People often associate business school degrees with a handful of traditional fields, such as consulting. But according to this piece at Page Six Magazine, the growing fashionista crowd at Harvard Business School is demonstrating you don’t have to be Michael Bloomberg to go for an MBA.
Take Olga Vidisheva, a 25-year-old model and current MBA candidate. She attended Wellesley, did two years at Goldman Sachs, and then decided finance wasn’t for her. She applied to HBS, specifically aiming to change careers to fashion. Her plan seems to be paying off, as evidenced by her summer spent interning with Chanel’s marketing department. And she’s not alone. We’ve already covered HBS alums Alexandra Wilkis Wilson and Alexis Maybank, who founded Gilt Groupe. Other startups have followed, including FashionStake, a site that allows you to invest in newbie designers; Birchbox, which sends monthly beauty samples to members; and Rent the Runway, which rents designer dresses.
Ultimately, only 3 percent of Harvard grads go on to retail careers, as opposed to 57 percent working in finance or consulting. But sartorially-inclined students report the program is becoming the place for fashion”and they ought to know what’s in vogue!
Job prospects for MBAs are picking up thanks in large part to the diligent efforts of business schools’ career offices, according to this Wall Street Journal article.
Career services officers at MBA programs nationwide have been working extra hard this year. HBS, for example, boosted their recruiting budget 50 percent and engaged employers more actively at conferences in Shanghai and Paris. The school also started a fellowship to cover students’ travel costs for interviews. The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business tripled its employer development staff. Stanford started an online forum allowing career services to act as a matchmaker between students and potential employers. “We are almost able to act like an eHarmony between students, alumni and companies,” says the director of the school’s career management center.
The numbers suggest that all that work is paying off: At the end of the year, 85 percent of Harvard grads had offers, along with 80 percent at Booth. Meanwhile, at Stanford, job postings for students were up 70 percent over last year. Heartening statistics, to say the least. They’re also a good argument for picking a school with solid career counseling.