What Does the Future Hold for MBA Candidates?: Kellogg School of Management Q&A | TopMBA.com

What Does the Future Hold for MBA Candidates?: Kellogg School of Management Q&A

By Linda M

Updated October 28, 2020 Updated October 28, 2020

After a difficult year, the MBA job market is finally bouncing back.

But what does the future hold for MBA candidates and business schools?

TopMBA caught up with Liza Kirkpatrick, Managing Director of the Career Management Center at the Kellogg School of Management, to find out. 

How has the job market changed this year from last year?

Two major factors impact MBA hiring: business need and candidate excellence. Kellogg has a proven track record of producing great candidates and well-prepared graduates. We are fortunate to be a top destination for employers who seek out MBA talent. That being said, COVID-19 has accelerated changes that we anticipated happening to the MBA employment market, including:

  • Timing of hiring: Less early offers and more just-in-time hiring
  • Method of hiring: More virtual engagement as opposed to in-person, and increased variety of recruiting platforms
  • Type of employer: Less concentrated hiring of large classes of MBAs and an increase in unique firms hiring students

For the Kellogg job seeker, success will mean utilizing all of the resources available and having a nimble job search strategy. We recommend developing a holistic, proactive approach to recruiting, meaning MBAs should not limit themselves to just virtual on-campus recruiting. Good opportunities will come from a variety of channels and may be on an elongated timeline.

What do you look for in Kellogg candidates?

When we evaluate our applicants, a few qualities really stand out to us. We look for students who demonstrate an ability to galvanize a team, who aren’t afraid to take risks, and who drive lasting impact for their organizations and communities. We hand select people who will thrive in our culture, which values high-impact, low-ego leadership, where students are fully engaged and “all in” with their student experience. We sought individuals who share our conviction to make our community stronger and a deeply seeded belief that by collaborating, we can achieve more together than what is possible individually. 

Our holistic application process allows us to understand how each person would bring these traits to Kellogg in his or her own unique way. From there, we teach them how to build on these abilities while they’re at Kellogg.  

What special resources does Kellogg have for business school students when it comes to careers? How do you prepare them for life after graduation?

Our Career Management Center is committed to partnering closely with students on their career journey. We have deeply specialized coaches that work with our students, tapping into their unique interests to realize student career goals. All students receive unlimited one-on-one career coaching as part of their Kellogg experience and topics range from career path exploration and job search strategy, to mock interviews and compensation negotiation. 

Additionally, the CMC partners with alumni and second-year students to advise students on the tactical components of their job search. For example, the International Peer Coaching Program leverages the mentorship of second-year students to provide for incoming international students who are acclimating to business school, culture and recruiting in the US, and the Industry Advisors Program leverages CMC alumni partners to provide specialized industry insights to help inform the job search. 

Kellogg is laser-focused on connecting our students to the right alumni, recruiters and companies that enable them to find a job that aligns with their passions and goals. Kellogg’s Networking Nights bring together a conglomerate of companies in a variety of industries to allow students to engage in free-flowing conversations with company representatives.

Our career treks are also a key-driver for this type of relationship-building – and they’re even more accessible now, given our current, virtual environment. They connect our students with key players in industries of interest, usually focused in a specific location.

Why should students choose to study an MBA at Kellogg?

Students choose Kellogg due to its culture, collaborative environment and a portfolio of meaningful programs that help students pursue their career goals. Kellogg offers five distinct options (2Y, 1Y, MMM, MBAi, JD-MBA) for pursuing your full-time MBA – all of which have been intentionally designed to fit students personal and professional interests. All programs provide exposure to our star faculty, career management coaching, global opportunities, and a world-class network.

The Kellogg alumni network has 60,000+ people across the world. Alumni have a deep sense of pride for their Kellogg experience and a strong sense of loyalty to the school, which creates a wonderful pay-it-forward culture for our students. For example, our Hire Kellogg campaign helped to create meaningful connections between alumni whose companies had talent needs and students who were affected by the initial shock of COVID-19.

Recent GMAC figures show that MBA recruitment and salaries might boost again in 2021. How confident are you in the value of the MBA in the current job market? Do you expect to see more positive trends in the upcoming months?

Amidst the significant disruption of 2020, the need for leaders who can be prepared for change is evident. Kellogg is focused on preparing this kind of leader that can navigate an environment of change and disruption: a leader who has been shaped by and embodies the essential qualities of creativity and collaboration and a leader who leverages empathy in order to drive impact. The MBA curriculum at Kellogg lays a foundation for students so they can meet these urgent and unexpected challenges in their careers. 

We see the value of the MBA, and in particular, the value of the Kellogg MBA remaining very strong.  Companies are looking to emerge from the current disruption in a position of strength which includes having the best talent pipeline as a key to that success. Students come to Kellogg to develop future ready skill sets, new ways to problem solve, and are always ready to be challenged by their post-Kellogg roles.

Employers will continue to seek out candidates who are eager to make an immediate impact, which is something that all Kellogg students and alumni have in common.


This article was originally published in October 2020 .

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Written by

Linda is Content Writer at TopMBA, creating content about students, courses, universities and businesses. She recently graduated in Journalism & Creative Writing with Politics and International Relations, and now enjoys writing for a student audience.