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Why tier 2 MBA Program is not a BAD idea

Tier 2 MBA ProgramsI recently had a chance to read the book – How to Hire A-Players: Finding the Top People for Your Team. The A-Player Principle that was highlighted in book was “Just because people went to the right schools or worked for big companies in your industry does not make them A-players. Define the profile that works in your environment”

From a recruiter’s point of view, hiring decisions are costly and are made with certain assumptions, like:

1) Return on Intellectual capital
2) Minimum number of years that the candidate will work for the company
3) Potential for promotion from employee to partners
4) Contribution from revenue and team building points of view
5) Cost of hiring in case of attrition


Intellectual Capital
The first point is a factor that influences the hiring decision in favour of Ivey league school. Although, those days are over when recruiters blindly follow Ivy League schools, still the brand perception has not changed drastically.  Recruiters are willing to pay high bonus and base salary for Ivey league MBA graduates based on the assumption that the Intellectual capital that each candidate will build for the company will compensate high cost. The network that an Ivey league candidate brings to the company is one factor that contributes in building intellectual capital. Other Ivey league students will pass their resumes to alumni and the company is likely to attract more Ivey league students. But is it the right way to go?

Ivey League MBA – Easily Influenced by Peers
The minimum number of years that candidate will work for the company and the cost of hiring to fill the position left by Ivey league students have forced recruiters to move towards 2nd tier MBA programs. Many successful Entrepreneurs and CEOs are from Ivey league schools. They have been successful in carving their own path. But most Ivey League MBAs are influenced by their peers – the money, the position and prestige of working in a big company. That is why the number of MBAs joining a well-known consulting firm or an investment bank never goes down below a certain number, even during a recession. But for other firms, the expectations are high from Ivey league MBA students – both in terms of performance and longevity in the company. Unfortunately, Ivey league students are influenced by the extra 50k that their peers are earning and are most likely to switch ships at the earliest possible opportunity.

Cost of Hiring
The cost of hiring a position, earlier filled by an Ivey league student is high, especially if the candidate has worked for 1-2 years. The initial period will be invested in training the employee and getting them accustomed to the inner working of the company. If the candidate switches ship during 2nd year, the company has to invest lot of time re-training the new recruit. More importantly finding the right candidate during off-season (time when MBAs are in the initial foundation module) can be costly.

Curriculum and Internship
Recruiters are now looking at 2nd tier MBA programs that have customized their curriculum according to market demand. There are many schools that have redesigned their curriculum and have included electives that allow students to customize their profile according to recruiter’s demand.

Working well within a company’s environment is another factor that influences hiring decision in favour of a candidate. To reduce the risk, internship opportunities are provided for MBA candidates. If you can meet the goals and work within the company’s framework, you are most likely to get a permanent job opening in the company.

Before you pick a 2nd tier MBA program, here are some points to keep in mind:

1) Make a list of companies recruiting from the school

2) Find out how many people were recruited from each company. Make a chart like this:

Company A     Recruited     Interview Attended      Hit%
                                                                            (Recruited/Interview Attended)


3) List the profiles of previously recruited MBA candidates like:

Age/Nationality/Pre-MBA Exp/MBA GPA

28/Canadian/5 yrs. exp in Consulting with Engineering Background/3.2

4) From the listed profiles, find out how many of them have similar profiles as yours

5) Find out the probability

Total Recruited Profiles: N
Similar Profiles Recruited: n
Chance of Getting in: n/N


6) Find out the internship opportunity

7) How many interns were given permanent position

Total Interns: X
Total Permanent Position Offered: x
Permanent Position with Similar Profile Xn
Chance of Getting in: Xn/X


For Further research visit MBA program list

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