Last week brought promising headlines for MBA students, along with statistics showing that the job market is finally stabilizing in the financial services industry. Of course, this has plenty to do with an improving economy, but it can also be attributed to the fact that many financial institutions under-hired last year, which leaves them with many spots to fill now. "There's reason for students to be optimistic," said Tracy Handler, a spokeswoman for the M.B.A. Career Services Council, an association of business school career advisers. "Any signs of recovery are modest. But business schools are looking ahead and seeing a light at the end of what is now a pretty short tunnel." A recent survey found that 39 percent of business schools are expecting internship opportunities to rise for the 2010 season, and many more companies are recruiting on campus than last year.
Word has it that P. Diddy's even getting in on the MBA scene, having recently announced his intention to open a business school in Harlem to targeting the entrepreneurial set.
But even while the value of an MBA seems to be on the rise, some MBA students are pushing their degrees to new limits. The percentage of MBA students taking jobs in Asia has more than doubled in the past five years, to roughly 10 percent. While it's not unusual for talent to take international jobs during a recession, many believe that this trend is here to stay, highlighting a more mobile talent pool as well as the competitive salaries now offered by companies abroad. Increasingly, MBA students feel that there are many more job opportunities in the East, that they would be able to make a bigger impact there than in a domestic position, and that international experience will play an increasingly important role in any business career in the coming years. Asian firms—including Infosys and Tata—are actively responding to the new wave, sending representatives to some US business schools to fresh talent. "There is a sense that the center of gravity is shifting," says Julie Morton, University of Chicago's Booth School associate dean for career services.
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