Launching from London
At London Business School (LBS), MBAs are starting to take on two internships per summer. In fact, 11% of the class of 2008 interned for two different companies between their first and second years in the program. An unusually long summer break, from June to October, gives students the opportunity to negotiate deals that allow them to get additional experience and exposure. Because of flexible school schedules and lenient immigration laws, says Diane Morgan, director of career services for LBS, students—even those from overseas—work on mini-internships and projects during the school year as well.
Like most business schools, LBS career services offers MBA students a wide variety of programs including CV review, mock interviews, and self assessment. The department services the entire LBS population, which includes MBA students, those in the masters in finance program, executive MBAs, Sloan Fellows, and alumni. Three months after graduation, 97% of the MBA Class of 2007 had received a job offer, and 96% had accepted one. The average starting salary for the class was $124,000.
Morgan recently discussed the services her department provides, the data on job placement, and her tips for performing better in interviews with BusinessWeek.com reporter Francesca Di Meglio. Here are edited excerpts of their conversation:
Who recruits at your campus?
The recruiting process provides as many opportunities as possible. It includes recruiters coming on campus and recruiters posting jobs with us. Our on-campus recruitment program for full-time students runs from October through November. All different recruiters come on campus, including major financial companies such as Goldman Sachs (GS), Lehman Brothers (LEH), and Barclays (BCS); top consulting companies such as McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, Bain, and Booz Allen; and top industry companies such as Pepsico (PEP), British Telecom, and Honeywell (HON). We'll run about 150 events each term and have that many companies coming on campus.
We then have a group of companies that post jobs with us annually. They might not come on campus to recruit, but they know they can get talent from us each year. These companies might include Harrods and Eli Lilly (LLY), for example. The job postings are in the thousands.
In what regions do most of your MBA students end up working?
A large majority, usually about 75%, will stay in Europe. There's usually a large percentage that stay in the U.K. and continental Europe, and then the next two [most popular] areas are North America and Asia. It's changed slightly in the past couple of years, probably as a result of the profile of our students. Anywhere from 23% to 25% of our population is from North America. They're coming for a variety of reasons. They may come for the international experience and then return to North America when they graduate.
As the reputation of London Business School gets stronger in North America, we're seeing people go back to North America and land some great jobs. We just had recent graduates going to Google (GOOG), Target (TGT), and HSBC (HBC) in North America. In Asia, we're seeing lots of great opportunities immediately after graduation, whereas a few years ago you would probably stay in the U.K. or within London to start building up your career here.
What is your No. 1 tip for MBAs looking for an internship or a job?
We think it's important that they stay true to themselves. They've come to London Business School for career advancement, and it's easy to get caught up in what your peers are doing and what you think you should be doing. We find a solid assessment of your...