More than 95 percent of job seekers in the Full-time Berkeley MBA Class of 2015 received offers—and 94 percent accepted offers—within three months of graduation. The class, which showed a strong bent for social impact and entrepreneurship, also had a slight uptick in salaries.
Average starting salaries were $123,043, with signing bonuses averaging $28,000 and other compensation averaging $26,000. The median starting salary was $125,000, up 4 percent from $120,000 last year.
“It was a strong class with a lot of interest from recruiters,” said Julia Min Hwang, assistant dean of the MBA Career Management Group and corporate engagement. “We’ve found that recruiters seek out Haas grads for culture fit—they are known for being leaders with innovative problem solving and team-building skills, and for having confidence without attitude.”
Hwang also credited the strong hiring outcomes to the business school’s Bay Area location, which gives easy access to a wide range of employers and allows companies to engage with Haas by bringing projects into classrooms.
Haas MBA culture is also collaborative, and students support each other in their searches, Hwang noted. One example is network job search teams: career services brings together those students who are interested in nontraditional industries that don’t participate in on-campus recruiting. “The key to the success of this facilitated groups is that students motivate each other and hold each other accountable,” she said.
Although many students are pursuing non-traditional careers, 40 percent of the 248 graduates accepted jobs in the MBA bedrock industries of consulting and financial services. Another 38 percent went into tech. The next most popular industries were healthcare, energy, consumer products and real estate. More than 12 percent of graduates reported that their jobs had a social impact component.
Meanwhile, the class produced an unprecedented number of new entrepreneurs. A record 31 graduates, or 12.5 percent of the class, are launching their own ventures, compared with six grads last year. Startups range from platforms for on-demand health services, global money transfer and student loans, to an innovative financial instrument aimed at combatting drought and wildfires.
The increase in student founders, along with the fact that 14.5 percent of jobseekers accepted offers from startups, reflects the growing strength of the entrepreneurial ecosystem at Haas, UC Berkeley, and the Bay Area.
“The most important reason why I chose Haas is its entrepreneurial environment and resources,” said Leo Popov, MBA 15, who cited the MBA program’s electives and applied innovation courses, the LAUNCH startup competition, and resources such as the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Skydeck. “I was 100 percent sure that I want to start my company in the short or medium future, but I needed the skills and knowledge to do so.”
Popov met his business partner, Bimohit Bawa, MBA 16, in Lecturer Steve Blank’s Lean LaunchPad course, and they worked on their startup idea throughout the rest of the program. In October, they launched TrueCare24, a digital health smartphone app that gives users access to urgent care clinicians who make house calls or consult by phone 24 hours a day.
“In my previous job I didn’t have any experience with about 60 percent of the tasks I am doing currently. All these skills are newly acquired at Haas or UC Berkeley,” Popov said. “The most inspiring resources for me are the success stories of my peers and Haas alumni who dared to start their own ventures, and within several years built amazing companies.”