Where Does Wall St. Hire: U.S. B-Schools Sending Grads into Financial Services

According to GMAC’s just released Prospective Students Survey Report, 37% of prospective MBA students hope to go into finance after they earn their degree, making it the most popular post-MBA destination. If you fall into this crowded category, then you’ll be interested in knowing which b-schools prepare the most grads for jobs in financial services.

As you’ll see below, we’ve created two charts (based on data from U.S. News’ top 25, which happens to have 26 schools because of a tie for 25th place) that display the U.S. schools with the highest percentage of grads going into financial services and those with the highest number of grads reporting financial services jobs. We did not include non-U.S. programs because U.S. News doesn’t rank them, and we wanted the data to be consistent. There are definitely financial powerhouses outside the U.S.

Want to learn more? Get your free copy of MBA in Sight: Focus on Finance

For more information about the top MBA programs, check out our B-School Zone pages.

The top names on this list, in terms of absolute numbers, are the standard bearers in finance, known as Wall St. breeding grounds. I was a little surprised at how low MIT Sloan came out on both totem poles. It has very prominent faculty in finance, including Nobel Prize winner Robert C. Merton. Perhaps those smaller schools known for entrepreneurship, like Stanford, MIT Sloan, and Haas, are sending more of their graduates into non-traditional fields. Consequently they will not do as well in this kind of a ranking even though they have the curricular, co-curricular, and placement ability to support financial services goals.

Can you put less weight on attending schools at the top of the list even though you may want to go into financial services when you graduate? You can if you’ve already worked in financial services and are looking to get a broader understanding of business, management and leadership through the MBA. Those of you with that background already have valuable skills and a relevant network. Those of you looking to get into financial services for the first time, however, will probably want to look more closely at the programs higher up this list.

Realize that these lists don’t reflect the class profile of the programs or the typical credentials of admitted applicants. You need to know that information too to assess your competitiveness when choosing where to apply. Washington Olin (2nd in percentages) has an average GMAT of 696. UNC Kenan-Flagler (ranked #4 in percentages) has an average GMAT of 683. Both schools send 32% and 28% of their grads respectively into financial services. For those of you without GMAT bragging rights or other qualifications to get into Chicago (average GMAT 723), Columbia (716), and Wharton (average GMAT 725) — the leaders on this list in absolute numbers and overall USN ranking – Olin and Kenan-Flagler may be a good alternative and at least start you down your desired career path.

Much as I did with the similar data we compiled on consulting I must issue a warning: This list or ranking is valuable, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. “Financial services” is a very broad category covering everything from private equity and venture capital, to investment banking, money management, corporate financial analyst positions, and even good old bean counting (AKA accounting). Clearly your specific area of interest is critical, and you have to dig deeper into the employment reports at your target schools to confirm strong placement in your particular area of interest. Also understand how the curriculum and co-curricular activities, events, and clubs will help you do what you want to do after your MBA.

You want to attend a b-school that will help you realize your career goals. Identifying schools with exceptional track records for students with similar goals – especially for those of you seeking to change industries and enter financial services – is an excellent place to start when choosing which MBA programs to apply to, and ultimately, deciding where to attend. This list helps you focus your research. It is the starting gate, not the finish line.

Focus on Finance will help you research and identify the best programs for you to apply to given your finance goals.

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Consulting at Top MBA Programs

MBA In Sight: Focus on Management Consulting - Click here to download your copy!Entrepreneurship is the sexy post-MBA job, but the reality is that less than 5% of grads from top MBA programs start a business at graduation. Per GMAC’s just released Prospective Students Survey Report, 34% of all graduate business students seek consulting positions after they earn their degree. My suspicion is that the figure is even higher among full-time MBA candidates. True, many will work as consultants for a few years, and then down the road start their own business.

If you are in that vast mass of MBA wannabes planning/hoping for a job in consulting immediately after you earn your degree, this ranking is for you! We’ve examined US Newstop MBA programs and the number of grads who have gone into consulting from each one. (The data here is from U.S. News.)

Schools Ranked by Percentage of Grads Going into Consulting

Schools Ranked by Number of Grads Going into Consulting

The biggest surprise is how low Stanford places on these lists. I would attribute that low ranking to the relatively high percentage of MBAs going into entrepreneurship (approximately 18%, the highest of any of these programs by far.).  Yale’s placement as #1 in percentage as well as Duke Fuqua’s, CMU Tepper’s and Emory’s as respectively #2,#6 and #8 on the percentage list also indicate real strength in consulting placement, which sometimes isn’t recognized.

Similarly Wharton’s #1 placement and Chicago Booth’s #4 spot in total numbers call into question the meme that these two programs are “just” finance powerhouses.

Certainly a high ranking in either of these lists indicates that the program has the recruiting ties, placement track record, and alumni network, as well as the curriculum, to support your consulting goals.  However, these numbers don’t tell the full picture. Dig into the schools’ class profile, placement stats, curriculum, extra-curricular activities and opportunities to determine which schools to apply to.

Ultimately you want to apply to programs that will take you where you want to go and that are likely to admit you.

Click here to download your free copy of Focus on Management Consulting

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Indiana Kelley 2014 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

For more info, check out our Indiana Kelley b-school zone. These questions are a mix of straightforward (the goals essay) and imaginative (the personal or open-topic essays).  The adcom wants assurance that you have a clear professional focus and a solid plan for using the Kelley MBA resources.  Beyond that, they’re looking for engaging applicants who have something to contribute.  And you have a decision to make in selecting two questions out of three.  Consider which two questions, together, will give you the best means to (a) present a well-rounded profile and (b) showcase interesting and relevant experiences.

Essays:

Your essays will give us an idea of your personality, perspectives, and opinions and will let us know how closely your professional objectives match the objectives of the MBA program.

All applicants must answer essay number 1.

You must also choose two of the next three essay questions (questions 2 through 4).

Essay number 5 is optional.

Please limit each essay to no more than 500 words.

We encourage you to be informative, creative, and concise.

Mandatory:

1. Please discuss your post-MBA short- and long-term professional goals. How will your professional experience, when combined with a Kelley MBA degree, allow you to achieve these goals?

This is a straight-forward MBA goals question. As always with this type of question, connect the dots. Let the reader see that your goals grow organically from your experience and are achievable given your past experience and an MBA from Indiana Kelley.

Choose two of the next three:

2. Describe a personal or professional challenge or set-back that you were able to overcome. What allowed you to persevere?

If you answer this question, choose a challenge or setback that will present a fresh dimension of your profile or convey a meaningful accomplishment (yes, setbacks and challenges can push you to do more than you ever thought you could!).  Keep the structure simple; don’t give away the end of the story in an introduction.  Rather, jump right in with the challenge or setback, narrate the story keeping focus on your actions and thought process, and at the end reflect on how the experience allowed you to persevere.

3. Suppose you had to choose three people—people alive now or people from another era—to travel with you on a cross-country automobile trip. Who would you choose and why? What would you hope to learn from them? (Think carefully about the company you want on those long stretches through Nebraska or Kansas.)

Have fun with this question and use it to show a non-professional side of you. What  books, movies, sports, artists, or thought leaders would you love to spend time with? Who from the past has fascinated you.  More important than the person you choose is why you picked these individuals and what you would like to learn in those endless stretches through Kansas and Nebraska.

4. Describe what there is about your background and your experiences that will contribute to the diversity of the entering class and enhance the educational experience of other students.

What is the distinctive stone or hue that you will add to the mosaic that is a Kelley class? Think about this diversity question broadly, not just in ethnic or professional terms. What are you going to add? Is it an enthusiastic commitment to Barak Obama, a local environmental cause, your church, or a hobby, sport, or art form? Is it an unusual personal background? Perhaps, overcoming distinctive challenges?  And then, how will this unique facet cause you to contribute?  Will it lead to involvement in a specific club or Kelley project? An active role in classroom discussions on a specific topic?  Interest in a particular program? Show your knowledge of Indiana Kelley as well as your  fit with this great MBA program.

Optional:

5. Is there anything else that you think we should know as we evaluate your application? If you believe your credentials and essays represent you fairly, you shouldn’t feel obligated to answer this question.

It is almost impossible for three essays plus a bunch of boxes, a transcript, and a GMAT score to represent fully the uniqueness and talents of a truly impressive candidate. That comment has nothing to do with writing style and everything to do with the complexity of accomplished human beings. While I certainly agree that if you have nothing to say, you should say nothing, you should have something valuable to add in your optional essay.

If you would like professional guidance with your Indiana Kelley MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our  MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Indiana Kelley application. 

Indiana Kelley MBA 2014 Application Deadlines:

Application Deadline Decision Notification
Early October 15, 2013 Late December
Priority January 5, 2014 Mid March
Third March 1, 2014 Late April
Final April 15, 2014 Late May

Get clear, practical guidelines for answering the MBA goals essay question. Click here to download our free report.
Cindy Tokumitsu By , co-author of The Finance Professional’s Guide to MBA Admissions Success, and author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her last fifteen years with Accepted.com.

Interested in a Business of Medicine MBA?

Indiana Kelley If so, you’ll want to check out Indiana Kelley’s Business of Medicine MBA program. The program meets for one weekend a month over the course of two years and is designed for doctors who are interested in leadership positions across the healthcare industry.

Some more details about the program:

• 50% of the curriculum is delivered online and 50% on-campus in Indianapolis.

• The program offers a hands-on, action-learning experience where students are introduced to real-life challenges in the healthcare system.

• The MBA program is designed to allow physicians to continue practicing while studying (meeting mostly during off-residency weeks).

See Kelley’s Business of Medicine Program page for more information.















Accepted.com

Consortium MBA Admissions Director Interview Available Online

http://www.accepted.com/mba/Consortium.aspx

Consortium students at CMU Tepper

Thank you for attending our recent Consortium Strategy Q&As with Travis McAllister and the reps from participating Consortium schools UT McCombs, University of Wisconsin, UC Berkeley Haas, Yale SOM, Michigan Ross, CMU Tepper, Indiana Kelley, and Rochester Simon. The school adcom representatives each talked about what’s new at their schools and how their programs view Consortium applicants.

Here’s an excerpt that covers some info on Consortium member perks:

Linda Abraham: Maria asks is, “What is the most valuable aspect of being a member of the Consortium?”

Robyn Winstanley: One of the most beneficial aspects is that it does allow you the opportunity to create a whole additional funnel of corporate sponsors and relationships that you can develop for your future career goals. So within each business school that you ultimately choose to attend, of course you can work through the Career Management Center and then networking opportunities available through the alums of that particular business schools, but being part of the Consortium will also provide you an additional set of organizations that can be very useful to you, depending on what your future career goals are….

Obviously another large benefit is financially. We certainly encourage all students who believe that they can fulfill the values and mission of the Consortium absolutely to apply, as we’ve already mentioned the ability to receive a full-tuition fellowship….So a combination of both networking opportunities and the financial advantages are the two key things that I personally would highlight.

Jim Holmen: [R]emember that the Consortium has been around nearly 45 years. So when you join any Consortium member school, you become a member of their family of alums, but you are also part of the family of the Consortium alumni from all the member schools, and that significantly increases the pool of candidates that will be a part of your network of friends and colleagues.

Linwood Harris: I wanted to add the fabulous experience that students will actually gain by attending the Orientation program….You will get an opportunity to set your future career path on fire. And it’s a great way to connect with 300-400 students who are actually in the same shoes as you are, coming into this incoming class….Many of the students who actually come to campus in the fall, by attending that orientation program, they’ve already received some interviews and some great offers for internship before they even step foot into any class because of their relationship of being involved in the Consortium.

For the entire conversation, please view the transcript or listen to the audio file on our website. (This excerpt is from the second Consortium Q&A event we held. Here’s the link to the first.) You can also read up on Consortium-related news and advice by visiting the Consortium Zone.

To automatically receive notices about these MBA admissions chats and other MBA admissions events, please subscribe to our MBA event list. To listen to the Q&A recordings on-the-go, please subscribe to the Accepted Admissions Podcast.

Accepted.comAccepted.com ~ Helping You Write Your Best