Since so many applicants apply to business school because they wish to pursue a popular MBA career path such as management consulting, investment banking, or venture capital, we decided it only made sense to add a section to our books review on these jobs. While we readily acknowledge that many MBAs pursue careers paths in Fortune 500s and small start ups, the following three professions tend to attract the most interest and questions.
Case In Point: Complete Case Interview Preparation by Marc P. Cosentino
Our MBA alumni clients tell us this is the best book out there for mastering the case study interview styles used by the consulting firms. The author’s use of humor is expertly employed to help demystify the recruiting process for consultant hopefuls.
Case Interview Secrets: A Former McKinsey Interviewer Reveals How to Get Multiple Job Offers in Consulting by Victor Cheng
Victor Cheng’s book continues to receive rave reviews from our alumni clients. To be blunt, if you’re looking to pursue a career with a top consulting firm and you don’t consult this guide, you’re putting yourself at a significant competitive disadvantage!
The McKinsey Way by Ethan M. Raisel
If you are looking for insight into McKinsey & Company, this is an excellent book. McKinsey is widely considered the most prestigious management consulting firm in the world and for good reason. (Just look at the numerous boutique firms that boast their staff consists of ex McKinsey consultants.) Their approach to identifying problems and selling solutions to their clients are covered with remarkable clarity. It certainly would not hurt you to be familiar with this book should you interview with McKinsey.
Investment Banking: Valuation, Leveraged Buyouts, and Mergers & Acquisitions by Joshua Rosenbaum and Joshua Pearl
Not only is this widely considered to be “the” book on valuation, but it may also be a required text in b-school. So do yourself a huge favor and get an early start that can also help you impress those summer internship interviewers!
Investment Banks, Hedge Funds, and Private Equity, Third Edition by David Stowell
At 732 pages, this book is certainly not light reading. It does, however, contain timely and relevant information for ambitious students considering careers in investment banking, hedge funds and private equity. We particularly like the cases that are wrapped into the chapters and how the author so actively encourages the reader to think about how they may have done things differently.
Cracking the Tech Career: Insider Advice on Landing a Job at Google, Microsoft, Apple or any Top Tech Company by Gayle Laakmann McDowell
Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and other tech companies are the new “big thing” for top MBA students these days, so we thought it only fitting to include this rather authoritative guide. We also recommend this guide to prospective MBAs who are considering tech careers. Better to find out before you invest a lot of your time and educational costs than later!
Women in Tech: Take Your Career to the Next Level with Practical Advice and Inspiring Stories by Tarah Wheeler
Tech isn’t just attracting male MBA graduates and, quite unfortunately, many women don’t feel completely comfortable in this still male-dominated field. We’re only able to base this recommendation off the feedback of a few women alumni clients, but we’re hoping you will find the book equally helpful.
Mastering Private Equity: Transformation via Venture Capital, Minority Investments and Buyouts by Claudia Zeisberger, Michael Prahl and Bowen White
While this book was written more for the business owners and investors who interact with private equity firms, we believe it’s a great guide for MBA students looking to break into this lucrative field.
What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know: An Insider Reveals How to Get Smart Funding for Your Billion Dollar Idea by Brian Cohen and John Kador
If you are looking to raise a seed round from angel investors, do so without reading this book at your own risk! It’s current (this is a post Angel List world after all) and extremely insightful.
Venture Capital Deal Terms: A guide to negotiating and structuring venture capital transactions by Harm de Vries, Menno van Loon and Sjoerd Mol
Here’s another book that’s not specifically written for job seekers, but still highly recommended by us. If you have a better understanding of how to negotiate and structure deals, you will have a significant advantage in the interview process.
The Hedge Fund Book: A Training Manual for Professionals and Capital-Raising Executives by Richard Wilson
If you are going to business school to get into hedge fund investing, we believe this is the very best book on the market. Not only should it help you much more clearly understand what you will need to do but it should also help you immensely with your interview preparations.
Hedge Fund Market Wizards by Jack Schwager
Author Jack Schwager is an extremely accomplished writer in the financial sector so, if his name looks familiar, yes, you have probably read one or more of his other books. This one though is extra impressive as he got 15 of the world’s top hedge fund managers to open up to him about their philosophies and investment methodologies. Prospective hedge fund managers can do far worse than to consider benchmarking these great traders!
The Alpha Masters: Unlocking the Genius of the World’s Top Hedge Funds by Maneet Ahuja
This is a great book for matriculating MBA students who may just be exploring the possibilities of a career in hedge funds. It provides a very detailed and readable history of the industry as well as insights into both the psychology and strategies behind trades.
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
This book is an absolute must for not just any startup but for any manager or owner of any type of business. There is a legit revolution going on right now in the business world around the lean startup concept. While business schools are starting to get better at covering it, don’t be caught off guard!
Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist 3rd Edition by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson
If you are serious about raising venture capital, this is a great book. It’s written in a very transparent manner by two very seasoned venture capitalists who even managed to maintain some humor for readability when they delved into complex legal issues.
The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup by Noam Wasserman
This book is an offshoot of the author’s very popular “Founder’s Dilemma” class that he teaches at Harvard Business School. He is particularly famous for saying “If entrepreneurship is a battle, most casualties stem from friendly fire or self-inflicted wounds.” We feel that pretty much sums up this must read for aspiring entrepreneurs.
The Innovator’s Method: Bringing the Lean Start-up into Your Organization by Nathan Furr, Jeff Dyer and Clayton Christensen
This is a very insightful book for corporate managers looking to foster an entrepreneurial environment in which to bring goods and services to market. We recommend this book if you’re looking to make a name for yourself in Corporate America or if you’re simply looking to “dip your toes” into the entrepreneurial realm.