MBA career services offices: Form and function

Steven Feld, University of Pennsylvania


The focus of this study is the organizational structure and operations of career services offices at graduate schools of business in general, and the structure and operations of the Office of Career Management at the Smith School of Business of the University of Maryland, College Park in particular. The career services function has taken on an increasing level of importance for all MBA programs for two reasons: (1) the increasing weight of career services office performance in rankings of business schools; and (2) the increasing competition for the best students, causing an increase in student demand for high quality service. However, within the industry it is clear there is consistent agreement on neither the best organizational structure nor the proper function of a graduate business school career services office. This study explores the form and function of MBA career services offices—roles played, services provided, and organizational structures functioning—and the expectations, desires, and perceived needs of MBA students at the Smith School. The study provides a set of recommendations for career centers in general and for the Office of Career Management at the Smith School in particular. These recommendations relate to the appropriate role and structure for career centers based on research into the needs and thoughts of current Smith students (drawn through focus groups); best practices of top career services offices around the country (drawn through one-on-one interviews and supplemented by the policies and guidelines of the various national associations concerned with career services). For the best practices interviews seven institutions were selected from among three categories: schools with top-ranked career services offices, schools with demographics similar to the Smith School, and schools with top-ranked MBA programs. For the focus groups, current Smith School students were invited to participate and the focus groups were formed with those students who volunteered to take part.

Subject Area

Business education|Academic guidance counseling

Recommended Citation

Feld, Steven, "MBA career services offices: Form and function" (2003). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3092044.