Although hiring of MBA graduates has suffered during the recent recession, it appears that the tides of good fortune are returning. As consulting firms, investment banks and other top employers commit to aggressive hiring targets, many graduates are gaining confidence in their ability to land an ideal position. While some of this wave may be attributable to an improving economy, innovative new outreach programs are also finding desirable jobs where they have never been found before.
With hiring in the United States down, career services at universities have looked to place an increasing number of students in global positions. The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, for example, has placed career staff on the ground in Hong Kong and London to create an international pipeline for graduates. This creative approach will allow ambitious students to gain international experience that is invaluable to their career progression.
Rather than following the traditional system of posting open positions and dealing with large mounds of resumes and applications, many employers are relying on personal networking to find recruits. MBA students are becoming more skilled at developing personal professional networks rather than relying on a career office to find desirable companies for them. Without ever coming to campus, many employers are still finding and hiring top talent.
IBM plans to hire as many as 250 new MBA graduates in 2011. While some entry-level positions are filled by undergraduates and external hires, the openness of MBA students to international experiences is one strong selling point. Vice President of Learning and Development Ted Hoff said, “…we are growing as a company and we are particularly looking for people who are willing to work and live in different countries around the world.”
International experience is almost always a win-win situation for employees and their employers. Working overseas is a valuable addition to one’s career progression, and having employees with significant experience in an international market allows companies to gain a better understanding of business conditions there.
While domestic employment opportunities may improve with the economy, international jobs are not going to disappear. Top employers will continue to look for worldly talent and career service offices would be wise to provide it.