It's MBA draft season!
July 18, 2012 6:01 AM   Subscribe

What does "MBA talent" mean to you? Do I have such talent?

I was perusing job ads the other day and I came across this requirement for a position at Dream Company:

"MBA talent, and Masters level talent in non MBA programs"

Here are the questions I have in relation to this. I didn't mean to have so many questions (they're basically two questions split up into 4 more specific questions) but it would be much appreciated if someone could help me figure this all out.

1) What the heck do they mean by "MBA talent"? Are they looking for people with both an MBA and talent? People who have MBAs? My friend (perhaps because s/he knows I have no MBA but have interest in this job) tells me they are looking for people who have business potential, ie people whom they can mold and grow into good manager ants.

2) Would a company looking for such people be interested in people who do not have an MBA yet take the initiative to learn about business through their own personal study? How can I bring this soft skill known as initiative to shine across in a fill-in-the-blank, computer-animated application system?

3) Clearly the phrase "Masters level talent in non MBA programs" suggests the company is looking for people who have Master's degrees, no matter the discipline. Am I right?

4) This is perhaps the most important question: I have only a Bachelor's degree, but I also possess significant (BUT non-businessy) experience in the geographical area in which this job would be focused and due to my unique background have a lot of insight into the culture / language / society. Is it worth my time applying to this without advanced degrees?

Gotta get somewhere in a little while but will check this in the afternoon. Thanks everybody!
posted by ditto75 to Work & Money (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think in this case, "talent" is being used as to mean "a person with an MBA."
posted by coppermoss at 6:04 AM on July 18, 2012 [12 favorites]

+1 coppermoss. By "talent" they mean "people." (I've also heard it to mean "strippers" but that's probably not the case here.)
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 6:07 AM on July 18, 2012 [5 favorites]

What this is, is a post-MBA Manager Training Program.

They want MBAs but they'll settle for a freshly minted Masters (preferably in something businessy like Finance or Economics or Organizational Psychology).

They are also looking for people who will not need immigration sponsorship in the Asian countries listed in the ad.

I'm pretty sure that you have a .0005% chance of getting into this program without a Masters.

IF you have fluency in one of the Asian languages listed in the ad, AND if you're a citizen of one of the countries, that might give you enough of a edge to get an interview, but I wouldn't count on it.

That company can have its pick of applicants and they're pulling from a WORLD of talent.

But, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. Just don't be too surprised if no one bites.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:14 AM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Is it worth my time applying to this without advanced degrees?

Probably all it needs is a resume, cover letter, and possibly a list of references, right? That's like an hour of work if you already have your resume ready, and an afternoon if you are starting from scratch. Sounds worth it to me, no matter how much of a long shot it is. If they have HR doing filtering, you might get filtered out for the masters, but since all you've invested is an hour writing the letter, it's not like you've lost much.
posted by Forktine at 6:15 AM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

In the time you spend writing this post you could have just applied for the job. I would guess odds are not good that you'll even get a first interview, as it certainly appears as though they will screen out anybody without a Masters. However, there is only one way to find out for sure...
posted by COD at 6:16 AM on July 18, 2012

If I were you, I'd apply for it without hesitation. Do not specifically point out what you don't have, but do point out the positives you mention in the cover letter ("due to my unique background have a lot of insight into the culture / language / society" -- that, but sexier.) If you have some quality that might supersede having an MBA, something that makes you particularly well-suited to this job, go for it.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 6:24 AM on July 18, 2012

I have a question:

1. Do you have permission to work in: Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan or Malaysia?

This is the MOST important sentence in that job description:

Must be authorized to work in one of these countries: Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan or Malaysia
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:31 AM on July 18, 2012

Thanks coppermoss & chesty. It's "talent" that threw me off -- if they are just looking for MBA and Master's holders, why not just state it as such?

Ruthless, I had taken "must be authorized to work..." to mean "able to get a work visa" -- but you may be right that they're looking for nationals in said countries.

Forktine and Llama, thanks for the encouragement!
posted by ditto75 at 6:53 AM on July 18, 2012

Post-MBA programs require an MBA, not surprisingly. It's not worth your time to apply. If you want to work there, look for the post-BA/BS programs.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 6:54 AM on July 18, 2012

Yeah "Must be authorized to work" doesn't mean is it possible for them to get you a work visa, it means you already have or can acquire on your own work permission.

Honestly if you really want this job you are much much much better off networking your way to someone there who can help you. Even then its a low probability event, but an online posting like this there is going to be an HR underling who has "MBA or Masters in X,Y, or Z" as their first check box, and if you don't have they they aren't even going to read about your experiences.

I'm not saying that's right or a good way to find talent, I'm just saying thats how it is at big firms.
posted by JPD at 6:58 AM on July 18, 2012 [4 favorites]

If this is the kind of job that interests you, you might want to get an entry-level job in a corporate environment and then have them pay for your MBA. (That's how I did it.)

I worked at BellSouth (now ATT) and they paid 100% for my MBA.

Doing this accomplishes two things.

1. You get the paper
2. You get a couple of years of concurrent business experience.

For the record I was in residential customer service when I did this. So not even a hard or challenging job.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:06 AM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

"Talent" is a Hollywoodism for "people" that has caught on in the business world lately. It is godawful, but better than the military jargon that used to be trendy, I guess.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:39 AM on July 18, 2012 [3 favorites]

"Talent" is just a five dollar word for "worker".
posted by KokuRyu at 8:47 AM on July 18, 2012

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