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.

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