Early Indicators Bode Well for MBA Hiring

Posted by: Louis Lavelle on January 17, 2012

Many MBA candidates return to campus this week to start their spring semesters. At least three of our top-ranked schools report that more students are coming back this year with interviews for full-time jobs and internships already lined up.

Formal job recruiting on business school campuses began in the fall. The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, Columbia Business School and the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business all report that early, on-campus recruiting is up this year over last. Activity such as scheduled job interviews, online job postings and campus visits by corporate recruiters are all seen as proxies for end-of-year job placement.

At Columbia, interviews for full-time jobs are up nearly 10 percent, estimates Regina Resnick, associate dean and managing director of the school’s Career Management Center. Resnick says she has seen increased recruiting by digital media and health care companies.

At Darden, industrial companies such as Caterpillar and Danaher have stepped up their pursuit of MBA students as investment banking recruiting has dropped off, says Darden’s assistant dean for career development Jack Oakes.

Booth offers a glimpse of what full-time hiring might look like for the class of 2012 and 2013. The school reports that scheduled internship interviews are up 13 percent this year over last. "This number does not correlate precisely to the number of offers a firm will make or how many interns they seek to hire," writes Julie Morton, associate dean of career services and corporate relations at Booth. "But it's a good indicator of a firm's appetite."

Morton says scheduled interviews for consulting internships are up about 5 percent at Booth, while those for investment banking are down 2 percent. The school reports a nine percent increase in interviews for investment management internships and a 16 percent increase for those in marketing.

Such activity eases some fears that MBA hiring would dip for the class of 2012 after improving for the class of 2011.

"I was concerned going into this year that [recruiting] might look more like 2010 than 2011 because it's a political season and there was just general economic uncertainty this fall," says Columbia's Resnick, who now believes that job placement within three months after spring graduation will look similar to last year, when only 3 percent of the school's graduating class lacked job offers at the three-month mark.

In 2011, 27 of our top-30 ranked schools reported job placement increases over 2010.

- Erin Zlomek

Reader Comments

Steve Kantor

January 17, 2012 7:16 PM

We have seen increased applicants for our MBA Virtual Intern program for entrepreneurial students.

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