Strong salary bump for FTMBA Class of 2019

Full-time MBA students at 2019 commencement. Photo: Noah Berger
Full-time MBA students at 2019 commencement. Photo: Noah Berger

Class of 2019 full-time MBA graduates got a healthy salary bump this year, jumping to a median starting salary of $140,000 from $125,000 last year.

“The Berkeley MBA is demonstrating its value in the market, with starting salaries for our MBA grads increasing by 12%,” said Abby Scott, assistant dean of Career Management & Corporate Relations. “Compensation packages from consulting firms and financial services firms are the biggest contributors to that increase—as more students headed to the top firms in those fields this year.”

About 93% of the job seeking population, or 211 students, received job offers within three months of graduation, and 91% had accepted offers within three months of graduation.

In addition to record strong base pay, 76% of graduates received signing bonuses that averaged $29,141, and 46% of the graduates received stock options or grants. (Option values, which are hard to quantify, are not included in the compensation totals in the 2019 employment report.)

Top employers of Haas graduates this year included Adobe, Amazon, Bain, Ernst & Young (including Parthenon), Boston Consulting Group, Cisco, Deloitte, The Clorox Company, Google, LEK, McKinsey & Co., PWC, and Visa.

Tech, Consulting top sectors

Christina Chavez took a job at Google after graduation.
Christina Chavez interned at Google and took a job at the company after graduation.

Technology was again the most popular sector for new Berkeley MBAs, pulling in 33 percent of the graduates.

Christina Chavez, MBA 19, headed to Google, where she interned in 2018, as an agency development manager, working with the same team under the same manager. “A few different things appealed to me about Google,” she said. “They have a transparent culture and it’s a fairly flat organization for a large company. You have a lot of autonomy to shape your career and your role and that was really appealing to me.”

About 25% of students accepted jobs in consulting, followed by 15% in financial services and 9.7%t in consumer packaged goods/retail.

Joining a group of graduates who went to McKinsey was Kelly Lamble, MBA 19, who landed a job as an associate in strategy and corporate finance at McKinsey’s New York office.

Lamble arrived at Haas focused on impact investing and social entrepreneurship and interned at financial services startup Branch International, spending five weeks in Kenya with the company. But her journey ended up leading her to consulting, where she thought she could gain the professional skillset she needed to transition from finance to strategy. “I was looking at all of the top consultancies,” she said. “McKinsey was the right fit for me.”

“A tangible impact from the work”

Rob Zuban works at Ford.
Rob Zuban, a former consultant, now works in product marketing at Ford.

Close to 20% of graduates chose the entrepreneurship/startup route. Fifteen percent of the job- seeking population took jobs at startups, while 5% of the class started their own companies, like Ludwig Schoenack, MBA 19, a former McKinsey consultant who co-founded car rental app Kyte.

An increasing number of students are interested in both interning and working at transportation-focused companies, including Rob Zuban, MBA 19, who joined Ford as a product marketing manager in the company’s cross vehicle and connected technology group. Zuban said he got an MBA to transition out of strategy consulting, where he’d spent six years. “I realized that I wanted to see more tangible impact from the work I was doing, and be closer to the customer.”

At Haas, he pursued opportunities in mobility and clean energy, participating in Cleantech to Market, and working with the Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative (BERC). With Ford, he’ll rotate among divisions during his training program, beginning in marketing. In his current role, Zuban helps launch new assisted driving features such as hands-free driving.

“Ford makes products that people use daily, which appealed to me,” he said. “It’s exciting to launch new technology features, especially on our upcoming electric vehicles that can drive customer adoption.”