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UI MBA Students Find Success in Job Search after Graduation

Graduates from the University of Iowa's Henry B. Tippie School of Management were successful at finding jobs this year. Eighty-two percent of the May 2004 MBA graduates had offers at graduation, up 22 percent from 2003.

Three months after graduation, 91 percent of the graduates had accepted offers, up 11 percent from 2003, according to MBA Career Services' 2003-04 Placement Results report. Nearly all the graduates had found employment as of this fall, said Kathie Decker, director of MBA Career Services at the UI's Tippie School of Management.

The statistics for the report were compiled from survey responses of the 2004 MBA class of 77 graduates from the full-time, on-campus MBA program. The median base salary for a May 2004 MBA graduate was $72,020, up 11 percent from 2003. The median signing bonus was $11,000, an increase of 267 percent from the year before. The average pre-MBA salary of Tippie MBA 2004 graduates was $34,312. Students came into the program with an average of 3.3 years of professional work experience and had an 110 percent increase in salary after completing the program.

Decker said top MBA candidates across the nation experienced intense job market competition during the 2003-04, after a two-year decline in MBA hiring. "There was a gradual rebound in MBA hiring early in 2004 and early in the summer, a number of international candidates found U.S.-based jobs with companies hiring at the last minute. Faced with reduced budgets, recruiters continued to reduce campus recruiting activities and increased the use of websites to attract job applicants," she said.

Sixty-six percent of Tippie graduates found jobs in the Midwest, 41 percent of them in Iowa. Thirty-four percent of the graduates went to finance and investment companies, while 31 percent got jobs in marketing. Employers of UI MBA graduates included Fortune 500 companies such as General Electric, Bank One, FedEx and Citigroup, and also companies with an Iowa presence such as Great American Leasing, Aegon and Fastek.

To assist students with their job searches, MBA Career Services staff employed aggressive strategies such as proactively sending candidate referrals to traditional and nontraditional MBA recruiters and increasing interviews held at career fairs and professional conferences. MBA candidates also networked with alumni for "hidden" opportunities within their companies.

Job prospects for the Class of 2005 are looking good, but the job market continues to be very competitive, Decker said. "The majority of Tippie MBAs will be seeking finance, marketing and leadership opportunities, and we will continue to use networking and referrals as our primary placement strategies," she added.

Decker added that candidates changing careers will be particularly challenged because of competition from experienced candidates. International students seeking U.S. work eligibility will also face challenges due to increasingly strict visa requirements.


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