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Press Release

Michael B. Laffin

For immediate release:
January 24, 2005

Tepper MBAs Report Improved Job Prospects and Optimistic Outlook

Carnegie Mellon classroom facilities in New York, Silicon Valley provide draw for recruiters

PITTSBURGH—The clouds are breaking for the MBA hiring market. First- and second-year students from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University who toured major job markets on the East and West Coasts recently report a decidedly more positive job climate than existed two years ago. The students attribute the change to companies that are bullish on the economy and are seeing a solid uptick in their business.

The numbers tell the story. According to Ken Keeley, Ph.D., executive director of the Tepper School's Career Opportunities Center (COC), the number of student interviews is up significantly from the previous year, and the number of job offers to date for full-time employment is up nearly 62 percent so far.

"While it's still too early to tell for sure, it seems that the 'big eaters' for MBA talent have regained their hiring appetite and are back at the table," Keeley observed. "Across the board, we're once again seeing strong recruiting interest in MBAs, especially those with strong quantitative skill sets, one of the hallmarks of our students."

As a result, students are more upbeat about their prospects for landing good positions. "My classmates and I are definitely more optimistic about the hiring environment," said Treven Ho, a first-year MBA who previously was a software engineer for AT&T Labs in San Diego. "It's quite a different situation from what MBAs faced over the last few years, and we're confident we'll be able to find good jobs and internships."

Making It Convenient for Recruiters

Tepper students also are benefiting from the school's efforts to get them in front of more recruiters. "Some companies interested in the quality of student we have at Tepper aren't able to come to Pittsburgh to see our program firsthand," said Keeley. "So, we take our students to the recruiters, using classroom facilities in locations in key job markets."

The locations include Carnegie Mellon's "West Coast Campus" at Moffett Field in San Jose, Calif., and classrooms right off Wall Street. The sites are normally used for academic programs including the Tepper School's innovative distance MBA, known as FlexMode, and its master's program in computational finance.

The West Coast Connection

The nearly 45 students who made the annual trip to Silicon Valley met with some of the region's leading employers including IBM, Yahoo, Microsoft, Genentech, Adobe, HP and Intel. The students, many of whom are members of Tepper's Business and Technology Club, report a positive outlook in Silicon Valley in terms of hiring. "I was pleasantly surprised by the level of interest from companies on the West Coast," said Jennifer Binder, a second-year MBA who previously worked for KPMG Consulting in Washington, D.C., and hopes to work in product or brand management on the West Coast.

Opportunities for MBAs extend beyond tech companies in Silicon Valley. "We met with leading companies in several industries," said Kin Yu, a first-year student and one of the trip organizers. While Yu, who previously served as an IT consultant in Washington, D.C., wants to work in marketing in the high-tech industry, he believes many West Coast companies are looking for MBAs in all areas of their businesses including marketing and operations.

Hitting the "Street"

Students visiting New York City on a trip spearheaded by the student-run Graduate Finance Association got the opportunity to engage with prospective employers, Tepper alumni in the finance sector and their virtual "classmates."

David Bornside, a first-year, dual MBA and master in computational finance student who holds a Ph.D. in engineering and previously worked in commodities trading, found Tepper's New York location ideal. "Not only did I have the chance to interview or meet with several companies," he says, "I was also able to meet in person with my virtual 'classmates' who attend courses via videoconferencing."

Students also had the opportunity to connect with Tepper alumni "mentors," a distinguished group of graduate volunteers in specific industries who regularly provide advice and career direction for Tepper students. "My mentor at Citigroup really gave me a valuable, firsthand perspective on a variety of different issues," said Erik Sondersted, a first-year student who wants to return to New York as a trader.

Some students even lined up job offers around the globe during their trip to New York. "Being able to get in front of recruiters in New York opened the door to other opportunities for me," said Pradeep Kanwar, a first-year student who has been offered a summer internship position with Deutsche Bank's London office. "It was an invaluable experience."

Founded in 1949, the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon is a pioneer in the field of management science and analytical decision making. The school's notable distinctions include a unique contribution to the intellectual community including six Nobel prizes in economics and a consistent presence in the top tier of national and international business school rankings including being named the No. 2 business school in the U.S. by The Wall Street Journal. More information on the school and its programs can be found at


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