Business Schools

The Best Bet at Best Buy


Brian Wesley's title is "university relations manager" at the corporate headquarters of Best Buy (BBY), the consumer electronics retailer, in Minneapolis. A public accountant, Wesley worked at KPMG Peat Marwick and General Motors (GM) before moving to the electronics retailer in 2002 to work in its internal audit group. Wesley expressed an interest in participating in recruiting events, which led to his current role.

"I tell my story to students," he says. "You may be doing finance for a year or two, but if you show interest in doing something else, you'll find someone to help you do it."

Best Buy, relatively new to campus recruiting, has hired between 50 and 60 MBAs for corporate roles in the last two years. As work/life balance becomes increasingly important in the workplace, Wesley and his colleagues are trying to offer more flexibility. The company is experimenting with the results-oriented work environment, or ROWE, which allows employees to work when and where they like, just so long as long as they get their assignments done.

Wesley recently spoke with BusinessWeek Online reporter Francesca Di Meglio. Here are edited excerpts of their conversation:

Q: Are the MBAs eligible for ROWE?

A: Over the next year, this program will be rolled out to everyone. Part of our MBA strategy is to sell them on work/life balance and growth opportunities.

Q: What are the benefits of these types of opportunities?

A: Many of our recruits are targeting investment banks or consulting firms. At Best Buy you won't have to work the hours of an [investment] banker. You will be able to work and play hard. You can have a family, and do things that you normally would not be able to do at one of the investment banks. Many MBA candidates don't want to have to be at the office for 80 hours a week just to make it to the next level.

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