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What is the case for attending business schools with no campus recruiting?

business school preparation
New answer on Jan 03, 2020
3 Answers
1.3 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Jan 01, 2020

Two questions (which are similar in nature):

1) Is business school worth the investment (especially the ones which don't have campus/on-site recruitment? I went to a top undergrad and graduate business and computing school, where they did not have on campus placements, and my ROI so far has been really bad on my investment in those degrees. I had to take up the 1st job which I got after college due to personal financial reasons and no on-campus recruiting, and the job pays peanuts.

2) What is the case for attending business school if there is no guaranteed on-campus recruiting with a good track record of salary package offers?

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Content Creator
updated an answer on Jan 02, 2020
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /12 years recruiting experience


While no one can guarantee any outcomes, business school can be a good investment if you have a specific purpose and the right school in mind. There is no doubt that going to a top 10 US business school can set you up for success.

Your question, however, seems to be about going to a program outside of this subset. Given your context (and that your current job pays peanuts!), my overall answer is: a non-top 10 MBA program might mean additional debt without a clear ROI.

1) Without onsite recruitment, your process will mimic that of someone networking their way into a job. You'll want to check and see if your target firms have hired alums from your chosen MBA program, as that's where you'll need to go. If you don't find any, you'll have to switch to other network connections.

The one benefit is that certain positions are only open to you if you are an MBA student--for example, to switch to investment banking after the analyst track generally requires an MBA to enter at the Associate level. So while a non-target school might not give you many direct opportunities to interview at firms, being an MBA student makes you eligible for those roles.

2) Aside from the social element--a non-target school with an active and/or well placed alumni body will turbo charge your network in a way that is hard to achieve alongside your usual full time job. Especially if alumni of your school stay in/move to the area you want to live in after graduating, you'll find more doors open to you by virtue of being a graduate of X university (and, of course, the more general doors open to you by virtue of being an MBA student).

My answer for professionals in your position is threefold:

1. take full stock of your recruiting and networking attempts in the past 6-8 months, and ask yourself if you've thrown yourself into trying to find a better job. Do you think you have made a $250,000 attempt to change your career path?

2. Do you have a clear, defined career goal in mind? I.e., have you utilized your network, the internet, and services like PrepLounge to narrow down the industry/field/title/city you want to work in?

3. Will taking on $250k in debt and forgoing two years of income leave you with enough flexibility to chase after roles that interest you (for example, could you be interested in joining an early stage start up that pays in equity as well as base?)

Last note: if you are an international student, keep in mind that your ROI is very contingent on your ability to receive a visa after graduating. If you are unable to stay in the US and are forced to move either back home or to another country, your starting salary might again be too low to compensate for the expense.

Hope this helps! I've helped many people in this situation and would be happy to help further refine your aspirations.


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Content Creator
replied on Jan 03, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


I would leverage the online rakings available in the internet (e.g., Poets & Quants, Financial Times, etc.) for MBA and E-MBA to ensure this does not happen again.

For sure that, if you target the top of the list, you are totally covered.

Hope it helps!



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Content Creator
replied on Jan 02, 2020
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching


I'm assuming you are thinking about take an MBA. I completely understand your point about in-campus recruiting and I recommend to only consider the top 30 MBA programs to be sure to build a really appreciated profile that will pay back the investment in few years. I recommend to use LinkedIn to understand what are the most common exit options of the alumni of each program.



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Udayan gave the best answer


Content Creator
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /12 years recruiting experience
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