If You Ask Me: A Global Banker Reflects on Our Times
Wriston, Walter B.
What Fast Track?
I was wondering if you consider the MBA degree a prerequisite to upper management at Citibank?
Well, I hope not because neither our president nor the chairman of our executive committee has one, and we'd be in very rough shape without them. We look on the MBA degree as a tough filter through which people pass--one that lets them come in and hit the deck running. But after you've been around a few months nobody asks you where you came from or where you went to school. They ask, "What can you do?" It's a meritocracy.
Does a business degree at least get you on a fast career track in management?
I'm not sure there are any career tracks in an organization that's growing and changing as fast as ours. Other than the job I now have, none of the important jobs I've held in the bank existed in our organizational chart the day I joined. I would advise MBA graduates not to join any organization that can tell them where they'll be in five years. They'd be dealing with a static organization.