Best & Worst 2013 MBA Job Placement At Top 30 U.S. B-Schools

For the second consecutive year, Emory's Goizueta School was best in MBA job placement

For the second consecutive year, Emory’s Goizueta School was best in MBA job placement

Tsung’s staff–composed of four full-time career coaches, two employer relations staffers, a director for the full-time MBA center, an office manager and a recruiting coordinator–also intervenes early before the 140 or so two-year MBA students step on campus. The group surveys incoming MBA candidates about their career goals and pairs them with rising second-year peer career coaches. Students undergo self-assessment to identify strengths and weaknesses and optimal career options. When they show up on campus in early August, students go right into a personal development course taught by career center staffers, alumni and recruiters.

EMORY MBA STUDENTS ARE MEETING WITH COMPANIES BEFORE MOST MBAS EVEN START CLASS

Before the month is out, often before other MBA candidates start class at their schools, Goizueta has its students already meeting with corporate recruiters. On Aug. 23 this year, for example, representatives from more than 25 companies, including Accenture, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Deloitte, GE Capital, Humana, Johnson & Johnson, J.P. Morgan, and Wells Fargo, came to an event called the Goizueta Career Connection to jumpstart the fall recruiting season. That is extraordinarily early for an MBA recruitment event.

Many business schools have “blackout periods” for recruiters until October, hoping to keep employers at bay so that students can adjust to the academics. Goizueta’s policies recognize that the most anxiety-provoking challenge for an MBA student is his or her career decision and ultimate job search. By stacking the odds in favor of a successful job outcome, however, the MBA students face fewer conflicts between the academics and the need to land a solid position at graduation. Student satisfaction has risen as a result.

Since the school revamped its curriculum so that the core is taught in the first semester, students with full-time offers at the end of their internships have more than doubled. The early start, the one-semester core, the early outreach by the career staff along with their close follow-up has made a huge difference in the school’s outcomes. “We want to make sure that our students are successful,” adds Tsung. “We know what is going on with them. We are working with the students on a very individual level, and this generation of students want to bounce things off people more and more. They want to check in and there is a lot of that.”

EVEN AT 98.1%, STILL ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT?

The school also has worked hard to close the gap between job offers and acceptances. This year, 96% of the class had accepted a job offer three months after graduation–a number that was higher than most schools’ reported offer number. So the gap between offers and acceptances was just two percentage points. At graduation, 86% of the class had offers and 81% had accepted them–a gap of five percentage points. “When I first started, the gap was over ten percentage points,” notes Tsung, who came to the school in September of 2006 from her job as a partner at Mitchell Madison Group. “That signals a few things. We want to make sure that it’s worth students’ effort to find what they really want. And we don’t want to waste employers’ time to make a bunch of offers and come away empty-handed.”

As high as Goizueta’s job placement rates are, Tsung seems not fully satisfied. “We had one more person come back with an offer ten days after the closing period (for reporting the three-month after graduation),” she says almost wistfully. That would have pushed the 98.1% close to 99%.

(See following page for our table of job placement rates and pay at the top 30 U.S. schools)

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