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Was this man foolish to quit JP Morgan for an MBA?

On a relatively unknown student website, Business Because, we came across an interesting interview with Yu Tian, a JPMorgan associate who’s voluntarily quitting his job in the current market to study an MBA at Imperial. In doing so, he is set to spend 80k on fees and living expenses.

To relieve you of the need to read the entire article, we’ve summarized the relevant points as follows:

Current position: Equity fund associate in JP Morgan’s UK equity pricing team, based in Edinburgh

Position aspired to: Long term goal to set up ‘own equity reporting firm.’ Short term goal to get into ‘international banking.’

Academics: Degree in finance and investment from University of Stirling.

Previous work experience: Junior business analyst at RBS in Edinburgh

Why an MBA?: “I see it as a process of expanding my knowledge, perspectives on life and getting closer to achieving my life goals. I always knew I would go back to school some day.”

Would you do the same as Yu?

Comments (22)

  1. Yes – he needs to get out of Scotland. It would take some balls to do it now but it’s clearly the right decision if you’re good.

  2. i would if the MBA was paid for by a third party.

  3. MBAs always remind me of a cult, they all speak the same.
    For 3.5k you can do a masters in something less nebulous but blah blah blah it’s all about the network, that said your network may turn out to be lots of unemployed people in vast amounts of debt.

    Alternatively he could take 80k and have a great time in Berlin for several years.

  4. His work experience and education is not the most spectacular, hence doing an MBA is probably the best thing he needs to do in order to further his education.

    Fund Specialist Reply
  5. Go back to China, thats where its at my friend

  6. Maybe he couldn’t take his job anymore and wanted some time out.

  7. Stupid. Finance is a sunset industry. Social networking is the next big thing. Wasting money, time, life…

  8. Sounds like he has a fund admin / fund accounting / ops background and is no doubt hoping the MBA will give him a shortcut to FO. Lets assume he has idependent wealth which is why he can afford to do it (not because he has aquired wealth in his job a JP Morgan).

    Abosultely this is the wrong thing for him to do if he is serious about a career in financial services. Plenty of people around today who are making a similar grave error of judgement.

    If you are serious you will tough it out in industry rather than hide in academia. If you are serious you will look to put significant achievement on the cv with the current employer before looking to do an MBA. If he were serious about a start up he would’nt need an MBA to do it.

    When he returns to the job market he facing a high risk of people only speaking to him about similar roles to where he exited from. He will be in significant debt to the bank of Mum and Dad and will find most employers will not be concerned that he his career expectations will be out of sinc with his skillset / abilities.

    This is a massive gamble that has NOT paid off for lots of people.

  9. Good idea leaving Edinburgh, have to stay close to the action and an Americian bank’s northern outpost isn’t.

    MBA. Dubious degree and what value will it add after 2 years? Still at least it’s in London.

    Starting his own miscellaneous financial services firm, in the longterm a laudable goal but he has to get a reputation to get investors and customers. Credit no longer being handed out like sweeties. Could get away with some sort of internet gubbins.

    Also he just doesn’t seem cool.

  10. I think MBA paid very well for those that now are 45something… but for my generation (I’m 28), it seems things are a bit different. MBA may not pay as well as before, as work experience is the only thing required and taking 2 years of study out of work will not be priced fairly by the market.
    MBA is worth if you go to Columbia or similar, if you go to a small business school the market will not recognise value in it.

    I agree that next big thing in the world is social netowrking

  11. Only worth if it’s a global top 10 MBA (from serious rankings, such as FT). Otherwise, wrong investment

  12. If he had a a good equity analyst assoicate role then I think he is crazy as the only reason would be if he had a opps job / accounting or something along those lines – that he may have had. Not bad idea as least gets him to London were the real prospects are (along with New York) but not so sure MBA from Imperial is that great – if it was LBS, Colombia, Wharton then take in a heatbeat. Besides I do not know why he did not transfer to London and take a specialised part-time masters while still working as an associate Masters In Finance if he wanted general overview, MSc Real Estate Investment at Reading or just CAIA without having to go back to do a not so great MBA.

  13. Hi I am Sunny Li who wrote this article – talk to me on businessbecause.com – I’ll respond to all comments and can give you the inside story:)

  14. good work yu! just go for it mate!!

  15. His academics would be better viewed in an international context. Stirling finance has a v good international reputation. People like Blanchflower went there. In the UK, unfortunately employers would rather have a graduate in etruscan archaelogy from oxbridge than someone with a relevant degree from a 60s uni. Sad but true. RE the MBA he should perhaps look at one of the international Euro schools.

  16. Social networking

    what a big perceived joke. Lets out it this way, the ppl that you are spose to know you should have already met while you are young and went to school together, through summer camps, or through family friends.

    The ppl you meet at MBA are not much better than for keeping tabs on each other, see each others social status as a yard stick., bs a little and talk about football. there aint no helping each other out.

    Get real~!!!

  17. didier: one significant exception to this is Columbia Bus.School — rather peculiarly incestuous (and effective) alumni network.

    all: MBAs are not about education; they are about acquiring a magic ticket of entry to fields where entry is restricted primarily on social dynamics, such as front office.

  18. Do you really call yourself a journalist, Sarah Butcher? All you’ve done here is rip off a story from http://www.businessbecause.com. To be credible, shouldn’t you be researching and writing your own original material? You come across here as superior and lazy.

  19. @MJ – This is a blog. That means that we write some original stuff and we also repeat things that we’ve found elsewhere on the web. All blogs do this. The article makes it very clear that this comes from BusinessBecause.com and we link into the original. Not sure what your issue is. Apologies for apparent superiority. Wouldn’t usually consider myself lazy, but you are entitled to your own opinion.

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
  20. Of course he made the right decision – he’s back office, from Stirling university and in a non-core office. .Imperial at least gives him credibility if not a shot at FO in london which could give him an outside shot at front office. Definitely a right decision especially if he can network across imperial to make the move up front.

  21. Imperial MBA is overrated!

  22. ‘Banking is a sunset industry and social networking is the next big thing?’ Haha.

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