Using , MBA as a suffix

Reasons why you shouldn't do this

  1. Look at how frequently M7 MBAs do this and look at how frequently University of Phoenix MBAs do this.
  2. Look at linkedin and see the industries where this is most frequent. It is typically salesy kinds of jobs with zero barriers to entry such as selling whole life insurance or realtors, or something that involves wearing a name tag.
  3. The only people who it will impress will be people who can't help you.
  4. You put this on your card and anyone who can help you will assume you went to the University of Phoenix until proven otherwise.
  5. See above and when proven otherwise said person won't cut you a break for not knowing better.

I went to a top 40 program and I'm seeing a lot of people putting this on their LinkedIn profiles. This is getting under my skin because I'd hate to see my alma mater with its gray zone ranking (25-40) get a bad wrap. I also think this is totally cheesy to boot.

Just had to rant. Monkeys - feel free to add more to the list.

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Comments (51)

Best Response
Dec 22, 2016
  1. It makes you a giant douche. This supersedes 1-5
    • 14
    • 1
Jan 6, 2017

I disagree with that statement. I think it makes you a giant loser instead.

Dec 22, 2016

Let's not get mired in semantics

    • 1
Dec 22, 2016

Don't.Do.It.

    • 1
Dec 22, 2016

I did this for a while about a year after starting my current job when I got asked if I had to be let out of Home Room to attend a meeting.

Once I established myself, I stopped. It did help with some recognition at the onset, but after a while it very much becomes #6.

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Jan 5, 2017

A guy at my last job had JD/MBA in his email signature which seemed reasonable to me because a JD was noteworthy and why not throw the MBA in there too. Otherwise it would annoy me.

Jan 5, 2017

I would include it if I were a realtor. Also probably if I ran a tax accounting shop in Billings, MT.

    • 5
Jan 5, 2017

Only people I ever see doing this are people who went to shitty MBA programs. The MBA is a degree, it isn't a certification.

Jan 5, 2017

I've always found this to be highly correlated to the school itself, so always just figured it was people in the career services at those schools telling everyone to do it.

The answer is don't do it. Ever. And if you're at one of those schools it's your duty to go forth and spread this message. Good luck.

    • 1
Jan 6, 2017

Before you do it, make sure you had "Incoming MBA candidate" while you were waiting to enroll.

You killed the Greece spread goes up, spread goes down, from Wall Street they all play like a freak, Goldman Sachs 'o beat.

    • 2
Jan 6, 2017

I saw a XXX Engineering Intern (Incoming) the other day.

Jan 6, 2017

I've seen people do John Smith, MSc.

Jan 6, 2017

What do you guys think about people who use the CFA suffix (John Smith, CFA)?

Jan 6, 2017
deMaestro:

What do you guys think about people who use the CFA suffix (John Smith, CFA)?

Way more acceptable, but I still think it looks bizarre. However, check any traditional AM big shot and if they've done it you'll still probably see it with CFA after the comma. Some firms simply put it on your business card regardless without even asking you, as long as you have the designation.

    • 1
Jan 6, 2017

It's definitely cool to have the CFA if you work in AM or HF. So I really don't have anything against it. What I'm seing is that many people, who maybe didn't go to top schools, use it as a suffix behind their names. Usually if somebody went to H/W/S for an MBA, they just put the CFA on their resume without the suffix.

I'm not saying that one way is better than the other. This is simply an observation...

Jan 6, 2017

It's two totally different things. CFA is a designation. Same rules, same standards apply to everyone. MBA is a degree and degrees vary wildly. Is it an MBA from Wharton, or is it from some tiny no name school in Minnesota?

    • 2
Jan 7, 2017

Solid point. Designations are meant to specify a minimum standard that was met in order to pass.

Additionally - I'd like to point out that designations like the CFA, CPA, CFP also signify that the holder is adhering to a code of ethics in order to maintain their certification, that their actions can be challenged by clients on an ethical basis, a board exists to review these cases and they can be punished/lose their certifications for egregious offenses. It is different than claiming to have completed a degree.

    • 2
Jan 8, 2017

Very true. It would be weird if you're in AM and have passed the CFA and don't have it behind your name.

And I just saw someone with "CFA level one candidate" as a suffix on LinkedIn... this is getting out of hand.

Jan 6, 2017

not comparable, CFA and CPA are professional designations. MBA is a degree.

    • 3
Jan 6, 2017

"not comparable, CFA and CPA are professional designations. MBA is a degree."

this

Jan 6, 2017

I think it's pretty ridiculous looking as well and I would personally never do it.

As OP put it, the only people who it will impress will be people who can't help you.

I agree that it's way more common though. And I believe in some jurisdictions (Canada, South Africa, maybe some others) it's a requirement for professionals in money management or securities dealing roles, so they put it in their name and business cards more often.

Jan 6, 2017
deMaestro:

What do you guys think about people who use the CFA suffix (John Smith, CFA)?

I'm a CPA, but don't list it after my name. That being said, listing CPA or CFA as a suffix is completely acceptable.

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Jan 6, 2017

Anyone who is having trouble wrapping their head around this concept look at it this way:

You would never write Mantis Tobaggan, B.A.; or Mantis Tobaggan, B.S on your linkedin/CV/Resume, so why would it be any different with an MBA?

Jan 12, 2017

thats because you would obviously write Dr. Mantis Toboggan, M.D.

Jan 6, 2017

A fair point, haha

Jan 6, 2017

Thank you for posting this. Taking a quick look through linkedin and the people with the ,MBA are pretty much clowns.

Jan 6, 2017

Without fail, whenever you see someone list "MBA" as a suffix, they went to a joke program.

Jan 6, 2017

It's worse than the people who call themselves "a MBA" as in "I'm a MBA" but not by much.

Keeping your LinkedIn connections pure of stupidity is a very important part of LinkedIn being useful whatsoever.

Jan 6, 2017

Immediately indicates incompetence and self-esteem issues; not far behind is listing executive education as an actual accomplishment

Jan 6, 2017

Saw this on LinkedIn... even worse, it's someone who went to McCombs, my alma matter.

Jan 6, 2017

Pretty cringe worthy when I see it.

Jan 6, 2017

Some pretty high profile people (entrepeneurs, bank CEO's) in my home country list HBS one-week executive courses in their LinkedIn education section. I find it pathetic! Everyone can buy themselves on to those courses...

Jan 6, 2017
deMaestro:

Some pretty high profile people (entrepeneurs, bank CEO's) in my home country list HBS one-week executive courses in their LinkedIn education section. I find it pathetic! Everyone can buy themselves on to those courses...

MBA in signature = Hold this L

Kanye will prob go to HBS next and do this

    • 1
Jan 7, 2017

Even if you think that it should be OK, recognize that 50% of people in the professional world will think you're a jackass and laugh at you behind your back for putting MBA behind your name. So why risk the negative connotation?

Prof designations can and should be placed behind your name (CFA, CPA, etc) if you're working in a relevant industry, or even a semi-relevant industry/role. I.e. if you're a strategy consultant with a CPA, cool. If you did a career about face and work in medicine, there is zero value add to using it.

    • 1
Jan 6, 2017

What do you guys think about people putting their GPA's or Final grades (magna cum laude, first class, distinction, etc...) on their degrees in their LinkedIn or on their resume?

Jan 7, 2017

[quote="deMaestro"]

What do you guys think about people putting their GPA's or Final grades (magna cum laude, first class, distinction, etc...) on their degrees in their LinkedIn or on their resume?

[/]

If you're in your first five years out of school I don't see why you wouldn't, if they're good. Outside of that, it's at your discretion. Nobody will look or care at some point. I personally have my GMAT on my profile while I'm in business school, but plan to take it off post graduation until and unless I recruit for firms that care about it.

    • 2
Jan 6, 2017

If you do great work, people will recognize regardless your credentials or your school. Otherwise, keep the name that you have and make people notice - without the extra letters attached at the end.

    • 1
Jan 19, 2017

There are two MBA personas. First you only know has done an MBA, because they tell you. Second do great work and don't tell everyone they meet about MBA

Jan 6, 2017

I mean I don't disagree - at all - and this was amusing. But the people I know who do this don't think they're in the M7 category, they're just likable people who drive Honda Odysseys.

This seems on par with picking on chubby girls or comparing shoes/watches with homeless people, or something.

Jan 6, 2017

Hey man, those chubby girls need loving too ya know

    • 1
Jan 6, 2017

The only thing noteworthy about an MBA is the school it is from.

Jan 6, 2017

When used as a professional title, MBA stands for "May Be Asshole".

    • 2
Jan 8, 2017

I have yet to see a solid argument made in defence of including MBA as a title...

    • 1
Jan 6, 2017
Debtlift:

I have yet to see a solid argument made in defence of including MBA as a title...

Because there isn't one. Not every issue has two sides.

    • 1
Jan 7, 2017

I honestly think it comes down to two types of people:

  1. Those who feel like they've spent thousands of dollars on something and don't understand why they shouldn't be able to show it off, like a shiny new car, because they are special and everyone should know it (these mindset is highly correlated with people who probably won't accomplish much else in their life, so the MBA is a purchase that can help self-validate themselves - this explains why it's usually people who go to shitty programs who do this).
  2. Those who kind of understand that it's a little jackassey, but honestly believe it will get them more attention from recruiters (it won't) and that the benefits outweight the cons (they don't).
    • 1
Aug 9, 2018

It seems that most pushback is stemming from individuals placing the suffix MBA on their LinkedIn profiles. The reasoning is linked in is a job recruiting site and their algorithms are created to exploit key terms for people searching for specific qualifications. The people who are doing this are just adapting to the technical environment and maximizing their exposure to recruiters/headhunters.

People who are resisting or bemoaning a harmless trend are at a disadvantage. The old standard is disappearing and the MBA suffix trend is growing like it or not because sites like Linkedin are built to recognize and exploit profile keywords. An example of the mistake some are making is Eastman Kodak. Kodak failed because they abandoned their digital camera operation because of their arrogance and comfort with film photography. If Kodak had fully embraced the technology and the trends, Kodak would not be in bankruptcy!

Some jobs weed out applicants based on academic credentials plus experience. Therefore, listing your experience and MBA, BS, BA... etc can be a distinct advantage.

    • 1
Jan 13, 2017

What about people who have IBD Analyst at the end of their name? I think it looks as bad as the "incoming" bs.

Jan 6, 2017

I've never seen someone have John Smith, IBD Analyst, but that sounds like an absolute tool move.

Jan 13, 2017
Aug 10, 2018

"All men are alike in their dreams, and all men are alike in the promises
they make. The difference is what they do."-- Jean Baptiste Moliere

    • 3
Aug 10, 2018