Job Opportunities for MBA Students - Shift and Expand

For most MBA students, the traditional goal was to complete the degree and get a job on Wall Street or with a Fortune 500 company. A small number took jobs with smaller firms, an even smaller number became entrepreneurs, and very few went to work for not-for-profit organizations. That situation is now changing.

Today, many MBA graduates are looking at opportunities at other than Wall street or fortune 500 companies. One of the main reasons is the economic disaster of recent years, which many blame on bank and business executives, most of whom have MBA degrees. But that's not the only reason. MBA students now come from much more diverse backgrounds than they did five or 10 years ago. The economic crisis has resulted in fewer job offers from the big firms, and many graduates now want more challenges with younger firms in which they can make an impact more readily than in big firms with their set ways and well-established advancement processes.

There have also been changes in some schools' MBA curricula toward an emphasis on courses in entrepreneurship and development of business plans. In some cases these classes have resulted in groups of students implementing their business plan after graduation by starting their own firms. Other students prefer the challenge of working for a small firm, and some look for not-for-profit organizations in which they can have an impact.

Not all students are making the switch away from blue chip companies. Big companies start recruiting several months before graduation and they make offers to dozens or even hundreds of students. Small companies and start-ups usually wait until graduation to look for MBA employees and they may want only one or two. This situation creates an atmosphere of anxiety among students who are waiting for small company and start-up challenges while their classmates boast of nice offers from Wall Street. But students wanting new challenges and opportunities different from the MBA norm of the past tend to be tolerant of risk. Instead of waiting for employers to chase them, they chase the employers.

The shift in MBA student desires for small company, start-up, not-for-profit, and entrepreneurial challenges is causing university career centers to shift their focus as well. Instead of waiting for recruiters to come to campus to talk to students, career office directors are approaching small companies and developing new networks to satisfy student demands for different types of employment opportunities. The April 18 issue of Bloomberg Business Week reports that some university career offices are hiring more staff to handle the diversity of job searches, and career officers are often traveling with students to visit companies that normally cannot do their recruiting on campus.

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1 Response to "Job Opportunities for MBA Students - Shift and Expand"

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