How Amazon Is Disrupting MBA Recruiting

Amazon is aggressively recruiting MBAs, replacing banks and consulting firms as the #1 recruiter at many of the programs. Through sheer size, Amazon is sending recruiters en masse to campus, and other firms are deliberately avoiding scheduling events on the same dates as Amazon.

I'm not convinced that this is due to Amazon being so awesome but rather is the result of the decline of finance recruiting at MBA programs and consulting being shit due to the travel and lifestyle. Moreover, Amazon is the tech firm most open to hiring MBAs without a technical background.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/forget-wall-street-m-...

How Amazon Is Disrupting MBA Recruiting

Amazon has become a major force in nearly every industry. They snap up graduate students in mass quantities across a variety of fields and MBA students are no different. So how is Amazon disrupting MBA recruiting?

Why Amazon Is Hiring So Many MBAs

At almost 1,000 new MBA hires a year, Amazon must have quite the need to fill. But, why does Amazon need so many MBAs? First and foremost, for the kind of growth and ingenuity that takes place at Amazon it is necessary to find leaders that are innovative, risk-takers, and strong analytically. Amazon hires MBAs for jobs like technical product management, business development, and operations in retail and finance. MBA employees have been involved in groundbreaking projects like one hour delivery, one click shopping and Amazon Prime. Because so many aspects of the business and major projects require many MBAs to succeed, Amazon has had to hire them by the boatload.

How Does Amazon Attract So Many MBAs

We've talked about how there are a huge quantity of Amazon MBA jobs, but how do they entice prospects to pursue and accept them? They use the same aggressive strategy that they use with expanding their business. They:

  • Recruit like crazy (hold multiple events, connect with prospects through meetings over coffee, lunch etc.).
  • Offer competitive positions such as senior project manager.
  • Offer competitive pay (mid six-figures plus massive benefits)
  • Give you an opportunity to be a part of something huge. Amazon is one of the biggest and fastest growing companies in the world.
  • Offer great hours. You work much more regularly and far less overtime and less travel than at the big banks.

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Comments (83)

Oct 5, 2017

While it's true that Amazon is hiring a lot of MBAs, I completely agree that it is not really the result of Amazon being awesome. To be fair, Amazon did hire a lot of my classmates, but without saying that they scraped the bottom of the barrel, they clearly didn't get the best candidates from my program, far from it. The general opinion on the company isn't all that hot, the work environment / culture has a very bad rep, they pay significantly less than GOOG / FB / AAPL and pretty much every one I know that applied got an offer so it's not like they are the more selective of employer so a lot of people ended there as a result of not getting anything better.

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Oct 5, 2017
mtnmmnn:

While it's true that Amazon is hiring a lot of MBAs, I completely agree that it is not really the result of Amazon being awesome. To be fair, Amazon did hire a lot of my classmates, but without saying that they scraped the bottom of the barrel, they clearly didn't get the best candidates from my program, far from it. The general opinion on the company isn't all that hot, the work environment / culture has a very bad rep, they pay significantly less than GOOG / FB / AAPL and pretty much every one I know that applied got an offer so it's not like they are the more selective of employer so a lot of people ended there as a result of not getting anything better.

Interesting point and articles like this definitely need to be understood in context. I would imagine Amazon can hire more MBAs at certain schools than every firm in certain industries. Out of curiosity, does Amazon recruit after other industries or towards the beginning of OCR? Would be curious to know as one of the career service folks in the article made it seem as if the banks are afraid of them and don't want to be on campus recruiting at the same time.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there" - Will Rogers

Oct 5, 2017

From my experience (I graduated in 2014 so maybe it changed), they were probably the only company that had more than one recruiting drive (ie. they did a round of FT recruiting along everyone else in the fall, but also did a huge recruiting push in Feb / March the following year). Although banking really isn't that popular at the moment, I would think that there isn't much overlap between people wanting to do banking vs. people interested in AMZ so I am a bit puzzled by that quote.

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Oct 5, 2017
mtnmmnn:

While it's true that Amazon is hiring a lot of MBAs, I completely agree that it is not really the result of Amazon being awesome. To be fair, Amazon did hire a lot of my classmates, but without saying that they scraped the bottom of the barrel, they clearly didn't get the best candidates from my program, far from it. The general opinion on the company isn't all that hot, the work environment / culture has a very bad rep, they pay significantly less than GOOG / FB / AAPL and pretty much every one I know that applied got an offer so it's not like they are the more selective of employer so a lot of people ended there as a result of not getting anything better.

I went to a top b-school as well, and Amazon was routinely mocked on campus. It was seen as a "last resort" along with investment banking.

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Oct 6, 2017

Hilarious

Oct 9, 2017

Interesting to hear - at my school (Johnson, it's not a secret) they were the top hirer in my class. They got a range of quality - some very strong students, some less so. What I think you're missing here is that they don't really compete that much with banking/consulting. In my class, people generally decided to recruit for banking, consulting, or corporate and there was very little overlap. People who were going for consulting only applied to consulting jobs, bankers applied to banking jobs, etc. Amazon competed mostly with other corporates. In that general area the location and comp are very competitive (Seattle isn't the greatest city every but much better than some other corporate locations).

Oct 5, 2017

How's the pay? What can a 1st year MBA hire expect to make all in?

Oct 5, 2017

Not enough to justify getting an MBA. Less than a 1st year IB analyst.

Oct 5, 2017
TrackBack:

Not enough to justify getting an MBA. Less than a 1st year IB analyst.

That's clearly false, unless you meant to say "associate" rather than analyst.

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Oct 5, 2017

The WSJ article said, "Many join the company's future leadership ranks in the role of senior product manager, which typically pays $120,000 to $160,000 a year, according to the career website Glassdoor."

That's in line with what I've heard anecdotally and is roughly similar in total comp to an IB analyst. A top bucket analyst, especially on at one of the above-street EBs will be making more than 160.

Oct 5, 2017

Assuming they get a decent sign on and some stock options, that ain't half bad.

Oct 5, 2017
TheGrind:

Assuming they get a decent sign on and some stock options, that ain't half bad.

It's very well known that Amazon does not pay well and back loads its RSU grants. Only 5% vest in year 1 and 15% in year 2 while the remaining 80% vest in 6 month increments in years 3 and 4. Amazon also has total target compensation ranges whereby you cannot make more than that range. That range is pretty tight for a few years. Basically, you don't make the real good money unless you've been at Amazon for 5+ years.

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Oct 5, 2017

It's not terrible broadly speaking, but if I was coming out an expensive MBA, I wouldn't want to be making what I am now. It's significantly less than top finance jobs post-MBA, and with less comp growth too. If I paid for an MBA and ended up making 120-160 post-grad, I'd be kicking myself.

This is why, as one of the commenters above was able to speak to personally, Amazon has been mostly scraping the bottom of the bucket at top B-schools. They're not snaking the kids with McKinsey offers.

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Oct 7, 2017

What do you think McKinsey's base salary is? You may be surprised that it's similar to Amazon's.

Oct 7, 2017
PeterMBA2018:

What do you think McKinsey's base salary is? You may be surprised that it's similar to Amazon's.

Is that a good thing? Given the same amount of money, wouldn't you rather work at McKinsey?

Amazon probably needs to compensate more to hire good talent.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Oct 7, 2017

Not at all- would def take McKinsey as would almost everyone else. Just saying that the base salary isn't that high in consulting.

Oct 9, 2017

Fair, but they are different jobs and lifestyles.
For example, my HBS classmate has been a PM at Amazon for 4 years and all-in clears more than a McK engagement manager while working way less and barely traveling. McK starts MBAs at $140k base plus 15% bonus (per a recent grad, secondhand info). While it is cush to travel 1st and the step up to EM is high, the lifestyle is not comparable. You are still doing slides and working on some client's big Corporate "emergency" so in my view that's not that prestigious, either.
Amazon folks I know in SF / Bay Area (small office, but there are some), can still hang out, make happy hour on Wednesday nights, dinners, etc and claim to work a 50-60 hour week; not bad.
I don't work in either industry but it's an interesting debate. A lot of people would love to "kick themselves" for making "only 160".
Personally my free time is more valuable, but that's why I left banking 7 years ago and consult / work for myself. "When you control time, you don't need to know what time it is."
http://www.businessinsider.com/gselevator-on-wall-...

Oct 9, 2017

lol, that was said in the context of the likes of Lloyd, but touche.

That's definitely true, I didn't mean to be making an overarching statement about the lifestyles or priorities. I was just saying that in terms of pure comp, Amazon pays below other big four tech companies, and is nowhere near comparable to PE/Banking.

In terms of personal preference, I have no life/family and wouldn't know what to do with myself if I only worked 50 hours a week. I had a lot of time in college and picked up a drug habit, so I've always favored grinding all the time but making as much as possible. At least for now.

If I was going to work for less money though, I suppose you have a point about Amazon, at least vis a vis McK and the like. Consultants work well over 60 hours a week to make mediocre money and deal with a lot of shit. At least Amazon it seems that you get good QoL even if you're giving up some comp vs banking. Consultants get less money and still have bad hours. I still do think that the exit opportunities to industry help rationalize a top consultancy vs a sort of dead end career at Amazon. What're your long-term opportunities to make real money if you're going into Amazon as a PM post-MBA?

FYI - don't mean to be hating on AMZN or anything, just genuinely don't understand. I get software engineers going there, but not MBAs.

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Oct 9, 2017

Haha, all good. I've never worked at Amazon or consulting, either, so cannot comment from experience. I only know what my friends complain / brag about.

I guess now that I have a life I couldn't really go back. (No family but lots of friends who don't work, shall we say; the "exit scene.") I am not rich AF but between travel, dinners, events, etc, it would be hard for me to go back to the 80+ grind. Plus when you have free time to say "yes" to random invites, you end up seeing Coldplay in some dude's yard or taking a Citation to St Barth's, for example. (Happened to me last Wednesday.) It just depends what you prioritize.

In general though at big companies it is "up or out" and so VERY few people get promoted to Principal PM or GM, or equivalent, etc. I hear you there. By the time MBAs are "needed" most of the value has already been consumed, i.e. it's not "core." It's probably the first role eliminated in a RIF.

Oct 9, 2017

We really all do adapt to the reality we have. Without knowing your situation, seems like you're doing pretty well for yourself, so if I was chilling on St Barts and seeing coldplay live on a random night, I might have to reassess my dedication to work. It's also all dependent on age. At 22, I have a lot of energy. After doing this for 10 years, who knows. I think for me it's more a psychological trick I play on myself to motivate my grind. I don't have the luxury of not working and being comfortable enough, so I tell myself that I NEED to work to fill fulfilled. It's just some bullshit my mind concocts out of necessity.

I completely agree about the corporate career progression though, which is why I'm so confused that people would want to take less comp to limit their options so significantly. From what I've seen at clients, etc, if a large company is looking for a senior level executive, they're more likely to pick a McKinsey EM than they are some internal promote. Certainly, I think that leaving AMZN to lateral elsewhere would be challenging. So what happens if your role is eliminated, you hate it, etc? Maybe it's just being risk averse, but I think staking it all on Amazon is a bad choice, especially when the money isn't on the better side.

Plus, I would hate to be in the communist city of Seattle surrounded by arrogant software devs who think they're better than me haha

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Oct 9, 2017
TrackBack:

We really all do adapt to the reality we have. Without knowing your situation, seems like you're doing pretty well for yourself, so if I was chilling on St Barts and seeing coldplay live on a random night, I might have to reassess my dedication to work. It's also all dependent on age. At 22, I have a lot of energy. After doing this for 10 years, who knows. I think for me it's more a psychological trick I play on myself to motivate my grind. I don't have the luxury of not working and being comfortable enough, so I tell myself that I NEED to work to fill fulfilled. It's just some bullshit my mind concocts out of necessity.

I completely agree about the corporate career progression though, which is why I'm so confused that people would want to take less comp to limit their options so significantly. From what I've seen at clients, etc, if a large company is looking for a senior level executive, they're more likely to pick a McKinsey EM than they are some internal promote. Certainly, I think that leaving AMZN to lateral elsewhere would be challenging. So what happens if your role is eliminated, you hate it, etc? Maybe it's just being risk averse, but I think staking it all on Amazon is a bad choice, especially when the money isn't on the better side.

Plus, I would hate to be in the communist city of Seattle surrounded by arrogant software devs who think they're better than me haha

This is an interesting exchange. A few points.

  1. Software developers at Amazon make GREAT money, although the culture is brutal, and they still get paid less than their counterparts at Google and Facebook. Also, Amazon offers zero perks.
  2. For non-engineering roles, the real money comes in once you've been at Amazon for at least 5 years and have made it to Level 8 (director). At that point, with all the extra RSUs you get, you will be making as much as principals at MBB consulting and maybe even more. VPs at Amazon-one step above director-absolutely kill it. And let's not even get into the senior VPs. Jeff Wilke-the global head of Amazon's retail business-made $32M last year, Andrew Jassy-the head of AWS-made $36M last year, and Jeff Blackburn-the head of Amazon's biz dev/corp dev/media business-made $22M last year. But these are anomalies, and making it to the top at Amazon requires YEARS of hard work and amazing performance.
  3. At Amazon, you really see two extremes: those who leave quickly, and the rest stay for a long time. Internal transfers at Amazon are super easy, so people just move around to different teams. It is not at all uncommon for a post-MBA finance person at Amazon to move from media to AWS or someone in retail to Alexa, for instance. This flexibility, combined with Amazon's RSUs being backloaded, incentivizes employees to stick around for a while.
  4. It's unclear what exit opps non-engineers at Amazon really have. But there is no doubt that MBB consultants have superior exit opps, despite the shitty hours, travel, and lifestyle. MBB consultants, depending on the projects they work on, can transition into corporate strategy, product management, marketing, operations, and even PE/HF/VC. The options are truly astounding. So even though it may suck, the money is still good, and you do it for the name brand and the post-MBB opportunities.
  5. My classmates who ended up at Amazon were towards the bottom of the class in terms of pre-MBA resume and brainpower. I can't think of a single impressive classmate who went to Amazon.
  6. My feelings on Seattle are crystal clear, and I will not repeat it here. But Seattle is a big reason why Amazon cannot get elite non-engineering talent.
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Nov 6, 2017

I don't really get the apples to oranges comparisons. 120-160 is total comp for an analyst that works significantly more hours. Amazon base pay is 140 for PM. You get 40k sign on 1st year + year end bonus. This does not even factor in stock. Total comp at Amazon 1st year out is 100k over the low end of your range.

Nov 6, 2017

Joined just to comment on this thread. Depends on the function, but roughly 200-225k total comp for the first year. If you PM me, I can give you specifics on my offer.

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Nov 9, 2017

200K all in year 1?? What the heck is going on over there?

If this is true then it shouldn't be surprising that so many MBAs would gun for it. That's above the median-actually above the top 75th-for most non H or S schools.

Someone needs to work up a definitive comp guide to this place per position, as we've seen some wild swings in this thread alone. I missed the boat on Amazon as I heard it churned and burned through employees, but would have def. given it a look for these numbers.

Nov 9, 2017
Yankee Commodore:

Joined just to comment on this thread. Depends on the function, but roughly 200-225k total comp for the first year. If you PM me, I can give you specifics on my offer.

No; this is incorrect. That figure would only be for SDEs (software development engineers) and TPMs (technical product managers), not the standard post-MBA roles in finance, product, marketing, operations.

Nov 11, 2017

How is technical product manager not a standard post-MBA role? My classmates are getting offers here without technical backgrounds. PMT's are getting 142 base. 55/40 1st/2nd year sign, and 120k in stock options.

Your "standard" operations/finance etc are getting 130 base, 40/30 and 95k in stock.

Not sure what part of this you think is incorrect.

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Oct 6, 2017

As someone who recently graduated from a top school, I would echo the above. They are all over campus for everything from product management to finance to operations. For PM roles, it's still a popular sought after company because there are so few PM roles and a lot of people who want to do it. But it is still lower on the rung than the FB/MSFT/Apple/GOOG and other places like linkedin or even fintech companies like sofi. For industry agnostic people they also tend to prefer top apparel (Nike operations), CPG (Ab/Inbev), or Media (Sony) companies too. And for many its below start ups. For people that want banking, most get it from my school in some form, but the ones who didn't mostly ended up in some form of financial services still. And the few who went corporate went into the we'll known rotational programs. I would say I actually don't know that many people who went there from my school, as most tech people got better jobs.

I would counter the above that banking/consulting isn't as popular now as before. Banking is probably on the upswing again, with the most people wanting it since the crisis. It's just the landscape has changed and EBs are taking a ton of the top talent away from BBs. Consultants are everywhere, more people want to do it than there are slots, and that continues to be the case.

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Oct 6, 2017
AllDay_028:

As someone who recently graduated from a top school, I would echo the above. They are all over campus for everything from product management to finance to operations. For PM roles, it's still a popular sought after company because there are so few PM roles and a lot of people who want to do it. But it is still lower on the rung than the FB/MSFT/Apple/GOOG and other places like linkedin or even fintech companies like sofi. For industry agnostic people they also tend to prefer top apparel (Nike operations), CPG (Ab/Inbev), or Media (Sony) companies too. And for many its below start ups. For people that want banking, most get it from my school in some form, but the ones who didn't mostly ended up in some form of financial services still. And the few who went corporate went into the we'll known rotational programs. I would say I actually don't know that many people who went there from my school, as most tech people got better jobs.

I would counter the above that banking/consulting isn't as popular now as before. Banking is probably on the upswing again, with the most people wanting it since the crisis. It's just the landscape has changed and EBs are taking a ton of the top talent away from BBs. Consultants are everywhere, more people want to do it than there are slots, and that continues to be the case.

Looks like there are 6 MBA programs at Amazon - I think the PM program only hires from M7/T10 schools, and the other programs are easier to get into, with people from T20 schools getting in.

https://www.amazon.jobs/en/teams/mba-internship?ba...

Oct 6, 2017

This has come up a few times on WSO, but what is the rational your classmates gave for choosing EBs over BBs? I always felt like the resources and ability to market a variety of products to clients made BBs the preferred choice over EBs at the associate level, but I was only an analyst, not an associate, so I do not know from first hand experience.

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Oct 6, 2017
Sil:

This has come up a few times on WSO, but what is the rational your classmates gave for choosing EBs over BBs? I always felt like the resources and ability to market a variety of products to clients made BBs the preferred choice over EBs at the associate level, but I was only an analyst, not an associate, so I do not know from first hand experience.

I think it's two fold.

1) With the regulatory landscape and M&A market as it is now (6 banks on a deal at a time, but maybe 2 did any actual interesting work) lends itself to doing perceived "better" work at an EB over a BB. I have a buddy at a BB who told me, no joke, he spends 70% of his time on shit like credit memos that he wouldn't have to do if he was at an advisory only shop. On top of that, unless you are at GS/MS, you are almost definitely spending a significant amount of your time doing work around lending, likely more than you are around advisory and M&A. That doesn't happen at EBs and people tend to want to focus on the latter. And with the M&A pie continually shifting towards EBs, it just makes this more true.

2) The idea, whether true or not, that EBs treat you like an adult far sooner than BBs do. You are running your own processes sooner, having the ability to carve out your own path and career sooner, build your own business sooner, Etc. It lends itself to those that see themselves as more entrepreneurial or needing less help, with the upside being larger due to the fact that the pay disparity continues to widen. At the top EBs right, an associate out of business school might make as much as 100k-125k more than at a BB in the first 18 months. That gap widens the more senior you get and its not gradual. So you have a combination of greater responsibility quicker, more control over your career, and significantly better pay from the get go.

BBs are still seen as more of the "safe" choice, but the candidates who see themselves as more self sufficient tend to basically put GS/MS/top EBs above everyone else. At least, that was my take on it in my class.

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Oct 6, 2017

Really appreciate the detailed response. Thank you.

Oct 6, 2017
AllDay_028:
Sil:

This has come up a few times on WSO, but what is the rational your classmates gave for choosing EBs over BBs? I always felt like the resources and ability to market a variety of products to clients made BBs the preferred choice over EBs at the associate level, but I was only an analyst, not an associate, so I do not know from first hand experience.

I think it's two fold.

1) With the regulatory landscape and M&A market as it is now (6 banks on a deal at a time, but maybe 2 did any actual interesting work) lends itself to doing perceived "better" work at an EB over a BB. I have a buddy at a BB who told me, no joke, he spends 70% of his time on shit like credit memos that he wouldn't have to do if he was at an advisory only shop. On top of that, unless you are at GS/MS, you are almost definitely spending a significant amount of your time doing work around lending, likely more than you are around advisory and M&A. That doesn't happen at EBs and people tend to want to focus on the latter. And with the M&A pie continually shifting towards EBs, it just makes this more true.

2) The idea, whether true or not, that EBs treat you like an adult far sooner than BBs do. You are running your own processes sooner, having the ability to carve out your own path and career sooner, build your own business sooner, Etc. It lends itself to those that see themselves as more entrepreneurial or needing less help, with the upside being larger due to the fact that the pay disparity continues to widen. At the top EBs right, an associate out of business school might make as much as 100k-125k more than at a BB in the first 18 months. That gap widens the more senior you get and its not gradual. So you have a combination of greater responsibility quicker, more control over your career, and significantly better pay from the get go.

BBs are still seen as more of the "safe" choice, but the candidates who see themselves as more self sufficient tend to basically put GS/MS/top EBs above everyone else. At least, that was my take on it in my class.

Damm. I should've recruited for EBs coming out of b-school. YUGE mistake on my part.

Oct 6, 2017
AllDay_028:

As someone who recently graduated from a top school, I would echo the above. They are all over campus for everything from product management to finance to operations. For PM roles, it's still a popular sought after company because there are so few PM roles and a lot of people who want to do it. But it is still lower on the rung than the FB/MSFT/Apple/GOOG and other places like linkedin or even fintech companies like sofi. For industry agnostic people they also tend to prefer top apparel (Nike operations), CPG (Ab/Inbev), or Media (Sony) companies too. And for many its below start ups. For people that want banking, most get it from my school in some form, but the ones who didn't mostly ended up in some form of financial services still. And the few who went corporate went into the we'll known rotational programs. I would say I actually don't know that many people who went there from my school, as most tech people got better jobs.

I would counter the above that banking/consulting isn't as popular now as before. Banking is probably on the upswing again, with the most people wanting it since the crisis. It's just the landscape has changed and EBs are taking a ton of the top talent away from BBs. Consultants are everywhere, more people want to do it than there are slots, and that continues to be the case.

Interesting. I graduated within the last few years from a finance heavy program (Wharton/Columbia/Booth/MIT), and banking was seen as the last resort. I remember showing up to the campus building for first round interviews, and the people who were there for banking literally looked like they were at a family funeral. Out of my buddies who went into banking, only one actually likes it.

Consulting has always been popular and always will be, as they are the #1 MBA recruiting industry. No surprise there.

I do think Amazon is less prestigious than Google and Facebook, mainly because those two require more technical expertise and hence tougher interviews. Most PMs at Google and Facebook know how to code, for instance.

I think there's 3 main reasons why Amazon is not getting the cream of the crop at the top MBA programs.

  1. Prestige perception: fairly or unfairly, Amazon is still considered as a glorified online retail company. They are doing some amazing things, and Bezos is probably the best CEO in the country, but that is the perception. In contrast, Google/Facebook are seen as super sexy companies on the cutting edge (Facebook is retarded; the world will be a competition between Google and Amazon). Perception is reality, and MBAs are obsessed with prestige.
  2. Compensation: this is a problem as well when compared to its rivals. Amazon is notoriously frugal, and it is reflected in all areas. The company has a MAXIMUM base salary cap of just $160K, with the rest of the compensation coming from your signing bonus and RSUs that vest over 4 years. Unlike other tech firms, however, where the vesting happens in equal increments, Amazon's vesting is backloaded. In the first year, 5% vests, 15% in the second year, and then 20% every 6 months in years 3 and 4. This is a way of "trapping" Amazon employees to staying long-term. For MBAs, many of whom are in debt and need cash right away, this proposition could be a deal breaker. Let's also not forget perks. At Amazon, there is no free food; even soft drinks are not free. And if you travel for work, Amazon will only pay for the cheapest coach flights, even for international flights.
  3. Seattle. LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION. Did I mention location? Yeah, I think I did. The notion that location does not matter is one of the biggest lies out there. For single people, especially, it is absolutely critical and will have an effect on one's overall happiness. Let's consider the fact that graduates of top MBA programs flock to a handful of cities. In the HBS class of 2017, 23% went to NYC, 15% went to SF Bay Area, and 14% to Boston. Only 4% ended up in Seattle. So from a network and social standpoint, it's tough since most of your school friends won't be in Seattle with you. The city also lacks the diversity, urban dynamism, and energy of the others. It's essentially a glorified suburb and company town. And for single men, Seattle is probably the worst major U.S. city for dating. That matters. A LOT.
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Oct 6, 2017
Rufus1234:
AllDay_028:

As someone who recently graduated from a top school, I would echo the above. They are all over campus for everything from product management to finance to operations. For PM roles, it's still a popular sought after company because there are so few PM roles and a lot of people who want to do it. But it is still lower on the rung than the FB/MSFT/Apple/GOOG and other places like linkedin or even fintech companies like sofi. For industry agnostic people they also tend to prefer top apparel (Nike operations), CPG (Ab/Inbev), or Media (Sony) companies too. And for many its below start ups. For people that want banking, most get it from my school in some form, but the ones who didn't mostly ended up in some form of financial services still. And the few who went corporate went into the we'll known rotational programs. I would say I actually don't know that many people who went there from my school, as most tech people got better jobs.

I would counter the above that banking/consulting isn't as popular now as before. Banking is probably on the upswing again, with the most people wanting it since the crisis. It's just the landscape has changed and EBs are taking a ton of the top talent away from BBs. Consultants are everywhere, more people want to do it than there are slots, and that continues to be the case.

Interesting. I graduated within the last few years from a finance heavy program (Wharton/Columbia/Booth/MIT), and banking was seen as the last resort. I remember showing up to the campus building for first round interviews, and the people who were there for banking literally looked like they were at a family funeral. Out of my buddies who went into banking, only one actually likes it.

Consulting has always been popular and always will be, as they are the #1 MBA recruiting industry. No surprise there.

I do think Amazon is less prestigious than Google and Facebook, mainly because those two require more technical expertise and hence tougher interviews. Most PMs at Google and Facebook know how to code, for instance.

I think there's 3 main reasons why Amazon is not getting the cream of the crop at the top MBA programs.

    - Prestige perception: fairly or unfairly, Amazon is still considered as a glorified online retail company. They are doing some amazing things, and Bezos is probably the best CEO in the country, but that is the perception. In contrast, Google/Facebook are seen as super sexy companies on the cutting edge (Facebook is retarded; the world will be a competition between Google and Amazon). Perception is reality, and MBAs are obsessed with prestige.
    - Compensation: this is a problem as well when compared to its rivals. Amazon is notoriously frugal, and it is reflected in all areas. The company has a MAXIMUM base salary cap of just $160K, with the rest of the compensation coming from your signing bonus and RSUs that vest over 4 years. Unlike other tech firms, however, where the vesting happens in equal increments, Amazon's vesting is backloaded. In the first year, 5% vests, 15% in the second year, and then 20% every 6 months in years 3 and 4. This is a way of "trapping" Amazon employees to staying long-term. For MBAs, many of whom are in debt and need cash right away, this proposition could be a deal breaker. Let's also not forget perks. At Amazon, there is no free food; even soft drinks are not free. And if you travel for work, Amazon will only pay for the cheapest coach flights, even for international flights.
    - Seattle. LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION. Did I mention location? Yeah, I think I did. The notion that location does not matter is one of the biggest lies out there. For single people, especially, it is absolutely critical and will have an effect on one's overall happiness. Let's consider the fact that graduates of top MBA programs flock to a handful of cities. In the HBS class of 2017, 23% went to NYC, 15% went to SF Bay Area, and 14% to Boston. Only 4% ended up in Seattle. So from a network and social standpoint, it's tough since most of your school friends won't be in Seattle with you. The city also lacks the diversity, urban dynamism, and energy of the others. It's essentially a glorified suburb and company town. And for single men, Seattle is probably the worst major U.S. city for dating. That matters. A LOT.

Yea, I have a very different perception than you do on banking. I also went to one of the schools you mentioned and we send a lot of kids into banking every year (so not Sloan), many of who are coming from other areas of finance and some of who were bankers before and are trading up. It's true that not everyone likes it, and some leave, but I have a buddy who did small time PE before school and decided to do banking instead. A couple buddies who were traders. Some who were in AM. etc. At my school, at least, banking was getting more popular.

With Amazon I agree, it has a prestige perception problem. But it's not just the business, it's the recruiting. Any company that is recruiting heavily and makes it seem like they would take anyone at your MBA program takes a hit, because even at the top schools there are still a lot of morons. So when the top kids see it as easy to get a job there, it immediately makes them want to go a different direction. FB does a REALLY good job of acting like they are too good for MBAs, even the top ones, which of course makes people want to work there more. Pay is obviously an issue too, but lets be real, like 60% of people who go to top MBAs have the entirety of their lives paid for by their parents. I was one of a handful of people I knew paying out of my own pocket, with loans, for school.

Seattle is tough, at least google being in NYC helps them some, at least, IMO. But people are also generally ok with San Francisco (though, I don't get it, I think San Fran fucking sucks). But even with that, it seems that the other Seattle based companies are still seen as "better". I know people with both MSFT and Amazon offers and all of them took MSFT. But I think a lot of that goes back to the prior point.

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Oct 6, 2017

Sorry to ask this again, but don't you think that even within the Amazon MBA programs there are tiers? Seems like the PM program is the best option (of the 6 Amazon MBA programs), and others fall behind.

Thanks,

Oct 6, 2017
snakeoil:

Sorry to ask this again, but don't you think that even within the Amazon MBA programs there are tiers? Seems like the PM program is the best option (of the 6 Amazon MBA programs), and others fall behind.

Thanks,

I mean, in terms of prestige, sure. Being a PM is highly sought after at any tech or tech enabled company. Operations is obviously huge at Amazon compared to other places. But honestly, if you're looking at these programs you shouldn't be deciding between them by perceived prestige, you should be deciding between them based on what you want to do with your career.

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Oct 6, 2017
snakeoil:

Sorry to ask this again, but don't you think that even within the Amazon MBA programs there are tiers? Seems like the PM program is the best option (of the 6 Amazon MBA programs), and others fall behind.

Thanks,

They're so different that it's hard to compare. Product is the most prestigious and pays the best, followed by finance. Retail program is atrocious.

Nov 6, 2017

One of the RLD's rotations is through PM though. It's not like there isn't overlap or flexibility to move around fwiw.

Oct 6, 2017
AllDay_028:
Rufus1234:
AllDay_028:

As someone who recently graduated from a top school, I would echo the above. They are all over campus for everything from product management to finance to operations. For PM roles, it's still a popular sought after company because there are so few PM roles and a lot of people who want to do it. But it is still lower on the rung than the FB/MSFT/Apple/GOOG and other places like linkedin or even fintech companies like sofi. For industry agnostic people they also tend to prefer top apparel (Nike operations), CPG (Ab/Inbev), or Media (Sony) companies too. And for many its below start ups. For people that want banking, most get it from my school in some form, but the ones who didn't mostly ended up in some form of financial services still. And the few who went corporate went into the we'll known rotational programs. I would say I actually don't know that many people who went there from my school, as most tech people got better jobs.

I would counter the above that banking/consulting isn't as popular now as before. Banking is probably on the upswing again, with the most people wanting it since the crisis. It's just the landscape has changed and EBs are taking a ton of the top talent away from BBs. Consultants are everywhere, more people want to do it than there are slots, and that continues to be the case.

Interesting. I graduated within the last few years from a finance heavy program (Wharton/Columbia/Booth/MIT), and banking was seen as the last resort. I remember showing up to the campus building for first round interviews, and the people who were there for banking literally looked like they were at a family funeral. Out of my buddies who went into banking, only one actually likes it.

Consulting has always been popular and always will be, as they are the #1 MBA recruiting industry. No surprise there.

I do think Amazon is less prestigious than Google and Facebook, mainly because those two require more technical expertise and hence tougher interviews. Most PMs at Google and Facebook know how to code, for instance.

I think there's 3 main reasons why Amazon is not getting the cream of the crop at the top MBA programs.

    - Prestige perception: fairly or unfairly, Amazon is still considered as a glorified online retail company. They are doing some amazing things, and Bezos is probably the best CEO in the country, but that is the perception. In contrast, Google/Facebook are seen as super sexy companies on the cutting edge (Facebook is retarded; the world will be a competition between Google and Amazon). Perception is reality, and MBAs are obsessed with prestige.
    - Compensation: this is a problem as well when compared to its rivals. Amazon is notoriously frugal, and it is reflected in all areas. The company has a MAXIMUM base salary cap of just $160K, with the rest of the compensation coming from your signing bonus and RSUs that vest over 4 years. Unlike other tech firms, however, where the vesting happens in equal increments, Amazon's vesting is backloaded. In the first year, 5% vests, 15% in the second year, and then 20% every 6 months in years 3 and 4. This is a way of "trapping" Amazon employees to staying long-term. For MBAs, many of whom are in debt and need cash right away, this proposition could be a deal breaker. Let's also not forget perks. At Amazon, there is no free food; even soft drinks are not free. And if you travel for work, Amazon will only pay for the cheapest coach flights, even for international flights.
    - Seattle. LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION. Did I mention location? Yeah, I think I did. The notion that location does not matter is one of the biggest lies out there. For single people, especially, it is absolutely critical and will have an effect on one's overall happiness. Let's consider the fact that graduates of top MBA programs flock to a handful of cities. In the HBS class of 2017, 23% went to NYC, 15% went to SF Bay Area, and 14% to Boston. Only 4% ended up in Seattle. So from a network and social standpoint, it's tough since most of your school friends won't be in Seattle with you. The city also lacks the diversity, urban dynamism, and energy of the others. It's essentially a glorified suburb and company town. And for single men, Seattle is probably the worst major U.S. city for dating. That matters. A LOT.

Yea, I have a very different perception than you do on banking. I also went to one of the schools you mentioned and we send a lot of kids into banking every year (so not Sloan), many of who are coming from other areas of finance and some of who were bankers before and are trading up. It's true that not everyone likes it, and some leave, but I have a buddy who did small time PE before school and decided to do banking instead. A couple buddies who were traders. Some who were in AM. etc. At my school, at least, banking was getting more popular.

With Amazon I agree, it has a prestige perception problem. But it's not just the business, it's the recruiting. Any company that is recruiting heavily and makes it seem like they would take anyone at your MBA program takes a hit, because even at the top schools there are still a lot of morons. So when the top kids see it as easy to get a job there, it immediately makes them want to go a different direction. FB does a REALLY good job of acting like they are too good for MBAs, even the top ones, which of course makes people want to work there more. Pay is obviously an issue too, but lets be real, like 60% of people who go to top MBAs have the entirety of their lives paid for by their parents. I was one of a handful of people I knew paying out of my own pocket, with loans, for school.

Seattle is tough, at least google being in NYC helps them some, at least, IMO. But people are also generally ok with San Francisco (though, I don't get it, I think San Fran fucking sucks). But even with that, it seems that the other Seattle based companies are still seen as "better". I know people with both MSFT and Amazon offers and all of them took MSFT. But I think a lot of that goes back to the prior point.

I don't know anyone who turned down Amazon for Microsoft. Weird.

But yeah, Seattle is ATROCIOUS. Absolute hell on Earth for single men.

Oct 6, 2017

Can't tell if you're being serious or not. Can you add more insight into the Retail or Ops programs?

Oct 6, 2017
snakeoil:

Can't tell if you're being serious or not. Can you add more insight into the Retail or Ops programs?

I know people at both, and they are miserable. Amazon is a huge complex organization, so one's experience can vary radically depending on the group, team, and manager. Retail and ops are grunt work, since they are large mature organizations with a successful business model. Little innovation, dull work.

Oct 9, 2017

because even at the top schools there are still a lot of morons.

truth

Oct 9, 2017
OffTheGrid:

because even at the top schools there are still a lot of morons.

truth

So true. In terms of pure brainpower, top 5 MBA programs don't hold a candle compared to top 5 undergrad.

Oct 7, 2017

Good response. It's interesting that so many of your friends at BB are working on lending/credit memos. What group are they in?

The only groups that should really be touching credit related aspects are Lev Fin and perhaps industry coverage (on a high level) if the bank does not have dual coverage (corporate banking coverage that's the face of the bank AND investment banking coverage).

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Oct 8, 2017
B2Banker:

Good response. It's interesting that so many of your friends at BB are working on lending/credit memos. What group are they in?

The only groups that should really be touching credit related aspects are Lev Fin and perhaps industry coverage (on a high level) if the bank does not have dual coverage (corporate banking coverage that's the face of the bank AND investment banking coverage).

Most post MBA associates end up in industry coverage groups. That said, I have to admit I'm somewhat ignorant to how the work is divided between corporate banking and investment banking at the large BS banks (JPM/BAML/Citi) but those are where I hear these complaints regularly and the loudest.

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Oct 8, 2017

Makes sense. So all of these shops have an actual credit team that pitch various credit products, structure them, write memos to get bank's commitment to those products approved, etc.

Role coverage plays depends if there is a corporate AND investment banking coverage team or not. Corporate banking coverage is tasked with origination. Hence you might prepare a book for a client on various capital structure proposals and impact on EPS, balance sheet, etc. of each scenario. Credit team will execute but coverage is tasked with identifying opportunities. If there is no corporate banking group, some of these functions may be picked up by IBD coverage.

I am currently at a mid market bank but previously worked at one of the BBs you've referenced. We do not have dual coverage and IBD coverage serves as main point of contact for clients and is tasked with generating capital markets, M&A, as well as balance sheet opportunities. The balance sheet aspect is easy for large corporates as syndicated deals get refreshed/marked to market every few years. Our IB guys do not really do anything here other than speak to the relationship and given their support for say lending incremental $ to X company given the overall relationship.... IB will just loop in the syndications team over here to come and talk to the client as well as someone from credit.

When it comes to proactively identifying balance sheet and bank debt cap structure alternatives (especially for a non-straightforward situation) IBD does not do well with this and there are lost opportunities. They are too focused on the sexier opportunities such as DCM/ECM/M&A. That's one weakness with single coverage.

With that said, the BB I worked at had a Corporate Banking coverage group that was the face of the bank in addition to an industry coverage IB banker both covering the client. This lets you make sure you can cover client from all sides but you have to get over with the cultural problem of one banker trying to monopolize the clients (this doesn't work in all banks).

Sorry for the long rant as I was just really curious to hear that IBD coverage is spending their time on credit at the Bb level. Seems really uncharacteristic relative to all I have experienced & heard.

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Oct 6, 2017

I ended up at Amazon via a startup acquisition. Definitely not the best place I've ever worked. They just have an incredible business and need a lot of bodies to keep things going.

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Oct 6, 2017

My buddy from college just left Amazon, based on what he's told me the perception is the reality. It's a grinder, toxic work environment and..Seattle. His description of Seattle is it's the worst of both worlds. Not nearly as fun as high cost of living cities like NYC and SF and much more expensive than lower cost of living cities like Denver.

"We listen, if it feels good we shake."
"This town is nuts, my kind of place."
-WSMFP

Best Response
Oct 7, 2017
WidespreadPanic90:

My buddy from college just left Amazon, based on what he's told me the perception is the reality. It's a grinder, toxic work environment and..Seattle. His description of Seattle is it's the worst of both worlds. Not nearly as fun as high cost of living cities like NYC and SF and much more expensive than lower cost of living cities like Denver.

Your buddy's description of Seattle is totally accurate. Look, if you are a single straight all-American male who loves America and gorgeous feminine women with pretty faces, banging bodies, know how to dress sexy, Seattle is the worst U.S. city for you. In Seattle you will be surrounded by tech geeks-many of whom are H1-B Visa foreigners who reek of body odor due to bad personal hygiene-weird America hating ANTIFA socialists who admire the Soviet Union, and ugly radical feminist women who wear p*ssy hats and still cry over Hillary's defeat.

To put it more bluntly: if Kim Jong Un nuked Seattle, I would not be THAT mad. But if he nuked Chicago or NYC, I would join the military and give my life for this country.

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Oct 7, 2017

I was regretting my decision to read these comments until I got to yours. Thank you, sir

Oct 10, 2017

Portland might be worse but more or less is the same thing.

"We listen, if it feels good we shake."
"This town is nuts, my kind of place."
-WSMFP

Oct 9, 2017

They want to bring in a bunch of bright people into the fold. Bottom of what exactly? An Ivy League business school? They offer solid comp in a low COL city with better hours than client services like banking or consulting and the comp balloons after you've made a long term investment in the company...Which is the coveted "exit opp" from consulting. From everything I've read your problem with Amazon is that more of your peers weren't rejected by them. After 5 years at Amazon if you either 1) aren't making enough money 2) haven't had the right door open or 3) aren't sure what you want and need 10 different exit opps...That's a personal problem.

Oct 9, 2017
Roka:

They want to bring in a bunch of bright people into the fold. Bottom of what exactly? An Ivy League business school? They offer solid comp in a low COL city with better hours than client services like banking or consulting and the comp balloons after you've made a long term investment in the company...Which is the coveted "exit opp" from consulting. From everything I've read your problem with Amazon is that more of your peers weren't rejected by them. After 5 years at Amazon if you either 1) aren't making enough money 2) haven't had the right door open or 3) aren't sure what you want and need 10 different exit opps...That's a personal problem.

I went to a top 5 MBA program, and yes, my classmates who ended up at Amazon had far weaker pre-MBA resumes than those who went into more selective firms. I'm sure they exist, but I don't know anyone who turned down MBB or a top BB/EB for Amazon. If you've seen differently at your b-school, that's fine. I'm just speaking from my experience.

Moreover, although cheaper than NYC and SF, Seattle certainly is not a "low COL" city. According to various cost of living indexes, Seattle is virtually tied with LA when it comes to overall COL. Its rent has skyrocketed in recent years due to the Amazon effect.

I said specifically that if you've been at Amazon for 5+ years and done well, you'll be making pretty good money. So not sure what your point is here. With respect to MBB, my central point was that they provide a wider range of exit opps and greater versatility than joining Amazon post-MBA.

Oct 9, 2017

You're sneering at the "bottom" of an Ivy League business school, which begs pointing out that there's not a single function the "higher ranked" classmates at a BB do that the "lower" classmates can't do.

Regarding COL, most MBAs, especially geared toward banking or consulting, end up in NYC, SF, Chicago, DC or Boston... how does the COL compare to the offers your other classmates received in the cities they received them in? See how that works, don't use bullshit national averages to compare packages in NYC and Seattle.

My point regarding time at Amazon is that the comp catches up and the same "exit opps" you claim to covet are being offered right out of the gate or within reach to those applying to Amazon, so a more accurate estimation would be that for your classmates that know what they want and don't want to work brutal hours...Amazon is an awesome choice. Why you're shitting on it is beyond me.

Oct 9, 2017
Roka:

You're sneering at the "bottom" of an Ivy League business school, which begs pointing out that there's not a single function the "higher ranked" classmates at a BB do that the "lower" classmates can't do.

Regarding COL, most MBAs, especially geared toward banking or consulting, end up in NYC, SF, Chicago, DC or Boston... how does the COL compare to the offers your other classmates received in the cities they received them in? See how that works, don't use bullshit national averages to compare packages in NYC and Seattle.

My point regarding time at Amazon is that the comp catches up and the same "exit opps" you claim to covet are being offered right out of the gate or within reach to those applying to Amazon, so a more accurate estimation would be that for your classmates that know what they want and don't want to work brutal hours...Amazon is an awesome choice. Why you're shitting on it is beyond me.

  1. I never said that people at Amazon cannot do the work that bankers do.
  2. You specifically said that Seattle is a "low COL city" without making relative comparisons to other cities. Now, in your response, you are bringing up other cities, in an attempt to play gotcha. But let's go there. The following figures are from CNN's cost of living calculator.

If one makes $150K/year in Seattle, the conversion to other cities is as follows:

DC: $155K
Boston: $153K
LA: $148K
Chicago: $124K
SF: $186K
Manhattan: $237K

So according to this, Seattle is a bit more expensive than LA and slightly less so than Boston and DC. The real gap is between Mahattan/SF and the rest, which was what I stated earlier. But by no means can one objectively say that Seattle is a "low COL city." As for pay packages, my classmates who ended up at top banks made anywhere between $200-$300K their first full year out, including bonus. MBB consultants got around $200K their first year out including bonus, with compensation rising pretty quickly if they make engagement manager after 2 years.

  1. I'm sure there are MBAs who love Amazon and want to work there indefinitely. More power to them. And I was not shitting on Amazon per se; I think Bezos is the best CEO in the country, and Amazon is the most important firm in the world, along with Google. I have a shit ton of respect for their emphasis on long-term thinking and making unconventional decisions such as Prime, Amazon Marketplace, AWS. My point was simply twofold: that Amazon has a prestige perception problem amongst MBAs at top programs and that other jobs such as MBB consulting do give one more exit opps.
  2. You are obviously personally invested in this topic, but best of luck to you.
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Oct 9, 2017

The COL is less than the 5 major metros that MBAs typically work in and you're comparing base with all in comp during your comparison? My interest in this topic is correcting an intentionally overstated view with omitted counter points. The prestige perception seems to be a personal problem. Any 30 year old who bases their decisions off of a classmates perception has more problems than cash or exit opps.

Oct 9, 2017

Regarding your cringe worthy "all-American male who loves America" spiel, it's worth pointing out that 1) that implies an outdated and narrow mindset and 2) ignores the fact that Houston, Chicago, DC, NYC, Boston, Seattle, SF, LA, Miami, Dallas and Atlanta all leaned democrat or liberal at least during the last election. So if left leaning politics kills a city and company for you...tell me how much your dating life picks up in Amarillo Texas and what the exit opps are for "consulting" on sheep and tractors.

Oct 9, 2017
Roka:

Regarding your cringe worthy "all-American male who loves America" spiel, it's worth pointing out that 1) that implies an outdated and narrow mindset and 2) ignores the fact that Houston, Chicago, DC, NYC, Boston, Seattle, SF, LA, Miami, Dallas and Atlanta all leaned democrat or liberal at least during the last election. So if left leaning politics kills a city and company for you...tell me how much your dating life picks up in Amarillo Texas and what the exit opps are for "consulting" on sheep and tractors.

Someone got triggered. Aside from the fact that you can't take a joke, there is a big difference between a city that Hillary won (i.e., Houston/Dallas/Chicago) and Seattle/SF, in terms of overall cultural and social atmosphere. Or do you really think all major cities that Hillary won are equivalent and offer similar experiences?

Let's take Seattle for instance.

1) The city has actual socialists on the city council.
2) The city passed a $15 minimum wage law that is having a negative impact on businesses.
3) The city passed a city income tax that actually violates the Washington state constitution.
4) The city refuses to clean up streets and let the homeless run wild because well, the council is composed of nutjobs.
5) The city went for Bernie fucking Sanders in the democratic primary

This is just the political aspect. Not gonna even get into the cultural and social aspects.

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Oct 9, 2017

"Triggered" is labeling me easier than confronting an opposing idea?

I think you've just stated several reasons to hate Seattle that have zero impact on your day to day life there or working at Amazon. That also ignores those same qualities in most major metros. In terms of culture I think you're looking to work in a major metro, in a white collar job, in a client facing role and in relatively affluent circles, which is a very similar experience regardless of which city you're in. I've worked in major metros across several countries (and languages) and have found more common ground than differences in terms of views, beliefs and outlook. Leading me to believe that someone who can't find their niche or make a city their home would have difficulty doing so anywhere else.

Oct 9, 2017

Baton Rouge? Report your findings from the promised land, and show-off your prestigious parish maintenance contract to those plebes at Oracle. Lmao

Oct 9, 2017

Some of the perspectives on here are hilarious. Suggesting that $160K for a corporate gig is chump change and describing a 5 year path to mid six figures as if it were a life sentence. My medical resident cousin laughed when I showed her this.

What I find most interesting is the split between those who value time and those who value prestige. I'll offer a different take because I did the reverse of what most MBAs do-left a run of the mill corporate gig that I'd enjoyed the past 2 years to jump ship to an "elite" one. The money and perks are excellent, but I no longer have the time to do jack shit. The days all blur together, I get home with my synapses completely burned out, and I'm sprouting grey hairs all over the place. It's 4 fucking AM and I'm posting to this thread while waiting to join a call that starts on the other side of the planet. At my last gig I was dating strippers and visiting 2-3 countries a year.

I now understand why so many of my banking and consulting friends frequently sent me resumes at the last gig, and 2 years out, most have transitioned into Amazon-like corporate roles. A few have ended up at Amazon. Those vaunted exit opps do exist in Consulting, but mostly for people who manage to make it to higher levels before exiting.

Any gig that can start you off at 120-160, offers you great 5 year upside, and enables you to have a life outside of work is going to be highly coveted. No dog in this fight, just amusing to see folks trash what's turning out to be the most sought after company for MBAs because it's not considered selective enough.

Oct 9, 2017

Early on I had the perspective broadening experience of long working hours and a culture that demanded work become your lifestyle. I've found I prefer long lunches, sleeping in and picnics.

Oct 9, 2017

SB'd for the balanced perspective and naked reality. Curious if you've begun plotting your next move, and having seen both sides, which have you found more agreeable?

Oct 9, 2017

Really depends on your drive and ambition. The handful of guys I know still in IB from our class are sort of stuck because moving as a 3rd year Associate would require taking big pay cuts-so they've been effectively golden handcuffed. Some of them are starting families now, too, which makes it even tougher, so will be interesting to see how they meet their time demands. But they're the exact people I expected to be in these spots, because they were your prototypical gunners/strivers. I imagine much of WSO has a similar makeup.

I probably wouldn't take another gig that gives me anxiety whenever my phone buzzes in the middle of the night. I don't mind crazy hours for interesting work, but not being able to control your schedule makes you feel as if you're always at the mercy of the work. Still, I'm in no position to complain and am saving a ton.

Longer term I'd probably head back to corporate for a more laid back role, preferably in a low COL, so that I can still afford material comforts while enjoying what's left of my "youth".

Oct 9, 2017
TheGrind:

Really depends on your drive and ambition. The handful of guys I know still in IB from our class are sort of stuck because moving as a 3rd year Associate would require taking big pay cuts-so they've been effectively golden handcuffed. Some of them are starting families now, too, which makes it even tougher, so will be interesting to see how they meet their time demands. But they're the exact people I expected to be in these spots, because they were your prototypical gunners/strivers. I imagine much of WSO has a similar makeup.

I probably wouldn't take another gig that gives me anxiety whenever my phone buzzes in the middle of the night. I don't mind crazy hours for interesting work, but not being able to control your schedule makes you feel as if you're always at the mercy of the work. Still, I'm in no position to complain and am saving a ton.

Longer term I'd probably head back to corporate for a more laid back role, preferably in a low COL, so that I can still afford material comforts while enjoying what's left of my "youth".

I have a somewhat similar story to you, though I don't think my pre-MBA job would be considered that highly sought after. The way I see it, and i'm a little more junior then you, is that long term most are "better off" if they work a few extra years than they want to in the "demanding" jobs and then make their switch. A lot of people burn out pretty quickly post MBA and they make those jumps as 1st or 2nd year associates and they essentially wasted that jumping off point. If those people are able to gut it out for a couple more years, you start to have a different level of job open up for you that takes longer to get to when you are moving there from within. I've worked with associates on Corp Dev teams who have nowhere to go until someone vacates a spot that may never be vacated. But if you can make it to being a more senior VP, or even a junior MD, and then move you are generally able to lead teams that lead to visibility allowing you to move into other, non finance, areas of larger corporations.

Yea, not having more dominion over your time sucks, but like you I find the work interesting and feel as if that, combined with all i'm learning, to be worthwhile for the time being. And being smart about the exit is as important as having the ability to exit at all. But that's just my $.02 as someone who hasn't approached that point yet.

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Nov 4, 2017

Interesting point. The problem with this, imo, is that I-banking exit opps may not pan out as smoothly as some people would like, with regards to compensation, job function, industry, company location, etc.

I talked to several bankers at NYC BB via alumni networking. One was an associate, 5 were VP's, and 2 guys were directors. They all pointed out that it is actually very, very competitive to get that Corp Dev position at a respectable F500, in a location / industry/ compensation level that they'd be comfortable with. Heck, one VP that I spoke to told me that he's willing to take a 50% pay cut to move from Banking to Corp Dev, except he hasn't had an offer that is enticing enough, despite him looking for that exit for last 1 year.

One interesting point that these bankers I spoke to was that the people that pursued Consulting after MBA seemed to have way more options, than those who pursued banking post MBA. The reason being, there aren't too many companies (mid cap / large cap) that are that acquisitive so that they'd justify a large corp dev team in-house. Even the largest F500 companies that is quite acquisitive tends to run on a 5-6 people Corp Dev team. On the other hand, many F500 companies have much bigger in-house corp strategy teams, which tend to be filled exclusively by ex-MBB / OW / LEK strategy consultants. (example: Disney or Capital One, both of which have quite large corp strategy teams, but pretty small corp dev teams in comparison)

Lastly, all the bankers I've spoken to have basically told me that making MD at a BB / EB nowadays is almost impossible. You'd need to have bring in ~$20MM in fee revenues and a healthy chunk of client lists to prove that you'd be a capable deal maker, and hence would justify that MD title. Some directors (non MDs) are allowed to stay on as directors, but these guys would be the first to get cut / laid off, when banks are in trouble. (high pay, but non-revenue generators)

Knowing what I know, I am gunning for MBB / OW / LEK type of consulting over banking, when the time for OCR comes at MBA program.

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Oct 9, 2017
TheGrind:

Some of the perspectives on here are hilarious. Suggesting that $160K for a corporate gig is chump change and describing a 5 year path to mid six figures as if it were a life sentence. My medical resident cousin laughed when I showed her this.

What I find most interesting is the split between those who value time and those who value prestige. I'll offer a different take because I did the reverse of what most MBAs do-left a run of the mill corporate gig that I'd enjoyed the past 2 years to jump ship to an "elite" one. The money and perks are excellent, but I no longer have the time to do jack shit. The days all blur together, I get home with my synapses completely burned out, and I'm sprouting grey hairs all over the place. It's 4 fucking AM and I'm posting to this thread while waiting to join a call that starts on the other side of the planet. At my last gig I was dating strippers and visiting 2-3 countries a year.

I now understand why so many of my banking and consulting friends frequently sent me resumes at the last gig, and 2 years out, most have transitioned into Amazon-like corporate roles. A few have ended up at Amazon. Those vaunted exit opps do exist in Consulting, but mostly for people who manage to make it to higher levels before exiting.

Any gig that can start you off at 120-160, offers you great 5 year upside, and enables you to have a life outside of work is going to be highly coveted. No dog in this fight, just amusing to see folks trash what's turning out to be the most sought after company for MBAs because it's not considered selective enough.

Great post. You are one of WSO's invaluable posters.

I don't disagree with anything you said. After all, life is about cost-benefit tradeoffs. I agree that Amazon is highly appealing for people who crave a certain lifestyle. I certainly don't begrudge them that.

My main point was NOT that Amazon is a bad company to work at. I simply thought that the WSJ piece was a fluff piece, which is unusual given that WSJ writes really good articles. It gave off the impression that students at top MBA programs are really turning down MBB and other "elite" roles en masse to work at Amazon. It did not say this explicitly, but it was implied, and people who don't know much about the MBA recruiting landscape might have arrived at that conclusion. I simply wanted to correct that and point out that Amazon on the whole is not getting the top talent.

Also, a minor correction to one of your points. Making $500K/year at Amazon within 5 years of joining after MBA is pretty rare actually. The typical MBA, by that point, would be a L7 (senior manager), and on average will probably be pulling in the $250-$300K range once we take into account vested RSUs. My best friend graduated MBA in 2013 and recently made principal at a MBB consulting firm and including year-end bonus, will probably clear in the $400-$500K/range. Of course, he works hard, but it is worth mentioning that very few MBAs turn down MBB for Amazon. Not a single person at my school did.

Oct 9, 2017
Rufus1234:
TheGrind:

Some of the perspectives on here are hilarious. Suggesting that $160K for a corporate gig is chump change and describing a 5 year path to mid six figures as if it were a life sentence. My medical resident cousin laughed when I showed her this.

What I find most interesting is the split between those who value time and those who value prestige. I'll offer a different take because I did the reverse of what most MBAs do-left a run of the mill corporate gig that I'd enjoyed the past 2 years to jump ship to an "elite" one. The money and perks are excellent, but I no longer have the time to do jack shit. The days all blur together, I get home with my synapses completely burned out, and I'm sprouting grey hairs all over the place. It's 4 fucking AM and I'm posting to this thread while waiting to join a call that starts on the other side of the planet. At my last gig I was dating strippers and visiting 2-3 countries a year.

I now understand why so many of my banking and consulting friends frequently sent me resumes at the last gig, and 2 years out, most have transitioned into Amazon-like corporate roles. A few have ended up at Amazon. Those vaunted exit opps do exist in Consulting, but mostly for people who manage to make it to higher levels before exiting.

Any gig that can start you off at 120-160, offers you great 5 year upside, and enables you to have a life outside of work is going to be highly coveted. No dog in this fight, just amusing to see folks trash what's turning out to be the most sought after company for MBAs because it's not considered selective enough.

Great post. You are one of WSO's invaluable posters.

I don't disagree with anything you said. After all, life is about cost-benefit tradeoffs. I agree that Amazon is highly appealing for people who crave a certain lifestyle. I certainly don't begrudge them that.

My main point was NOT that Amazon is a bad company to work at. I simply thought that the WSJ piece was a fluff piece, which is unusual given that WSJ writes really good articles. It gave off the impression that students at top MBA programs are really turning down MBB and other "elite" roles en masse to work at Amazon. It did not say this explicitly, but it was implied, and people who don't know much about the MBA recruiting landscape might have arrived at that conclusion. I simply wanted to correct that and point out that Amazon on the whole is not getting the top talent.

Also, a minor correction to one of your points. Making $500K/year at Amazon within 5 years of joining after MBA is pretty rare actually. The typical MBA, by that point, would be a L7 (senior manager), and on average will probably be pulling in the $250-$300K range once we take into account vested RSUs. My best friend graduated MBA in 2013 and recently made principal at a MBB consulting firm and including year-end bonus, will probably clear in the $400-$500K/range. Of course, he works hard, but it is worth mentioning that very few MBAs turn down MBB for Amazon. Not a single person at my school did.

No that important, but do you know what's the deal with titles at Amazon? I did some quick research on LinkedIn, and it seems like PM join as Senior Managers, and all the others (Retail/Ops/Finance) join as Managers and have to work up to becoming a Senior Manager?

Asking because am applying to B School and am interested in Amazon. Hopefully, HQ2 is in a better city. Some people might not care, but I do care about interacting with SJWs/Commies - which I hope to avoid.

Thanks,

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Oct 9, 2017
snakeoil:
Rufus1234:
TheGrind:

Some of the perspectives on here are hilarious. Suggesting that $160K for a corporate gig is chump change and describing a 5 year path to mid six figures as if it were a life sentence. My medical resident cousin laughed when I showed her this.

What I find most interesting is the split between those who value time and those who value prestige. I'll offer a different take because I did the reverse of what most MBAs do-left a run of the mill corporate gig that I'd enjoyed the past 2 years to jump ship to an "elite" one. The money and perks are excellent, but I no longer have the time to do jack shit. The days all blur together, I get home with my synapses completely burned out, and I'm sprouting grey hairs all over the place. It's 4 fucking AM and I'm posting to this thread while waiting to join a call that starts on the other side of the planet. At my last gig I was dating strippers and visiting 2-3 countries a year.

I now understand why so many of my banking and consulting friends frequently sent me resumes at the last gig, and 2 years out, most have transitioned into Amazon-like corporate roles. A few have ended up at Amazon. Those vaunted exit opps do exist in Consulting, but mostly for people who manage to make it to higher levels before exiting.

Any gig that can start you off at 120-160, offers you great 5 year upside, and enables you to have a life outside of work is going to be highly coveted. No dog in this fight, just amusing to see folks trash what's turning out to be the most sought after company for MBAs because it's not considered selective enough.

Great post. You are one of WSO's invaluable posters.

I don't disagree with anything you said. After all, life is about cost-benefit tradeoffs. I agree that Amazon is highly appealing for people who crave a certain lifestyle. I certainly don't begrudge them that.

My main point was NOT that Amazon is a bad company to work at. I simply thought that the WSJ piece was a fluff piece, which is unusual given that WSJ writes really good articles. It gave off the impression that students at top MBA programs are really turning down MBB and other "elite" roles en masse to work at Amazon. It did not say this explicitly, but it was implied, and people who don't know much about the MBA recruiting landscape might have arrived at that conclusion. I simply wanted to correct that and point out that Amazon on the whole is not getting the top talent.

Also, a minor correction to one of your points. Making $500K/year at Amazon within 5 years of joining after MBA is pretty rare actually. The typical MBA, by that point, would be a L7 (senior manager), and on average will probably be pulling in the $250-$300K range once we take into account vested RSUs. My best friend graduated MBA in 2013 and recently made principal at a MBB consulting firm and including year-end bonus, will probably clear in the $400-$500K/range. Of course, he works hard, but it is worth mentioning that very few MBAs turn down MBB for Amazon. Not a single person at my school did.

No that important, but do you know what's the deal with titles at Amazon? I did some quick research on LinkedIn, and it seems like PM join as Senior Managers, and all the others (Retail/Ops/Finance) join as Managers and have to work up to becoming a Senior Manager?

Asking because am applying to B School and am interested in Amazon. Hopefully, HQ2 is in a better city. Some people might not care, but I do care about interacting with SJWs/Commies - which I hope to avoid.

Thanks,

Job titles at Amazon can be deceiving. Most post-MBA hires at Amazon start at Level 6 (some start at Level 5 although that is not too common). Level 6 is weird because the job titles across the various functions will vary wildly. For instance, a Level 6 finance hire is a "Senior Financial Analyst" while a Level 6 product manager is a "senior product manager." The latter obviously sounds more important, and I have Amazon finance buddies who actually complained about this. It's also worth nothing that product pays more than finance and marketing, but that shouldn't be a surprise.

Seattle is a YUGE problem. The location actually prevents Amazon from getting the true elite talent, especially at the undergrad and MBA levels. How many of the best STEM talent from Harvard/Stanford/MIT/Princeton/CalTech undergrad see Amazon as their dream job? Very few. They would all take Google/Facebook/some high profile startup over Amazon in a heartbeat. How many of the best econ/finance talent from the elite undergrad and MBA programs take Amazon finance over a reputable buyside firm or BB/EB? Nearly none. From talking to these people, a lot of them (especially single men) cited Seattle as a deal-breaker and that Amazon does not pay enough to compensate for the location. This shouldn't be surprising. If you are graduating from say Harvard undergrad with a ton of options before you, why would you leave your friends-nearly all of whom will be in NYC/Boston/SF-to go to a third-tier city for a company that is lower in pay/prestige/exit opps?

As for the SJW/Commies comment, you are right on the mark. The other poster made the erroneous point that my beef is with any city that vote Democratic, hence I would be happier in a small town in the middle of nowhere. That point made zero sense given my effusive praise for NYC and Chicago, cities that are rock solid democratic. But as I said in my response, there is a substantive difference between NYC/Chicago and Seattle/SF. The former are politically liberal, but the people there are more sensible and level headed. They are essentially Obama liberals: lean left on cultural and social issues but are more moderate on fiscal issues and are professionally successful. Seattle/SF are Bernie liberals: socialist beliefs, radical SJW ideology, morally sanctimonious, extremely aggressive in expressing their political views.

I have either lived in or spent considerable time in NYC, Boston, Chicago, LA, SF, and Seattle. By far, Seattle is the worst when it comes to the people, culture, social opportunities, and women. Just to give an example, a good friend of mine from b-school did really well with women in NYC. The guy was going on like several dates/week and got women who were above his league. He's now with Amazon, and over the past year in Seattle, he has literally gone on TWO dates. He is constantly depressed and sends me texts bitching about how he can't wait to escape Seattle. A few other single guy friends have echoed similar sentiments.

If you are a single man with other options coming out of b-school, do NOT join Amazon.

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Oct 9, 2017

Only good thing to come out of Seattle were the 90's grunge bands which I still love - Nirvana, Alice in Chains etc.

Anyways, I totally agree with your assessment on the "shades" of liberalism. I get "triggered" by idiotic leftists even though I am a minority and have always voted Democrat. Interacting with SJWs affects me personally/ruins my day - although I know that's my own fault for letting them get to me.

Thanks for the info ! I am not single - so don't care about that aspect. Still interested in Amazon PM after B School though - given my non technical background, it would be my only shot at Tech PM. I love Amazon as a Customer - and do almost all of my shopping on Prime.

    • 1
Oct 9, 2017
snakeoil:

Only good thing to come out of Seattle were the 90's grunge bands which I still love - Nirvana, Alice in Chains etc.

Anyways, I totally agree with your assessment on the "shades" of liberalism. I get "triggered" by idiotic leftists even though I am a minority and have always voted Democrat. Interacting with SJWs affects me personally/ruins my day - although I know that's my own fault for letting them get to me.

Here are the people who should join Amazon:

  1. You get a rock hard erection whenever you hear the name "Jeff Bezos."
  2. You totally struck out in MBA recruiting, and your choice is either Amazon or go live with your parents.
  3. You are married, have kids, and want to teach them kayaking and paddle boarding during the 3 months when the sun is actually out.
  4. You are single and straight but have a thing for super feminist hairy women who wear p*ssy hats, are super "woke" and loves marching in protests every weekend because well, Trump is like the second coming of Hitler or something.
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Oct 9, 2017

Not now, but sadly, #3 is going to be my future.

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Oct 9, 2017

I don't work at Amazon and have never applied to, but I hope this is a joke. If you can't think of any reasons people might want to work at one of the most successful companies of all time, I think you need to work on your imagination.

Oct 10, 2017
Masterz57:

I don't work at Amazon and have never applied to, but I hope this is a joke. If you can't think of any reasons people might want to work at one of the most successful companies of all time, I think you need to work on your imagination.

Is Amazon a successful and influential firm? Yes. I said so as much. Are there reasons people want to work there? Yes. Every company has legitimate reasons why people want to work there. My point was a relative one, in which I argued that at least at my business school, Amazon was perceived to be as less prestigious and desirable than other options and as such, I don't know anyone who turned down roles such as MBB consulting/Google/Facebook/top BB and EB/buyside, for Amazon. Now you make the point below that there isn't that much overlap. It's true in the sense that people who want banking were not actively preparing or recruiting for Amazon. But most Amazon interviewees (again, this is just at my school) actually did interview at other non-corporate roles because they saw Amazon as a safe respectable back-up.

Amazon's strategy, in both business and recruiting, is to use its size to get things done. But volume does not equal quality. I will change my position on this when hordes of students at top MBA programs say that Amazon is their dream job and actively turn down those other roles for Amazon.

    • 1
Oct 9, 2017
snakeoil:

Only good thing to come out of Seattle were the 90's grunge bands which I still love - Nirvana, Alice in Chains etc.

Anyways, I totally agree with your assessment on the "shades" of liberalism. I get "triggered" by idiotic leftists even though I am a minority and have always voted Democrat. Interacting with SJWs affects me personally/ruins my day - although I know that's my own fault for letting them get to me.

Thanks for the info ! I am not single - so don't care about that aspect. Still interested in Amazon PM after B School though - given my non technical background, it would be my only shot at Tech PM. I love Amazon as a Customer - and do almost all of my shopping on Prime.

Ok, if you're in a serious relationship, Seattle won't be quite as bad. But I should warn you that loving Amazon as a customer and loving Amazon as an employee are two totally different things.

Best of luck.

    • 1
Oct 9, 2017

What does comp look like at Amazon for Sr Analyst, Manager, Sr. Manager in terms of base/bonus/RSU?

Nov 9, 2017

"The former are politically liberal, but the people there are more sensible and level headed. They are essentially Obama liberals: lean left on cultural and social issues but are more moderate on fiscal issues and are professionally successful." Can't believe such narrow mindedness exist.You clearly 1. Never lived/worked in NYC. 2. Traveled the world or made friends who are non-White. 3. Think your personal life experiences reflect reality in broader terms. You clearly seem to have issues. I wish you luck in your life & career.

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Feb 8, 2018

Or join their NYC, LA, Boston, or SF offices?? If you have adtech or video experience, there are opportunities.

Oct 9, 2017
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