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Advice on career path (biz development/strategy/operations)

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Old 29-11-2014, 06:33 PM
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Default Advice on career path (biz development/strategy/operations)

Dear all,

I am a fresh grad with mechanical engineering who has just started to work for a while.

Despite technical background, I always has interest in business strategy, planning , and I think that BE in engineering with a MBA could help in getting such role in engineering mnc, or become a biz consultant for engineering companies.

I am currently doing sales support in an engineering equipment company, which make use of my engineering background and at the same time allow me to look upon sales/ biz operations.

Appreciate if anyone can advise the career path, and perhaps experience sharing? =D

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Old 29-11-2014, 09:18 PM
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Dude there are a lot of jobs that are just basic analysis and report writing that call themselves strategy this strategy that.

Unless you are referring to those BS titles, you can hardly expect to just go buy some MBA with hardly any work experience and except companies to hire you to advise them on strategy right after school...

Fresh grad just start work already thinking of wanting to be formulating strategy is usually a sign that either he knows nothing about what strategy means or has an usually high opinion of himself. If it's the latter, I hope you have some solid tangible business achievements to back that.

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Old 29-11-2014, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ss1 View Post
Dear all,

I am a fresh grad with mechanical engineering who has just started to work for a while.

Despite technical background, I always has interest in business strategy, planning , and I think that BE in engineering with a MBA could help in getting such role in engineering mnc, or become a biz consultant for engineering companies.

I am currently doing sales support in an engineering equipment company, which make use of my engineering background and at the same time allow me to look upon sales/ biz operations.

Appreciate if anyone can advise the career path, and perhaps experience sharing? =D
there are many kinds of strategy & planning -sales, marketing, technology, manpower, supply chain, finance etc. nowadays many companies inflate titles to make the JD sound strategic for some jr associate job.

the more senior and close to the leadership in the company you are, the more involve in strategy you become. studying a mba w/o any experience is waste of money & time as it just get you another jr analyst job.

it takes at least 10 years even for a high flyer in a mnc to be involve in some sort of real strategy work, so spend more time building up your career and network than waste time studying a mba. without work exp, you will not understand what you learn anyway.

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Old 29-11-2014, 11:49 PM
ss1 ss1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Dude there are a lot of jobs that are just basic analysis and report writing that call themselves strategy this strategy that.

Unless you are referring to those BS titles, you can hardly expect to just go buy some MBA with hardly any work experience and except companies to hire you to advise them on strategy right after school...

Fresh grad just start work already thinking of wanting to be formulating strategy is usually a sign that either he knows nothing about what strategy means or has an usually high opinion of himself. If it's the latter, I hope you have some solid tangible business achievements to back that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
there are many kinds of strategy & planning -sales, marketing, technology, manpower, supply chain, finance etc. nowadays many companies inflate titles to make the JD sound strategic for some jr associate job.

the more senior and close to the leadership in the company you are, the more involve in strategy you become. studying a mba w/o any experience is waste of money & time as it just get you another jr analyst job.

it takes at least 10 years even for a high flyer in a mnc to be involve in some sort of real strategy work, so spend more time building up your career and network than waste time studying a mba. without work exp, you will not understand what you learn anyway.

Thanks for the advice. Indeed work experiences still matters.
I never expect to use MBA only to get in the role.
However I believe MBA might be useful when get in the role after several years of working experiences.
So, at least I wanna be clear on the career path and see if I am on the right track on building up my career and network.

Of course I have no high biz achievement as a fresh grad.
However back in my old days in uni I was quite active in organizing event and club activity, which requires planning, marketing strategy, budget planning, and I actually quite enjoy that.

Thanks!
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Old 30-11-2014, 12:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ss1 View Post
Thanks for the advice. Indeed work experiences still matters.
I never expect to use MBA only to get in the role.
However I believe MBA might be useful when get in the role after several years of working experiences.
So, at least I wanna be clear on the career path and see if I am on the right track on building up my career and network.

Of course I have no high biz achievement as a fresh grad.
However back in my old days in uni I was quite active in organizing event and club activity, which requires planning, marketing strategy, budget planning, and I actually quite enjoy that.

Thanks!
Very few MBAs are really useful in terms of professional development and network building, other than the usual international biz schools which are exorbitant, in terms of local unis I recommend only the eMBAs which require min 10 years credentials.

Think about it, if a course can accept any Tom Dick or Harry for MBA with a few years of junior experience, what are the kind of students you will get? Likely a whole bunch of youngsters without any leadership experience or oldies who have mediocre careers. Are these the kind of classmates to learn from or develop professional networks?

Also the fact that you can equate organizing a ECA activity in school to business strategy work shows that you have gross misconception of the whole idea of enterprise strategy planning in a global MNC. The school club stuff you are interested in doing is probably done by HR Execs or Marketing/Promotion co-ordinators in a MNC, nobody would equate that with business strategy work.

My advice is just spend the next 10 - 15 years gaining exp across companies and functions. If you are lucky, befriend a few global / regional directors in large MNCs and they can probably share with you what strategy is all about. Maybe after a while you will gain at least awareness of this whole thing. Trying to hone in on a hard answer on what is the career path to do "strategy work" when you just left school ain't gonna get you anywhere.
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Old 30-11-2014, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ss1 View Post
Thanks for the advice. Indeed work experiences still matters.
I never expect to use MBA only to get in the role.
However I believe MBA might be useful when get in the role after several years of working experiences.
So, at least I wanna be clear on the career path and see if I am on the right track on building up my career and network.

Of course I have no high biz achievement as a fresh grad.
However back in my old days in uni I was quite active in organizing event and club activity, which requires planning, marketing strategy, budget planning, and I actually quite enjoy that.

Thanks!
Uni planning, ccas, and excos are all ******** pls.

even a simple assistant treasurer can get inflated titles like "Assistant Financial Director"
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Old 30-11-2014, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ss1 View Post
Of course I have no high biz achievement as a fresh grad.
However back in my old days in uni I was quite active in organizing event and club activity, which requires planning, marketing strategy, budget planning, and I actually quite enjoy that.
u should join a events management outsourcing company if that is ur interest.
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Old 30-11-2014, 05:38 PM
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TS can you elaborate what you mean by business strategy? Which part of your current job as a sales support executive or your studies as an engineer is it that you don't like and think being in a strategic planning career path will be better for your interest?

I am asking because my gut sense is you are just throwing out big words without understanding what they mean.
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:41 PM
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Another just left school youngster who just started work already fantasizing of being the strategy guy. If you really have the potential, you would be in 1 of those big MNC as a Management Trainee or in ministry as an Administrative Officer, not languishing as some sales support staff in an equipment company.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:43 PM
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there are many kinds of strategy & planning -sales, marketing, technology, manpower, supply chain, finance etc. nowadays many companies inflate titles to make the JD sound strategic for some jr associate job.

the more senior and close to the leadership in the company you are, the more involve in strategy you become. studying a mba w/o any experience is waste of money & time as it just get you another jr analyst job.

it takes at least 10 years even for a high flyer in a mnc to be involve in some sort of real strategy work, so spend more time building up your career and network than waste time studying a mba. without work exp, you will not understand what you learn anyway.
Strategy refers to overall management strategy of the company, not just a department. You usually report direct to the CEO and your work involves the long term strategy of the company. This means you are heavily involved in m&a, business planning, project finance and other major projects.

My advise to the aspiring TS, try to get into commercial management or business development (the real kind, not sales), the "revenue centers", or finance. It will be tough to get into strategy by doing operations or support roles.
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