The Best Schools For Turning Internships Into Jobs


Imagine you had a job waiting after you graduate. How would you spend your final year in school? Would you network feverishly to deepen relationships with classmates? Would you travel to expose yourself to an array of industries, business models, and cultures? Or, would you throw yourself into extracurriculars and electives to sharpen your leadership skills?

There’s nothing better than feeling safe entering year two of business school. With an offer in hand, you have options. The big picture is covered – and you can turn your attention to what really matters to you.


It’s no secret: Internships are the gateway to full-time employment. According to Leslie Coyne, director of global university recruiting at General Electric, 70%-80% of its hires come from the internship ranks. Among MBAs, over 75% of interns at Citi and A.T. Kearney landed offers after the summer. However, the hardest part is usually landing the internship itself. At Barclays, for example, just 12% of MBA applicants are offered internships. If you aspire to join a Goldman Sachs, Bain & Company, or Amazon, you’re likely to be competing with the best students from the best schools.

Alas, few second years plan to shuffle between coffees and cocktails with recruiters. And that begs the question: Which schools will you find the highest percentage of students with jobs after summer? While schools don’t report these numbers, there is a way – albeit imperfect – to gauge a school’s success in converting interns-to-employees. And it stems an often-overlooked number: Percentage of students with jobs at graduation.

Take Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, for example. Seven years ago, Emory re-tooled its curriculum, making it more rigorous and experiential so students could “hit the ground running” with their summer internships. And the results speak for themselves. In 2009, just 65% of Goizueta grads had received job offers at graduation. Fast forward to 2012 and that number was 91% (though it has since slipped to 81.7% for the Class of 2014 – a number still higher than Sloan, Kellogg, Stern, Stanford, Harvard, and Columbia). And Emory’s turnaround also produced another benefit – higher salaries, with Goizueta grads averaging $128,347 to start, 16th best among full-time MBA programs.

Recently, Poets&Quants looked back on graduation employment for full-time MBAs. Covering data from 2005-2014, our research cobbled together employment percentages for 48 top-ranked business schools. And the statistics offered several surprises on which schools have performed best in this metric.


University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

Among the top tier programs, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business topped the list for students finding a job by graduation. 87.4% of 2014 Booth grads had a job offer by graduation. They were followed by the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business (86.8%), Olin School of Business at Washington University (84.5%), The Wharton School (84.3%), and Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business (83.8%). Technically, however, the best program in this category was the University of Tulsa’s Collins of Business, with a 92.6% placement at graduation (and 100% within three months of graduation).

Booth, whose top employers include McKinsey, Bain & Company, and The Boston Consulting Group, has long been known for its fervent focus on placement. How serious is Booth? Just look at the school’s 2014 Employment Report. Here, 76.4% of 2014 full-time hires (378) were facilitated by the school through summer employment, employer partnerships, campus interviews, resume services, and alumni contacts.  What’s more, 83.7% (472) of Booth’s internships were also facilitated by the school.

That’s not surprising, considering how heavily the school markets itself around jobs. On its website, Booth brags that nearly 100% of the Class of 2012 completed an internship, with the school touting that it offers a day-long career conference, student mentoring, and a flexible curriculum to help students prepare for internships. However, Booth’s secret ingredient may the students themselves. Booth’s employment report also showed that just 11% of its full-time MBAs weren’t seeking employment. Among those, 5.6% were being sponsored by their current employer; 1.6% were starting their own business; 0.5% were pursuing further education after their MBA; and 1.4% didn’t respond to the school’s employment report. That leaves 1.9% of Booth students – 11 total – who weren’t working or actively seeking employment. Such commitment – coupled with a world-class curriculum and career center – may explain the school’s 97.2% placement rate within three months of graduation.

  • Valentin Schmidt

    Thank man, I did already, accept me!

  • Diego Goyret Solá

    Valentin. I am entering my second year at Booth and also from Argentina I can tell you based on my experience that if you come to a good school in the US you will have plenty of opportunities to pay off the debt either within or outside the US. You can reach me via Linkedin and I will be happy to chat more about it. I strongly encourage you not to feel intimidated by Argentina’s current situation when deciding which MBA program to pursue.

  • Valentin Schmidt

    Thanks a lot for the info! Really good insight. I’ll research into what you suggested

  • Jane Sacasa

    I believe you can stay for 1 year after graduation, but some companies still don’t want to hire internationals for fear they will leave after the training period. Of course, graduates from certain countries and certain business schools are in high demand. The solution is to network from the start. If you do an internship, try to find an influential mentor within the company, and make it clear that you want to emigrate. Make them want to sponsor you. Another possibility is to try for the global MBA programs of the top 3 Spanish business schools. These schools are very international, highly ranked by the Financial Times, much cheaper and as short as one year, but they have a very high hiring rate among graduates.
    Good luck!

  • fidel305

    no, guess again.

  • Alex

    Insecurity indeed. You seem to have it out for Booth for some reason based on the Booth bashing and Kellogg promotion on several posts.

  • fidel305

    Guess again

  • Valentin Schmidt

    I’m considering an MBA for class ’16, but as an international student I’m very concerned with getting a job and a work visa. I’m from argentina, and if I had to return to my country with an MBA it would be very difficult to pay it off. Does anybody know if work visas are being hard to get?

  • Alex

    Insecurity mainly

  • fidel305

    makes you wonder why, doesn’t it?

  • fidel305

    yep, booth and Wharton are both great by this “standard” but clearly inferior to Tulsa.

    This just goes to the culture of the institution, some produce wage slaves whose aspiration is to work for some big established corporate something and these are grist for the usual recruiting mill; and others have cultures that promote more, and in my view better, options

  • Yikes

    Whats up with kellogg and harvard? Those are uncool numbers yo!

  • Wow

    Its great to be number one at this metric. Kudos!

    Actually pleasantly surprised about some of the laggards in the past who have sorta recovered.

    A top MBA is still a good investment, looks like

  • Alex

    Here comes all the Booth Bashers……