708 MBAs, 1,549 Recruiters

by John A. Byrne on

Talk about an embarrassment of riches. This year, 708 Harvard MBAs in the Class of 2011 were in the job market, and Harvard Business School had 1,549 organizations vying for them.

That’s right. There were more than two companies for every graduating student seeking a job, and some of those companies, including McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, and J.P. Morgan, were hiring HBS grads by the dozens.

Unemployment may still be high with a good deal of uncertainty about the future of the economy, but there are plenty of organizations, from global enterprises and tech startups to non-profits and public sector organizations, that were clamoring to hire a Harvard MBA.

The lopsided list of recruiting organizations speaks to the power of  the Harvard Business School brand. Just take a quick look at this incredible list of the companies that actively recruited Harvard MBAs during the 2010-2011 recruiting season. In many cases, just the number of companies under a single alphabet letter at Harvard exceeds the total number of companies that recruit at other business schools. There are, for example, no fewer than 121 companies under the letter A, and 170 companies under the letter C. The list is of every company that either hired a Harvard MBA or posted an offer of employment on HBS’ job boards in the past year.

While the list is a veritable Who’s Who of global business, it’s also a list with many surprises, from the Oakland Raiders, the National Basketball Association, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the White House to the city governments of Sacramento, Calif., and several public agencies in New York City. All the hot companies are here, too, from Apple and Facebook to Amazon, Google and Zynga Game Network.

Unlike most business schools which publish a list of the top employers each year, including the number of MBA graduates and MBA interns hired by specific companies, Harvard is notoriously secretive about who recruits its students. So the list of companies is a true eye-opener.

Harvard says that 708 of the 941 members of the Class of 2011 were in the job market. Some 134 were sponsored by their companies or already employed, while another 62 grads started their own companies. So the 1,549 organizations that wanted to hire a Harvard MBA didn’t even have access to the full class of graduates.

This A to Z list that will blow your mind:

A.M. Nomikos Transworld Maritime Agencies S.A
A.T. Kearney, Inc.
Abbott Laboratories
Abpro, Inc
Abraaj Capital
Abroad101.com
Academy of Business Leadership
Acadian Asset Management LLC
Accretive, LLC
The Achievement Network
a-connect Incorporated
Action for Boston Community Development
Actis Capital
Activate
Activision Blizzard, Inc.
Acumen Fund, Inc.
Adams Street Partners, LLC
ADH Capital
Adkins Matchett & Toy Ltd.
Adobe Systems Incorporated
Advent International Corporation
The Advisory Board Co.
AES Corporation
Aetna Inc.
Africa Private Equity Fund Managers
AfterSteps, Inc.
Aga Khan Development Network
AgaMatrix, Inc.
Agios Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
AIDD Group
AirPR
Airvana, Inc.
Aishti
The Aisle
AisleBuyer LLC
Albright Capital Management, LLC
Alcoa, Inc.
Alcone Marketing Group, Inc.
Algeco Scotsman
Alice + Olivia
Alignvest Capital Management
Allan Gray Limited
Allen & Company
Alliance Consumer Growth
AllianceBernstein L.P.
Allianz Global Investors
AlphaSights Ltd.
Alphonso Labs
Altamont Capital Partners
Altaris Capital Partners, LLC
Altira Group LLC
Altman Vilandrie & Company
Alyeska Investment Group
Amazon.com
AMDeC Foundation Inc.
AmeReGen BioPharmaceuticals Inc.
American Airlines Inc.
American Century Investment Management Inc. (ACIM)
American Express
American Red Cross
American Securities Opportunities Fund
American Superconductor
American Tower Corporation
American Well
America’s Growth Capital
Ameriprise Financial, Inc.
Amgen, Inc.
Amonix, Inc.
Amy Matto, LLC
Analysis Group, Inc.
Anheuser-Busch InBev
Anza
AOL
Apax Partners
Apollo Interactive AG
Apollo Management L.P.
APP Pharmaceuticals, LLC
Apparel Group Australia
Apple, Inc.
Application Boot Camp, LLC
Applied Ventures, LLC
AppNexus Inc.
AQR Capital Management, LLC
Arbitrage Magazine
ARC Financial Corp
Arcanum Alloy Design
Arch Bay Capital, LLC
Archer Capital Management, L.P.
Archer Daniels Midland Company
AREA Property Partners
Ares Management LLC
Argus Information & Advisory Services, LLC
Arkyd Astronautics, Inc.
Arlington Family Offices
Artemis Financial Advisors, LLC
Artemis Real Estate Partners
Arthur D. Little
Artspace Marketplace, Inc.
ASB Real Estate Investments
Ashmore Investment Management Limited
Ashoka
Asian Century Quest Capital LLC
Aspen Technology, Inc.
AstraZeneca
Asurion Corp.
Athenahealth
Atomico
Au Bon Pain Company, Inc.
Audax Health Solutions
Audible, Inc.
Audicus, Inc.
Aureos
Autodesk, Inc.
AvalonBay Communities, Inc.
Avaya, Inc.
Avera Motors
Avero, Inc.
Avery Dennison Corporation
AVG Technologies
Avista Capital Partners
Awethu Project

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  • http://studiobokeh.wordpress.com studiobokeh

    well…this certainly makes my hbs ding sting even more. especially since the companies i’m targeting (and show up on this list) don’t really recruit elsewhere.

  • jay

    Looks like KKR recruits at HBS but not at Columbia (according to the CBS 2009 and 2010 employment reports). Kravis himself attended Columbia and pledged $100MM to the school. Why not hire its graduates?

  • beagle46

    The word “recruiting” needs to be put into context. There’s a big difference between on-campus recruiting and companies just posting jobs on the school’s job board, which I suspect the vast majority of firms on the list are doing.

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    beagle46,

    That’s absolutely true. In the short space one has to write a headline, it’s not always possible to get it perfectly right. Wish we could know the exact number of jobs paraded before this one HBS class. It would probably be three to five times the number of organizations that recruit at the school. That said, this is a remarkably impressive list of organizations that want to hire Harvard MBAs. If an organization goes out of its way to post a job on the HBS job boards, you can bet they are more than favorably inclined to hire from Harvard.

  • Furious Styles

    @ John

    Completely agree, I don’t think many of the top PEs and HF really post their jobs at other schools (maybe Stanford and Wharton) but not sure you will see Bain Capital and Carlyle at Chicago or Yale. Having said that I wonder if anyone without prior PE or HF experienced can get those jobs. I guess the real question is whether experience really trumps the brand name. For example can a candidate from HBS without any PE or banking experience get the precious job at KKR over the guy at Chicago who worked at a PE before simply because he is at HBS?

  • bubbawon

    @Furious Styles – as current 1st year, I can tell you breaking into PE is possible from HBS so long as the candidate has worked at a top ibank or consulting firm (ipso facto – if they’re at HBS they have). The HFs that recruit here (Viking, Bridgewater, etc) only hire 1 or 2 HBSers a year and the competition is pretty much limited to people who have worked at a HFs before or students who have worked at Carlyle, BainCap, KKR, TPG, etc. The PE students typically have the option to return to their firms, so for them recruting boils down to:” I’ll either work at a HF or I’ll go back to my PE firm “

  • Furious Styles

    Bubbawon,

    Thank you for your answer, very helpful. My goal is to go into PE but have no PE experience so it seems HBS is the way to go. Let’s just hope the admins feel the same lol.

    Thanks again,

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/patrick/ Patrick Cayo

    Interesting article. Well, I guess HBS will bethe place to be in 2014.

  • Jordan Boakis

    John,

    You will be surprised if you looked at the lists from other top schools – I really don’t think HBS necessarily has more to offer than its peers, especially considering the off-campus postings at other schools. At least a basic comparison would work wonders in improving the quality/readability/usefulness of the article.

    I am currently applying to several schools and I come here to find useful information – instead I find 7 pages of (doubtful) laundry list. And since I took 5 min to go through it, I want to leave a comment. I know you are starved for news but these types of articles are not helpful at all to current applicants.

    A colleague of mine with whom I worked at BCG until last summer joined the HBS class of ’13 to go into PE and I just talked to him about this article. Per one of the previous comments, KKR is neither recruiting there this year, nor hired anyone in the last few years. Another friend from my BCG class is currently at Columbia. At this very minute on the off-campus menu there are 3842 positions and on the on-campus menu there are 236. When you account for multiple position postings by the same employer, the numbers will go down but the list will be very impressive – I won’t be surprised if the unique company list is bigger than HBS’s. I’m sure the picture will be similar at other top schools.

    I currently have an offer from Wharton but I’m waiting for a reply from Columbia. I take my MBA research very seriously and I think these types of articles can really add noise to the already noisy MBA arena. Also, you seem really biased in your articles towards certain school and against others which is also not a great help.

    J.

  • Sandy

    Jordan,

    Let’s be fair to John and not paint him to be an undercover agent for any particular school. I don’t think you or I need to be told which one school to apply to. We all have our own friends at these schools and most earnest researchers for the perfect MBA have got a lot of inside scoop about programs of their choice. Like everything else in life, take whatever is published here with a pinch of salt. There are a lot of interesting articles on this forum, lets not get too critical if there are blips here and there.

    Such things do happen in life buddy! If there is a lot of noise around, a good tactic would be to perhaps put on some ear plugs, and not add to the noise.

  • Matt

    So John, how about that new P&Q school ranking? I check every day for it. I think I value P&Q’s ranking above all others.

  • Eduard

    @ John

    What a great site! I consider your ranking the most relevant. You are making our lives easier – keep up the great work.

    I’d like to know how realistic is to expect to break into PE out of HBS/Columbia with 3 years of experience working for HSBC in London (M&A)? I am an Eastern European seriously considering a graduate education in the States to “rebrand myself” (a graduate from an Eastern European uni, although achieved a 4.0 GPA during my exchange semester at Kenan-Flagler Business School) and flee from Europe.

    I feel fairly confident that if I could get into a top MBA programme I could land a job in a top IB. However, my ultimate goal is PE (surprise, surprise)..

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Edward,

    I think it’s very possible, particularly because you are so focused and have a banking background to begin with. You really want to assure that you get your summer internship with a PE shop, no matter what. That is the step can get you in the door for a PE job, either with the firm that takes you on in the summer or another firm that views your MBA experience, including a summer in PE, as enough to take you on. Good luck. And thanks for your nice comments on the site.

  • James

    Sure, tons of companies do “recruit” at HBS, in that they will post a job posting on HBS’ jobs bank. But a lot of these positions don’t get filled.

    As for buyside recruiting, getting a gig at a top private equity, hedge fund, or investment management firm, is VERY difficult. You need prior relevant experience to even be competitive. And given that at a place like HBS you’ll be competing against classmates who worked at places like blackstone, KKR, tpg, carlyle, perry, oaktree, capital group, etc., you are in for a rough ride.

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