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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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Points to SD1 for bucking the trend.

likehelpful

I would say meh. It’s more the “i worked somewhere else” and “goddamn I’m tired from all this MBA bullshit”.

likefunny

Top MBA programs act as a filter - no undergrad promote can compare to MBA - tell me why top consulting firms hire out of top MBA programs and most undergrad only last 2 years

likefunny

Data? Undergrads promotees can’t compare to MBAs? Undergrads only last two years vs MBAs are lifers?

Firms need filters to narrow the field and program rankings are just one piece of that. Undergrad programs are also prioritized and used as filters similar to MBAs

Trying to filter through the bias in your comment.

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I’ve worked with some who are difficult because they resent MBAs, but maybe it’s deserved? But by and large no big issue, other than sometimes I ponder at people younger than me being a higher level, but that’s the path they chose. They have their strengths and I have mine; ideally we can bring the best to the table for the client

likeuplifting

The have no people skills since all they know is consulting. Also very focused on promotions and money which is lame.

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Very balanced analysis there

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What a great exercise in confirmation bias

likefunny

It's not the young part, it's the growing up in one firm and struggling to see that there's a life outside of the firm methodology that's an issue for me. Very hard to have multiple perspectives without having been exposed to them. Obviously, this isn't the case for all, and those who understand this won't be offended by it.

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H1 - curious, if you are struggling with only growing in one firm, why not leave? One project is one project in any firm. Experience comes with time.

My view as my as an mba hire - they both have their faults. Non mba promotes have a bias to what they have done before - bring no outside experience from industry etc. but they are great on creating deliverables - working with clients etc. mba hires are a mixed bag / some can swim fast and understand how to deliver structured answers to clients and provide more creative and experienced solutions. But a lot of them are arrogant - can’t work well in a team structure and struggle with basic consulting skills. To be honest both have faults and advantages

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I have been here 10 years and am consistently blown away by how strong those who joined and continued through undergrad are.

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In tech, having an MBA with no experience typically means you're useless to me.

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Lol non-MBAs so salty

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Hot take. MBAs are the ones who couldn’t get hired without one. 👀👀

likefunny

Nope.

likesmart

Jesus fucking Christ guys. An MBA is the most commoditized degree to be had in today’s day and age. NO ONE CARES! Secondly, blanket statements never work, I have seen good and bad traits in both MBA and non-MBAs. Maturity, intelligence and how u carry yourself can only be taught by life experiences and not by school (and no, getting drunk in “Boothie” bar in downtown chicago for 2 straight years isn’t a life experience)

likesmartfunny

No.

Their position often shows that they are more than capable to perform their duties.

MBA or not is irrelevant post hiring... The question is, can you do the work?

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I met a guy in the mailroom with an MBA

likesmart

Pointless discussion without accounting for pre-MBA experience.

likefunny

There are good and not so good undergrad promote-throughs, and good and not so good MBA hires. I agree the MBA is a filter for smart/talented people, but we have plenty of smart/talented people without MBAs and you certainly can make s solid argument you learn more in 2 years on the job in consulting than you do in MBA school.

For reference, I never got an MBA and have worked in tech consulting at Andersen, PwC (pre-IBM sale) and Deloitte. Most people assume I have an MBA. It would be a waste of time and money for me to get one now.

likehelpful

The best part about MBA was the network I gained that connects me to both undergrad and grad alumni. It’s nice to have professional connections outside the company you work for that have your back. Also... Good MBA programs are a lot more than a piece of paper.

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Came in as undergrad. Worked 5 years. Then went top 5 MBA. I see value in both types of consultants (homegrown vs mba). That being said there is a massive intelligence difference in a top ten program mba hire and a not top ten mba.

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