How MBA Grads Can Overcome 3 Startup Hiring Objections...

Job prospects look about as sunny as possible for 2016’s MBA grads. In fact, 85 percent of employers plan on hiring as many or more MBAs this year than last, according to The Economist. I’m sure stats like this come as welcome relief to the thousands of people who have taken on over $70,000 in debt to earn their advanced business degrees. Still, if you’re an MBA grad looking to join a startup, don’t let a positive jobs forecast lull you into a false sense of security. While you might have a degree from a top program and may even know about a particular industry inside and out, you can still be an expensive hire who might not have what it takes to make a meaningful contribution in the eyes of a founder. When founders tell me that MBA candidates aren’t “the right fit,” their objections generally often fall into a few different categories: experience, attitude, and salary. If you’re serious about getting your foot in the door at a startup, here are some tips on how to overcome these three common areas of founder skepticism. You lack the right experience It’s quite possible that you have built up a very impressive resume from working at larger companies. However, a startup might dismiss your big-name business experience because it isn’t an apples to apples comparison. A founder’s line of thinking could go something like this: “How do I know you’ll succeed when you have to complete a project with significantly fewer resources and in a shorter timeframe?” The burden is on you to convince startups that you thrive in small team environments when the deadlines are tight, and the stakes are high for a project’s success or failure. If...

Your guide to acing an MBA interview

The average MBA interview lasts about 45 minutes. In those 45 minutes, you’ll need to convince the school that they were correct in showing interest in you and that you’ll be able to contribute something meaningful to the cohort that they’re designing for the next year. While the essays tend to be the part of the MBA application process that causes the most trouble for applicants, the interview tends to cause the most confusion as applicants struggle to know how to prepare. Over the years, we’ve developed some proven techniques to help applicants breeze through the interview for their top choice MBA program. Follow our Five Ps to guide you in acing your MBA interviews. PREPARE There’s no way around it. In order to have the answers you need on hand, you’ll need to prepare. Know your resume back and forth—this means you’ll also need to prepare anecdotes about times you’ve experienced failure, faced ethical dilemmas or received negative feedback. In addition, have a set of questions that you’d like to ask the interviewer. If you can work them into the interview, great. If not, then the interviewer will likely ask you at the end of the interview if there’s anything else you’d like to know about the program. You can ask your questions then. PRACTICE The anecdotes that you choose to prepare for the interview might sound great in your head or look good on paper, but you won’t know how they’re going to perform during the interview until you practice saying them aloud. You shouldn’t memorize your anecdotes or your responses to likely questions in the interview process—you’ll sound stilted and a little fake. However, you should have the basic storyline down pat and be able to...

Cheap MBAs: Costly for some

THERE’S no such thing as a free lunch. That maxim should be ingrained in the minds of business-school students, attuned to the notion of opportunity cost or Milton Friedman’s economic theories. Yet to believe the American non-profit University of the People (UoPeople), run by Shai Reshef, an Israeli entrepreneur, something close to a free lunch could soon be available to prospective MBA students. On March 15th the university opened applications for an MBA without tuition fees that it plans to launch in September 2016. That much is admirable, and certainly should be applauded. But don’t prepare to burn Friedman’s 1975 tome yet: there’s still no such thing as a free lunch. One hundred successful applicants will be enrolled onto the 15-month distance-learning course, and will be asked to pay just $200 for each of the 12 courses they will take as part of the programme. That is still a pittance, and a minuscule fraction of the cost of an MBA at the sort of business schools ranked by The Economist. “The cost of an MBA today is so expensive that many people who are qualified to achieve it cannot afford it,” Mr Reshef said when announcing his plans. Certainly, business schools can be rarefied places. So the development of a legitimate MBA at a low cost could be beneficial. Russell Winer, professor of marketing at NYU Stern and the leader of the MBA programme at UoPeople, told The Economist that the establishment can offer a cheaper programme than most by being online-only and lean-staffed. It also has the backing of faculty members from other big business schools, including INSEAD, Wharton and Oxford, all of whom have helped develop the curriculum. And yet the devil is in the detail. Some...

When Is The Best Time To Apply For Your MBA?

The business school application process is intense, and with good reason. Getting an MBA is a significant investment in time and money. Going into the process without giving it a lot of thought beforehand is a recipe for disaster. If you aren’t prepared for the b-school experience, you won’t be able to take full advantage of the opportunity. But when you go into it deliberately, after a lot of careful thought, getting an MBA can be a life and career-changing move. Here are five questions you need to be able to answer “yes” to, before you’re ready to apply: 1. Do you know your post-MBA goals? It’s not a good idea to go to business school in order to figure yourself out, or to get away from the working world for a bit. Most MBA programs move very fast, and if you want to take full advantage of the experience, you’ll need to have a plan. Think about where you want to be in five years. Not just in your career, but where in the world you want to be, and what you want your life to look like. Do you want to work globally, start a business of your own or move into higher management positions within your current organization? 2. Do you know how an MBA will help you accomplish those goals? Lower-tier schools and diploma mills may be happy to admit anyone who seems interested and can foot the bill, but top business schools want to know that you have given a lot of thought to the prospect of getting an MBA. They are looking for students who will take the opportunity seriously, and reflect well upon the school as alumni. When you know how an...

6 career moves that are worth more than an MBA...

If your career plan is to become a hedge fund trader or play some other role in the financial services business, you probably need an MBA just as the price of admission. If that’s you, don’t bother reading this post. For everyone else, you may be considering an MBA program as a way to increase your business acumen, enhance your personal brand, and make yourself more competitive. If that’s the case, there may be some cheaper and better alternatives. Let’s run some quick numbers. Tuition and fees for a two year degree program at a top private college will cost you about $120,000. If you earn $50,000 a year, you won’t be making $100,000 during that time. If your living expenses are $45,000 a year, you’ll still need to pay that $90,000. In other words, an MBA from a top business school could cost you as much as $320,000. Invest that amount at an annual return of 5%. and you’ll have roughly $2.3 million when you retire in 40 years. With an MBA, of course, you will earn more in the future. According to New Accountant, an MBA will earn a CFO an estimated $463,440 in extra lifetime income. But that’s only an extra $11,586 a year, which compounds over 40 years to only $1.6 million. Of course, if you get your MBA from a lower tier school, tuition and fees will be less, and you may get your current employer to pay some of your costs. Still, even if you earn the degree in your spare time, there’s still lost opportunity cost. With that in mind, here are six career moves that cost lest than earning an MBA but will probably do more to advance your career and...

3 Ways International Students Can Strengthen U.S. MBA Applications...

The U.S. is a popular destination for those from around the globe who want to pursue higher education, and prospective business school students are helping lead the trend of studying in the U.S. Fifty-two percent of prospective students for graduate business programs attempted to study outside their country of citizenship, up from 40 percent in 2010, according to the most recent data from the Graduate Management Admission Council. This growth is seen mostly among Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern citizens, the report states, and the U.S. is the top region of choice. “Schools want diversity in their programs. You want people from all different places,” says Erin Town, director of MBA admissions at University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. With such a strong interest in U.S. MBA programs from overseas candidates, getting into school is often a competitive process for international applicants. Business school admissions experts offered these three tips to help prospective students improve their chances of getting accepted. 1. Connect with current students: Prospective MBA candidates interested in Foster, which typically has between 30 and 35 percent of full-time MBA students who are international, should try to speak with current students from a similar background, says Town. “If you can talk with someone who’s from your home country and get a feel for their experience here, what they like about the program, how they’re spending their time,” and then mention the conversation in an application, she says, “that really impresses us and shows us they’re very interested in Foster.” When 30-year-old Ting Tseng was applying to business school, speaking with students helped her decide which program to attend. “I talked to several Foster alumni, and they were all very helpful and willing to share,” says Tseng, a...

Here’s Why Goldman Sachs, Citi, Credit Suisse Are Snapping Up IESE B-School MBAs...

Pascal Michels likes to think of himself as a market maker. For some MBAs, technology firms have replaced banks as the employer of choice. But while investment banking is down as a career, it’s not out. “We make sure we educate MBAs about the opportunities,” says Pascal, associate director of career services at Spain’s IESE Business School. And the opportunities are seemingly plentiful. Investment bank recruitment has surged at IESE, beating all records since before the financial crisis in 2007/08. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Nomura are all recruiting, Pascal says. Thirty-one job offers were made by investment banks in 2016 to IESE’s MBAs, up from 22 the year before. Of the 61 IESE MBAs who applied for jobs at investment banks, 19 received at least one offer. Some received as many as four. Elle Connor, an associate recruiter at Morgan Stanley in London, says IESE is one of the investment bank’s three elite target schools. “The MBA profile brings something a little more niche to the floor, and has a more mature approach to certain situations. That’s why we continue to grow our MBA hiring,” she says. It is a similar story at Nomura. Sam Price, a Nomura graduate recruitment associate, says: “We target IESE Business School” along with two other European-based schools. Nomura values MBAs, he says, because “they can bring in some experience. The traditional route to the associate level would be through years as an analyst. An MBA is already at the associate level”. Andrea Hayem joined Morgan Stanley in June 2015 as a summer associate. The IESE MBA believes the business school was key to her landing the job. “Career services supports you throughout...

5 Awesome Benefits Millennials Gain From Their MBA...

Congratulations! You’ve earned your undergraduate degree and have started your very first job out of college. Those all-nighters have finally paid off. After receiving my B.A. in English and Political Science from The University of Texas at Austin, I decided to put my degree to good use and sell women’s shoes at Nordstrom for six months. I eventually went back for a Masters Degree and found out that a background in English can actually get you far in the startup world as a Content Marketer. But enough about me. The point I’m trying to make here is that college grads don’t always know what career path they wish to pursue straight out of college. If you aren’t going to law or medical school directly after your undergraduate studies, you are suddenly left with a variety of random options and job paths. This in mind, millennials today are recognizing the value of pursuing a higher degree of education. Of course, additional degrees aren’t necessary in order to be successful, but they can open a door of opportunities that otherwise would have remained closed. Consider an MBA, for example. Sure, there are many well-known entrepreneurs (i.e. Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg) who have remained “MBAless” and have had wildly successful careers. Unfortunately, not all of us have what it takes to be the next Mark Zuckerberg. Time for an MBA? Paul Ollinger, stand-up Comedian and Author of the new book, You Should Totally Get an MBA: A Comedian’s Guide to Top U.S. Business Schools, uses humor as a vehicle to provide business school applicants (of all ages) with great advice about what it takes to earn an MBA. After receiving his MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, Ollinger decided to write...

Navigating Your Career Journey After The MBA

Having taught and talked with many MBA students, I am struck by an observation. Some students see their first job as the destination, rather than the beginning of a very long journey with the destination (the final point on their career trek) to occur decades in the future. This makes some sense. Many planned after college to work for a few years, apply for graduate school, attend graduate school, obtain an internship, and then get a job. What seems to a 19-year-old a very long and arduous process (taking more than 10 years) culminates with the attainment of a job that often can increase their income two- or three-fold. However, the first job places them at the bottom of another mountain. It is not the pinnacle. To understand how to think about a career journey, I talked with Debra Bass, the President of Johnson and Johnson’s Global Baby Franchise Organization, who has crafted an interesting journey from Procter and Gamble to JNJ, after obtaining her MBA from the University of Michigan, Ross School of Management. Below, Debra shares her thoughts on how to think about a career. 1. Your career is a lattice … and not a ladder. In reality, there is never just one path to achieve your career aspirations. Putting pressure on yourself to pick the “right” path is unnecessary. 2. But start with a destination. It’s important to think of your career as a journey with a North Star destination point—one that can guide you toward a vision of your future but enable you to take multiple different paths to get there. While your North Star doesn’t need to be hard and fast at age 28, it should provide a direction for you to move toward....

A cheap way of hiring MBA graduates

MBA students are adept at putting a value on long-term cash flows. New research suggests this mentality is also present in their evaluation of job offers — particularly if an alumnus of their business school is doing the recruiting. Professors from NYU Stern and MIT Sloan found that students securing a job through a member of their institution’s alumni network received a starting package worth 16 per cent less than those recruited through more traditional — and more impersonal — campus hiring events. They took that lower offer after being comforted by the fact it originated from a former student on the same top programme, argues NYU Stern’s Jason Greenberg, co-author of the research — to be published in Sociological Science — with MIT Sloan’s Roberto Fernandez. “The jobs coming through the alumni channel are perceived as having significantly better growth potential,” he says, linking this preoccupation with long-term cash flow to the net present value calculations that are a staple of MBA courses. “They are willing to take less today for a job that has better prospects in the long run.” As well as giving a clearer view of what the job entails, an approach from an alumnus can offer a reassuring vision of what the young graduate’s career might look like in a few years’ time. “You get a window into your potential future.” How can recruiters exploit this bond of trust? Prof Greenberg suggests that smaller employers who cannot afford the hoopla of on-campus hiring could use their MBA graduates to target young prospects in their old classrooms. But the strategy may not yield long-term savings: even net present value addicts will at some point demand to be paid the prevailing market rate. Read full story:...

Calculate the Return on Investment for an MBA

A political campaigner in Washington, D.C., Kate Doehring, 31, decided to pack her bags and move to the Midwest to earn an MBA in a place with a cheaper cost of living. “I was looking at Georgetown and George Washington here,” says Doehring, who is about to finish her first year of business school at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. “To stay in D.C., just sheer cost would have been at least double or triple than Madison.” Like many prospective MBA students, Doehring looked at her MBA as an investment and weighed the cost of living, lost wages and potential debt along with a projected post-degree salary of $100,000. Average salary after graduation compared with debt, referred to as salary-to-debt ratio, is one tool for calculating the return on investment for prospective MBA students. “I used just over $100,000 annually, plus or minus $10,000,” says Doehring, who is on target to finish the program with less than $15,000 in debt. “I used $100,000 as a benchmark because those numbers were communicated when I did my campus visit.” According to data submitted to U.S. News by ranked business schools, UW—Madison had the highest annual salary-to-debt ratio for full-time MBA graduates who found jobs paying an average of more than $100,000 in salary and bonus within three months of earning their degree. Students at Wisconsin School of Business can expect a 7.4-to-1 salary and bonus-to-debt ratio. That translates into an average salary and bonus of $114,815 and $15,481, on average, in debt. Of the other ranked business schools with grads earning more than $100,000 in salary and bonuses, these schools had the highest salary and bonus-to-debt ratio for the Class of 2015: the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University at...

14 MBA Programs That Lead to Jobs

Landing that first job is a major concern for MBA students, and some programs are more likely to lead to success than others. Among the 129 business schools that submitted job placement data to U.S. News in an annual survey, two of them – the University of South Florida and Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina – saw 100 percent of MBA graduates who sought jobs employed three months after completing their degrees in 2015. Both of these schools, however, were ranked by U.S. News in the bottom one-fourth of the 2017 Best Business Schools rankings. In comparison, Washington University in St. Louis’ Olin Business School, the highest-ranked school among the 14 MBA programs with the highest employment rates, had a job placement rate of 97.1 percent. None of the 14 schools with the highest job placement rates ranked above No. 21 in the graduate business school rankings. Overall, top-ranked schools had higher enrollments and, therefore, many more graduates looking for jobs after graduation. For instance, Harvard University, ranked No. 1, had 672 full-time grads seeking employment and a job placement rate of 91.1 percent by three months after graduation. Of all the schools that submitted these data, Florida International University came out on the bottom of the list with a job placement rate of 27.3 percent – significantly lower than both the overall average of 83.9 percent and the average for the top 14 of 97.1 percent. Below is a list of the 14 full-time MBA programs where the highest percentages of job-seeking graduates were employed three months after graduating in 2015. Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report. School (name) (state) |...