Q

Adding MBA to SAP skills and accounting experience

I am SAP FI/CO consultant for about 6 years with deep expertise in many areas including product costing, PA, PCA and so forth. In terms of academic qualifications, I am dual professionally qualified accountant - chartered accountant and a cost accountant. For various reasons such as current market situation, I wanted to add more strategic skills and am considering a career change I decided to do a executive MBA program in a top 5 business school.

Now the question: given the above, how do I best capitalize on the combined value of my MBA, SAP skill sets and accounting qualifications? I'd rather not take a fresh MBA type job at this point.

P.S. The executive MBA is a 2 year part-time program.
Good question. Just having an MBA does give you a slight edge for functional SAP roles. All things being equal, a hiring manager will take the FI/CO consultant with the MBA over one without. But, of course, that's not much of an edge, because in the world of hands-on SAP, all things are rarely equal. To take better advantage of your MBA and SAP skills, I see two possible routes: one is a leadership role with an SAP user, the other is a partner-track position with a consulting firm. Obviously, the latter is hard to come by right now, and would involve significant travel in most cases. But if you're up for it, your skills are particularly well-suited for leadership roles in consulting entities. Either way, your SAP skills, your financial background, and your MBA can be packaged together, but it will have to be for a permanent type of SAP position. It will be a lot harder to get the most out of your MBA as an independent SAP consultant.
This was first published in August 2003

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