For our students seeking to earn admission to some of America’s most selective MBA programs, there was an interesting piece a couple of weeks back in “Harvard Business Review” about career paths post-MBA. The piece focuses on whether consultants at firms like McKinsey and Bain make more than do small business owners/CEOs who take over their firms via aquisition, or vice versa. Surely one would think working at McKinsey, one of the world’s most elite consulting firms, would prove more profitable. Not so much. As it turns out, compensation is about the same, although there are non-monetary benefits to acquiring and running your own business that McKinsey just can’t offer an MBA grad.
For post-MBA students, search funds are all the rage these days.
It may seem odd to “acquire” a company post-MBA but it’s becoming all the rage these days. Some of our former students who we helped earn admission to schools like the Stanford Graduate School of Business or Harvard Business School have started what are called “search funds” after the completion of their degrees. And what are search funds? They basically raise money from folks to seek out and ultimately buy an existing company to takeover. As one of our former students once told us, “I see myself more as a Sheryl Sandberg than a Mark Zuckerberg. I know what I’m good at. I want to take over an existing company and make it better, not start my own.” Fair enough!
So, to MBA students everywhere, perhaps it’s time to drop your case interview book in the dumpster and start your own search fund. After all, that’s what so many of the kids are doing these days and you want to stay on point, right?