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12 Nov 2012, 09:39
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How is salary used and weighted in the application? I suspect that all places weight it differently, but generally. From what I understand there is a huge variation from career to career and so that isn't quite apples to apples when comparing one person to another. Any input is appreciated.

Secondly, if someone makes well above the average for the incoming class could this information result in exclusion from scholarships and financial aid offers?
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Last edited by lahai1dj on 12 Nov 2012, 14:58, edited 2 times in total.
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12 Nov 2012, 12:41
My understanding is that it is primarily used to indicate the level of responsibility that you have.

For example, an associate can either be a relatively senior position or an entry level position depending on the company. Same with "manager" and other such titles. Salary helps sort through that.
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12 Nov 2012, 14:14
Interesting question. I'd love to hear more opinions.

I don't feel that they use it for anything other than their data that indicates salary foregone for students in the current class. But they could. It wouldn't make sense to use that as a reason to give you more or less money, you'll be giving up that salary if you're moving there for a FT program.
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12 Nov 2012, 14:30
Schools all say they use this information only for marketing purposes. In other words, they use it so they can provide statistics like how much their class improved their salary from Pre-MBA. There is far too much variability between career fields for it to be used for anything else. For example military and government folks are paid based on age and rank not performance. So you can draw literally no discernible information from my salary data other than it corresponds to a specific block on a pay chart.
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14 Nov 2012, 03:59
mappleby wrote:
Schools all say they use this information only for marketing purposes. In other words, they use it so they can provide statistics like how much their class improved their salary from Pre-MBA. There is far too much variability between career fields for it to be used for anything else. For example military and government folks are paid based on age and rank not performance. So you can draw literally no discernible information from my salary data other than it corresponds to a specific block on a pay chart.

Hmmmm, maybe... but at the same time, they are experts in all things careers, and they have a lot of material for comparison. They take tell the difference between someone who is making 60K in industry X in country X, and someone who is making 90K in the same.... I don't think it is so simple as "Joe, the PE guy from America makes 10 times what Raj the entrepreneur from India makes, so he must be better"... not at all, but still, within your won country and industry, I would say it is somewhat significant.
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14 Nov 2012, 14:50
mappleby wrote:
Schools all say they use this information only for marketing purposes. In other words, they use it so they can provide statistics like how much their class improved their salary from Pre-MBA. There is far too much variability between career fields for it to be used for anything else. For example military and government folks are paid based on age and rank not performance. So you can draw literally no discernible information from my salary data other than it corresponds to a specific block on a pay chart.

Hmmmm, maybe... but at the same time, they are experts in all things careers, and they have a lot of material for comparison. They take tell the difference between someone who is making 60K in industry X in country X, and someone who is making 90K in the same.... I don't think it is so simple as "Joe, the PE guy from America makes 10 times what Raj the entrepreneur from India makes, so he must be better"... not at all, but still, within your won country and industry, I would say it is somewhat significant.

It would surprise me and come off quite hypocritical if schools used this for anything other than marketing purposes. The school wants you to choose their program based on their unqiuness and fit, not their spots in the rankings. They claim to choose their students by who would be a good fit for their program and is a well rounded candidate, not by where you come in salary rankings. Basing any part of the admissions decision on how much you agreed to work for to do a job you love is flawed at best, and hypocritical at worst.

My belief is that its promotional. But I am no admssions officer, just an opinion.
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15 Nov 2012, 02:45
Glad that someone brought this up. I would so like to hear opinions of people who have been part of Adcoms.

And yes, I'd be surprised if it's used for anything other than data crunching !
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15 Nov 2012, 17:57
Salary is used as a point of evaluation for candidates coming from the same industry. First of all, admissions does not use salary as a distinguishing factor to compare one candidate coming from investment banking to one who is coming from the peace corps. Within industries and locations, admissions does use it as a point of reference to distinguish (for example) all the candidates who worked for major consulting firm or investment bank. In general, those candidates with the higher salaries were ranked higher in their respective professional classes and thus their firm saw that they possessed more potential. For those candidates who come from less popular backgrounds, salary plays a much less important role in your evaluation. Just to let people know, every candidate I ever worked with who was a Peace Corps volunteer (average salary of around \$300 per month) got into one of the top five programs.
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16 Nov 2012, 05:44
dreamchase wrote:
And yes, I'd be surprised if it's used for anything other than data crunching !

Hmm, on the contrary, it would be more surprising if they didn't use every piece of information you give them to evaluate you. Like I wrote, it's not that they are comparing between countries and industries, and that more is simply better. But they are aware of what, say, US consultants in their third year get, and they are aware what it means when someone is making a lot more than someone else. This is still Business school, and salary is a very clear and simple way to gauge success (whether we like it or not). Now that doesn't mean that the Adcom folks sit and calculate "aha! This dude makes 10K per year more. He's probably better." Not at all. But they nonethelss will notice how much you make and they will know what it means in comparison to others.
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10 Dec 2012, 20:36
Very interested to hear more about this, given that I work for a financial firm no one has heard of and my compensation is a lot lower than those in big finance firms. This is something that definitely worries me.
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10 Dec 2012, 20:47
Shawshank wrote:
Very interested to hear more about this, given that I work for a financial firm no one has heard of and my compensation is a lot lower than those in big finance firms. This is something that definitely worries me.

My impression is that this is definitely subjective and different AdComs weight it differently. Perhaps we can post this in an "ask admissions" forum. I suspect we'll also see a wide range of different answers.
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10 Dec 2012, 21:32
lahai1dj wrote:
Shawshank wrote:
Very interested to hear more about this, given that I work for a financial firm no one has heard of and my compensation is a lot lower than those in big finance firms. This is something that definitely worries me.

My impression is that this is definitely subjective and different AdComs weight it differently. Perhaps we can post this in an "ask admissions" forum. I suspect we'll also see a wide range of different answers.

I wonder if Kroll verifies just the base salary or both salary and bonus.
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10 Dec 2012, 21:55
Though I’m sure schools weigh salary differently, I imagine it’s not simply a marketing data point considering they deem it important enough to cover in the background check – I think Jon and ManhattanReview are probably spot on. Unfortunate for me, considering I come from a small PE firm that provides carried interest (equity) to analysts and associates as a way to keep salaries relatively low.
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10 Dec 2012, 21:59
mrbucket wrote:
Though I’m sure schools weigh salary differently, I imagine it’s not simply a marketing data point considering they deem it important enough to cover in the background check – I think Jon and ManhattanReview are probably spot on. Unfortunate for me, considering I come from a small PE firm that provides carried interest (equity) to analysts and associates as a way to keep salaries relatively low.

I would be absolutely livid if I get dinged because my compensation is a lot lower than other finance guys.
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10 Dec 2012, 22:29
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mrbucket wrote:
Though I’m sure schools weigh salary differently, I imagine it’s not simply a marketing data point considering they deem it important enough to cover in the background check – I think Jon and ManhattanReview are probably spot on. Unfortunate for me, considering I come from a small PE firm that provides carried interest (equity) to analysts and associates as a way to keep salaries relatively low.

No offense, but that may be the first time I've heard someone complain about getting carried interest.
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10 Dec 2012, 22:54
huntzman wrote:
No offense, but that may be the first time I've heard someone complain about getting carried interest.

Haha none taken - I didn't mean to sound so flippant about it. If it helps, I left before most of it vested.
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11 Dec 2012, 06:37
What you need to do is write up a brief paragraph about your compensation structure and state that it includes a carried interest component. If I were still on an admissions committee, I would be impressed that an Analyst/Associate received carried interest as it would indicate a firm that wants a long-term affiliation with the candidate. Please do not make apologies for your lower base salary as (a) there is no need for the apology and (b) your salary structure is what it is. This policy applies to everybody -- not just people with working under these unique circumstances.

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11 Dec 2012, 08:16
I work for a large company, but from what I know there isnt a harmonized salary/title structure across all locations. For example, a scientist at one of the northeast locations would be an entry level position, whereas in the midwest location it would be a PhD with 10+ year of experience. At another location, it might be someone with 5-6 years of exp. Of course the salaries are widely different, but how can you account for this discrepancy?
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12 Dec 2012, 09:14
Very interesting question, and also interesting opinions... we probably can't tell for sure, but in my opinion salary doesn't impact admission chances (unless you're a cynical who thinks schools prefers candidates with low salary so their salary increase after they graduate will be higher). I think the work experience parameters which impact admission chances are accomplishments, managing people and promotions, and my opinion is supported by this online MBA chances calculator: http://www.aringo.com/MBA_admission_cha ... ulator.htm
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14 Dec 2012, 08:14
What if the candidate's salary is on the same level or even above the top school graduates' average? Can it be a red flag?

For a career-changer, the post-MBA salary can in fact be lower than the pre-MBA one. The point of getting an MBA is in doing something different and it's a long term investment with a negative ROI within 3-5 years.

I believe the admissions might crunch the numbers and ask a question why this guy needs an MBA at all.

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