Wharton MBA graduates demonstrated strong performance in the recruiting cycle this year as a result of a collective effort by students and the Wharton MBA Career Management team.
Earlier this month, the Wharton School released its annual MBA Career Statistics report, which summarized graduates' industry, function, and location choices. The report featured a 99% offer rate and a $175,000 median annual base salary.
Among various career paths, financial services continued to be the most popular with 38.6% of graduates taking a job in the sector, with private equity as the most pursued subfield at 12.6%. Consulting and technology follow, although their respective percentages have declined slightly since the past year.
Sam Jones, director of the Wharton MBA Career Management team, explained the trends he saw in the new report.
“Over the past 10 years, we've certainly seen a growing interest in tech. Wharton students see the industry as very dynamic, fast-paced, innovative, pivoting quickly to market demands and seeking to solve real world problems that end users have,” Jones said. “And the industry itself has become more welcoming and interested in MBA students.”
Jones added that the popularity of the consulting industry can be explained by its opportunities for continued self development such as training programs offered by firms. He cited the ability to get exposure to different industries and receive detailed feedback as reasons why graduates are attracted to the field.
Jones also noted that there was an increased interest in start-ups, which attracted 59 graduates — up by 22 from last year. His office attributed this phenomenon to the construction of Tangen Hall, which led to a better on-campus entrepreneurship ecosystem.
According to Jones, the office’s 25 staff members work in six teams to provide comprehensive support for MBA students. These teams include an advising team, an employer engagement team, and a programming team.
The program, which helps students throughout their two-year recruiting cycle, first starts with questionnaires that help them identify their career goals and general interests.
“When they first come on campus in August, we work with students on their high level thoughts about their career, ” Jones said. “What kind of impact do you want on the world with these statements?”
The MBA Career Management team uses an internal software called My Action Plan to aid students in achieving their career goals. The platform includes detailed, end to end information for all industries and walks students through each step of recruitment.
After students gain an understanding of the process, they have the chance to connect with alumni through coffee chats and company presentations. Eventually, the team helps students prepare for interviews and decide between their offers.
Second-year MBA student Sirui Shao said that the MBA Career Management team helped her find success in her recruiting process. Coming into Wharton as a financial journalist, she will join McKinsey & Company as a consultant after graduation.
Shao said that the MBA Career Management teams hosted training opportunities specific to consulting, such as resume reviews and tips for casing and behavioral interviews. It also connected her with relevant industry professionals for career advice.
“The career management team was really professional, and they can provide whatever help you need. I was highly engaged with both of my advisors,” Shao said. “I came from a very nontraditional background. But career management was able to connect me to a former journalist who went to Wharton and then went into consulting. I talked to them and tried to see how the career path would be from a nontraditional pathway to professional service and beyond.”