Congratulations on getting your MBA! You are now extremely special. No one else on the planet has one, after all. The people at your new company who don’t have one, including your boss, will enjoy hearing all about it. But they’ll need frequent reminders, especially the part about how it makes you better than them. Here are some tips to maximize your effectiveness:
1. Add “MBA” to your email signature, as if you’re a PhD. This only takes thirty seconds to do, but you’ll be amazed at the impact it has. Every single time you send an email, the recipient will be reminded of your impressive academic credentials. Don’t be surprised if complete strangers start greeting you in the hallways. “Hey, look, it’s the guy with the MBA!”
2. Be an “academic thinker,” as opposed to a real-life thinker. Every real-life business situation has a corollary to a purely theoretical B-school model. It may involve supply and demand curves, or perceptual mapping, or, when all else fails, simply plotting random variables on an X/Y chart. Under no circumstances should you resort to common sense to solve a problem.
3. Think big. Remember, you are not like those neanderthals who merely have undergraduate degrees, sitting hunched over with their faces on their desks. Make sweeping, wildly impractical suggestions like, “By setting up operations in six foreign countries, we can shift operations as necessary to take advantage of fluctuations in local currencies.” The point is not to provide actionable ideas. The point is to prove how smart you are. (See tip #2.)
4. If your boss doesn’t have an MBA, remind him that executives who don’t have B-school credentials are totally screwed. Reassure him that you will bring him along with you as you ascend the corporate ladder. This will make him appreciate you more.
5. Refuse to do any tasks that don’t directly involve “strategy.” This includes scheduling meetings, answering your own phone, making copies, ordering lunch, taking notes, and making changes to PowerPoint presentations. You didn’t go to business school to do low-level crap like that.
Speaking of which, when is your boss going to get you an office instead of a cubicle? It’s a little degrading, don’t you think? Oh, and there’s an article in the latest MBA Journal indicating that starting salaries for top-tier MBAs are higher than your current salary; your boss will want to take that to HR on your behalf.
Ask him to make a copy.