Top MBA Recruiters: Microsoft


Past, present and future business school students lured by the siren song of the tech industry should look no further than Microsoft, the $407 billion semi-benevolent techno giant that employs nearly 100,000 from its Redmond, Washington headquarters.

Under the direction of new CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has been undergoing a sea change as it pivots from peddling the software used behind-the-scenes in just about every conceivable industry around the globe into a devices and services company. This transition makes Microsoft prime territory for ambitious MBAs to stake their claim—and one of many reasons why MBAs would do well to investigate a career at the tech giant.

Why MBAs Love Microsoft

Microsoft consistently ranks as one of the best companies to work for by both Fortune and Forbes. At an eye-opening $67.72 per hour, Microsoft pays more than most of the 10 MBA employers, according to statistics released by Poets and Quants.

Blogger Peter Cai offers a breakdown of Microsoft starting compensation package, including salary, benefits and stock options:

  • Base salary – 60-75th percentile
  • Base salary increase – 0-9 percent, 3.5-4 percent is typical
  • Annual cash bonus – Average 10 percent of base
  • Annual stock grants – < 10 percent of base
  • 401k matching – 50 percent of contributions up to 6 percent of base salary
  • Employee stock purchase plan – 10 percent discount, purchases capped at 15 percent of base salary
  • Other fringe benefits – Free onsite health screenings, various health incentives and rewards, charity & volunteering match, discounted group legal plan for routine legal work
  • Time off – 3 weeks vacation, 10 paid holidays, 2 personal days
  • Relocation from East Coast – All expenses paid or $5,000 cash
  • Hiring Stock Grant – 60 percent of base, vesting: 25 percent per year

Microsoft’s MACH Program scoops up current MBA students with seven years work experience for opportunities in one of its six divisions:

  • Evangelism – MBAs work with “developers in a technical advisory role to help them deliver next-generation software solutions and applications.”
  • IT –“focus on building breadth and depth in modern technologies to help Microsoft solve big problems and remain competitive in a cloud-first, mobile-first world.”
  • Operations – MBAs “focus on the strategy, development and execution of Microsoft’s physical and digital supply chain solutions in mature and emerging markets.”
  • Marketing – MBAs help tell “the Microsoft story and the way our products can help people and businesses throughout the world achieve more.”
  • Sales – MBAs “bring the magic of Microsoft to consumers and businesses.”
  • Services – MBAs help “deliver consulting, support and customer services to businesses around the globe to help them realize their full potential.”


Life at Microsoft rated the top 5 best things about working at Microsoft according to employees, which include “great salary and benefits” (4.4 out of 5 stars), “diversity in the work you can do,” “influence,” the leadership of CEO Satya Nadella and the low-stress company culture, which emphasizes “teamwork and collaboration.”

A recent Reddit thread featured anonymous past and present Microsoft employees extolling the company’s benefits (“among the best in the region”), culture (“mature company…and [excellent] corporate citizen for the community”), and plans for the future (“Microsoft is at an interesting stage right now, totally re-inventing itself after ruling the industry and then losing that position. There is lot of excitement about what Microsoft will in coming future”).

Landing a Job at Microsoft

Roughly two-thirds of new recruits come from Microsoft’s MBA summer internship program. CNN Money says “80 percent of MBA hires join the company’s marketing team as product managers.”

Microsoft MBA Recruiter and Duke Fuqua alum Erwin Chan told CNN Money that candidates need not be programming wizards but should demonstrate a passion for technology. Candidates who participate in “case competitions that focus on solving problems in the tech space, stand out during the recruiting process.”

Chan told Business Because that candidates should strongly consider “reaching out to Microsoft alumnus that have graduated from your MBA program” before submitting their applications. He also advised candidates to “do your research about the industry, but also come with a point of view about where you want to go with your career.”

Microsoft campus recruiter Anthony Rotoli told Cosmopolitan that most MBAs are hired for “corporate functions like finance and marketing.” Chan says that Microsoft’s Sales, Marketing and Services Group is “hiring at an unprecedented level.” Candidates should note that it’s quite common for MBAs to start at one section of the company and then end up somewhere totally unexpected. “There is no set career path at Microsoft. We encourage our MBAs to move around.”

Rotoli says that new recruits can choose from one of two relocation packages—one in which Microsoft pays for 100 percent of your travel expenses and the other where the company offers a lump sum stipend.

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About the Author

Jonathan Pfeffer

Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as contributing writer at MetroMBA and contributing editor at Clear Admit, he is co-founder and lead producer of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.

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