Career Services

Times have never been better for CBA grads. Recruiters are making contact in record-breaking numbers — and in groundbreaking ways.

MBA Career Services

ILLINOIS MBAS CONTINUE TO BE IN DEMAND, ACCORDING TO MBA CAREER SERVICES DIRECTOR ELIZABETH POLAK — particularly those with the much sought-after specialty in management information systems. She also notes a new trend — more and more students are using the Internet to seek employment, especially with high tech companies and other organizations with a technology emphasis. "Students find their jobs in various ways," notes Polak. Included are job fairs held by special organizations, such as the National Black MBA Association and the National Society for Hispanic MBAs, as well as job fairs for international students. "Through such events, students gain exposure to hundreds of additional employers," says Polak.


Elizabeth Polak

She also observes that as many as 400 companies post jobs through MBA Career Services annually. Between 30 and 35 percent of graduating MBAs find their jobs through on-campus recruiting.

"We asked some top-hiring companies why they continue to hire — and hire! — Illinois MBAs in such numbers. What we consistently hear is that our graduates are not afraid to roll up their shirt sleeves. After all, any company that recruits MBAs knows that experience and skills come with the degree. What sets the Illinois MBA apart is the emphasis on technology — and the willingness to work hard."

"When students come back from summer internships, they often remark how much they've learned in class. They return with a renewed sense of pride in the program — and confidence in their ability to compete in the marketplace."

- Elizabeth Polak, Director,MBA Career Services


1997 MBA Career Services Statistics*

Top hiring companies:**
Allied Signal
Bank of America
Arthur Andersen
Andersen Consulting
Deloitte & Touche
American Management Systems
KPMG Peat Marwick
Dean Witter
Federal Express
Goldman Sachs
Johnson & Johnson
Price Waterhouse

**Companies listed in descending order based on number of hires.

  • # companies recruiting on campus—110 (11% increase)
  • # job postings—387 (8% decrease)
  • Average starting salary—$51,893
  • Students securing full-time employment or continuing their education—91%
  • Functional areas of choice: Finance & Accounting (34%) Marketing & Sales (14%) General Management (13%) Consulting (12%)
    Information Systems (7%)
    Operations Management (7%)
    Human Resources (7%)
    Other (6%)

*As of September 1, 1997

Commerce Career Services

C OMMERCE CAREER SERVICES (FORMERLY THE COMMERCE PLACEMENT OFFICE) REPORTS   that 291 firms came to campus to recruit CBA undergrads in the fall — the highest number since 1979, when these figures began to be recorded. On-campus interviewing also increased, 14 percent over the fall of 1996, and referral of data sheets went up by 26 percent during that same period. Chalk it up to an economy as robust as UIUC's reputation. With employers anticipating a jump of more than 25 percent in job opportunities in the coming year, "word is spreading that this is a good campus," notes career services director Lois Meerdink. "We offer diversity and high quality." It's been a great year for the students coming out as far as job opportunities go," she continues. "Some employers are even offering signing bonuses.These bonuses have long been included in executive compensation packages. But they're really a new phenomenon for undergraduates."


Lois Meerdink

Initial contact through the time-honored CBA tradition of the Career Fair, followed by scheduled interviews, remains the favored template for recruitment. But electronic job hunting is coming on line in a big way. After two years in development, an interactive, multifunctional Web site that brings Commerce students together with prospective employers will soon be up and running. Developed by Scott McCartney of AISS, with extensive input from the Commerce, MBA, and Engineering placement offices, the site will be accessible to both students and recruiters.

The former may review job listings and information from prospective employers (there are even links
to company home pages), and then schedule interviews and forward data sheets or resumes. Companies may review applicants (pre-screened by the program), fill interview schedules, and even reserve facilities and make other arrangements for their visits to campus — all on-line. In the not too distant future, says McCartney, await more innovations — training, tutorials, even interviews. Not only does this site promise to simplify and enhance the often complicated task of getting together hunters of jobs with hunters
of personnel — it advances the UIUC-wide goal of reducing paperwork.
"Word is spreading that this is a good
campus. We offer diversity and high quality."

- Lois Meerdink, Director, Career Services

  • Employer Demand
    (Number of Firms Recruiting) by Major
    Finance - 185
    Accountancy - 164
    Industrial Distribution Management - 152
    Marketing - 135
    Economics - 122
  • Number of Students Served - 721

  • Number of Interviews - 9,843

  • Number of Companies Interviewing - 359

Major # Reporting Median Average


Accountancy 142 $31,900 $32,838 $27,000 - 50,000
Business Administration
  Entrepreneurship 2 32,750 32,750 32,500 - 33,000
  Food & Agribusiness Mgt. 3 31,500 28,500 21,000 - 33,000
  Industrial Distribution Mgt. 28 38,000 37,401 28,000 - 45,000
  Mgt. Information Systems 22 38,000 38,125 24,000 - 55,000
  Marketing 43 31,000 30,721 20,000 - 44,000
  Organizational Admin. 15 33,000 33,133 24,000 - 42,000
Economics 8 34,500 33,875 29,000 - 39,000
Finance 108 32,000 32,702 20,000 - 53,400
MAS 4 40,500 39,000 32,000 - 43,000
MST 12 40,000 40,193 31,200 - 52,000

# Registered 17 13
Response 71% 100%
Plans 92% 100%


$40,500 $40,000


$39,000 $40,194


$32,000-43,000 $31,200-52,000
Undergraduate Placement Survey for 1996-97











Grad School



Accy 255 77 87 2 10 1
BA 230 75 87 1 5 7
Econ 13 69 100 0 0 0
Fin 223 70 87 3 7 3
TOTAL 721* 74 87 2 7 4
*CBA students only. CCS also serves students (about 180) who are LAS econ or fin majors, and students from other colleges who wish to pursue a career in business.

Finding jobs in cyberspace — soon Commerce students and top-recruiting companies will be doing major employment legwork on the `net.
"This is a place where we know we can get top-qualified students. You're the best of the best. It's part of the deal."

- Kirk Hoffman, Corporate Accountant, Caterpillar

TOP HIRING FIRMS (Undergraduate—1990-97)*

Northwestern Mutual- Roeder Agency Olde Discount Corporation
Prudential Venture Stores
Amoco Corporation Crowe Chizek & Company
River Forest Bancorp Abbott Laboratories
Motorola, Incorporated Toyota
Unisys Corporation American Backhaulers
General Mills, Incorporated Jewel Food Stores
Metropolitan Insurance Companies - Skokie Peterson Consulting Ltd. Partnership
AT&T Heller Financial, Incorporated
Montgomery Kone, Incorporated Caterpillar, Incorporated
Eastman Kodak Company M&M/Mars, Incorporated
Philip Rootberg & Company Philip Morris, U.S.A.
Quaker Oats Company Cargill, Incorporated
*Listed in descending order based on number of hires
Other programs offered by
Commerce Career Services during
the 1997-98 academic year:
  • Career Focus Series — panel presentations, with executives discussing job opportunities in banking and financial services, consulting, advertising, marketing and sales, and management information services
  • Career employment skills workshops
  • Job search guides
  • Mock interviews
  • Individual advising
  • Outreach to student groups

C a r e e r   F a i r


  • "Lots of great companies come here — I can really target the employers I want.
    Malay Vasauda, '98 MBA

  • "I came last year and got an internship with Rockwell. I'm back this year looking for another internship. I'm going to talk to between ten and fifteen companies — and I'm hoping to pick and choose. It's a good way to get exposure to the job market. And it's interesting to see what majors go to what companies and how that works. That's part of the secret."
    Beth Koelling, '99 IDM

  • "This is my second Career Fair — I'm looking for a position in corporate finance in Latin American markets. This is an opportunity to interact with companies and learn exactly what they're looking for."
    Sergio Jaume, '99 M.S. International Finance
  • "I'm here to see as many companies as I can. I want to get my résumé out and meet the company representatives and find out more about them. I've been to other career fairs. But the ones here at school are much better. They're better set up — and geared more toward the U of I students."
    Christine Hwu, '98 Finance



"I go to job fairs at several schools including several Big Ten schools. Yours is hands down the best."

S OBERLY SUITED, BRIGHT-EYED WITH HOPES ABOUT THAT FIRST JOB, THE STUDENTS THRONGED to Krannert for the fall and spring Career Fairs, browsing the booths of hundreds of companies and carrying away information, ideas, and trinkets which ranged from Tootsie pops and toy trucks to windshield scrapers and water pistols. Now stretched to two days and offered in both semesters, these events have carved such a high profile for CBA that companies who come too late looking for a table are being turned away. (For the fall Career Fair, there was a waiting list of more than forty firms.) In many cases, the recruiters themselves are alums, come back to campus with word of opportunities in the outside world. Here is some talk from both sides of the table at Career Fair.




Keith G. Daubenspeck
Executive Vice President, Sales
Madison Securities


  • "When I see recruits who come from other schools, I really appreciate the strong accounting skills of the UIUC students. We've had real good success with those we've hired."

    Eric Smith, '90 Finance
    Corporate Recruiter, Motorola

  • "I came here when I was an undergraduate and it's interesting to be back on the other side of the table. We heavily recruit Illinois — there's no doubt about it. If we hire forty people in any given year, the highest or second highest percentage will be from Illinois. We've had a lot of successes with the people we've recruited here."

    Jim Calzaretta, '90 Accountancy
    Tax Practice Executive
    Arthur Andersen

  • "U of I has been our firm's number one source school for the last two to three years. The accounting majors from Project Discovery are not only technically strong — they're team-oriented, with high communications skills."

    Mari Jo Marciano, Director of
    Recruiting for Midwest Area
    KPMG/Peat Marwick

  • "It's a blast being back down on campus — and it's fun to see the changes with Project Discovery. This is a place where we know we can get top-qualified students, with basic knowledge, as well as good analytical and communications skills. We are hiring business people as opposed to accountants. The really well rounded students draw us here. You're the best of the best. It's part of the deal."

    Kirk Hoffman, '92 Accountancy
    Corporate Accountant, Caterpillar