Alight my opinions...nearly opposite of what you wrote. I did on and off campus, and I got offers from on and off campus.
1- lots of openings available
2- it doesn't take a lot of effort to get an interview
3- great for career switchers because companies often recruit for "feeder" programs
1. Not entirely true. Lots of companies but a company may come to school targeting 1 person or 10. Really depends on the industry, the strength of that school in that area, and the needs of the company at that time. There are companies that hired drastically more people here this year than in the past but there are some firms who due to their business were way down.
2. Not true, you can drop for 30 companies and not get any closed lists...yes you can bid onto them but thats often not the same. 30-50% success rate getting on the closed list is doing well, 50% is doing incredibly well. Of course this depends on the industry and company. A consulting company might interview 100+ people so getting on the closed list is not nearly as hard as some popular companies that interview 12-16 people. A lot of those consulting folks apply to stuff outside of that as backups but not many people targeting GM, Marketing, Corp Fin, or others apply to consulting stuff.
Yes its not a huge amount of effort to drop resumes and write coverletters (after the first few they get pretty easy). However, from my experience, networking upfront with those companies drastically increases one's success rate. So if you want to get on closed lists and get through to the 2nd round you better be proactive and network with alums at the company and the recruiters.
3. Definitely not true these days. Career switching is very difficult these days. Most people had success either in the industry they have the most directly related experience in or their previous work experience was closely related to the what they are applying for. Some career switching happened, but definitely not to the extent it happened in the past. Healthcare actually appeared to be the industry where people had the highest rate of success switching.
1- if you've got specialized skills, sometimes you'll be treated like a career switcher and be offered a position below what you could get yourself
2- the on-campus process is very "go through the motions"; you can often land an internship/full-time job without really putting a lot of thought into the decision.
1. On campus pretty much has the same starting point for everyone. Occasionally some people manage to get the high end but their experience is amazing, and it can be at companies that hire on campus and they did their internship at to prove themselves.
2. Wow, tell that to the 50% of people who fail getting stuff on campus. Its not as easy as showing up and getting jobs, especially these days. Even in good times plenty of folks come up empty or get offers they are far from excited about. The interviewing process is intense, often way worse than off campus. A recruiter the ability to compare two people against each other immediately without...so if you are unprepared either with knowledge of the company or for questions you are going to stand out horribly compared to the 10 other people that person interviews that day.On campus:
1. Structure, the companies coming are used to recruiting and hiring MBA's. The timeline is much better most of the time...it definitely isnt the blackhole that is off-campus. I did an interview off campus and heard a month later I was going to get a 2nd round. On campus most companies come back within a really reasonable time, they wont drag you along and then suddenly say nothing is available. It happens occasionally on campus, definitely did this year...but not like off campus where there is no real control over the process.
2. Companies are going to pay market value. I noticed a huge difference on what most oncampus and offcampus internship offers payed. I had one offer that was off campus, good role, big company, got it from very high ups in the company, and it still payed less than half what my highest offer paid. A company coming on campus will never have success if they aren't willing to pay reasonably close to what expectations are. However, off campus companies may not have the understanding of what an MBA would pay.
3. While its still work, you pretty much know what the job will be before signing up. Its not nearly as much of an unknown.
4. The value of your degree...a company usually knows not just what you should get paid but what you should be able to do for jobs. They hire MBAs routinely and have experience with providing jobs that are demanding but wont set you up to fail at.
5. I have heard of some people managing to start at higher levels if they rule their internship, have related work experience, and negotiate well. I was actually told by where I am going on my internship that they occasionally bring people in at a higher level, but that decision is made by senior management so networking well with the right people during the internship will help. These companies have traditional paths for MBA's so they can skip you up a level if you are the right person for that job. Cons:
1. Lots of competition from people that maybe using that as a back up and arent nearly as passionate about it.
2. Sense of rejection. You know people are getting those jobs and when you dont, its a lot different than when you try to network off campus and fail. Off campus failure feels more like there wasnt a position available than you not making some cut.
3. The known timeline, as the end approaches stress can increase drastically for people who havent landed something.
4. Its a pretty open process and though its not very competitive here, you know who has multiple offers and who has none.Off Campus
1. Can find some very unique opportunities
2. Often have more input in the type of project you will be doing. If you want to do something strategy, M&A, supply chain, whatever...they know up front what you want and usually wont give you an offer outside that area.
3. Can be very quick if you make the right contact. I know people who managed to get their way to the right alum who was well positioned and without much of an interview landed an offer.
4. If you have some amazing background you might swing a huge salary or bonus. Cons:
1. Blackhole, its often hard to findout who has what available. Sometimes you hear, we might have something and sometimes you might here follow up in april or may.
2. Good luck with companies who recruit at other campuses unless they are second tier and you are at a top 10. These days companies have fewer slots and they want to maintain their relationships with certain schools and so they focus on those students. Chances are you arent as special as you might imagine when a company recruits at 5 or 6 schools, if there is someone remotely like you there then they are getting the job over you. Often these relationships are strengthened by alumni of those schools positioned in the company. I know where I am going, I was championed by an alum for a pretty interesting opportunity. Without alums on the recruiting team some of those unique and cool positions wont be going to you since you wont have that insider.
3. Fewer alums at companies that dont come on campus. I am in the energy area, I could find 30 to 50 alums at Chevron or Exxon since they recruit here and have for years. But I would find 1 or 2 at some other major oil companies that never have been on campus. Chances of an alum being in a major position of influence are much better at a company that recruits heavily at your school and has for a very very long time. If you have alums in senior management then chances are that they will definitely be hiring from that school at a pretty solid rate.
My advice...on vs off campus really depends on your career goal. If you have a goal in a function and/or industry that recruits heavily on campus that is 100 times better to do for most people. If you want something that is usually off campus or very outside the box of traditional MBA positions then on-campus strength doesnt matter. If you want Industry X going to the school with the amazing rep in that makes far more sense than a slightly better school with no rep in that at all. I know some people here are trying to decide between different schools...sometimes there is no difference in opportunities and sometimes its a huge difference.
I wouldnt recommend Kellogg if you want to do boutique IBing or something like that simply because not a whole lot of those come here and not a ton of alums are at those companies. However, if you wanted CPG or Healthcare, then the list of companies that comes here is staggering and number of alums in those industries is incredible, even outside the companies who recruit because people have switched companies years out of school. While you might think that tons of people come here from those backgrounds, but honestly there are far more positions than their are people with experience...especially in years better than this. I know some very strange career switchers who landed amazing gigs. Engineers working on missile defense going into HC marketing at one of the best companies to get hired by here. Teaching to big name brand management.
Sometimes its a toss up, you could be looking at MC and be comparing two schools with the same reputation and placement...at which point then its not as big of a difference. McKinsey is going to have tons of alums from all the top schools, will recruit there like crazy, and hire the most qualified people. They arent going to say well we only hired 10 from school X but 25 from school Y, our next 5 offers go to school X people. I mean this year McKinsey made more internship offers at Kellogg than the past few years but there is no way their hiring is up overall...they just liked lots of kellogg students this year and I dont doubt for a second if those people were at Booth, Wharton, or Columbia they would be getting the same offers.
I am not a fan of specialty rankings since I dont think they mean much...I am a fan of placement stats. If you dream about working for 5 companies go to the school that gets the largest number of them on-campus...especially if they hire large numbers of people. Thats not to say turn down a top 5 for a top 20, because usually the level of companies is different. Another interesting thing I have found out is that sometimes companies pay differently for different schools...and sometimes the positions available are very different. You might go in a step below a manager role or even an entry manager role from one school or two or three steps below from another. You could make 90k from one school but 120k from another...usually the positions are different but sometimes not totally different. I wasnt so sure how accurate this was when I first heard it from some alums but this is easily supported by the hiring and salary stats for various schools. I can tell you that some of the higher paying companies in certain industries here also hire at schools in the 15 to 25 range and the high pay at those schools in those industry are way below what those companies pay here...I am talking a 20k+ difference between their high salary for that industry and what those companies offer everyone here as a base starting salary. This is one thing to think about when debating a scholarship at school X and nothign from school Y.
Kellogg Class of 2010...still active and willing to help. However, I do not do profile reviews, don't offer predictions on chances and am far to busy to review essays, so save the energy of writing me a PM seeking help for these. If I don't respond to a PM that is not one of the previously mentioned trash can destined messages, please don't take it personally I get so many messages I have a hard to responding to most. The more interesting, compelling, or humorous you message the more likely I am to respond.
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