Archive for February 22nd, 2011

Where Are Classmates Going After Kellogg?

For better or for worse, I’ve noticed that a lot of people have been wondering what their classmates will be doing for the summer. While some classmates jump at the chance to tell the entire world about their offers, others are a bit more tactful in their approach, and another group isn’t quite sure yet. But no matter which of these groups a students fits in, it’s likely that he or she has a sense of what industry they might end up in and further what geography they’ll be at for the summer.

To estimate where people might end up geographically, I thought I might try to do a few back end calculations to see where people have historically gone. I did that by calculating the percentage of students who have left Kellogg to go to various places around the US and internationally. And I did that not only for 2010 but also for the past 10 years to see if things have changed over time. Below is the 2010 graph and below that is the 10 year graph.

* Data from 2010 Kellogg report on Class of 2000 through Class of 2010

From the graph above, you can see the most people head to the big geographies in the US – Chicago, New York, and the Bay. It’s not surprise that more people stay in Chicago than anywhere else given close ties to local CPG firms and given the fact that Kellogg is conveniently located here in Chicago.

Likewise, it’s not surprise that New York and the Bay are in the top as well, given those geographies generally send a lot of people to business school. Further, it’s also no surprise that the Bay comes in below New York, not only because New York is significantly larger in size (ie more students) than the Bay but also because Chicago doesn’t have the same reputation for innovation that the Bay, Boston, or even New York has.

* Data from 2010 comes directly from the Kellogg website (Data from website)

Strangely the data from 2010 and from the past decade are nearly identical. The only exception is the international data, where the percentage of students that went “Abroad” and went to “Asia” were a little higher last year than usual. Perhaps it’s because the recession took away jobs locally in the smaller U.S. cities, so graduates decided to work internationally instead. (Click here to see MSNBC article that shows that MBAs are flocking to jobs in Asia). It might also be a result of the fact that the 1Y program at Kellogg is growing, so more students are opting to abroad now than before.

The idea that 2010 and the historical data are similar has some interesting implications, given that top business schools brings in new people with new interests and new career ideas every year. The first question that comes to mind is “Is business school just a factory?” Do the same people go to the same employers every year, not matter what you came in thinking you wanted to do? Which leads into the second question? Is geography-changing (or better yet career-changing) a lot harder than applicants think? And do people have less options than they hoped for, even at the top business schools?

But maybe I’ve got it all wrong, and it’s actually just the opposite. That people really want to go to these places and business schools provide the venues for them to do so because of access to so many alumni, networks, and employers. This idea makes a lot of sense too.

Either way, despite all the noise I hear in business school about changing yourself and changing the world, the statistics should make you wonder if things really do change, or if things really just stay the same year to year … and decade to decade?

Perhaps I should continue my analysis by calculating the numbers of jobs the same way I did geographies. I suspect it’d turn out to be exactly the same as this one. ¬†What do you suspect?

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011 Job Opportunities 5 Comments

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Jeremy C Wilson is a JD-MBA alumni using his site to share information on education, the social enterprise revolution, entrepreneurship, and doing things differently. Feel free to send along questions or comments as you read.

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The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect the views or position of Kellogg, Northwestern Law, the JD-MBA program, or any firm that I work for. I only offer my own perspective on all issues.
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