MIM or MBA with 5 years work experience

General Forum
  • Posted by pooikuan82 on 01/16/13 2:25pm

    Hi there

    I have read with great interest the decision to do either MiM or MBA in this forum.
    As much as I understand MiM is for grads with no experience, I am not sure in my case if it's worth to go for MBA.

    I am from Malaysia originally and have had various experience working abroad in Germany, HK and Singapore. I spent 1 year traineeship in Germany with PwC in recruitment marketing, then later on to PwC Singapore in their IT Risk sector for 2.5 years before moving on to a compliance role within wealth management for a year. And that was before the bank starting laying off people.

    I'm kinda in a bottle neck on my career. I'm not interested in pursuing my career in compliance space anymore and wanted to change to a new career direction. I am thinking marketing could be a choice, at the same time I do not want to close up my options completely.

    I'm probably too old for a MiM program now (30 years old) but at the same time I couldn't fork up that large sum of money for a good MBA program. My savings probably only allow me to go for a tier 2-3 MBA program.

    In this case, would it be better to go for say MiM speciliaze in Marketing or a MBA for a mid career changer like me?

    • Posted by pooikuan82 on 01/16/13 3:05pm

      Oh and also because I'm really not aiming for a highly paid investment banker or management consultant kinda roles upon graduation, hence I really just couldn't justify the need to be in debt to pay off for a 30-50K MBA program. And that is why I am thinking of a MiM instead.

      Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated!

      • Posted by Thomas Graf on 01/16/13 3:21pm

        Hi there,

        I understand your situation. In general, yes, an MBA would be the right program for you as this is a general management progam (keeps the doors oben for othe disciplines) that may offer you at least electives in marketing (where you can get deeper knowledge in that area) where professionals interact with professionals (on top of the curriculum, this is an important learning and network source) and with companies coming to campus who search precisely for this type of people (professionals, not graduates).

        I wouldn't go for an MIM but of course you could also go for a Master in Marketing. But for this you need to be sure that you really want to become an expert in marketing and apply for marketing jobs later on. I don't see it in your case, actually, from what you told me so far.

        An alternative - with respect to costs - would be that you do a part-time MBA. You can keep on working, maybe tax-deduct your expenses, and overall don't have to burdon to much money from one day to the other.

        My intuition is that you should go for two tactics simultaneously:


        • decide what's the maximum budget you could spend for an an MBA
        • Check out what MBA programs could be your choice according to your budget
        • see if you wouldn't find a decent school and get in contact with them
        • ask them about their experience with placing people of your nationality - and also which companies come to campus and where the MBA graduates end up after the MBA


        • Select some schools that look interesting for you and where the costs would be affordable for you with a 50% scholarship or lower
        • Try to investigate abotu scholarships (e.g. Financial AId website of the school)
        • Make sure that you get a GMAT of 650 minimum
        • check out how much the scholarship would need to be so that you could afford the program
        • and contact them - maybe sending them your cv - to find out how good your chances are

        Then you have two groups finally: One group of schools where you could afford to study. And one group of schools where you could afford to study provided that you receive scholarships (10%, 20%, 25%, 50%).

        I think it is too early to decide now but as a next step you should first do that investigation and see what happens in your mind (how it may change your thoughts or opinion regarding the MBA; maybe a clarification in one direction or the other will happen).

        Best wishes

        By Thomas Graf

        • Posted by Thomas Graf on 02/21/13 1:41pm

          Hi there,

          well, there may be many more schools that meet your budget. Just investigate a bit more.

          In general, however, I think you have done well so far. I made clear (1) that you want anMBA, (2) where your budget lies, and (3) that you want schools with a minimum level of quality as expressed by accreditations. That's fine.

          Now, the question is: What do expect from such a school and program? If you primarily want competence you will get it. You will learn a lot, read a lot, discuss a lot and simply be a much more competent person after the MBA. I think this is what you can definitely expect from an accredited schools.

          Do you also want reputation? Well, the title itself should dress your CV up whereever you apply later on. Now the question is how much reputation you can get with the school's name if it is not a top school - clearly less than from Oxford is what I expect. That's why you pay a lower price for it. Still, the school may have a reputation at some firms that come to campus and through their regional network and their alumni network.

          Third, do you need network benefits. Do you need a large alumni network? Do you need a strong company network that the school maintains? Etc. again, your school may have some of that but not in the same way as the LBS - that's why it is cheaper.

          So, I understand that you may want to have all of them. But given your limited budget you need to make a decision what's most important for you - balancing benefits and investment. I think competence is most important for you - so compare the schools along their networks and finally choose the one that has the best overall mix.

          best wishes

          By Thomas Graf

    • Posted by pooikuan82 on 02/21/13 7:23am

      Hi Thomas

      Thanks for the useful insights!
      I have taken your suggestions and went ahead to explore MBA options with your suggested tactics.

      So far schools (accredited and decent) within my reach of budgets are Bradford, Kingston and stretching a bit more will be Birmingham, Notthingham. In fact I have received offer from Bradford within 24 hours of submitting my applications. (makes me wonder how will the quality of students be given the loose admission). I do not have a GMAT.

      Top tier schools fees are all between 25k-40k, even with 30% or 50% scholarships, it is still stretching far more than my I could afford to.

      I went through some forum, and seems to get the vibes that unless you are studying with the top tiers Warwick, LBS, Cranfield, Oxford and etc, there isn't much value or use to do it with second tier school and might as well get a marketing program with the top tier schools.

      So I'm kinda torn now and seems to be back to square one :S

      What are your thoughts on the second tier schools that I have mentioned? (there are all accredited programs) Or any better school which is within the budget of 15k-20k (with scholarships) that I might have missed out?

      Many thanks again in advance for your help!

    • Posted by avaross09 on 09/20/13 8:45am

      If you are looking for a career change and was wondering if you had come across Babson's Entrepreneurship campaign in your search. This might be the perfect fix for your dilemma and I think you would benefit from reading about how different kinds of entrepreneurs define entrepreneurship. They also have an outstanding part-time MBA program if you decide to go that route instead...best of luck!

    • Posted by avaross09 on 10/14/13 9:11am

      There is no much difference in MIM & MBA both after all these a management degrees and among them MBA is much hyped one .I myself being MBA I can share my knowledge with you I had a lot of project work plus later part of 1yr I had an internship which helped in learning a lot. Thus MBA has subjects like Accounts, Math, and other ones. But as far my knowledge you have an experience of 5yrs so it’s better you opt for MBA.

      • Posted by Thomas Graf on 10/14/13 12:44pm

        Hi there,

        I disagree. Between the MIM and the MBA is a huge difference. Please have a look at our MIM - MBA article.

        Best wishes