When Mitch Kirby was a high schooler in Tampa, Florida, he already knew how to build, grow and scale an organization. Perhaps a product of growing up about 120 miles across the Florida peninsula from the Kennedy Space Center, Kirby’s passion du jour was launching rockets. And so when he entered high school, he formed a rocketry club.
Soon after, Kirby and a few of his friends were selling candy, muffins and rocketry club t-shirts to fund their aerial pursuits. Before long, they were launching 10-foot-long rockets with on-board computer systems 10,000 feet above the Gulf of Mexico and zooming rockets faster than the speed of sound. They grew the club to hundreds of members at their own school and had expanded to other area high schools.
“We got a lot of people interested in rocketry and that rocketry could be cool and not something nerdy,” the now 26-year-old laughs.
A PLATFORM TO FILL CAREER SERVICES GAPS
Fast-forward about a decade and instead of building rockets, Kirby has coded and built a platform that he says will make MBA recruiting and the career decision process more transparent and easier to navigate. TransparentMBA is an MBA-specific platform that essentially attempts to take the best pieces of such sites as Glassdoor, combine it with the work of business school career centers to come up with something much better.
Currently, there are thousands of MBA students and nearly 800 companies listed on the platform, which was finalized in January. At the time of publication, Kirby, who is the founder and CEO of TransparentCareer.com, predicts about 15% to 20% of the current MBA population at the “top 10” schools are on the platform–the majority of which are University of Chicago Booth School of Business students like himself.
USERS MAY FILTER WITH INDUSTRY, FUNCTION AND JOB-SPECIFIC TERMS
Instead of sifting through a career services employment report that often stays broad and is published months after the data is collected, current and future MBA students can see self-reported job-specific metrics. The platform eliminates the typical Glassdoor problem of mixing non-MBA salary data with MBAs. Kirby believes the anonymity of the site provides more accurate results for satisfaction metrics. Considering the fact users cannot access any metrics until they submit their own personal information, there is certainly an incentive to make his database as complete as possible.
According to Kirby, the ways MBAs can use the platform are nearly endless. Take, for example, an MBA who wants to intern at Google for the summer but is deciding what type of intern to be. A quick search reveals that based on the experiences of current users, being a product marketing intern is much more enjoyable than a financial planning and analysis intern. Product marketing interns gave Google perfect scores in the categories of work impact, culture, job satisfaction and recommendation of the job to a friend. Meantime, financial planning and analysis interns gave a rating of two (on a one-to-10 scale) for work impact, and three for both job satisfaction and recommendation.
Or take the person who wants to work in tech but is narrowing down which companies to target for recruiting purposes. According to the platform, the average MBA product manager at Google makes about $137,500, while a senior product manager at Amazon makes roughly $122,400. Both positions report working about 50 hours a week and both grade the positions a seven for job satisfaction and recommendation. But the Amazon job rates work impact at nine while Google product managers rate work impact at six.
On a broader level, users can also examine different functions and industries. In terms of compensation, for example, no industry pays MBAs more than investment managers and no industry makes them less than nonprofits. The education industry rates highest for job satisfaction and no travel, more than those entering jobs in the environment and natural resources. Sifting through the endless metrics is both fascinating and potentially detrimental to a day’s productivity.