The entry-level MBA, or, Why I don’t even feel bad about not getting an interview

A few weeks ago, there was a job opening at one of the major performing arts organizations in my city. (I’ll call it the Metropolitan Hand-bell Choir.) I would really like to work for the Metropolitan Hand-bell Choir, and this was an entry-level job that, really, anyone with a brain could do. But it was in the industry that I’d like to work in, which I’ll call TPS reporting, so it was a great match.

It gets better: I have some connections at the Hand-bell Choir. I know one of the ringers in the choir (P.), and I know someone on the administrative side (W.) who works with some of the TPS reporters. And I know another person (S.) who knows the head of the TPS reports department.

I got my ducks in a row. W. got my resume straight to HR, and I got a phone interview right away. The interviewer liked me, so she had me complete an array of additional screening questions about my ability and desire to work for the choir. She then gave my materials to the hiring manager.

Meanwhile, P. and S. got in touch with their contacts in the TPS reports department to give them their recommendations of my work.

I thought for sure I’d at least get an interview. If all of that networking wouldn’t get you in, what would?

Answer: an MBA from not-quite Harvard, plus 6 years of full-time TPS reporting, plus a BA in Hand-bell Ringing (from my own Grad U, incidentally).

So this is why I don’t even feel bad about not getting an interview (though I don’t understand why they wouldn’t at least extend the courtesy, after all those contacts). The person who got the job is taking an entry-level position despite having an MBA and 6 years of directly-related experience. I know from the HR interview that this position pays in the low $40s, which, in this city, doesn’t go that far. Maybe the Hand-bell Choir is such a wonderful place to work that it makes up for the cuts in pay and prestige, and offsets all the scrimping he will presumably have to do to pay off the MBA loans – and I mean that sincerely, not at all sarcastically. Because there would have to be a lot of really great side benefits to make me take a job for which I’m ridiculously overqualified – enough benefits to counteract my very strong feelings of boredom and resentment. I just don’t see how it’s worth it. (Are MBAs that hard-pressed to find jobs?)

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2 thoughts on “The entry-level MBA, or, Why I don’t even feel bad about not getting an interview

  1. Wow about the guy who got the job having an MBA and 6 years experience for this entry level job. I’m somewhat shocked and I’m now wondering whether there’s large numbers of people with MBAs who are unemployed. I know that there’s lots of JDs since I’ve read about those in the Chronicle of Higher Education but now you’ve got me wondering about MBA people too.

  2. Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. I told this to a friend of mine, and her perspective was that this was a really dumb move on the part of the Hand-bell Choir, because the person won’t stick around. He just took the job because he needs something now, and as soon as something better comes along, he’ll be off. Who knows…but I do plan to check back in a few months and see how it’s turned out.

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