Is This The Best MBA Job?

Want to know how to start your MBA career right? This is a long video with a HUGE amount of MBA job information. We're talking pie charts, bar charts and tables, so use those timestamps!

What MBA careers are there? What industries and functions do MBAs pursue? What do MBAs do? What if I want to be an entrepreneur or CEO? What job should I do straight after business school? What’s the best job for MBAs?

That’s just a fraction of what Angela Guido is covering to help you Make Monday Better!

YouTube video

Prefer to read? Here’s the transcript:

Welcome back to MBA Monday Better. I'm Angela Guido, the founder of Career Protocol, a former Recruiter of MBAs at the Boston Consulting Group, a former Management Consultant at the Boston Consulting Group, a former HR Manager at KPMG, and a current MBA and Career Coach. I'm here to help you get the most out of your career, not just in terms of money, but also in terms of fulfillment, joy, and impact. Today I'm talking about the best jobs for MBAs and which one you should choose. MBA recruiting is an incredibly exciting time. In my last video, I talked about why your post-MBA job pivot is really the most important job change you're going to make in your entire life. It is going to set you up not just for short-term success, but also for long-term success. So you really want to be sure that you’re ready to make the most of it.

Consulting, Financial Services, Tech, Or Not?

Today I’m going to talk about the three biggest categories of post-MBA jobs so that you can really think about if one or more of those is right for you. If they're not right for you, there's a whole slew of other options that you're going to need to consider, but before you get into those, you have to first answer this question: consulting, financial services, tech, or not? Those are the three big industries that recruit MBAs. Recruit MBAs in the greatest numbers and recruit MBAs first. Before you go any further, download our super awesome MBA Career Placement Report. It is like 120 pages of really detailed data about where people went to work post MBA from the top 30 US MBA programs. If you turn to page 28, you're going to find industry placement for the class of 2020. That's the most recent year of data that we have, but trust us, these numbers don't change a ton year-over-year. What you'll see is that a full 30.7% of MBAs from top 20 schools went into consulting. Next most popular is financial services, with 26% of MBAs from top 10 schools going into some job in the financial services space. That includes investment banking, private equity, venture capital, hedge funds, any firm that is dealing primarily with finance, financial instruments, financial transactions. And third on the list, but growing a little bit every year, is tech, with 20.9% of MBAs from top 10 schools going into some job in the tech industry. Now, here we're really just talking about industry. If you keep going, you'll see the chart on functional differentiation, and this is maybe a good time to point out that every job you're going to take, the job you have now, the job you're going to have post MBA, exists on the industry and function matrix. Think of it like this. The industry is what the company that you're working is doing. What is their product? Who is their customer? What is the company all about? Your function, then, has nothing to do with the company's goal per se, it's more what is the job that you're doing? So, in the tech industry, there will be functional jobs in finance, marketing, even consulting within a tech company, and then of course, there's going to be product development, product management, general management, operations, supply chain, all of that stuff within a company in the tech industry. Similarly, if you're working in consumer goods or retail or oil and gas or even in consulting, you're going to find all of those functions in any company that you join. So your goal is to map yourself into the industry and function that is going to best set you up for success in your long-term career post MBA.

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Download our comprehensive MBA Career Report. It's over 120 pages of insight and analysis on placement and statistics at the top 30 schools. 

Throw Away Your MBA Essays

And now I'm going to give you one big secret, one really massive important secret to post-MBA recruiting that we use to guide all of our clients. Here's the bottom line: when you get to school, you're going to have to throw away your essay. Whatever you wrote in that personal statement about what you want to do post MBA, and the brilliant picture of your future goals that you painted for the admissions committee. It was valid at the time when you applied to business school, when you didn't have any options in front of you, but now that you've gotten in, you have to throw that away and completely reconsider all of the amazing options that are going to present themselves. You owe it to yourself to do that. You earned this position in this MBA class, one of the biggest benefits you're going to get from the MBA is access to jobs. So you've really got to consider the options carefully and choose the best one for you, no matter what you wrote in your essays. By the way, schools know you're going to do this. They know you're going to throw away your essays and reconsider everything when you get there. They fully expect you to do that because they're providing you with all these amazing opportunities. They want you to take them seriously. And if you're like most MBAs, you're going to be dazzled by the options. You're going to be very confused because there are going to be a million jobs that look exciting and awesome for you, and it's not necessarily going to be easy to discern which ones are actually best for you and which ones are just a distraction.

Knowledge & Experience Over Money

So here's the secret. This is what we use to coach all of our clients through their post MBA-job transition. You want to prioritize — in your post-MBA job — the most important thing you need to gain from that job is knowledge and experience. You need to maximize the learning that happens in your first job, post MBA. This relates to everything I said in my last video about how your first post-MBA job is going to really establish the foundation for the rest of your career. And one of the biggest ways it's going to do that is by giving you the chance to apply what you learned in business school on the court with mentorship, so that you're not just able to think like a business person, you're actually able to act like a business person. The MBA gives you the tools to think in terms of constructive business paradigms, best practices, strategy, and using all the frameworks that people have invented over the years to enable good business decisions. But where the rubber really meets the road is when you're actually in a job with real stakes, making things happen based on that information. So your post-MBA job needs to give you the chance to do that and to do it as much as possible, to climb as steep a learning curve as possible, and to put in as much sweat equity to gain your own experience as possible. This is what is going to establish you on a higher trajectory for the rest of your career. So, just one reason why consulting is among the most popular jobs post MBA, it's not actually the highest paying anymore, but it is the job that allows you to go from two to four years of consulting to a much higher and more senior role in another company when you transition out of consulting. And that's only because in your consulting years you learn so much. Management consulting is still the favorite choice of post-MBA jobs for MBAs, and it's precisely because your knowledge paycheck, the knowledge you gain in consulting is greater than that in any other industry, as it can be then later applied to almost any other industry. I actually wrote a paper on this during my own MBA. I was studying with Gary Becker, the inventor of human capital economics, and with a colleague of mine. We wrote a paper researching post-MBA salaries of people who worked in management consulting. What we found is that the hourly compensation rate for management consultants is in fact significantly lower than the hourly compensation rate for a lot of other post-MBA jobs. But the reason why the monetary pay is lower is because the informational, the knowledge paycheck that you gain in consulting is much higher. And so when you move out of consulting, you're worth more to your employers later, which is why so many people take that job, even though it's stressful, requires travel, and really forces you to climb a steep learning curve. But this is the secret to maximizing the return on your MBA investment. It's to take the job post MBA that maximizes your knowledge capital, and it has to be general human capital, knowledge and experience and skills that will be applicable in other fields, other jobs, other industries, and other companies once you leave that firm, because that's what will maximize your impact and earning potential after you move on from that job. So, as you encounter your post-MBA job options really be looking to see in which job am I going to learn the most, and importantly, in which job am I going to learn the most that prepares me best for my long-term ambitions. So if you're like most MBAs, you probably don't have a really specific picture of what you want your career to look like ten years from now, but you might have a general idea like, I want to be a CEO of a company, or I want to start my own company, I ultimately want to be an entrepreneur, or I just want to be leading a really high-performing team that's having amazing impact in an industry that I'm passionate about. You likely have some sense of where you want to be in the long term, and so you want to take the post-MBA job that gets you the furthest, closest to where you want to be in the long term.

Consider Management Consulting & Investment Banking First (Then Tech)

And you're going to have to consider management consulting and investment banking first. I say that because those companies recruit in January for summer internships and they recruit earliest for full-time jobs. They have a deal with the school, they have the biggest demand, they hire the most MBAs, and they have sort of the biggest demand for MBA talent. So they’re going to come to campus and complete their interviews and give their offers first. Before any other company gets the chance to get their hands on you, consulting and banking firms are going to take their pick first. So if you are going to consider those two industries, you are going to have to be ready right away to interview and then either accept or reject offers from those firms. Immediately post-banking and -consulting recruiting comes the big tech firms. They have now the second largest demand for post-MBA talent. So the next decision you're going to have to make is to tech or not to tech and for most people, it really is that you have to choose. Am I going to do this or not? Okay, am I going to do this or not? And then if the answer is no and no, then you consider all the other options that are going to come your way, and that's going to include everything from small companies that you have to source your own job because they don't typically hire MBAs, but they're willing to hire you because you're a good fit for what they do, and it's also going to include all the other standard post-MBA jobs like marketing, leadership rotational programs, general management, corporate finance, corporate strategy, all those kinds of jobs that you might also consider post MBA.

Your Post-MBA Job Puts You On The Path Towards Your Long-Term Goal

All right, so I set out in this video to tell you what are the best post-MBA jobs, and hopefully it's clear that like everything else on this channel, the answer is it really depends. It depends on where you want to be in the long term and which post-MBA job is going to get you closest to that goal. You’re going to really have to think about consulting, financial services, and tech because fully 75% of MBAs from top schools go into one of those three industries. And for good reason, because those are also the jobs that tend to give you the most learning capital towards your long-term goal. Don't forget to download our career report so that you can really dig into the numbers and even look at what specific firms recruit at your MBA program so that you can start thinking about the exact job that's right for you. While you're down there, be sure to sign up for my free MasterClassThe 7 Secrets to MBA Recruiting Success” so that you can gain all of my inside tips on how to make the most of your MBA pivot through recruiting to get the job that you really want post-MBA. I'm wishing you all the best for your next Monday and every one after. I will see you next week.

Angela Guido

Angela Guido

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

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