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2 years in Big4 w/ MBA - where to go now?

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by AChekhovGun, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. IrateCustomer

    IrateCustomer Senior member

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    Thanks Stu - that's more in line with how I think - I don't think 2 years of experience ties me down to accounting. Now I just need to figure out what I want to do..I've got to be able to leverage some of the skills I've gained into a non-accounting business job.

    The bolded text is your priority right now. Stick with what you are doing now, while getting promoted later this year. If you can get into Management, that will help tremendously regardless of which department. Management experience, plus an MBA, plus Accounting makes for a fairly versatile combination. Controllers for Auto Dealerships are a crucial aspect of the business and having all of the prior qualities would be on my list when hiring one.

    This is just an example of some other opportunities that aren't strictly Accounting, but Finance related. Every industry needs someone to manage there revenue, and you have a good start with your education and work history. You can still make a good living doing this type of work for small to medium businesses where you would most likely start under a Controller getting ready to retire in a few years.

    Figure out what you want to do, network with people who can get you into that field, start working those contacts until something presents itself.

    Good luck!
     
  2. bwonger06

    bwonger06 Senior member

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    with all due respect, you guys who are saying he's pigeonholed now into accounting are full of it. Hell, I am 45 and have changed careers so many times I can't count. At various times I have been an ESL teacher, foreign wire service correspondent, newspaper executive editor, public relations and marketing executive and media syndicate general manager/salesman. Last year I got into equity research, where I will likely stay. I have nothing but a BA in a liberal arts degree. It is all about busting your balls, networking and doing anything you can to get where you want to go.

    Although part of is busting it your balls and networking, there is a certain stigma at the Big 4 that is very hard to avoid. For instance, I have an MD contact at a very reputable MM bank (Baird, William Harris, Stephens, etc.) who worked M&A transaction advisory at a big 4 during good economic times. Naturally you'd think he could make the jump over to an investment bank with that could of experience but he couldn't and he needed an MBA from a good school to make the jump.

    Not to discourage OP though but things are going to be a lot harder if you don't have a story nailed down about why you want to switch jobs and your ultimate job goals. You want to get out of the accounting firms ASAP and know where you want to go. Simply saying you want to use the full-range of your skill set takes you no where.
     
  3. Stu

    Stu Senior member

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    Although part of is busting it your balls and networking, there is a certain stigma at the Big 4 that is very hard to avoid. For instance, I have an MD contact at a very reputable MM bank (Baird, William Harris, Stephens, etc.) who worked M&A transaction advisory at a big 4 during good economic times. Naturally you'd think he could make the jump over to an investment bank with that could of experience but he couldn't and he needed an MBA from a good school to make the jump.

    Not to discourage OP though but things are going to be a lot harder if you don't have a story nailed down about why you want to switch jobs and your ultimate job goals. You want to get out of the accounting firms ASAP and know where you want to go. Simply saying you want to use the full-range of your skill set takes you no where.


    Understood, but that just means he has to work that much harder. I am sure he has it in him from the sounds of his post.
     
  4. micbain

    micbain Senior member

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    Although part of is busting it your balls and networking, there is a certain stigma at the Big 4 that is very hard to avoid. For instance, I have an MD contact at a very reputable MM bank (Baird, William Harris, Stephens, etc.) who worked M&A transaction advisory at a big 4 during good economic times. Naturally you'd think he could make the jump over to an investment bank with that could of experience but he couldn't and he needed an MBA from a good school to make the jump.

    Not to discourage OP though but things are going to be a lot harder if you don't have a story nailed down about why you want to switch jobs and your ultimate job goals. You want to get out of the accounting firms ASAP and know where you want to go. Simply saying you want to use the full-range of your skill set takes you no where.


    Just curious - what is the stigma?
     
  5. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

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    Just curious - what is the stigma?

    The Big 4 got caught groping one of its younger female cousins a few years back at a Christmas party. I really shouldn't be bringing it up, actually.
     
  6. Texasmade

    Texasmade Senior member

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  7. micbain

    micbain Senior member

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  8. Texasmade

    Texasmade Senior member

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  9. level32

    level32 Senior member

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    ChekhovGun,

    By no means is anyone saying that you're locked into accounting after two years of experience. What everyone is saying is this - if you're looking to transition to a highly competitive job in the finance or consulting industry from your background, it's going to be quite an uphill climb.

    Your lack of non-accounting experience and "middle-of-the-rankings MBA" is going to hurt you as you'll be fighting for spots against post-mbas with much more or much more relevant experience. With that said, a clear goal, enough persistence, and networking will definitely give you a shot.
     
  10. micbain

    micbain Senior member

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  11. SVS

    SVS Senior member

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    All,

    Your advice is much appreciated - I'm a bit confused as to where to take my career now.

    I'm about to hit 2 years with a Big4 firm (advisory, not audit or tax). I (expect) to get promoted the 2nd half of this year. I have my MBA from a top 40 school (but nowhere near top 20). It's not being utilized in my current role.

    I've only passed 2 sections of the CPA, and I'm not really interested in staying in accounting very long; problem is, I'm not exactly sure what I want to do - however, I'd like to at least leverage my MBA by getting into an interview/position where it is required.

    I realize this is a pretty broad question, but does anyone have any opinions on where I could/should branch out from here?

    Should I try to get a shot for an interview at M/B/B?
    Should I try to jump to finance somewhere? (need specific roles to shoot for to use MBA)
    Should I jump to acct/internal audit in industry? (easiest option, but not really what I want)

    With 2 yr of experience and a middle-of-the-rankings MBA, what are my best options?

    Thanks for reading,
    ACG


    Not to be rude, but you are you serious? Two-years with the big four isn't enough time to check the "big 4" experience box some positions require and passing half the CPA exam just makes you look like you couldn't finish the rest. You'll be a lot more marketable if you take the next promotion and finish the exam. At least you'll have a successful story to tell then.

    Also, the CPA is respected by almost everyone ... even outside of finance. It will help you. Additionally, a CFOs, VPs of Finance, EVPs, etc often come up through the finance ranks but do very little accounting.

    If you aren't into business and finance, do something else.
     
  12. HRoi

    HRoi Senior member

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    Jump to industry. A multinational fortune 100 will be easier to make career changes in once you're already in the door. Get yourself assigned as a controller to the top guy in a line of business you're interested in, establish the relationship, and move into the LOB later.
     

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