An MBA applicant’s decision to go back for a graduate degree is often tied to an implied increase in employment options after graduation. Whether you’re at the beginning of your MBA search or preparing your application for the round two deadline, it’s important to consider how this advanced degree can propel your career forward. While you may have researched your top schools’ base salaries and internship placement rates, here’s an inside tip on some questions that you really should be asking each business school you’re considering.
1. Who are your top recruiting partners for my industries of interest?
It’s easy to get excited about the doors that MBA programs can open for their students. However, it’s important to pay attention not only to the top recruiting partners for the program as a whole but also the top recruiting partners for your industry of interest. These will be companies that you will have a lot of exposure to in the internship and job search.
2. How long will your career center continue to support students in their job search?
The Wisconsin MBA is committed to its students as they move through the job search process. The Career Management Center will continue to support its students for as long as it takes to find the right job with the right “fit”, even if that means extending its support after graduation. Be sure to clarify with each of your top schools how long their career support lasts, as many may discontinue it three months after graduation.
3. What is your average increase in base salary after graduation?
While many prospective students will simply ask for information regarding average base salary for full time job offers, ascertaining the average increase in base salary will be much more indicative of your potential Return on Investment. Last year, the Wisconsin MBA Class of 2014 saw an average increase in base salary of 63%.
4. What are the sources of employment for your students?
At the Wisconsin MBA, the internship and full-time job search is a partnership between the student, the Career Management Center, and the specialization faculty and staff. As a result, our students thrive when meeting with on-campus recruiters. When researching MBA programs make sure to ask how students find jobs and internships. Are students connected to companies through on-campus recruiters? Alumni? Or do they facilitate the majority of these interactions themselves?
5. How does your previous work experience impact your employability after graduation?
For prospective students wanting to use an MBA to switch careers, this question should be one of the first you ask. Ask the school to identify how they help career switchers prepare for, and structure, their internship or job search. At the Wisconsin MBA we take this one step further by facilitating applied learning activities for students each week. Applied learning allows students to solve problems faced by businesses on a daily basis, and provide an opportunity to produce industry related deliverables they can use to strengthen their résumé. An example of this can be seen with our students in the Applied Securities Analysis program, who actively manage a portfolio of more than $50 million dollars.
These five questions may not be the first that cross your mind when researching MBA programs, however I hope that they will become a way to further narrow down which programs are right for you. Interested to learn more about the Wisconsin MBA’s employment outcomes? See here for more details.