Career News

Graduates Branch Out in Career Selections

By Kate Ancell
Published: Summer 2012

Booth graduates continue to diversify their career choices, branching out into marketing, e-commerce, entrepreneurship, and general management. 

While the school remains a top destination for recruiters from fields such as consulting and financial services, students are weighing more options as they consider a job market marked by Wall Street consolidation and growth in technology and the internet.

“There is a growing interest among our students to pursue new opportunities in the tech, e-commerce, and internet industries, both at large companies and within start-ups, said Nima Merchant, associate director, employer relations for Career Services. “With the diversity of jobs available, there really is something for everyone - and we’re seeing a stronger, more vocal presence from alumni who are successful in these fields.”

For example, more than 4 percent of the class of 2011 accepted jobs in the e-commerce and internet industries. While that may seem like a small percentage, those fields tapped a negligible number of recruits 10 years ago and only accounted for eight hires as recently as 2007.

Marketing has risen from the sixth to third-most popular function for graduating Booth students from 2001 to 2011. General management went from ninth highest to fourth in 2011. The number of students joining start-ups or launching their own firms has more than tripled over the past decade, although that growth started off a small base.

Financial services and consulting continue to be top destinations, attracting more than two-thirds of Full-Time graduates. “Even during the recession, ‘bulge-bracket’ firms showed a real, demonstrated interest in our students,” said Melanie Scarlata, assistant director, employer relations for Career Services.

But the explosion in technology and other fields are presenting students with more options. Scarlata says Career Services has been proactive in scoping out new markets and opportunities, working in concert with Alumni Affairs and Development and student groups, as well as the Kilts and Polsky centers.

“Booth graduates are able to go into careers they feel passionately about,” Scarlata added. “The opportunities are very real for them.”

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Booth Hosts First Start-Up Networking Night

By Kate Fratar
Published: Summer 2012

A recruiter from tea shop operator Argo Tea was on campus in April to meet students, discuss its business model, and recruit for a marketing internship. 

The young Chicago-based company was among more than 20 who attended Start-Up Networking Night (SNN). The recruiting event is part of Booth’s effort to build relationships with young companies and support the increasing number of students pursuing entrepreneurship as a career. The joint effort of Career Services and the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship drew 120 first- and second-year students.

“We stress to students that they have to network to get anywhere in the start-up world,” said Nima Merchant, associate director, employer relations for Career Services, and one of the organizers.

The SNN followed the format of Career Services’ Corporate Networking Nights, industry- and function-specific recruiting events that provide companies an opportunity to connect with students interested in particular fields.

“As an MBA student interested in entrepreneurship, you don’t have the traditional structure of recruiting,” said second-year Full-Time MBA student Kasra Moshkani, who works for his own start-up, HireBrite, which helps entrepreneurs to hire young business and technical talent.

“The thing I was most excited about tonight was the variety of companies we’ve seen,” he added, noting the range from established VC firms to companies in their first few months of business. 

Companies that attended included winners and finalists from Booth’s New Venture Challenge competition such as Chicago-based firms BenchPrep, a test-prep developer for mobile devices, InContext Solutions, a market research firm that specializes in 3D simulations, and Power2Switch, an alternative energy provider. Some, like Argo, which operates cafés in Chicago, New York, St. Louis, and Boston, were established ventures looking to fill specific roles based on company needs. Others, such as KLUTCHclub, which delivers health and wellness products to subscribers monthly, were there to recruit more broadly and raise awareness.

“I think events like this go a long way in proving that Booth is investing in the entrepreneurialism that’s going on,” said Grant Zallis, vice president and head of human resources and recruiting at InContext Solutions.

Career Services would like to host more networking functions for entrepreneurship, Merchant said. She expects many of the start-ups to return, especially as the number of events grows with the school’s entrepreneurship programming. And she hopes to attract more start-ups from outside the Midwest. “What could be better than the SNN to connect students to start-ups interested in Booth talent?” Merchant said. 


Raising Visibility with Asia-Based Recruiters

By Judith Crown
Published: Summer 2012

To ensure that Booth stays top of mind for Asia companies scouring the glob for premier talent, Career Services hosted its first interactive workshop tailored specifically for Asia-based recruiters.

The half-day Asia Recruiters Workshop in April attracted several dozen multinationals and Asia-based companies. Career Services staff provided an overview of the rigorous program that sets Booth graduates apart and highlighted data on recent student job offers and acceptances. They also demonstrated how to use the school's recruiting tools such as the Global Talent Solutions (GTS) database and the online resume database. The workshop was geared exclusively to employers.

"The firms I work with often seek general managers to get new businesses up and running," said Leslie Taylor, '02, associate director, employer relations, based in Hong Kong. Students and alumni are increasingly interested in new opportunities, including opening new geographic markets for multinationals, she noted. "There seems to be an appetite to seize these career opportunities."

The event attracted a blue-chip roster of companies. Some, such as General Electric Co., Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Google, Inc., Microsoft Corp., Credit Suisse Group, and McKinsey & Co., have established recruiting relationships with Booth, mostly through their US headquarters. Others, such as World Bank, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Jones Lang LaSalle, Inc., and software giant SAP AG, are building relationships with the school.

"We foresee that Booth will be a good partner for us to recruit for certain corporate positions and perhaps some senior hotel operations positions," said attendee Michael Blanding, manager of school relations for InterContinental Hotels Group, who recruits for Asian, Middle East, and African hotels from Singapore. "We're opening a new hotel every week across the globe and need top talent to lead the business."

Although some Asia-based recruiters may believe that it is difficult to recruit from afar, several tools provided by Booth make it easy. For example, employers can post jobs online through the GTS database. The postings are free and the best first step for connecting with Booth talent, Taylor said. The resume database enables recruiters to search different pools of talent, such as alumni or students in the full-time or part-time programs. Recruiters can search candidates using such criteria as language, years of experience, and geographic preference.

Outside of traditional recruiting methods, companies use video conferencing and Skype to present information sessions or interview candidates. As another way to connect, some Asian companies host events for Booth students who organize visits to the region.

"It was extremely useful for the recruiters from our business to understand how to search Booth's databases and post positions to give them access to talent pools," said Kim Purnell, SAP's executive recruiting director for Asia Pacific and Japan.

Concluded Taylor, "One of my goals is to ensure we don't leave any stones unturned, that we don't leave job opportunities on the table, whether entry-level for recent grads or senior-level for our executive students and alumni."

Last Updated 9/27/12