Career Services

Good economic times are translating into stellar

MBA Career Services

PRACTICALLY ONE HUNDRED PERCENT— THAT WAS THE PLACEMENT RATE for international students in the MBA Class of 1998. JoAnne Chou, associate director of MBA Career Services, reports that as of mid-September, 96.7 percent of international students graduating the program had obtained positions. And more of them than ever landed jobs in the United States — 38 out of 110, or 35 percent. "The economy is good and we positioned ourselves well," says Chou. But, she cautions: "The demand for international MBAs is very specific."

To prepare themselves for the areas in which companies recruit heavily, "students are taking advantage of our techno-MBA, as well as the strong finance offerings at Illinois. There's also a demand for MBAs with accounting skills. We've built a comfortable position with Japanese partners in the Big Five [accounting firms], primarily among our Korean and Japanese students."

Chou adds: "Illinois is also gaining a reputation in international marketing. This area is especially appealing to students who want to work for multinationals back home. And a small group of students are going into high-profile programs that are truly global." These are rotational programs, in which managers work at locations all over the world.

A few of the 137 members of the Illinois MBA Class of '98 took a path rather different than might have been expected. "One very talented young man," she confides, "joined a rock band."

1998 MBA Career Services Statistics*

  • Top ten hiring companies:**
    Andersen Consulting (14)
    AlliedSignal (10)
    Arthur Andersen (8)
    Citibank (7)
    Ernst & Young (7)
    Ford Motor Company (7)
    Eaton Corporation (6)
    Hewlett-Packard (5)
    Pillsbury (5)
    Dow Chemical (3)
    **Companies listed in descending order based on number of hires.
  • # companies recruiting on campus —
    103 (6% decrease)
  • # job postings — 469 (26% increase)
    Average starting salary — $61,524
  • Average signing bonus — $8,400
  • Students receiving signing bonus — 60%
  • Students securing full-time employment or continuing their education — 94%
  • Functional areas of choice:
    Finance & Accounting (30%)
    Marketing & Sales (19%)
    Consulting (18%)
    Information Systems (12%)
    General Management (9%)
    Operations Management (5%)
    Human Resources (5%)
    Other (2%)

*As of September 1, 1998

Commerce Career Services

Lezli Cline (left) and Vickie Sloan — staffers who support the outstanding work of Commerce Career Services.

UNDERGRADUATE Recruiting Statistics — 1997-98
  • Employer Demand (Number of Firms Recruiting) by Major
Finance 230
Accountancy 206
Industrial Distrib. Mgmt. 193
Marketing 177
Economics 164
Mgmt. Info. Systems 135
Management Science 128
Technology & Management 116
Entrepreneurship 115
Organizational Administration 110
Production 92
Food & Agribusiness 69
  • Number of Students Served 931
  • Number of Interviews 9,397
  • Number of Companies Interviewing 391



% % % % %
Major Registered Responded Employed Grad School Other Available

Accy 211 82 88 0 9 3
BA 239 86 86 2 3 9
Econ 13 69 78 11 0 11
Fin 227 87 89 2 4 5

TOTAL 690* 85 7 2 5 6
*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.

(Formerly the Commerce Placement Office)

On-Campus Interviewing Program

  • 391 companies in 1997-98, an increase of 67 percent from the 234 companies in 1992-93.
  • 10,567 interviews conducted for 1,597 seniors, graduating master's candidates, and undergraduate and graduate interns (the number of interviews represents 28% of all campus interviews coordinated by the seventeen career services offices).
  • 70 percent of CBA students who accept employment find their position through CCS interviews — two to three times above the national average.

Referral of Data Sheets

  • 134,019 data sheets mailed to prospective employers (6% increase over 1996-97).

Correspondence Job Postings

  • 3,948 openings posted for career, internship, and summer openings for students served by CCS (25% increase over last year).

Career Fairs

  • Served as liaison between companies and coordinating student organizations for the twice-yearly fairs.

Employer Contact Directory

  • 2,100 employers listed in the 6th edition, up from 1,900 last year.

Technology Initiatives

  • Working with MBA and engineering career services through Administrative Information Systems and Services to develop an integrated, Web-based Online Recruiting System.

Job Search

  • Guide published annually to lead students through the entire job search process, step-by-step. Company ads increased by 40 percent over last year.

Career Focus Series

  • Panels of professionals come to campus to discuss industry perspectives, career opportunities, and entry requirements in various business fields.
  • This year panels were co-sponsored with student organizations and as a result student participation increased 58 percent.



Major # Reporting Median Average Range

Accountancy 131 $36,000 $35,537 $25,000-70,000
Business Administration
   Entrepreneurship 3 37,000 36,167 31,000 - 40,500
   Food & Agribusiness Mgt 1 27,000
   Industrial Distribution Mgt 14 40,000 39,714 25,000 - 47,000
   Mgt Information Systems 31 41,000 41,586 33,000 - 55,000
   Mgt Science 1 57,000
   Marketing 89 33,600 33,049 20,000 - 50,000
   Organizational Admin 11 30,000 31,636 22,000 - 50,000
Economics 6 32,000 31,650 23,500 - 38,400
Finance 137 36,000 36,308 24,000 - 70,000
MAS 3 42,000 43,000 37,000 - 50,000
MSA 1 35,000
MST 8 42,000 41,688 37,000 - 46,500

(Undergraduate—Class of 1998)*

Arthur Andersen & Company, LLP (44)
Andersen Consulting (41)
KPMG Peat Marwick, LLP (27)
Price Waterhouse, LLP (24)
CDW Computer Centers (21)
Coopers & Lybrand, LLP (17)
First Chicago NBD/ American National Bank (16)
Merrill Lynch & Company (16)
Deloitte & Touche, LLP (15)
Ernst & Young (13)

*Listed in descending order based on number of hires

# Registered 12 11 13
Response 33% 9% 77%
Plans 75% 100% 90%


$42,000 $35,000 $42,000


$43,000 $35,000 $41,688


$37,000-50,000 $35,000-35,000 $37,000-46,500
# of Firms


38 38 23



Val Berry of the Commerce Office for Information Management meets with corporate recruiters at the Illini Center in Chicago, to discuss and brainstorm development of CBA's new on-line recruiting program. From links to company Web sites to students résumés to scheduling interviews and rooms on campus, the system is being designed for a brave new world of corporate employers and job-seekers who one day may even get together on-line for interviews.



Career Fair, Encore

THRONGING AND TEEMING THEY SURGE THROUGH KRANNERT making contacts with company representatives — introducing themselves and chatting and handing out résumés. This is Commerce Career Fair, a twice-yearly phenomenon by, for, and about the students of CBA and their dreams. Coalesced from the loose string of employment events staged by students clubs in earlier, less sophisticated times, the Commerce Career Fair began in 1994, an umbrella employment showcase organized by a consortium of student groups: Beta Alpha Psi, the National Association of Black Accountants, the Minority Commerce Association, the Finance Club, and Commerce Council. In the years since, Career Fair has grown like Topsy from a one-day annual event to a two-day, twice-yearly, extravaganza of speculation, prospect-surfing, and networking.

Even with a capacity of two hundred tables, that's one hundred companies to be visited each day, give or take the few firms that have sprung for two or more tables. Company demand for space is such that eighty companies got wait-listed for the fall '98 Career Fair. "We had forty or fifty on the fall '97 waiting list," says director of Commerce Career Services Lois Meerdink. "And the spring fair has mushroomed. We had 150 companies at the two-day spring Career Fair in 1998. In 1995, when we held the first spring fair, we wondered if we would even have enough companies for a one-day event." While Career Fair is a student-organized event, Meerdink's office provides a year-round point of contact and support for interested companies and students alike. "We offer some continuity — if employers have questions, if they haven't been to Career Fair before," she says. "But it's the students who do the actual production of the event. They send the letters of invitation. They make contact with Krannert and arrange for the facilities. They place equipment requests, recruit volunteers, help with carrying displays and materials, and work the registration tables. It's a major effort."

Career Fair — bringing students and recruiters together for their mutual benefit.



"Every student I greeted was well dressed, looked me in the eye, shook my hand, and introduced themselves . . . Their excitement was intoxicating."

- Randy Reichmann


Last week I had the opportunity to attend two Job Fairs. One at the University of Illinois (which wore out my feet, voice, and hands) and one at another well respected midwest University, we'll just call University X.

I wanted to compliment you, your staff, and your students for the professional job that was done on your Career Fair. Every student I greeted was well dressed, looked me in the eye, shook my hand, and introduced themselves. As always, some were better than others and some "over sold" themselves, but in general they did an outstanding job. Their excitement was intoxicating. They asked good questions and I was once again reminded of how fortunate I am to hold a degree from Illinois.

Two days later I attended another Job Fair at University X. The event was poorly attended, which to me meant it was poorly organized. In addition, not one student dressed professionally and several showed up without a résumé! I told our recruiters to forget going to that place until they got serious about themselves.

I'm not a professional recruiter, but my impressions of those events were like day and night. I know many things have changed since I went to school. But one thing hasn't changed — you only get one chance to make a first impression. If any of the students ever question the résumé preparation, introduction technique, and business attire you require, please have them call me. Today résumés from the University of Illinois are being reviewed for job selection, while résumés from University X are in my trash can.

Thanks for your splendid efforts.

Randy Reichmann (BS Agricultural Economics 1980)
Senior Vice President, Bank One, Indiana, NA

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