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Top MBA employers – where female MBAs want to work

I was just reading about all the great new tech start-ups and more really impressive women entrepreneurs (heard of Min Xuan yet? wow, I am so impressed, but I will leave that to another day!!) and it made me wonder what MBAs dream of doing these days. When I was doing my MBA at the London Business School, everybody wanted to work in Private Equity or Hedge Funds, Banking and Management Consulting. And that’s what most people ended up doing (although surprisingly few are doing these jobs three years on!).

One night we went out for dinner and I met this classmate’s friend who was doing his MBA at MIT, and when I told him all our classmates wanted to be bankers and consultants, he was really surprised “really? At MIT we all want to start our own company!”. I remembered him in the last days because I wonder with the financial crisis if MBAs these days want to be entrepreneurs or work for tech start-ups rather than for Goldman Sachs or McKinsey?

So when I googled it, I found this interesting list of the top 100 most desired MBA employers 2011, and what’s more, it was broken down by gender, which gives some interesting insights. First of all, among the top 10, we find four tech companies (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) – but also McKinsey, BCG, Bain, GS and JP Morgan. The only non-tech non-banking non-consulting company is Nike on number 10.

In the top 10 most desired employers for female MBA students, we have

1     Google
2     Apple
3     Walt Disney Company
4     McKinsey & Company
5     Facebook
6     Johnson & Johnson
7     Nike
8     The Boston Consulting Group
9     Amazon
10    Bain & Company

Which tells us that there is a big overlap with what MBA students regardless of gender are looking for, but specifically women MBAs are less likely to want to be investment bankers and slightly less likely to want to be consultants, with more interest in corporate careers, especially in media and consumer goods. Not too surprising, is it?

The problem with these lists is that they ask students “which company would you most like to work for?”, which assumes you want to be an employee in the first place. This fits well with @minxuan’s observation on twitter that “things they should teach in business school: suits are mostly worn by employees”. I wonder, do MBAs this year want to join tech start-ups or set up their own companies more than in previous years? I hope so!!

If you’re a current MBA student, I would love to hear what the mood on campus is at the moment – what’s the most desirable job? What are people trying to do?


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