Kellogg | Mr. Indian Globetrotter
GMAT 750, GPA 4.0
Wharton | Mr. Big 4
GMAT 770, GPA 8/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. S.N. Bose Scholar
GMAT 770, GPA 3.84
INSEAD | Mr. Indian In Cambodia
GMAT 730, GPA 3.33
Tuck | Mr. Federal Civilian
GMAT 780, GPA 3.4
Duke Fuqua | Mr. O&G Geoscientist
GRE 327, GPA 2.9
Kenan-Flagler | Ms. Big Pharma
GRE 318, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Indian O&G EPC
GMAT 730, GPA 3.75
Wharton | Ms. Product Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Berkeley Haas | Ms. Jill Of All Trades
GRE 314, GPA 3.36
Berkeley Haas | Ms. Midwest Startup
GRE 328, GPA 3.51
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB
GMAT 740, GPA 3.95
Wharton | Mr. Swing Big
GRE N/A, GPA 3.1
Stanford GSB | Mr. Big Brother
GRE 329, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Low GPA Product Manager
GMAT 780, GPA 3.1
Kenan-Flagler | Ms. Nonprofit Admin
GMAT 620, GPA 3.3
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. Top Three
GRE 310, GPA 2.7
Ross | Mr. NCAA to MBB
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
Kellogg | Mr. 770 Dreamer
GMAT 770, GPA 8.77/10
Tepper | Mr. Tech Strategist
GRE 313, GPA 3.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. JD To MBA
GRE 326, GPA 3.01
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Musician To Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 1.6
Harvard | Mr. Bangladeshi Analyst
GMAT 690, GPA 3.31
MIT Sloan | Mr. Generic Nerd
GMAT 720, GPA 3.72
Darden | Mr. Military Vet
GMAT 680, GPA 3.5
Duke Fuqua | Ms. ELS
GRE 318, GPA 3.8
Wharton | Mr. Investment Banking
GMAT 750, GPA 3.1

Where MBAs Want To Work In 2017 & 2018

Katz Students

Katz Students


Variety is also the name of the game when it comes to searching for functional roles, but again a clear winner emerged from a crowded field. Candidates looked for roles in Strategy in 15% of searches, with Management (12.1%) and Consulting (11.7%) jockeying for second and third, following by Finance (10.1%), Business Development (9.8%), and Marketing (9.4%). Honorable mentions include Operations, Product Management, Entrepreneurship, and Data Analysis.

The primacy of strategy and management roles in MBA searches is not surprising, as these (somewhat nebulous) terms capture a great deal about what motivates many students to apply to business school in the first place: MBAs want to work in leadership positions, making decisions that affect the strategic direction of their firms. Obviously, these ambitions are not often realized in full-time roles immediately after graduation — except perhaps for the growing number of MBA entrepreneurs — but candidates are most attracted to employers who demonstrate an understanding of this interest, and branding that incorporates tangible career advancement information is especially effective with MBAs.


MBAs also love big cities, apparently. Among location filters, New York City was the clear winner with a 16.5% share of searches, while the San Francisco Bay Area (13%) and Washington, D.C. (12.9%) were neck and neck for second, with Chicago, Los Angeles, Austin, and Boston also attracting strong interest. There were fewer searches on the state level, with only two searches separating Colorado and Texas at Nos. 1 and 2, with North Carolina, Virginia, California, and Georgia also receiving some interest.

When it comes to location, however, MBAs are an adaptable bunch. When asked about their geographic preference flexibility in the profile creation process, fewer than a quarter said they were set on their eventual destination, with more than 60% expressing geographic flexibility. For most MBAs, it appears that location is a nice perk but not a dealbreaker.


The traditional, on-campus process in MBA recruiting has long been dominated by companies from the Fortune 1000, primarily because they were often the only employers with the resources to maintain an expensive in-person recruiting process. And while MBAs are still most interested in the largest companies — 10,000+ employees was our most popular choice for company size — the differences are slight, with startups (fewer than 100 employees) receiving nearly as many searches despite taking the last-place spot in our company size rankings.

Another indication that company size isn’t a big deal for MBAs? It’s one of the least-employed filters, with most users narrowing the employer pool first by industry, role, and location before looking to company size as a criterion. Again, the priority for MBAs on our platform is to work at a firm where they can make an impact, and while large corporations are able to leverage the most resources, smaller companies can offer career advancement that’s simply not feasible at larger employers.


Zach Mayo, co-founder of RelishCareers

Zach Mayo, co-founder of RelishCareers

While there is plenty that today’s MBA students have in common — lofty career ambitions, formidable intelligence, comfort with technology — the unmistakable conclusion that we take from poring over the available data is that business schools are attracting students with increasingly varied interests and long-term career goals. As perhaps the most versatile of all academic degrees, it should be no surprise that MBAs attract such a broad swath of working professionals, and employers would do well to adapt aging or outdated recruiting brands to speak to the new generation’s value set.

Zach Mayo is the chief operating officer of RelishCareers, the marketplace for MBA hiring. Available to incoming and current students and alumni from network schools, RelishCareers gives candidates early access to employer branding and MBA-specific career opportunities. Students entering school in the fall can create a free profile to get early exposure to top MBA recruiters and explore featured employer pages.


About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.