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Alumni Spotlight: MEMP ’12 Alumnus Muhammad Anwar Ul Haq Selected for the World Energy Council’s Future Energy Leaders’ Program

By: Christina Plante, Assistant Director of Career Services

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 11.53.34 AMWith MEMP students representing a number of different industries, we are delighted to highlight an accomplishment of one of our alumni in the Energy sector. As a Future Energy Leader, Anwar will tackle some of the world’s most complex energy problems in a community of the next generation of energy leaders.

About Anwar

Anwar is currently a partner and head of renewables practice at Aequitas Pvt. Ltd., which is Pakistan’s most active financial advisory and energy project development outfit. He leads crucial business initiatives including deal sourcing, transaction advisory and execution.

He is also an Energy Risk Professional, certified by the Global Association of Risk Professionals, and brings strategic consulting, venture financing, private placement, financial advisory and project/operations management experience to the table. He has over 8 years of work experience with global organizations like Schlumberger and World Bank Group. His areas of expertise include energy modeling, technology rollout, strategy consulting, project finance, operations and risk management. He has also served as Chief Strategy Officer at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Pvt. Ltd., Pakistan’s first solar IPP.

While at Duke, Anwar was a Fulbright scholar and active with the Program Development Committee. He also holds a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore.

World Energy Council

The Future Energy Leaders Program was developed by The World Energy Council, which is the principal impartial network of leaders and practitioners promoting an affordable, stable and environmentally sensitive energy system for the greatest benefit of all.

Formed in 1923, the Council is the UN-accredited global energy body, representing the entire energy spectrum, with more than 3,000 member organizations located in over 90 countries and drawn from governments, private and state corporations, academia, NGOs and energy-related stakeholders.

The World Energy Council informs global, regional and national energy strategies by hosting high- level events, publishing authoritative studies, and working through its extensive member network to facilitate the world’s energy policy dialogue.

Future Energy Leaders’ Program

This World Council’s community of young professionals is a network of exceptional individuals from across the globe who represent the different players the energy sectors is composed of including government, energy industry, academia, civil society and social entrepreneurs.

The program is designed to identify, encourage and inspire the next generation of energy leaders, facilitating dialogue and discussion on critical developments in the energy sector. Every year, they welcome around 35 exceptional young professionals to join the group of 100 Future Energy Leaders from over ninety different countries across the globe for on average three years.

Anwar will be able to further his experience, knowledge and skills in an energy-focused environment and contribute to the Council’s global dialogue. Helping to develop new ways of thinking and frame the future of sustainable energy, Anwar will have the unique opportunity to create his own, personal network of like-minded, equally motivated personalities of today.

Through the program, Future Energy Leaders can:

  • Attend select global, regional and national events
  • Attend the World Energy Congress
  • Attend an exclusive, annual Future Energy Leaders’ Summit
  • Create an annual FEL-100 World Energy Issues Monitor
  • Contribute to special FEL-100 reports
  • Access and contribute to the Council’s global studies and technical research
  • Develop and share a FEL-100 vision
  • Network with global energy leaders

Join us in celebrating Anwar’s accomplishment!

Internship Insights: Marketing the Reinvented Toilet at RTI International

By: David Richards, MEM ’15

Eat something, you’ll need the energy,” my supervisor remarked.

The I-zone meeting room – short for innovation, inspiration, or really any positive word starting with an ‘i’ – was empty now, but soon it would be filled with a collection of executives, primed to hear our toilet market entry recommendation. I grabbed the closest boxed lunch and managed a few bites of my sandwich before their voices drifted inward…

RTI’s “RTT” Design

I may be getting a bit ahead of myself here. In 2011, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation issued a challenge: reinvent the toilet. Not just the porcelain object we all know and love, but the entire infrastructure around it.

Back in Research Triangle Park, RTI International applied their wide variety of capabilities in chemistry, materials science and international development to build a water-less, energy balanced system that also has the potential to fulfill RTI’s mission, “Improve the human condition by turning knowledge into practice.” This process was documented in an awesome blog entitled “A Better Toilet”.

RTI’s project successfully caught The Gates Foundation’s attention. In 2014, RTI was awarded a substantial sum to create a working prototype and bring this revolutionary technology to market.

Enter me, an inexperienced Duke MEM candidate, ready to begin my role as an open innovation consulting intern! The first day, I was led into a room by my incredibly intelligent supervisor, and explained everything. RTI seeks to enter the India sanitation market, but we want you to develop and communicate the entry recommendation. Go.

With a few markets in mind and a rough outline of the story we were going to tell, I got to researching. And I researched. Hours and hours were spent pouring through publications and news articles. They discussed statistics about India’s state of sanitation: only 36% of the population has access, and of those that do, only 13% of their waste is treated. Because of a lack of toilets, girls do not attend school and women must trek to remote locations for privacy. I came to realize that, though this phenomenon isn’t publicized in the media much, it is an enormous problem – and not just in India.

Countries with <50% access to sanitation and projected water scarcity

There are dozens of countries that suffer from low access to sanitation and will have unprecedented water scarcity by 2025. India was chosen as the target location for three reasons:

  1. It has a large and growing economy
  2. It has a democratic and cooperative government
  3. RTI has both an office and several partnerships in the country

These three factors allowed for the possibility of not just making an initial dent in the problem, but a sustained impact.

As I collected more and more data, a market clearly presented itself and an entire deck was created with this recommendation in mind. My supervisor gave me the tremendous opportunity to present my work to six vice presidents and two senior directors in a capstone meeting.

Presenting at the 7th Annual RTI Internship Showcase

In the end, I realized that though my level of experience paled in comparison to my audience, what I learned over the last three months uniquely positioned me as an expert on this project. I knew where all the numbers came from, had a comprehensive understanding of why our recommendation presented the best opportunity, and understood the nuances of the engineering backstory for the toilet and the Gates Foundation’s stipulations. They listened as I spoke and I answered as they questioned. It was a remarkable experience that I will remember for the rest of my career.

More generally, having participated in 20+ projects over the last three months, I learned three important lessons about the process of working, especially juggling multiple tasks.

First, I realized it helps to carefully divide and conquer – whether you’re working on one project or five. You need to divide each task into manageable chunks and make sure you are working efficiently. This required not only planning but also giving yourself the confidence to say “no” to other projects when you are aware of how little time you have to spare.

Second, you must adapt to your supervisor’s working style as soon as you begin working with them. Since I was involved with so many projects, I collaborated with a large number of project managers – each one with a completely different style of working. Some liked for me to communicate in person, others via the phone and a few only over email. Questions must be asked early and effectively.

Third, and most importantly, you must strive to add your personal brand of value to every task you participate in. This means thinking critically about your assignment and going above and beyond what your supervisor asks you to do. It helps to come up with questions at the beginning of a task – some may be simple clarification questions; others may lead you to take the task in a completely different direction. Conscientiously adding value does not only differentiate yourself, but also gives you the chance to think creatively about your work.

RTI International’s Innovation Advisor’s group was a fantastic place to intern this summer and I hope that their relationship with the MEM program continues to strengthen.

Internship Insights: My Internship Search Process

Hong XuBy: Hong Xu MEMP ’15

Yesterday, August 7, marks the end of my summer internship as a data scientist in McKinsey Digital Labs (MDL). This summer in New York City has been a humbling, challenging and a life enriching experience. In retrospect, many things that once looked so daunting and mysterious now seem clearer and more manageable. I think it would be great to write down some of my thoughts and lessons learned here.

First, start early: Compared to most MEMers, I started pretty late – I began actively seeking internships at the start of the spring semester. Like most of us, I attended career fairs, networking events and coaching seminars held by career services. One key takeaway is that you should prepare for interviews even before you eventually get one. In my case, I didn’t hear from any companies regarding interviews until early March. And before I knew it, the interview invitations started flooding in and I remember I had about nine interviews in two consecutive weeks, including interviews with McKinsey that finally got me there. I cannot imagine myself capable of handling all those interviews in such short period of time had I not been consistently practicing.

A waiting game: But I have to admit, before I got to this exciting and intense interviewing phase, there was a long period of nerve-racking waiting, anxious mailbox refreshing and relentless resume submitting. I realized I needed to find myself some “other things” to do during that time. This means sharpening your tools – learning the materials you are going to use in interviews and down the road in your future job. From January to March, I made it routine for me to study data science and prepare for both technical and behavioral interview questions.

The value of research: Understanding the industry you hope to get into is another important task but somehow it is always overlooked. It is not something you can learn intuitively and it requires a lot of proactivity. I studied the company profiles and job descriptions on websites like Glassdoor and Quora. There are also numerous experienced people you can find on LinkedIn, who are working in the roles you are seeking. I was lucky enough to find two of them who were willing to talk to me. They gave me insights into the data scientist/analyst role and the outlook of the industry.

Interviewing preparation: As for the interview experience, I found it more of a natural representation of your personality and knowledge rather than a rehearsed performance. This, of course, is given that the position you interview for is a right match and you know how to master your nerves and tame the butterflies. As for the latter, I learned that there is no magic trick for coming off as confident. It is just practice after practice after practice. Mock interviews definitely help. Talk to your interviewers and ask what they think of your performance. Trust me, you will be surprised by their feedback! I had no clue that my hand gestures were very distracting for the interviewer until after my first mock interview. Learning from actual interviews, no matter how bad they turn out, are of course more important. I finally found myself comfortable talking to people about my relevant experience after I botched several interviews in the beginning.

Making the most of your internship: You have an internship offer and you decide to go with it. Now what? For technical roles, talk to your team, if possible, and learn the tools/environments/stacks you will be working with. Go to career service and seek advice. They hold a pre-internship panel discussion Ready, Set, Intern! as well. Don’t forget about setting expectations and action plans. I set three goals for myself before this summer: get to know the consulting industry and find out if it fits me; understand the applications and impacts of data analytics in different industries; meeting people and establishing lasting relationships. I found I had to remind myself of those goals constantly during the internship.

Internships might not be the most important part of our career, however it is such an invaluable opportunity where you can learn a great amount of knowledge, explore your true passion, and enjoy the early establishment of your career or the freedom to change to another path. The first day at my internship, people told me that being an intern was the best position in the firm. I think I now understand what they meant.

Hong photoSushi making class at McKinsey


Alumni Spotlight: How I Landed a Job in Consulting

By: Amine Bounoughaz MEMP ’14Amine

My name is Amine Bounoughaz, and I was in your shoes two years ago when I first started the MEM program. In the fall of 2013, I was fortunate to receive an offer from McKinsey & Company.

In this short article, I would like to share with you all some thoughts on what I believe were the most essential things that really made the difference in getting the job.

1) Mindset:

As MEMers, you might be feeling that you do not have an advantage in the job market, stuck between undergrads and MBA’s, especially if you don’t have a significant work experience.

This is just a mindset. The truth is: the moment you step into an interview room, people don’t care what degree you have or where you come from. It becomes about how good you are, and how much they like you. Don’t worry about titles and degrees, focus on getting good at case interviews.

2) Getting an Interview:

There are two ways to get an interview in consulting:

Through Online Applications: This is personally how I got my interview. I worked intensively with Jenny Johnson during the first weeks of the MEM program to craft my resume.

Through Networking: This is about getting someone in McKinsey to recommend you for an interview. Ideally if you know a partner/AP/EM, your life will be much easier as they can recommend you for an interview if they think you are good.

3) Preparation and Hard Work: 

There is no shortcut to success, no magical formula. I was casing every single day, at least twice, for 5 weeks. I skipped going out on weekends and traveling on fall break just to focus on getting better at it.

I went through Victor Cheng’s Look Over My Shoulder at least 5 times, both written and audio recordings. I got to the point where I was dreaming about solving a case!!!!

Also, preparation does not start when you get an interview call. It starts months before applying to a position.You should be already familiar with the industry and type of interview months in advance.

4) Knowing When to Stop: 

Even though I was casing every single day, I was terrible at it. I would get the structure off, the math wrong, and my recommendations were weak. I was a disaster. In fact, in all 60-70 cases I did, I screwed up in 90% of them.

It wasn’t because I didn’t know how to do cases, it was because I was making the same mistakes over and over and over again. I was stuck in a hole. Luckily for me, my roommate gave me the best advice at that time: “Dude, you are in a hole: STOP.”

So in my last week before the interview, I actually stopped casing. I didn’t do a single case and just let it all sink in. I relaxed, went out and also focused on my midterms.

5) Balancing Intellect with Personality: 

During my interviews, I focused on having a great time with the interviewer and making the most out of my time there. I smiled, laughed sometimes, had conversations and genuinely enjoyed every single moment in the case.

By the end of my last interview, I had just completed three 1-hour long cases and the only thing I could think of was: I want another case!!! I didn’t force anything. I was myself and the partners just loved me.

In fact, they loved me to the extent that they didn’t even wait to call me on the phone. One of the partners came to me right after my last interview and said: “Amine, you have impressed all of us, you have a bright future ahead of you. We all loved you here: When can you start?”

Go out there and crack the case,






Victor Cheng Case Interview Secrets

Victor Cheng Look Over My Shoulder



Duke MEM Loves our Blue Devils Basketball

MEM Duke Basketball_1MEM Duke Basketball_2

By Sasha Doust (MEMP ’15)

The Duke Master of Engineering Management program has been thoroughly engrossed in campus life this year, and along with that, longstanding Duke basketball traditions. Excited to be part of the action, MEMers set up tents for a weekend at Duke’s Basketball Campout in the fall to have a chance to win season tickets to the basketball games. Those of us (including myself) who did not win tickets, have still managed to find ways to make it to Cameron Indoor to see our Blue Devils play. This has been an exhilarating year, as we have had many great wins and have watched our highly regarded basketball coach, Mike Krzyzewski (aka Coach K) reach a career high of 1,000 wins.

MEM Duke Basketball_3MEM Duke Basketball_4

We have enjoyed cheering on our boys to amazing home-game wins against teams including Notre Dame, Syracuse, and of course, our in-state rival UNC. We have had other opportunities to see the team in action as well and hear the players speak, such as at our Countdown to Craziness event and a talk given by Coach K in Cameron. Some of us have even spotted the basketball players around campus and Durham!

We have had fun tailgating, cheering on the team at Cameron, and attending watch parties for away games. We are looking forward to the continued excitement in the NCAA Tournament. Duke MEMers are proud to be able to share in the rich tradition and legacy of Duke basketball!

Duke MEMP Interview with Dr. Daniel Egger

AT&T’s Data Network Consultant, Abdul Khan (MEMP ’12), Shares His Career Experience

By Syed Ahsaan Rizvi (MEMP ’14) and Margaret Kuleshova (MEMP ’14)

Abdul Khan, MEMP '12
Abdul Khan, MEMP ’12

One year ago, Abdul applied for the AT&T Business Sales Leadership Development Program (BSLDP) in technical sales through Duke’s E-Recruiting. A short while after, he received a call for an interview. The interview, consisting of behavioral questions, lasted 30 minutes and was conducted by the human resources (HR) department. On the same day, he had a second interview with HR, more detailed this time, regarding personality traits. No technical questions were asked. Abdul then had to deliver a presentation and recommendation on the third interview based on a case which he had four days to analyze. The fourth interview was a casual conversation between him and a line manager. At last, the fifth and final interview brought him back to HR, after which he soon got his job offer.

Abdul, a MEMP December 2012 graduate, joined AT&T in March of 2013, and now works as a Data Network Consultant. During his time at Duke, he served as the Director of the Student Recruiting Committee (SRC) on the MEMP Product Development Committee. Before coming to Duke, he worked for a year as the Director of Business Development in GSM Nation LLC, New Haven. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electric engineering from a premier technology institution in Pakistan and had comprehensive internship experiences in international tech companies, including Siemens and Nokia.

Abdul’s main role now involves consulting customers on solutions, providing technical support in product demonstration, and supporting the sales team in responding to network and service related client queries. Today, he has an interview with the Career Development & Alumni Relations Committee’s (CDAR) representative, Ahsaan.


“Good morning, Abdul. How are you?”

“Doing great. How can I help?” said Abdul.

“I was wondering if you could share some of the biggest challenges that you faced as a student entering the field of technical sales.”

“Sure. Actually, I had no experience in sales when I came in, but I did have a strong motivation to learn. One of the biggest challenges I faced was that the market is very competitive and there are loads of substitutes out there. You have to be compelling in your argument when you are selling your product to your client, which requires strong understanding, expertise in the product portfolio of the company, as well as technical knowledge needed to customize the solution to the customer’s need.”

“Great, thank you. What exactly do you do on a regular basis?”

“Some of my typical responsibilities include presenting AT&T products to the executives and IT directors of client organizations. So it’s crucial to have answers to their possible queries and be able to translate the product’s offering to their solutions. You need to have adequate technical knowledge of the product to be able to diversify its applicability.”

“I see you have a couple of certifications. Would you mind explaining how they apply to your career?”

“I did my VMWare certification while at the BSLDP, which is a sales training program designed around virtualization basics and VMWare solutions. Certifications such as these not only help expose you to practical knowledge but also add value to your resume and make you stand out in a pool of candidates. CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE are some certification programs which encompass entry level to advanced level network engineering skills that hold a high standard in the industry for a career in data networks.”

“Thanks for that! I know you took courses like Competitive Strategies and Forecasting at Duke. What skills did you find to be most valuable in your field of work that you picked up in those classes?”

“They all added value in the developmental analytical skills essential in every line of work. CompStrat helped me in building an insight of policy and strategy evaluation and gave me a high level of perspective of the company’s long-term objective. Data Mining was another course that greatly enhanced my analytical ability, but it was really the communications skills, robust negotiation, and persuasive skills that I learned while being part of multiple MEM student bodies and clubs. These skills are essential for a career in sales or jobs that involves client interaction.”

“I’m curious, what are your long-term career plans?”

“I’m currently focused on expanding my skill set, learning assorted sales practices, developing client relations, and getting promoted to the role of Senior Data Network Consultant. There are multiple roles in AT&T as it offers products and services in VoIP and VPN. That opens up a whole new dimension of clients. While these things are important, I’m also enjoying my current role.”

“Thank you, Abdul! It was a pleasure talking to you. I’m sure your insights into technology consulting will be very useful for MEM students.”

“Thank you for interviewing me. Let me know if you have any further questions!”

Duke MEMP Interview with Prof Safak Yucel

MEMP Visits China and India to Welcome New Students

By: Bridget Fletcher, Assistant Director of Student Services

As a part of our on-boarding process for the entering class of 2013-2014, we held a series of events in China and India. Dr. Murray and I met with students in Beijing, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Bangalore. These visits gave us an opportunity to do a couple of things to help students prepare for their trip to Duke. First, we were able to meet one-on-one with students to help them with class selections, general questions about the program, and to (hopefully) ease some concerns about life in the US. Next we were able to introduce the incoming students to some alumni and current students of the program, not to mention a chance to meet each other! Finally, we were able to gather all the students in each city together for a shared meal and a presentation to formally welcome them to the program.


We also held a series of alumni events in each city that led to some great opportunities to catch up with alumni in China and India. Our students go on to do some amazing things! From the trading floor in Shanghai to the essential oils business in India, we learned about the many ways our alumni are putting what they learned at Duke to good use in the world.

Some of our alumni, current students, and even future students also spent some time with us exploring each city. This was a great way for us to really experience the places many of our students come from. I learned so much about each place from our many talented tour guides! For example, I learned that in Shanghai, shopping in your pajamas is a tradition and rain in Bangalore can stop traffic for hours at a time.  Some of the greatest foods, sights, and experiences of my life happened on this trip and it was a pleasure to share them with such wonderful people!

In each city we visited I saw some great things happen – roommates were chosen, course work was discussed, friends were reunited and new friends were made.  It can be intimidating to plan a move halfway around the world to a country you might have never visited before. We hope these sessions with a few of our staffers, alums, and current students, made that journey a little easier.

You Will Earn $614,783 Less if You Don’t Know This Secret.

By: Tom Mercer – MEM, ’11


Dear MEM & MEng Students –

I am going to try to teach you how I’ve lost more than $20,000 because I had a certain belief, and how, after I learned about one little secret, I earned more than $10,000 in ninety minutes.

If you’re lucky, you already have a job or internship lined up for the summer. If you don’t have a job yet, what I’m going to teach you is even more urgent. If you have a job, you’re probably going to change jobs within a couple years, so it’s important to internalize this belief before then.

Two months ago, I was standing on the edge of an arch in Arches National Park, looking out over an awesome view while standing inches from a 500-ft cliff. I was talking with my friend about his future job at the most progressive law firm in our home state. The partners of the firm have argued and won several of the major cases the state’s Supreme Court has heard in the last 20 years. Our conversation turned to our student debt (law students have LOTS more) and our starting salaries and benefits.

I found that I was going to earn substantially more as an entry-level analyst than he would as a fully-credentialed lawyer at the most prestigious firm in the state, so I asked him about how he negotiated the compensation.

His response shocked me. “I didn’t want to ask for more money, because these are the people I’m going to be working with, and I don’t want them to think I’m selfish.”

My friend and I both have excellent degrees (and you do too, or you will soon). What caused this massive difference in starting compensation (>$20,000)? A single belief and less than ninety minutes of effort.

The last time you got an offer, how did it make you feel?

Were you excited?

“Yes, that’s great, when can I start!?”


“Is that all?”

Or did you feel something else?

I’ve felt these emotions when I received offers in the past, and I just accepted the offers because “I just need a job” or “This pays more than my last job”.

But the last 3 offers I’ve received, I’ve done something different, and I want to explain it in detail because, with respect to money, this is the highest-impact activity you will ever do.

What’s the most you’ve earned per hour? I’ve earned >$21,000 in three long days, and >$2,000 in 2 minutes and 14 seconds. None of these compares to the $20,000+ I’ve earned by negotiating for a few minutes.

OK, that’s great, you say. How do I earn this $?

First, there is a mindset. You invested the time and money to earn a graduate degree from Duke. Based on that, I can say you are among the top 10% most valuable potential employees to any firm.

You are a top performer.

Top performers contribute disproportionately to teams. Google and other companies spend billions of dollars every year attracting and retaining top talent, because, while a top performer may cost twice as much, they often contribute more than 10 times more value![1]

Now, if you approach salary negotiation from this mindset, there are some behaviors you’ll naturally do differently.

I’m going to explain them in painstaking detail. I promise that if you take that first brave step toward ACTION, when you invest an hour in this research and send the email or make the phone call, you will 1. see that it works, 2. start to believe it, and 3. get better at it, until you’ll internalize the core belief, and then you won’t need these scripts.

Top performers do all of this naturally.

When you get an offer, DO NOT STATE A NUMBER FIRST.

When you get an offer, DO NOT STATE A NUMBER FIRST.

After the other side makes an offer with a number, do not say, “YES! When can I start?” nor, “Is that all?”

Both of these responses indicate you are not a top performer, and that you are not professional.

Instead, say, “Hm. That’s interesting. I’m sure we can work out a fair compensation package that’s agreeable to both of us.”

[Attitude: We’re in this together. We’re going to find a FAIR compensation, TOGETHER. You, the company, will get a top performer who delivers disproportionate value. I, the worker, will get extra compensation.]

Understand that the first offer you receive is for suckers. It’s like the sticker price on a car or a retail price for a contraption in SkyMall magazine. Only this is far more serious. The first offer is the ‘sucker’s price’ on 3,000+ hours of your life, every year, until you retire or die.

Unexceptional performers accept the first offer. Just by asking, you set yourself apart.

Company #1: I was offered <$38,000 to work at Contactology in Durham. Just by asking, I got $40,000 (and I knew very little of what I’m about to share, and had not yet internalized the ‘Top Performer’ attitude). That’s $2,000 for writing a two-sentence email.

Now, $40k is not much compared to my student loans, and you’re probably not impressed. But many MEMers haven’t even asked. They are giving up $2,000 to avoid asking.

I’m going to share 2 more case studies where I had the Top Performer attitude, where I see myself as a Top Performer who contributes disproportionately high value. Once I combined the courage to ask with this Top Performer mindset and the “we’re in this together. Let’s work out a FAIR package” attitude, I began to see much better results.

Company #2 Initial Offer: $58,000 + stock options on a 1yr-4yr vesting schedule

Company #3 Initial Offer: $63,000

This time, I was prepared. To both offers, I did not state a number first. DO NOT STATE A NUMBER FIRST. (It’s ok to explain your past compensation, but it’s also ok not to. The employer is only going to use any numbers you provide them as a way to offer you less.) *The career advisors may not agree with me about this. My super-successful career aunts and uncles, and my parents disagreed with me on this one.*

But let me repeat, DO NOT STATE A NUMBER FIRST.

Once they made these initial offers, I did my research.

(Let’s say $Company is offering you $Role in $City.)

$Role at $Company on glassdoor.com

$Role in $City on glassdoor.com[2], indeed.com[3], salary.com[4]

NACE[5] for $Role in $City

When you’re finished with this research, summarize it neatly:

The median salary for $Role in $City is between $68,145 and $72,450, according to glassdoor.com, indeed.com and salary.com.

According to glassdoor.com, $Role_s at your company earn between $X and $Y.

The NACE compensation calculator, which is more accurate for well-educated by under-experienced candidates like me, suggests the $City market will offer approximately $68,400 for $Role with my education.

Take that summary and explain it over the phone or email it to the person negotiating salary with you – often this is a hiring manager, or a person from HR, and not the person you interviewed with or will be working with.

If the offer is low (and it usually is), say “according to my research, $Your_Offer is low for $Role in $City”.

If the offer is good or even better than your wildest dreams, say “$Your_Offer is less than what I had in mind. Is there any flexibility with that number?”

At this point, Company #1, #2 and #3, said they would seek “approval” from a manager or VP or CEO, then would come back with ~10% more. Company #2 also offered a “Senior” title at this point.

Maybe the person negotiating with you won’t offer more salary at this point, and they’ll say something like, “the economy is tough” or “Our budget is tight” or “My manager/VP/CEO wouldn’t approve that”.

Agree with them. Sympathize. Successful negotiation is not confrontational. Say something like “yes, the economy is tough” or “I understand you have budget constraints” or “I understand your manager/VP/CEO wouldn’t approve it”

Then do 3 things.

1. Remind them about another high-value skill you have, how valuable it will be for them, for their company. [6]

Ask gently again if there is any flexibility with their number.

2. When you are satisfied that they won’t offer more base compensation to hire you…

(There is a fine line here, and it goes back to what my friend was feeling when we were discussing salary negotiation on top of the arch. At this point in the negotiation, you don’t want to be selfish to the point of sabotaging the work relationship over a small amount of money. You’ll know when to stop.)

…ask for this in writing: you’ll have a performance review on a shorter term (6 months), and set expectations that if you can deliver X value, then by 6 months from now, the company will offer you Y compensation.

This creates the impression that you’re going to work hard, and be worth many times what they pay you.

And you will work hard, and you will always create/give more value than you are given.

3. Suggest that “maybe there are other options to make the total package more attractive.”

Then, ask for:

In-the-money stock options

More vacation


Other fringe benefits

Now, the person negotiating with you is ON YOUR SIDE, you’re WORKING TOGETHER to put together a FAIR total compensation package. Good things will happen.

Company #2 offered 10% ($5,800) more and a senior role.

Company #3 offered 10% (6,390) more, and more bonus.

I think I did OK, but I didn’t ask for stock options. I still made 10% extra salary in less than 90 minutes of effort.

More powerful effects resulted from this negotiation than just a one-time $6,000 raise, however.

I’m going to earn 10% more.

My bonus is 10% larger.

My 401k match is 10% larger.

I’m going to earn even more than 10% more over my career, because each future raise and inflation-adjustment will stack on top of this larger compensation. A quick calculation (http://www.calcxml.com/do/ins07) suggests I will earn $614,783 more over my career. I believe the effect will be much larger.

My employer’s initial impression is that I’m a top performer, and that I believe hard work and positive results are rewarded with higher compensation. <— THIS PAYS AND PAYS.

Please negotiate your salary. If you succeed, share your success story in the comments here and on the MEM facebook page. Share this with a friend. If all of us learn to internalize this belief and do this research, we will earn more than $100,000,000 [7] more over our careers. More importantly, we will contribute at least an extra $1,000,000,000 more in value, because we will be healthier, happier, and enjoy greater job satisfaction and engagement over the years.


[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY5SeCl_8NE I don’t recommend you buy Ramit’s $2,000+ courses, but I watched this video three times to memorize the scripts and internalize the beliefs and attitudes of a top performer.

[2] http://www.glassdoor.com

[3] http://www.indeed.com

[4] http://www.salary.com

[5] http://www.jobsearchintelligence.com/NACE/jobseekers/salary-calculator.php

[6] http://www.kalzumeus.com/2012/01/23/salary-negotiation/