This post was first published in 2019 -- and a lot has changed since then! The guidance here may be generally relevant even today, however the trends are likely different from what's been reported here, only based on all that's happened in the world in the time between. Please read this with an eye out for those possibilities.
MBA employment reports! Such a rich resource to mine in your research on schools!
You are hopefully already doing this, but most of you, based on our experience working with many BSers over time, we’re guessing, you’re probably not.
Say you’re interested in coming to the United States for bschool, in order to stay here for a few years and working post-MBA, before returning back to your country.
Obviously there have been changes to the climate around immigration in America in the past few years, and that did change the landscape, both in terms of the numbers of international applicants trying for grad school in the States, as well as how some of the big multinationals approached their on-campus recruiting and their strategies on who they would hire. These changes appear to have stabilized and the environment today is not being subject to the same level of shocks that it had been in 2017 and 2018. Which means there is less risk for the admissions offices in who they will admit to their programs, because at the other end of the funnel, there’s more stability in recruiting (at least for now, given the economic stability as well).
Case in point:
That UVA Darden employment report that we talked about in our post on pitching the MBA adcoms on consulting as your post-MBA goals. That post talked about salaries. There’s way more that you can learn from an employment report, though.
The Class of 2019 was admitted to Darden in the 2016-2017 admissions season, before these shocks to the immigration system occurred, and significantly, before the horrible events at the white supremacy march in Charlottesville in Fall 2017. At all these schools, the Class of 2019 was the last of the pre-shock era. It was also a high water mark for applications at many of these schools. Competition was FIERCE and it was hard to get in everywhere, for all types of candidates. Darden’s average GMAT was 713 for that class; it actually went up to 717 the following year, before settling back down to 713 again for the Class of 2021. We expect it to stay in that range (maybe one notch higher) for the Class of 2022 as well, based on the tea leaves we’re reading so far.
Okay. So. The Class of 2019 at Darden started with 326 students in the Fall of 2017, and ended with 320 graduating in May 2019. This type of washout is common for most schools, where there is attrition of a handful of students along the way, often these days due to students deciding to do a new venture full time, or sometimes due to personal situations that make them leave school. Sometimes a graduating class is even bigger, when some of those prior-year students come back to finish.
Of the 326 students who started at Darden in 2017, 34% were internationals, so like 111 students.
And the crucial tidbit of info: The Darden Class of 2019 Employment Report reveals that only 6% of the 287 graduates seeking employment went overseas. So that’s like 17 students.
So we start with around 110 or so internationals coming to Darden, and we end with like 17 students (technically, some of them could be Americans) headed back out of the U.S. for their first jobs post-MBA.
Looking at these numbers, it appears that Darden is a pretty good place to come if you’re a foreign passport holder looking to use the MBA to transition to the U.S.
This may not be what you would’ve expected to hear. Darden isn’t necessarily a name that’s considered the most prestigious, nor is Charlottesville a sought-after destination for people wanting to come live in America for awhile. (Though it should be. Adorable town. Pretty great weather. Nice people. Lots to like about Charlottesville.)
The Darden name isn’t a huge brand in other countries. If you’re planning on using the MBA as part of your future career network equity, then maybe you’re not thinking Darden is the right place for you.
Fair enough. These are personal decisions, with lots of factors at play. This post isn’t an attempt to sell international students on Darden.
Instead, it’s a post to invite you to do more with that research that we’ve been exhorting as important.
We talk about school research all the time, and sometimes BSers jump in with it, sometimes they don’t.
Some BSers geek out on it totally.
If you’re saying you want to go get an MBA, then hopefully that means you’re already feeling comfortable with analyses like these. It’s all about using those skills that the Integrated Reasoning section of the GMAT is testing you for.
Different schools are indeed different, and this is one way that you can start to crack into these elements on a practical level for yourself. Look at the data. Ask questions! Figure out what’s important to you. The thinking you’re doing on career goals right now isn’t only to have something to say in an essay asking you to discuss you’re career goals. It’s because you’re proposing to go do something new and different with your life. So, what school is going to help you pull that off in the best way possible?
And since we are apparently talking up Darden…