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That's a great heuristic. Reminds me of Keith Rabois's advice: select an early stage startup by evaluating who your manager will be.

"If your manager is stellar, at a minimum, you will learn and stretch your abilities. Moreover, if your manager is an outstanding engineer or director of something or first-class entrepreneur, he will have many exciting opportunities in next 1–10 years and if you are talented and display an outstanding work ethic he will be begging you to join him at his next endeavor."

From: http://www.quora.com/Startups/What-is-the-best-way-to-evalua...

That's exactly it. Learning is what's most important that early in a career. Long term career earnings dwarf year 1 or year 2 salary. It's also rare for an undergrad to make retirement money in short term options right out of school. It happens, but it shouldn't be banked on.

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