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Pre-MBA salaries: do they matter?

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Pre-MBA salaries: do they matter? [#permalink] New post 21 Nov 2008, 23:10
I'm still in application/interviewing mode, but was wondering about this while researching details on some of my schools. The area of consulting I'm in right now happens to still be very strong, so my salary is on the very high side of most of my school's pre-MBA stats. With that in mind:

1. Could adcoms tend to favor candidates with lower pre-MBA salaries to boost their ROI stats?

2. How about post-MBA? Do recruiters take into account your pre-MBA salary when designing salary packages, or are they pretty standard? Looking at management consulting in particulars...

Would greatly appreciate your thoughts!
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Re: Pre-MBA salaries: do they matter? [#permalink] New post 21 Nov 2008, 23:37
To me, your salary doesnt really matter. Its the differential between your starting salary and current salary that matters. From what I know, schools use the numbers to gauge the progress you have made at work!
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Re: Pre-MBA salaries: do they matter? [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2008, 09:30
prashok wrote:
I'm still in application/interviewing mode, but was wondering about this while researching details on some of my schools. The area of consulting I'm in right now happens to still be very strong, so my salary is on the very high side of most of my school's pre-MBA stats. With that in mind:

1. Could adcoms tend to favor candidates with lower pre-MBA salaries to boost their ROI stats?

2. How about post-MBA? Do recruiters take into account your pre-MBA salary when designing salary packages, or are they pretty standard? Looking at management consulting in particulars...

Would greatly appreciate your thoughts!


Regarding question 1 - from what I've heard, it may play a minor role at best. A school may enjoy showing how it found a gem earning low salary and polished it into earning a ton of money. Nevertheless, I highly doubt anybody got dinged because he was already doing too well, and being successful looks great on any application.
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Re: Pre-MBA salaries: do they matter? [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2008, 10:48
I get paid fully in food stamps and firewood.
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Re: Pre-MBA salaries: do they matter? [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2008, 14:03
To the former bankers out there:
Does anyone think that they'll know really well the 1st/2nd/3rd tier bonus ranges from the past few years and know how you placed respectively given what you put down? For the bulge bracket the bonuses are very regimented within 5-10k and you can easily see how someone was ranked by knowing their bonus and analyst class.
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Re: Pre-MBA salaries: do they matter? [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2008, 14:39
To some extent, probably. But if you pay close attention, most applications require base salary information and list bonus information as optional or not required.

Bonuses vary across groups so much anyway.

formerlehmanite1 wrote:
To the former bankers out there:
Does anyone think that they'll know really well the 1st/2nd/3rd tier bonus ranges from the past few years and know how you placed respectively given what you put down? For the bulge bracket the bonuses are very regimented within 5-10k and you can easily see how someone was ranked by knowing their bonus and analyst class.
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Re: Pre-MBA salaries: do they matter? [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2008, 14:51
I understand that. IBD bonuses do not vary that much, but maybe versus FID, EQ etc. you are correct.
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Re: Pre-MBA salaries: do they matter? [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2008, 14:55
I think they also matter when you are being considered for Financial Aid.

Other than that, most jobs have an associated expected salary which the adcom are familiar with.
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Re: Pre-MBA salaries: do they matter? [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2008, 16:05
That is indeed what I meant.

formerlehmanite1 wrote:
but maybe versus FID, EQ etc. you are correct.
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Re: Pre-MBA salaries: do they matter? [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2008, 18:04
The only time pre-mba salary matters is if a school i deliberately targetting this area to try to jump them up a ranking which takes pre and post-mba salaries into consideration of their ranking methodology. Outside of that is of little practical use. Companies, industries, countries and even the same job roles across different industries pay differently.
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Re: Pre-MBA salaries: do they matter? [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2008, 20:59
I do not think a low salary is either a bad thing or a good thing on an application. Schools use this information to better shape their marketing efforts as income is a good basis for segmentation of the market, and it helps the schools to answer the question "Who is our potential typical applicant?" They also ask you to indicate your nationality, gender, address, age, etc. It is highly unlikely that the schools would make a decision based on how much cash an applicant brings home every week. Some people do amazing things and get little or no money for what they do.
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Re: Pre-MBA salaries: do they matter? [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2008, 22:47
in past years, ibanking bonuses didn't vary that much between the top and bottom analysts but in 2008 (paid in July) there was a much bigger range (at the first year level, low end got 10k or less at bulge bracket firms and top ones got ~60k)
2009 will probably have a smaller range as I don't think even the top ones will receive that much.
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Re: Pre-MBA salaries: do they matter? [#permalink] New post 24 Nov 2008, 09:58
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If you work for a no-name company, I think that a high pre-MBA salary can certainly help your case and validate the value of your work experience. Working at a no-name company and making $35-50K will probably be looked at in a different light than working at a no-name company and making $90-100K. People can fluff a lot about their work experiences in their essays, but at the end of the day, the dollar figures generally show how much your company values you.

If you work for an F500, Consulting firm, large Investment Bank, the Adcom will know the general range to expect and won't really care whether you're $5-10K above or below your peers. To answer formerlehmanite's question - I highly doubt that they know where you ranked within your analyst class. They have far too many other things to worry about. The only people that generally keep tabs on these figures are PE and HF recruiters such as GloCap and other investment banks. They are going to judge the slew of bankers applying more on their unique and distinguishing personal characteristics (leadership initiatives at work, outside interests, extracurriculars, quality of essays), than on where they ranked within their analyst class.
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Re: Pre-MBA salaries: do they matter? [#permalink] New post 24 Nov 2008, 20:58
agold wrote:
If you work for a no-name company, I think that a high pre-MBA salary can certainly help your case and validate the value of your work experience. Working at a no-name company and making $35-50K will probably be looked at in a different light than working at a no-name company and making $90-100K. People can fluff a lot about their work experiences in their essays, but at the end of the day, the dollar figures generally show how much your company values you.

If you work for an F500, Consulting firm, large Investment Bank, the Adcom will know the general range to expect and won't really care whether you're $5-10K above or below your peers. To answer formerlehmanite's question - I highly doubt that they know where you ranked within your analyst class. They have far too many other things to worry about. The only people that generally keep tabs on these figures are PE and HF recruiters such as GloCap and other investment banks. They are going to judge the slew of bankers applying more on their unique and distinguishing personal characteristics (leadership initiatives at work, outside interests, extracurriculars, quality of essays), than on where they ranked within their analyst class.


Is Toshiba count as no-name company? I know it's not F500 company.
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Re: Pre-MBA salaries: do they matter? [#permalink] New post 24 Nov 2008, 21:12
Toshiba is a household name for many, so in my opinion, no.
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Re: Pre-MBA salaries: do they matter? [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2008, 00:19
Thanks for the input everyone!

How about pre-MBA salaries when it comes to post-MBA offers? Can your offer be shaped by what you made before school, or do consulting firms/banks typically have a standard package for all MBA hires from the same school?
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Re: Pre-MBA salaries: do they matter? [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2008, 07:07
prashok wrote:
Thanks for the input everyone!

How about pre-MBA salaries when it comes to post-MBA offers? Can your offer be shaped by what you made before school, or do consulting firms/banks typically have a standard package for all MBA hires from the same school?


Standard offers are the norm for consulting firms/banks.
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Re: Pre-MBA salaries: do they matter? [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2008, 09:00
prashok wrote:
Thanks for the input everyone!

How about pre-MBA salaries when it comes to post-MBA offers? Can your offer be shaped by what you made before school, or do consulting firms/banks typically have a standard package for all MBA hires from the same school?


Depends on where you went for MBA. Each recruiting firm is competing for top students. They know students compare their offers. They won't try to cheat you or anything. So it will be very competitive.

Only exception will be - for top students...they will get bigger package in terms of benefits, signing bonus etc etc
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Re: Pre-MBA salaries: do they matter? [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2008, 09:19
ninkorn wrote:
Depends on where you went for MBA. Each recruiting firm is competing for top students. They know students compare their offers. They won't try to cheat you or anything. So it will be very competitive.

Only exception will be - for top students...they will get bigger package in terms of benefits, signing bonus etc etc


True and not true...

Schools keep track of what companies have offered in the past and what everyone is being offered. You want a company who hired 5 people last year and they will tell you what each was paid, got for bonuses, and other incentives. So you really don't need to compare offers, its probably in poor taste if you have some insane offer for like 160k with 75k in sign-ons or something to compare with classmates.

Agold is right to a point about consulting and banks paying the same. Everyone who goes to work at a consulting company gets the same offer basically, even office to office they are the same so you could make the same in Cleveland as you would in NYC. The only real exception are former employees returning to the company, they are the ones who might get more but remember they also get their education paid for which is worth 100k these days. There are differences in pay between different companies. McKinsey, Bain, and BCG actually are not the highest paying since the know people go there for more than the big paycheck (though they do have really good benefits). Some of the smaller companies are willing to pay more to attract the best talent and would be a great option for those few people who want to make a career of consulting.

Same holds true for bankers and the like, have prior experience and you might get a different pay package but if you are switching careers you are getting the base offer and these days you really have no negotiating power.

Industry has more room for negotiations but some companies have pay bands and unless you are hired at a more senior position its up to you to negotiate to the high end of that band. So a company may offer 100 but it could be possible to go up to 120, just because thats the max they can offer doesnt mean you are worth that to them though. There are the oddballs with certain experience and backgrounds that some companies want and its these people who get hired into the higher level positions, these are often the people you see on the max side of the salary surveys.
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Re: Pre-MBA salaries: do they matter? [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2008, 09:27
riverripper wrote:
ninkorn wrote:
Depends on where you went for MBA. Each recruiting firm is competing for top students. They know students compare their offers. They won't try to cheat you or anything. So it will be very competitive.

Only exception will be - for top students...they will get bigger package in terms of benefits, signing bonus etc etc


True and not true...

Schools keep track of what companies have offered in the past and what everyone is being offered. You want a company who hired 5 people last year and they will tell you what each was paid, got for bonuses, and other incentives. So you really don't need to compare offers, its probably in poor taste if you have some insane offer for like 160k with 75k in sign-ons or something to compare with classmates.

Agold is right to a point about consulting and banks paying the same. Everyone who goes to work at a consulting company gets the same offer basically, even office to office they are the same so you could make the same in Cleveland as you would in NYC. The only real exception are former employees returning to the company, they are the ones who might get more but remember they also get their education paid for which is worth 100k these days. There are differences in pay between different companies. McKinsey, Bain, and BCG actually are not the highest paying since the know people go there for more than the big paycheck (though they do have really good benefits). Some of the smaller companies are willing to pay more to attract the best talent and would be a great option for those few people who want to make a career of consulting.

Same holds true for bankers and the like, have prior experience and you might get a different pay package but if you are switching careers you are getting the base offer and these days you really have no negotiating power.

Industry has more room for negotiations but some companies have pay bands and unless you are hired at a more senior position its up to you to negotiate to the high end of that band. So a company may offer 100 but it could be possible to go up to 120, just because thats the max they can offer doesnt mean you are worth that to them though. There are the oddballs with certain experience and backgrounds that some companies want and its these people who get hired into the higher level positions, these are often the people you see on the max side of the salary surveys.


Not necessarily true when you say consulting firms pay the same everywhere. Even in same company, they pay differently starting offer depending on the region your office is in.

For example, a friend of mine received a job offer from Towers Perrin in SF. Her offer was $130K (base salary only) first year. Another friend from same MBA program needed to move to Philly because she was getting married. Towers Perrin office there gave her $100K starting salary because they figured standard of living in SF is more expensive than Philly.
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Re: Pre-MBA salaries: do they matter?   [#permalink] 25 Nov 2008, 09:27
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