking of post-MBA options?

Also what exactly do you mean by a diagonal transition? Would management consulting rather than strategy consulting be a more realistic transition based on my profile with or without MBA.

Also I just curious about your recommendation of Cass on this forum - I have seen many people say that there's no value doing an MBA in the UK unless you go to LBS in terms of value.

[quote]Lots of lawyers go to do MBAs, sure. You're a bit old for Insead, but LBS, Cambridge might work for strategy. For anyone considering a diagonal transition (like Accenture/in-house consulting/Big Four etc, and then strategy after a few years) I would also suggest Manchester and Cass.[/quote]

Thank you Duncan. How old would be too old for LBS MBA thinking of post-MBA options?

Also what exactly do you mean by a diagonal transition? Would management consulting rather than strategy consulting be a more realistic transition based on my profile with or without MBA.

Also I just curious about your recommendation of Cass on this forum - I have seen many people say that there's no value doing an MBA in the UK unless you go to LBS in terms of value.
quote
Duncan

I would not put a hard and fast figure on it, since schools have to weigh up many factors when they are judging the candidate's ability to benefit from their MBA and the employers who rely on it. Even so, there's certainly an age profile. Here's a rough ranking I just made up of the ten top UK schools...

Younger
Imperial Oxford
Cambridge London
Cass Manchester
Durham Edinburgh
Cranfield Warwick
Older.

So, I think your work background is interesting at LBS and your career path is common there, so I think you have more chances there than at, say, Imperial or Oxford. Cass and Manchester are much easier [to get into, than LBS or Oxford] and their project-based approach helps you to build evidence for consulting firms. They also have great relationships with the generalist management consultancies, better than with the strategy firms.

By a diagonal strategy, I mean this: I am a tech marketer in London. I want to be a cheese COO in Italy, but no-one will hire me [because it's a leap too far: I have no network, no language skills, and the abrupt shift makes me look risky]. So, I go through steps, using the MBA for the hardest step. So, I do my MBA in Italy and become a marketing tech consultant, then I move in-house to a marketing operations role, then I become head of operations for a food wholesaler, and then I become COO of a cheesemaker. Okay, the whole process takes five or six years but I have to make leaps that are small enough to be feasible.

I never heard anyone say LBS is the only valuable MBA in the UK, but such people would be idiots [and I say that as an LBS MBA]. Almost any FT-ranked MBA will have a positive NPV. LBS simply has the largest of any MBA in the UK. Certainly, if you could go to LBS but decide not to, then you are destroying value. But if you can't go to LBS but can go to one of the schools I just mentioned above, then you will almost certainly have a huge return on your investment.

[Edited by Duncan on Apr 10, 2020]

I would not put a hard and fast figure on it, since schools have to weigh up many factors when they are judging the candidate's ability to benefit from their MBA and the employers who rely on it. Even so, there's certainly an age profile. Here's a rough ranking I just made up of the ten top UK schools...

Younger
Imperial Oxford
Cambridge London
Cass Manchester
Durham Edinburgh
Cranfield Warwick
Older.

So, I think your work background is interesting at LBS and your career path is common there, so I think you have more chances there than at, say, Imperial or Oxford. Cass and Manchester are much easier [to get into, than LBS or Oxford] and their project-based approach helps you to build evidence for consulting firms. They also have great relationships with the generalist management consultancies, better than with the strategy firms.

By a diagonal strategy, I mean this: I am a tech marketer in London. I want to be a cheese COO in Italy, but no-one will hire me [because it's a leap too far: I have no network, no language skills, and the abrupt shift makes me look risky]. So, I go through steps, using the MBA for the hardest step. So, I do my MBA in Italy and become a marketing tech consultant, then I move in-house to a marketing operations role, then I become head of operations for a food wholesaler, and then I become COO of a cheesemaker. Okay, the whole process takes five or six years but I have to make leaps that are small enough to be feasible.

I never heard anyone say LBS is the only valuable MBA in the UK, but such people would be idiots [and I say that as an LBS MBA]. Almost any FT-ranked MBA will have a positive NPV. LBS simply has the largest of any MBA in the UK. Certainly, if you could go to LBS but decide not to, then you are destroying value. But if you can't go to LBS but can go to one of the schools I just mentioned above, then you will almost certainly have a huge return on your investment.
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