Salary Question : The B-School Application
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# Salary Question

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15 Dec 2009, 15:36
For many of the school's a section in the application is current salary. If you left one job and took another with a significant drop in salary will this hurt your application if the new job is at a Startup compared to the first job which was at a standard Investment Bank?
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15 Dec 2009, 15:43
You can list the salary on your previous job in the previous job section. You can explain it in the optional essay. Which ever way you choose, you will need to list the correct starting salary per job you took since kroll and the other background checks will make sure your salary is correct.
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15 Dec 2009, 16:13
Is this something that you actually need to address in the optional? I would think the adcom would recognize that most start up companies pay substantially less because they give equity.
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15 Dec 2009, 17:34
Another question re: salaries in applications. My company (like so many this year) had paycuts, so rather than growing my salary, it's lower than it was when I started. I assume I should explain this with a blurb in my optional essays...yes? Thoughts?

Similar issue for my 2009 bonus. It was pro-rated since I was only there for part of the year, so do I explain that?
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16 Dec 2009, 08:52
This is a really good question. I was laid off from an large investment bank that was going through a merger, earlier this year. I was able to get a job pretty soon afterwards, but had to take a pay cut. I'm planning to apply next year and this is really bothering me. Do we need to explain in a separate essay? Is salary that big of a factor? I was thinking, there are probably a lot of people in the same situation as myself, and it's really not worth an extra explanation, esp if you went to a start up or a non-proft.
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16 Dec 2009, 09:22
My guess about the purpose of asking for salary is maybe they want to see if your company has rewarded you for good work, even if maybe you didn't get a promotion/title bump

But if they want to see if maybe you took a pay raise or pay cut when you moved to another job--either because you really loved what you were doing in the new job (and might have taken a paycut) or because you weren't making that much  at a previous job, either of which would be okay. I don't know though...Just speculating.
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16 Dec 2009, 09:48
I think this is almost a non-issue. I would address it with no more than a sentence or two in the optional essay. "My salary was lower because... [legit reason]... I am happy to answer any additional questions regarding this if needed."

I don't believe most schools will make a judgment on entry based on salary. I had almost zero salary for one job and then only made 40k per year in my other. Still got it to two Top 10 schools.
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16 Dec 2009, 10:10
sam77sam7 wrote:
I think this is almost a non-issue. I would address it with no more than a sentence or two in the optional essay. "My salary was lower because... [legit reason]... I am happy to answer any additional questions regarding this if needed."

I don't believe most schools will make a judgment on entry based on salary. I had almost zero salary for one job and then only made 40k per year in my other. Still got it to two Top 10 schools.

Yeah--I don't think it's really the raw amount you make as much as the growth rate or change in certain cases. But it definitely is interesting/weird that it's asked when there are SO many factors that could influence it, particularly in this economy and among people who are motivated & ambitious like so many MBA applicants are.
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02 Jan 2010, 10:33
Any thoughts on specifying bonuses for those of us who aren't really a part of the "bonus culture"?
What I mean is, in my particular industry, bonuses are definitely not looked upon as part of your expected compensation; they are more so just some extra cash at the end of the year, if you are lucky.

Is it better to specify a bonus of, say, \$500, or to just keep it blank?
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02 Jan 2010, 11:34
A total non-issue, they aren't going to care at all. I wouldn't even waste time with a optional essay on it frankly, but if it gives you peace of mind go ahead.

(For what its worth, I had approximately a 50-60% paycut from one job to another)
Re: Salary Question   [#permalink] 02 Jan 2010, 11:34
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