What Biz School Doesn’t Teach You

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Do you have an MBA? If you’re like the hundreds of b-school grads I have spoken to in my time as an HR director, you didn’t get that certificate because of the content of the program.

Sure… learning more about doing business was fun, but the real reason 99% of people invest on average USD 140,000 and a minimum of one year of their time and energy, is better career opportunities and higher salary. they hope that the network of students and alumni will allow them a better lifestyle after all that hard work.

Here’s the thing though. That bigger job isn’t just handed to you. That better pay isn’t just presented on a silver platter.

Sure, there are companies that have automatic salary increases for people who can put that coveted “MBA” behind their name, but most likely, you’ll still have to negotiate for it.

And THAT, you don’t get taught in b-school. Because some MBA programs include a course on negotiation, but it’s always about learning to negotiate on behalf of the company, which is VERY different from negotiating on your own behalf. Just ask all the women around you about their negotiation propensity when they do it for others vs for themselves.

And so most women don’t negotiate their salaries. A famous study by Babcock and Laschever on propensity to negotiate salaries, found that only 7% of female MBA school grads negotiated their first salary out of B-school.

Let that sink in.

The very vast majority of female grads just accepted what was first offered – which is never the full amount available; hiring managers DO know how to negotiate, you see. These grads therefore left hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars on the table, because they didn’t ask for more – that couple of thousand a year quickly adds up if you take compound interest into account.

And here’s something else to ponder. If you don’t succeed at getting a serious salary increase after graduation, you’re actually worse off for than without the MBA. Because there’s probably a hefty loan attached to your name to pay for the program, and you need to pay that investment back ASAP.


Now what’s a girl to do?

The first step is realizing what the problem is: your ability to leverage that massive time, energy and financial investment you made in getting that MBA. And then to figure out the solution: learning to negotiate for yourself.

That’s the missing piece of the puzzle! If you cannot negotiate a better career and pay, doing that MBA was a waste of your time, energy and money.


If you want help with this, book a call with me or my team. I work with committed, professional women who are ready to be rewarded for everything they bring to the table.