Investment Banking Jobs on the Rise for MBAs

Investment banking job hiring and job prospects in general have been picking up for recent MBA grads, reports The Financial Times. Hiring in the U.S. for most sectors is gradually increasing, especially in the financial services, consulting and industrial sectors.

“The mood is significantly better than even a year ago … confidence in the market is much stronger and companies really wanted to hire this year,” according to Roxanne Hori, associate dean for career management and corporate partnerships at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Corporate leaders invited to give the commencement addresses at B-school graduations are tempering that optimism with a dose of reality. Their overall message: work hard, add value, and embrace change, reports Businessweek. Among the nuggets of advice doled out:

“In this labor market, you might not find a job immediately, but the important thing is to get started, acquire experience, and make connections without losing sight of your longer-term goals. Whatever job you take, be the best at what you do and work harder than everyone else,” said Henry R. Kravis, founding partner of the private equity firm KKR at the May 15 commencement at Columbia Business School.

Another speechmaker praised the value of “single-tasking” and focus. “Focus your mind, time, and energy to bring the full value of what you have to offer to the task at hand, to your passions, your family and your community, to be fully present in all your endeavors,” said Barbara J. Desoer, president of Bank of America (BAC) Home Loans and Insurance, at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business commencement.

A global survey by Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) reported in The Independent shows that MBA hiring is 5 percent higher in 2011 than last year. Starting salaries for many MBAs are up, as well. But this does not mean competition has slacked off for top jobs.

Communication skills still count as the mostly highly sought-after quality by employers worldwide. “Knowing yourself and the marketplace more than anything else means you can communicate about yourself,” says Julia Tyler, executive vice-president of GMAC. There is also so much information available online now, that investment banking job hunters must research well beyond what is available on a bank’s website, for their job interviews.

Are you a recent MBA grad in the midst of a job search? Let us know your reactions to this job market. Add your comments below.

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