Why Do Non-MBAs Feel So Threatened? What Can I Do?


November 9, 2009 by sparktalk

Dear Experts,

I’ve been out of work for 4 months now. I’ve gotten several interviews. Each time, my MBA has come up. I’m very proud of it. I paid my way through grad school, graduated with honors, and one of my course projects on entrepreneurship won an award. So, I’ve shared this information. However, I am now thinking this is causing me NOT to get the job. Here’s why…

At a party this weekend, I heard a woman say no one with an MBA gets hired at her company because management says they are all ‘too full of themselves and don’t really know how business runs.’ I was blown away. I know some people feel a sense of competition against those with advanced degrees, they even mentioned that in school, but I had no idea actual management teams would feel that way. I’m 28 years old and have the rest of my life to work, should I be hiding the fact I got my MBA instead of showcasing it?


You should always take the lead from the labor market… If you are not getting in the door with your MBA then don’t highlight it.  However, given that you are getting interviews, but not hired I have to wonder if it is because you have an MBA.  It may actually have to do more with experience.

If you have good work experience (internship or volunteer even) highlight that more in your resume and any communication with employers.  Provide concrete, quantifiable examples.  Ensure that you are using their language and drawing attention to skills and abilities they find relavant.

An MBA is certainly something to be proud of and the right employer will be happy you have it!  Just try to balance it with communicating that you know how “business really runs.”

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About Mary Sherwood Sevinsky

Masters-prepared Certified Disability Management Specialist. Over eighteen years experience in vocational assessment, counseling, and testimony, primarily in rehabilitation services.
This entry was posted in advice, career change, General, interview, Résumé and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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