Go West, Young MBA! Kellogg Grads Do

The South Terrace of the new Kellogg Global Hub at night.

‘OFTEN ASKED CAN I GET TO THE COAST FROM KELLOGG? THE ANSWER IS A RESOUNDING YES’

“I am often asked by applicants, ‘Can I get to the coast from Kellogg?,’” says Kirkpatrick. “And the answer is a resounding ‘yes.’ That is driven by the tech sector.” She also attributes the shift to the school’s entrepreneurship and innovation initiatives. “They have been helpful for students who want to focus on launching a business, scaling a startup, or innovating in a corporate setting.”

Of course, Kellogg has long been known as a hunting ground for the top global consulting firms who have consistently praised the soft skills of the school’s MBA cadre. True to form, the largest single group of MBAs at Kellogg—33%—took jobs in the field with median base salaries of $147,000 this year. The highest paid MBA in consulting landed a $190,000 starting salary.

Ten different consulting firms were among the school’s top employers this year. McKinsey & Co. again led the pack, for the 12th time in the past 13 years, hiring 40 graduates. Rival Boston Consulting Group was a close second, employing 36 of Kellogg’s MBAs, up from 25 a year earlier. Bain & Co. took away 28 graduates, up from 24 last year (see table on following pages).

KELLOGG MBAS HEADED INTO THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY WAS AT A TWO-YEAR LOW

Interest in financial services remained at 13% this year–the lowest level in the school’s history for the second year in a row–even though the highest reported starting salary–$250,000 or double the overall median for the class–went to an MBA who joined a private equity firm. Every financial firm among the school’s top employers hired no more than three Kellogg grads this year. The financial service companies that brought on a trio of Kellogg MBAs were American Express, Discover Financial Services, Evercore Partners, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and William Blair.

Just two years ago, 19% of the Kellogg class went into the financial sector. Before the Great Recession hit, the number of graduates who entered finance were nearly double the current rate. In both 2007 and 2008, one in four Kellogg MBAs—exactly 25%—accepted jobs in the finance industry.

Some 12% of this year’s class took jobs in consumer products, down from 14%. Nike, Pepsico and SC Johnson each hired half a dozen Kellogg grads in this sector. About 6% of the students went into healthcare, down from 7%. Manufacturing firms–led by Danaher, Cummins and General Motors–recruited 4% of the class, up from 3% a year earlier. The retail industry attracted 3% of the class, down from 2%, while real estate took just 2% of this year’s Kellogg MBA output.

‘THE SIGNALS ARE STRONG FOR ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL RECRUITING YEAR’

Kirkpatrick says all signs are pointing to yet another successful recruiting year. “If we are basing a prediction off of internships reservations, we have another very strong year coming up,” she says. “It’s measured by the breadth of employers coming here and how much choice our students have. The signals are strong.”

About the Author...

John A. Byrne

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.