We had an excellent conversation with Penn/Wharton‘s Colleen France, Associate Director for JD/MBA Recruitment & Administration. Colleen answered loads of questions, including the following two questions about JD/MBA career opportunities:
Linda Abraham: What are the typical careers that graduates of the Joint degree program go into and does it differ? Do you see some patterns developing in terms of career opportunities? Are they in any way different from the four year program if you are in the three year program?
Colleen France: While we haven’t had any graduating classes yet, we did just have our first class go through their second year summers. What we found was about half of them went to law firms and the other half went to business internships. More of those that went to law firms went to New York firms to do corporate type law work, M&A, bankruptcy etc. Of those that went into business, a few went to private equity firms and restructuring firms… It does vary and we have a few people that split their summers between private equity and restructuring or between law firms and businesses.
A few law firms in New York have fellowship programs with some of the major banks in New York, so those are definitely slots that the JD/MBA are looking at. …What we have been seeing is those that do want to go into law, most of them are interested in doing a few years at a law firm and then making a switch over to business. Realizing that they are going to get really solid training as corporate lawyers or M&A lawyers or whatever it may be at some of the top firms in the world. Then taking those skills and utilizing them, maybe by going to a hedge fund, an investment bank, private equity or venture capitalist firm…
Linda Abraham: Related to what we have been discussing, Andrew asks, “Now that the first class of the three year program is getting ready to graduate, how different is their transition into the job market than those of the four year program?”
Colleen France: I would say that it is a little bit more straightforward. The issue with the four year program and I think the reluctance on the part of the law firms in the past to hire JD/MBAs is that if a student does their second summer at a law firm, they worry a little bit about whether they will come back next summer. They worry that they will go to a Wall Street bank or that they will go to the bank rather than come back to the firm. I think that what we are seeing is that in the three year programs, students certainly have the ability to explore their career option but have to come into the program strategically thinking about what they want to do when they get out at a much swifter pace.
For the entire conversation, please view the transcript or listen to the complete audio file on our website.
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