Improved Job Landscape Greets Berkeley-Haas Grads

Employment is decidedly up this year for Berkeley MBA graduates, with job offers received by more than 87 percent of the full-time class of 2011, compared with 77 percent of graduates at this time last year.

Students will go to work for 102 organizations in 15 countries, with typical and emergent industries are showing strong hiring, according to early data. Students will earn a median base salary of $115,000, and signing bonuses are currently averaging more than $22,500, according to preliminary figures. Top hiring firms to date include McKinsey & Company, Deloitte Consulting, Google, Genentech, Microsoft, Samsung, PG&E, and The Boston Consulting Group.

“Haas continues to develop leaders in a wide range of sectors that help redefine how business is done,” says Abby Scott, executive director of MBA Career Management, of the demand for Berkeley MBA students from this array of industries.

Carlo Woods, MBA 11, will be working in the emergent clean tech sector, joining SolarCity in San Mateo, Calif., as director of financial planning and analysis. Woods entered Haas to transition out of financial services and says he quickly became focused on solar energy. “I ultimately realized that, functionally, I wanted to remain in finance and searched for positions in clean-tech startups that would direct me on the CFO career path,” says Woods. “As a rapidly expanding, pre-IPO company, SolarCity is at the precise stage of growth for which I was looking.”

While at Haas, Woods took energy courses and worked on a number of experiential learning projects, including a go-to-market plan for a new type of solar cell in the Cleantech to Market course. He says he “used almost all the tools I could find” from Career Management. This included advising services, a networked job search team, and guidance on negotiating offers.

“If I were to pin down the one thing most helpful from Career Management, it would be the people–their knowledge, patience, and genuine interest in helping me reach my goal,” says Woods.

MBA Internship Offers Up

More than 98 percent of students from the full-time class of 2012 have reported receiving an internship offer, representing a significant increase from last year. These have come from 135 organizations in 19 countries. Top hiring firms include Google, Apple, McKinsey & Company, Microsoft, The Boston Consulting Group, Facebook, Autodesk, and Education Pioneers.

Jessica Trogler, MBA 12, a former senior financial analyst for Google and investment banking associate for Goldman Sachs, is one first-year student who landed an internship that furthers her career goals: She has joined Visa for the summer as financial planning and analysis intern in Global Finance.

Trogler chose the job for its “big-picture” view of the company. “This role will expose me to the drivers of revenue and profitability for Visa,” she says. Her work includes building in-depth business cases for new projects and partnering with product strategists to quantify the financial impact of new product innovations. “I will have an opportunity to participate in Visa’s annual forecasting process and to work closely with the business units,” she says.

To help students maximize career search success early on, the annual Haas MBA Career Seminar sets students up in fall of their first year with skills, marketing tools, and a career strategy. The seminar, says Scott, “provides a framework for students to begin the process of evaluating their career goals while matching them to their values and skills."

Undergrad Hiring Up in Finance, Consulting, Marketing

For undergrads, employer activity significantly increased during the second semester compared to the fall semester as employers gained confidence in the economy, according to Tom Devlin, director of UC Berkeley’s undergraduate Career Center.

Devlin also credits student efforts. “The tenacity and early engagement of Haas undergraduates in the recruiting process resulted in well-prepared and network-savvy candidates,” he says.

Preliminary data indicate a 10 percent increase in on campus interviewing and employer participation in career fairs as well as a 20-25 percent increase in job postings compared to last year.

Finance, consulting, accounting, and marketing occupations all saw increased hiring by employers, according to Devlin. This was mirrored by “sustained internship opportunities for junior candidates in those industries,” he says. Three business graduates are joining Teach for America, one of the largest employers of Berkeley undergraduates.

“An internship as a gateway for full-time employment is becoming the primary recruiting tool as employers recognize the competitive marketplace for the best graduates,” observes Devlin. Beyond UC Berkeley, Devlin served as president of the National Association of Colleges and Employers this year.