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MBA hires, do you find it difficult to work with managers and partners who are undergrad hires promoted through? Why?

likefunnyhelpfulsmart
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Senior associate here. I’m going to generalise, but if we look at the extremes there are two kinds of MBA hires in my experience.

1. Those who did an MBA, but realise there is still a lot to learn when they join consulting. These are the people that I find inspirational. They are open to the things you can learn them as someone who has been in consulting longer than them but is also junior to them. At the same time, as a undergrad joiner you can learn from their in the field experience. These people are fun to work for, and in the end both of you will learn something.

2. Those who did an MBA, and think they own the world. These are the people who will try to micromanage you because they rank above you, even though you have more experience in this particular line of work. They are more focused on status and money, and don’t try to absorb the culture of the firm they are joining. In my experience these people don’t tend to last long, as word about their attitude travels fast.

Again, I’m generalising and think this is more of a spectrum. My advice to MBA hires: be open to accept advice from the undergraduate joiners and try to foster a learning environment for both you and any undergraduate joiners you work with. If you do that, then your previous working experience will really set you apart from the rest

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Amazing for that, thank you!

I have an MBA, which was acquired as a stepping stone from an undergraduate degree that would’ve been incredibly tough to pivot from.

I do think some of us can be arrogant, but I think it’s no worse than it is in the non-MBA population. I’ve met a lot of arrogant people here without the degree, and I just read a lot of comments from people without MBAs who believe that they’re superior to us (the reality is that we’re all relatively equal human beings who are living the same boring, possibly meaningless lives).

As far as our skills, again, it varies from person to person. I, personally, have struggled to adapt to the needs of the job because I had limited work experience before school and because I am a recovering straight A student. I like knowing the rules ahead of time and following them, and I’m not great at taking risks or making decisions without permission. I have always thought politics of any kind were pointless, and I don’t like inconveniencing people. MBA programs naturally grab a few really good students who interview well and don’t come with corporate skills out of the box. We are capable of learning, but I admit we can be a little slow to figure out that we’re low performers. That being said, I know a lot of other MBA recruits who have strengths that align with the industry, and they’ve done incredibly well.

Some people are fits for this job and lifestyle, some aren’t. Some have MBAs, some don’t. Generalizing isn’t going to help anything.

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So an MBA gets you leadership skills, outside experience, and strategic thinking? What an amazing piece of paper.

I look forward to seeing more evidence that people with MBAs are smug.

likefunnyupliftingsmarthelpful

Hired into consulting as an SM from startup. My degree has nothing to do with what I do now — and I don’t have an MBA. Do not feel disadvantaged in the slightest

My dad keeps asking me if I’ll get an MBA — why would I?

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Yes they seem to have more money then me because they don’t have student loans.

likefunnyupliftingsmart

Well I did human computer interaction. I wouldn’t say it was the best idea to get an MBA computer science would have been more useful.

MBA hire here from 5 years ago. The MBA hires I worked with were arrogant and entitled. Meanwhile, non MBA hires had extreme hustle and were eager to learn. Very easy to work with because they actually took feedback well

likesmarthelpfulfunny

Extremely spot on. I notice this with in data science (masters vs PhD) and from university types (Ivy League and state school).

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2nd year analyst here. Most MBA hires are the absolute worst: have no idea what they’re saying 1/2 the time, politically-driven, and try way too hard.

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I'll be the first to say that the MBA hires that don't make it into MBB and are at Accenture, are unfortunately, more likely to fit this stereotype. It has less to do with getting an MBA and more to do with the ones that are middle of their class and go into consulting. I know it's harsh, but it is a reality.

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Don’t think the mba is what garners those attributes but experience outside of one firm for a whole career does

likesmart

As an MBA holder, neither of my degrees really taught me that much. My learning started the first day on my non-consulting job. My learning continues to this day.

I have been in consulting for 8 years now but I am shocked and dismayed at the smugness of you life long consultants. You don’t know shit about anything. Your undergrad and MBA only says that yes I am capable of learning and I have capacity to work through complex analytical problems. It says nothing about your leadership capabilities nor your ability to get people to follow you or your creativity.

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This this this

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Time for graduate degrees in STEM to be recognized above MBA.

likesmartfunnyuplifting

That will never happen. I have been a data scientist for 5+ years and MBAs with less experience still command much higher salaries at nearly all consulting firms.

^A1 🙄 the MBA hires that TOLD YOU THEY WERE MBAS were arrogant. There are many of us who don’t put it on our LinkedIn and email signatures and never mention it

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I think M2 was saying they don’t write “John Smith, MBA” in their LI title/email sig. Not that it isn’t in their LI profile at all

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As an mba holder myself, I’ve always been amazed with how little the MBA hires actually know how to do. Always very polished, but tend to lack the kind of hands-on experience their peers do, so it’s hard to staff them

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I graduated with a 2.2 GPA from the University of nothing prestigious. Worked hard. Now I manage Ivy League MBA's that have trouble tying their shoes without some kind of user guide. Go figure. Once you start working you can throw all your paper out the window. It's all about what you do once you're in the door

likeuplifting

A very sad reality. How do you teach grit, people skills and hard work?

They also have no outside experience to bring to the table and in that regard can be very jaded to one way of thinking. As long as they realize this possible bias it isn’t bad but for those that don’t it can be tough sledding

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This is the stupidest generalization of people I have read on this platform in a long time

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Yup truly mind boggling

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I have found managers who were from industry are much better to work with, especially as a newbie. Reason being: I think they have a clearer view that the consulting skillset is kind of weird, and is actually difficult to learn. I have found that "home grown" managers tend to have a view of "I figured it out, so you can too." In general, makes them not great mentors, and aren't understanding of the fact that fresh MBAs really dont know how to be a consultant.

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I felt most of them lack leadership skills and do not think strategically, not all of them though !

likeuplifting

Totally agree.. it’s largely due to the fact they’ve had no formal management grooming.

like

I generally prefer non-MBA hires at the SC level. Better tactical skills, often better strategic skills. MBAs with relevant background is fine, but I have issues with MBA hires without experience overselling their capabilities to clients and then falling short.

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I'm with m3, really polished and professional, but harder to coach (on the aggregate). I've found that home grown undergrads are level set with the expectation that they are there to learn, and MBA hires tend to come in with the expectation of being middle management and don't need to be taught. It isn't a skills thing, it is " how we do it here" thing. I believe everyone has something to bring to a team, and I have stuff to learn and teach as a leader of that team. MBAs (again on the aggregate) are very open to giving out what they have to offer, but not open to taking in the learning and coaching.

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Went straight through and I’ve worked well with both undergrad and MBA hires (and have the team and feedback to show it). Hard to generalize think it can work just fine as long as sufficient effort is made

likehelpful

Wow I am very surprised at some of the comments here... a piece of paper does not automatically give you a good work ethic or better thinking skills or make you a better employee (it’s not a silver bullet). If I am working with partners or managers, whether they have an MBA or not is moot, what is more important is the quality of the experience, leadership skills and problem solving skills they bring to the table. And yes I have an Ivy League MBA.

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M2 - they didn’t need to tell me, it’s part of their resume when staffing. Unsure of what’s offending you here, since I’m sharing my experience and providing relevant information to the Ops question. I don’t for a second think it’s anything more than anecdotal

likeuplifting

1. A bunch of non-MBAs flaunting insecurity
2. A bunch of MBAs justifying a questionable investment

Y’all are two sides of the same coin. You can either hack it or you can’t

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