Why Your First MBA Job Is So Crucial

Looking forward to a great MBA career with a strong MBA salary? Chances are, it will all start in your first post-MBA job. But it isn’t so easy. We’ve found that our clients find getting the perfect MBA job EVEN HARDER than getting into business school in the first place.

It’s enough to keep you up at night, but over the next few Fridays Angela Guido will be guiding you down the path to get the best MBA job for you on our new series Make Mondays Better!

After that, expect more career content to keep your successes rolling in way after business school 🙂

We even have a FREE COURSE for MBA Recruiting that you can sign up for here.

YouTube video

Prefer to read? Here’s the transcript:

Welcome back to the Career Protocol YouTube channel and our brand new series Make Mondays Better. We've been talking about business school for a really long time on this channel, but what a lot of people don't know is that at Career Protocol we're also Career Coaches. For the last 20 years, I have been an MBA and Career Coach, helping thousands of people achieve their career goals and find joy and fulfillment at work. The MBA is just one small step on that journey for only some of you. I'm talking to those of you who are going to business school. Today I'm talking about why your post-MBA job, that very first job you get coming out of business school, is so important. There are three big reasons (you may know I like the number three). There are three big reasons why your immediate post-MBA job is potentially the most important job you will ever have. It's not going to be your dream job. It's not going to have the ideal work-life balance. It's not going to give you absolutely everything you want in your career, but it is going to establish the foundation for everything you achieve beyond it.

Your First Post-MBA Job…

1. Sets The Foundation For Future Career Growth

That's reason number one why your post-MBA job is so important. It sets the foundation in terms of your knowledge, your earning potential, and your network. The MBA gives you a lot of knowledge, a lot of information, a lot of tools, and a lot of frameworks, but if you've watched any other videos on our channel, you've heard me say things like, MBAs aren't really qualified to do anything post-graduation. This is a quote I borrow from Elon Musk, and it is in fact true, because business school is not teaching you in an experiential way. You're learning in a classroom. You're learning through contrived group projects or engineered experiences that aren't really real. So, the things that are going to make you really successful in your career, things like navigating relationships, managing challenging communication, balancing risk when there are genuine dollars, lives, careers at stake, those kinds of things you can really only learn on the job. You can't learn them theoretically in business school. So your first post-MBA job is going to ideally give you the chance to apply as much as possible of what you've learned and apply it in an experiential environment where you're allowed to try and fail, get mentored and grow, and basically uplevel yourself as a professional and leader so that every job you get after that is one where you are in a better position to make an impact and, ideally, earn more money.

2. Sets Your Earning Potential

Very much related to that is reason number two, which is it is also going to set your earning potential. The more money you make in your first post-MBA job, the more money you'll likely be able to make in every job after that. In a future video, I'm going to talk about balancing meaning and money. These two things sometimes seem to be in conflict in a way that I think is maybe an illusion. But let's not kid ourselves, if you're going to business school, you're going because you want to have a more meaningful career. But part of that for you, hopefully, is also that you want to be rewarded better for the time and effort that you put into the work that you do, and the MBA is very good at helping you elevate your baseline salary. So as you're considering post-MBA jobs, one of the things you're going to take into consideration is the earning potential of each career path, how much each job pays, and whether or not the job you're taking post MBA is as big a step up as you want it to be in terms of salary. I don't recommend that you make this your exclusive deciding criterion for your post-MBA job, but it's definitely something to keep in mind.

3. Establishes The Trajectory Of The Rest Of Your Career

And now the third reason why your post-MBA job is so important is that it will establish the trajectory of the rest of your career. So this is a little bit subtle. We talked about establishing your foundation of leadership skills and network. We talked about establishing the foundation of your earning potential. But the last point I'm making is less about the elevation that you're able to reach post MBA and more about the pathways and channels that you're able to follow. Some of the most popular post-MBA jobs like management consulting, investment banking, private equity, venture capital — these are jobs that are going to continue to expand your options even after you've committed to this field. People go from management consulting into literally every industry and function and field you can imagine. Not so for people who join medium-sized construction companies or who enter marketing at a niche consumer goods company. Those kinds of jobs tend to lend themselves towards a more specific pathway. And again, there may be a better choice for you. One may be better for you than the other. The key thing is to know which situation you're in. Are you ready to really launch your career in a direction that you're sure you're passionate about? Or do you feel like you need a little bit more time to think about where you want to commit yourself and so therefore, you're better off taking a job that continues to keep options open? There's no one right answer. The right answer is going to be your answer. But thinking through these things before you get to business school is a really, really good idea because the recruiting dynamics for these two different pathways are incredibly different, and you need to prepare for the challenges that are going to get you to where you want to go through the MBA. That's the whole point of going to business school in the first place.

An MBA Is An Excellent Way to Uplevel You Career

In my next couple of videos, I'm going to talk more about the different kinds of jobs you can get post MBA and how to prepare specifically for recruiting. But the most important thing I can tell you in this video is that the MBA recruiting process is a once in a lifetime opportunity to permanently uplevel your career. You will never again in your entire life have access to so many interesting and different jobs and the resources to support you in getting the job that you want while you're in business school. This is doubly true if you're looking to change geographies. If you're moving from abroad and planning to work in the US or if you're getting a job post MBA in Europe or in Asia, if you're changing Geographies through the MBA the recruiting opportunity is that much more important for you because it's your one chance to enter this new market at a higher level than you're coming from. If you've done all of this work to get into business school, hold on just a little longer. You've got a little more work to do to make the return on your MBA investment worth it by getting the best post-MBA job for you. If you'd like to join my free MasterClass “The 7 Secrets to MBA Recruiting Success”, you'll get all of my tips about how MBA recruiting really works, how to make the most of the process, and how to use the next several months pre MBA to prepare yourself to really hit the ground running and get the job that you really want post MBA. I'm wishing you a really great Monday ahead and I will see you next week on Make Mondays Better.

Picture of Angela Guido

Angela Guido

Student of Human Nature| Founder and
Chief Education Officer of Career Protocol

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