9/17/17

For anyone here who has entered Brand Management, how do you say is placement not coming from an elite (or even Top 50) MBA program (for top companies such as J&J, Unilever, Mars, or P&G)? Marketing professional with 5 years experience (1.5 years in Management so far), and graduated from a large public Uni. My experience could enter me into an elite school, but I would rather avoid taking loans (or even lose out on pristine experience) and do my MBA part time. Call me old-fashioned, but I can't stand the thought of taking on debt for an education. Plan on taking online courses at Illinois for cheap and transfer them when starting in the Spring.

Why do an MBA and go for Brand Management? To be frank, I could use experience in project and team building. I manage a very small team, and could always use more experience. My experience is good and my career is moving well. (Mostly) like what I do and I do it really well. But I just want to do branding. Working with consumer products is my dream. Would have pursued that if I knew this role existed in college.

Since I live in NYS, I'm deciding between either Rutgers, Baruch, and Buffalo (far but I like the area more). My only concern is that I think all 3 schools focus a lot on Accounting (and Supply Chain for Rutgers/UB). In general, only Midwest or expensive schools are strong in branding. In Buffalo, I would be at least close enough to the Midwest that I could apply for positions and internships in Indianapolis/Chicago/Michigan where most of these positions lie (though I would need to take off work to pursue that internship).

Does pursuing an MBA at a large business Uni hurt my chances of getting into BM? Of the 3 unis, which one (if any) presents the best opportunity, both in the short-term and long-term?

Would I need an internship as well to get into these companies? If so, is 1 sufficient or should I aim for 2? As an intern, can you apply for places that are far and simply relocate temporarily? What's the protocol for a part-time student doing an internship (ie: work then quit their job)?

Thanks for anyone answering this question! You'll forever have my kudos :)

Comments (31)

9/21/17

bump...

Accepted.com
9/21/17

I think you have the right mindset re: b-school given your situation. You already have marketing experience, so that's going to be more valuable in brand management, at least from what I know. The CPG companies tend to cast a wider net traditionally when it comes to MBA recruiting than say investment banking or mgmt consulting - their hiring model is also quite different (not churn and burn like professional services or tech). Anecdotally, those in brand mgmt post-MBA tended to stay the longest and/or job hop the least (5-10 years is not uncommon, moving up the ladder) and I believe that's both a function of self-selection and these companies wanting that stability. Another aspect is as you said, a lot of these companies are in the midwest, and it's harder for companies not in the Northwest or west coast to attract MBAs from these top schools.

I don't know about those schools personally, but I'd check with their career services office (schools publish their recruiting stats) but my hunch is that given your current experience in marketing and wanting to go into brand mgmt, you don't really need to go full-time to a top program.

9/21/17
MBAApply:

I think you have the right mindset re: b-school given your situation. You already have marketing experience, so that's going to be more valuable in brand management, at least from what I know. The CPG companies tend to cast a wider net traditionally when it comes to MBA recruiting than say investment banking or mgmt consulting - their hiring model is also quite different (not churn and burn like professional services or tech). Anecdotally, those in brand mgmt post-MBA tended to stay the longest and/or job hop the least (5-10 years is not uncommon, moving up the ladder) and I believe that's both a function of self-selection and these companies wanting that stability. Another aspect is as you said, a lot of these companies are in the midwest, and it's harder for companies not in the Northwest or west coast to attract MBAs from these top schools.

I don't know about those schools personally, but I'd check with their career services office (schools publish their recruiting stats) but my hunch is that given your current experience in marketing and wanting to go into brand mgmt, you don't really need to go full-time to a top program.

Thanks! That's another reason I'd like to go into BM. Not only do you get a ton of product leverage, but it's a position that wants you to think strategically and have a product opinion, and also wants you to stay and grow in their firm. Marketing typically has high turnover (only way to move up the ranks, which is what I like the least about it). Most small-mid size companies would be content to let you stay in your role with no growth, yet it's extremely competitive once you have quality experience for employers. You can quickly move to a Management role in 4 years if you move around a year or two in (like I did). It would be nice to work for a firm that both looks for reasons to move you up, and also has opportunities to move up.

Also, as you stated I have quality Marketing experience, so I'm skeptical if I would gain anything from going to a T-20+ school other than better recruiting. It's disappointing though (but not shocking) you haven't heard of either 3 schools. Rutgers has deep connections with J&J (which is why I'm leaning that direction). In their own admission, Baruch does not handle recruiting directly and are only intermediaries. 90+% of graduates are Accounting/Finance, and Marketing is not a focus point (plenty of good courses as there's plenty of Marketing folk in NYC though). Baruch is the most convenient and cheapest option, however.

UB is more of a wild card: They are ranked well domestically and are better known in their MBA program but I think the stats are influenced by their 3-2 program (BS/MBA in 5 years), and would explain why their graduate salary is much lower than other schools. Their recruiting focuses on newer grads (or grads with 1-2 years experience). They have a few local companies that recruit but nothing too national (New Era Cap, Mattel (Fisher-Price), NA Brewers, and Rich's). But they are much closer to the Midwest (Chicago is a 8hr drive vs. 15 hr drive from NYC). Not super close, but driving for an interview is a possibility. Other locations: Pittsburgh (2.5 vs 7 hrs), Cincinnati (6 vs 10 hrs), Indianapolis (7 vs 11 hrs)

9/21/17

I've now been in BM at a major CPG for 2 years post-MBA. In general, CPG firms that hire for BM out of MBA do cast a wider net than consulting/banking, but it's not THAT wide. At my firm, we hire from 6 core schools (Tuck, Wharton, Kellogg, Johnson, Stern and Kelley) and then bring in a few other people each year from diversity conferences. In the past 4 classes, we've had ~2 people from non-T20 schools. From what I hear from friends at other major CPGs it's somewhat similar. While you can definitely get into these companies from T50 MBAs, it's MUCH harder. Also, not all marketing experience is viewed the same. Brand management at most of these companies is a general management job, where financial acumen and leadership are valued as much as marketing skill. Having been involved in recruiting the past 2 years, I can say that a consulting background is often valued as much as a marketing background. Lastly, a lower-ranked MBA is going to restrict you regionally - CPG firms from around the country go to the top schools, but for lower ranked schools it's going to be almost exclusively regional.

9/21/17

What of interns who apply from distance? Would consider an applicant from a non-core school for an internship, or is there a bias against either your distance or school (ie: NYC applicant applying for Budweiser internship in St Louis)? There's a lot of affordable housing options nowadays with Hostels and AirBnB (or monthly rate hotel stays) for temporary housing, so a 2-3 month relocation isn't a big deal.

Once you have pursued an internship, is there bias for you? One thing I've noticed from looking at LinkedIn profiles is that internship seems to be more important than school. I've seen some candidates from very random MBA programs get hired to those CPGs because they had quality internship experience.

Are there companies that would pay for the MBA in a substantial amount (at least cover enough to make Stern affordable)? NYU/Stern is an option being in NYC (as is Columbia). It's just unimaginably expensive, especially when you can apply for these companies on their website. I understand why companies recruit from specific universities (cheaper and easier) but I do not understand why you'd have an implicit bias for not attending such expensive schools (especially since NYU is over double that of Kelly. I'd be better off just doing FT at Kelly and lose 1 year of salary).

Another option: What about applying for positions at a target company for a role in my field (Marketing), and applying inwards a year or two in while pursuing an MBA?

I just want to avoid debt as much as possible when there's no guarantee. I avoided college debt, and I'd like to keep it that way hearing all the horror stories.

Best Response
9/21/17

Ok, lots of questions to answer here. I'll try an consolidate as much as possible:

  1. Intern from distance/non-core schools:
    Applying to a post-MBA job at a CPG on the company website (if there's even a posting) is a massive waste of time. I don't know anyone at my firm that came in that way, nor do any other major CPGs recruit that way. Generally, applying to any selective job via a general web posting (i.e. not a school job board) is a moonshot. The way to get jobs is through connections or headhunters.

As far as doing the actual internship in a "distant" city - once you have the job, companies couldn't care less how you get there or house yourself. The fact that you even ask that question or bring it up makes me think you haven't done a lot of research on MBA recruiting in general.

  1. Internship "bias" -
    Almost all CPGs source a majority (in some cases, all) of their MBA hires from their intern class. Some (P&G, Colgate) don't have any full-time recruiting at all. So yes, there is a very strong bias towards hiring their summer interns.
  2. Sponsorship -
    No companies who recruit MBAs sponsor anyone who wasn't a pre-MBA employee. The only exceptions are Deloitte/Accenture which both have 2nd-year tuition reimbursement programs for full-time hires. No CPGs do anything like this.

I don't know what you mean by "implicit bias for not attending such expensive schools". Do you mean you don't know why recruiting companies would prefer students from Stern (vs. Kelley)? Again, if that's the case it leads me to question your knowledge of the MBA space. They prefer Stern (or Columbia, or HBS) because the average student quality is higher. They don't care at all how much the school costs to attend. As for Kelley vs. Stern, if your goal is CPG brand management, Kelley will give you as many options as Stern, albeit with a Midwestern bias (vs. a Northeast bias for Stern).

9/21/17

Thanks! It's hard to find info specific to BM. Focus here is on consulting and I have little interest in that. I just don't find that interesting. Might as well do my own consultancy for small businesses and build it up slowly then work for someone else's (obviously a bit facetious). Think the goal for most MBA folk on these boards is to increase their pay. Mine is more aspirational, as I already make a similar salary to some starting MBAs and will on my own make more than 6 figures in a few years.

One more question: Is it selective to obtain an internship as well? How many should I shoot for?

I do find the mentality over rankings lead to superior candidates quite ridiculous, however. From these boards, I understand the obsession with rankings (I used to be a lurker on collegeconfidential as a teen. Was obsessed over rankings until I saw the bill after getting accepted from Northwestern, which I politely rejected), but I don't from a companies perspective. Working professionals with good careers will have a hard pill to swallow in abandoning their careers and pay for an opportunity with somewhat higher pay (which they could arguably obtain on their own via the extra work experience). They must understand that the opportunity cost to obtain a Full-Time MBA from a top school is considerable. In addition to the expense of school, there's the added studying time in obtaining a ridiculously high gmat score that has little impact in the real world.

From my LinkedIn search, I've seen that a good number of top MBA grads had abysmal careers beforehand and used their MBA as a launching or restarting point. It makes little sense to assume that 'better' candidates come from top MBA programs when the majority of professionals do not. It is only the 'best' of the pool who have pursued a Full-Time MBA, and are willing to pay for the privilege (several state programs offer full rides and stipend.)

It makes sense if the reason for recruiting at specific institutions was out of convenience and cost savings (less schools = less Recruiting Managers), but not out of the merit of being a part of that school. I would assume that an outsider reaching out via LinkedIn is more hungry and willing than a candidate from a heavily competitive school with many options.

9/21/17

"Is it selective to obtain an internship?" - uh, yeah. It's generally the same level of difficulty as full-time because, as you've noted, the internship is the de facto full-time hiring program for many of these companies.

I'd also just generally say - yes, there can be exceptional hires at lower ranked schools. But that's not really how the game is played. If you want post-MBA access to CPG companies, you have to go where they're going to look: big-time programs, diversity conferences, or be an internal referral from a personal connection or outstanding networking.

Just for context, I am at a consumer company after graduating from my MBA program. I chased the money for my MBA and chose a T30 program over some T10 acceptances, so I understand your financial concerns. However, I have the lowest ranked MBA at my company that I've seen by a significant margin. You can either play the odds or bet on yourself, but be aware of how recruiting works before pursuing your MBA.

9/21/17
IllumiNation:

"Is it selective to obtain an internship?" - uh, yeah. It's generally the same level of difficulty as full-time because, as you've noted, the internship is the de facto full-time hiring program for many of these companies.

I'd also just generally say - yes, there can be exceptional hires at lower ranked schools. But that's not really how the game is played. If you want post-MBA access to CPG companies, you have to go where they're going to look: big-time programs, diversity conferences, or be an internal referral from a personal connection or outstanding networking.

Just for context, I am at a consumer company after graduating from my MBA program. I chased the money for my MBA and chose a T30 program over some T10 acceptances, so I understand your financial concerns. However, I have the lowest ranked MBA at my company that I've seen by a significant margin. You can either play the odds or bet on yourself, but be aware of how recruiting works before pursuing your MBA.

Thanks for clarifying/reiterating...the answers given on this thread does answer some questions I've been having after searching through LinkedIn profiles (can't view a single P&G profile in LinkedIn from my network). I was coming to the same conclusions but was hoping I was wrong. Was at least hoping that Rutgers had the chops to be at least a decent middle ground.

I'm still stubborn in not collecting debt, so I've summarized several options. Correct me if I'm wrongheaded with this assessment:

1) Do Baruch for the sake of an MBA to help get into startup Management roles (and treat those like Brand Management opportunities). Opportunity Cost is low (around $20k). Only 48 Credits (and would have 9 before I start) and 5 total semesters per year. The education is valuable and it should help at the minimum to solidify myself in certain roles. Try for BM internships nationally and attend conferences + network and message on LinkedIn as many established Brand Managers as possible.

2) Get an MBA from either Northwestern or NYU part-time. Northwestern is only 100k for the part-time MBA while NYU can be 115k after transferring 15 credits from Illinois iMBA (cheap at $250/credit). Highest chances of success, and less focus on recruiting events. BUT...it takes 3-4 years to complete from their websites. That's a LONG time to wait...

Which is better, Northwestern vs NYU? Northwestern seems to take less time if you have the preq classes (which I do as an econ/finance double major). I would need to relocate to Chicago, which really shouldn't be a big deal. I see postings for what I do all the time there.

2.5) Illinois iMBA. I know they're a well-ranked school and the degree is the same for online as in-person. From what I heard, you can even attend recruiting events and internships. I really wanted the in-person experience, so that would be disappointing not to have that. Don't know anything about their recruiting efforts, however. Do they have solid links to brand companies being in the center of the midwest?

3) Go all-in on a full-time MBA from Kelly. It's heavily recruited and best bang-for-the-buck. With enough scholarships and savings, should go easy on the debt to around 40k (which wouldn't be difficult to pay back)

9/23/17

Just my opinion, but I think choice 3 is by far the best option among these (though it's Kelley, not Kelly). Frankly, if you've been in business before school, you're not going to learn a ton on the academic side in an MBA program, but Kelley is the only one of your options likely to put you in position to land a F500 BM role.

One of my mentors told me this before school when I didn't have my mind right about the value of an MBA: you go to school as a pivot (changing careers) or an accelerator (move up in the same line of work, sort of a "pay to play" idea). The other options you've listed, in particular Baruch and the iMBA are unlikely to help you accomplish either of those goals. A part-time MBA would be used for the "accelerator" option I mentioned above - it seems most successful, for instance, if you're living in NYC and your company has told you that you need an MBA to advance, so you keep working at the same company and go through the part-time MBA at the same time. Because none of these options makes a ton of sense for your stated position and goals, Kelley (or another similar full-time MBA) would be the best option. You might want to see what you get on the GMAT first, though.

10/4/17

Not going to turn this thread into a discussion of school rankings, but there's a good reason companies use them. Google "education as signalling" and read some of the top results (or spend all day down that rabbit hole). Basically, companies want as much information as possible about a potential candidate while doing the least amount of work. They do not have the time to figure out who are the students at State U who could have attended Harvard. They also do not want to waste a lot of time and resources on going to State U to interview 2 potential candidates. Let's say on AVERAGE, 85% of students at Harvard meet Company X's standards, while 5% of students at State U do. If you are a recruiter, and you have $X to spend on going to schools to recruit, where would you rather go? A school where there's a pool of 100 students who meet your standards, or a school where there are 5? Essentially, the school's admissions department does the sorting FOR the company so that they don't have to.

9/25/17
Masterz57:

Not going to turn this thread into a discussion of school rankings, but there's a good reason companies use them. Google "education as signalling" and read some of the top results (or spend all day down that rabbit hole). Basically, companies want as much information as possible about a potential candidate while doing the least amount of work. They do not have the time to figure out who are the students at State U are who could have attended Harvard. They also do not want to waste a lot of time and resources on going to State U to interview 2 potential candidates. Let's say on AVERAGE, 85% of students at Harvard meet Company X's standards, while 5% of students at State U do. If you are a recruiter, and you have $X to spend on going to schools to recruit, where would you rather go? A school where there's a pool of 100 students who meet your standards, or a school where there are 5? Essentially, the school's admissions department does the sorting FOR the company so that they don't have to.

exactly, employers go to their "good yield" schools, try to snap a few at "a bit higher" level that better employers source more of, and forget the "bad yield" schools that can't qualify enough people for the $$

M7 MBA, iBanking. Top MSF grad. AntiTNA. Truth is hard to hear! But... :
DickFuld: Yeah....most of these people give terrible advice.:
9/21/17
Masterz57:

- Sponsorship -
No companies who recruit MBAs sponsor anyone who wasn't a pre-MBA employee. The only exceptions are Deloitte/Accenture which both have 2nd-year tuition reimbursement programs for full-time hires. No CPGs do anything like this.

Had one question on this specifically. Wasn't asking about sponsorships but company perks/long-term learning programs. My last company at a large media firm had a comp program where they'd pay a portion of any education (up to 10k per year, I think). I didn't pursue it because I wasn't considering an MBA (had a colleague who did, but he pursued Finance). It won't pay it in full, but it would soften the blow of an expensive program, especially if it takes 3 years to complete.

Also, on the question regarding moving up. Do none of the CPG companies promote from within while pursuing an MBA? Could be a much more viable alternative... I'm confident I could land a Digital Marketing or generalized Associate role in a CPG firm.

9/22/17

If they have these programs, they only kick in AFTER you join the company. They won't reimburse you for education you pursue before you are hired.

As for promoting from within - yes, I've heard of it (one person did it at my company) but it's not common and likely varies by firm.

9/21/17

Just noticed that point regarding 'diversity conferences'. Can you explain further? I'm Hispanic (technically half but its all or nothing because rules regarding it are stupid in loopholes) from South America. Can you shed some light on it? Do you also need to have some ethnic background (ie: know Spanish, or look non-European)?

9/21/17

There are 4 major MBA diversity conferences. These occur each year between Sept-November in different cities. They are essentially massive job fairs organized by interest-group organizations: National Black MBA, National Hispanic MBA, LGBT MBA (Reaching Out), and Veterans MBA. A quick Google will lead you to their web pages. The Vet conference is pretty strictly confined to vets, but the other three are technically open to anyone (although LGBT has in recent years been discouraging non-LGBT MBAs from attending). The first two (National Black and National Hispanic) attract by far the most students and companies. Lots of national companies in different industries (including many CPGs) recruit at these conferences, and they will interview anyone from any school. It's the best place to go to get a job with a company that doesn't recruit on your campus.

9/21/17
Masterz57:

There are 4 major MBA diversity conferences. These occur each year between Sept-November in different cities. They are essentially massive job fairs organized by interest-group organizations: National Black MBA, National Hispanic MBA, LGBT MBA (Reaching Out), and Veterans MBA. A quick Google will lead you to their web pages. The Vet conference is pretty strictly confined to vets, but the other three are technically open to anyone (although LGBT has in recent years been discouraging non-LGBT MBAs from attending). The first two (National Black and National Hispanic) attract by far the most students and companies. Lots of national companies in different industries (including many CPGs) recruit at these conferences, and they will interview anyone from any school. It's the best place to go to get a job with a company that doesn't recruit on your campus.

An interesting option worth considering...thanks!

9/21/17

I would really look at where the feeders are. if X program doesn't usually yield ABMs, it'll be tons of legwork on your own - otherwise it's a fine shot actually.

M7 MBA, iBanking. Top MSF grad. AntiTNA. Truth is hard to hear! But... :
DickFuld: Yeah....most of these people give terrible advice.:
9/21/17
wsorookie789:

I would really look at where the feeders are. if X program doesn't usually yield ABMs, it'll be tons of legwork on your own - otherwise it's a fine shot actually.

Is there a list for this somewhere online? Don't know why companies make this so secretive and put postings online for positions they never hire direct. Extremely misleading... My main targets would be Proctor and Gamble, General Mills, Kelloggs, Budweiser/Miller (i do microbrew, so its a double awesome), Kraft, Mars, Unilever, ConAgra (dono if they do BM), Hershey's, and J&J. Basically, any company that deals with consumer packaged goods where I could manage the full spread and cycle (partially my obsession with collecting boxes, and that it's a change of pace from working with Digital for 5 years now). Location is irrelevant to me, which is why it's so frustrating there are so many location restrictions for mid-management positions in the 21st century.

9/22/17

NO, there are generalities but I and many don't have time to get a list for you. unless if you want misery after you're locked in, you know what to do now.

M7 MBA, iBanking. Top MSF grad. AntiTNA. Truth is hard to hear! But... :
DickFuld: Yeah....most of these people give terrible advice.:
9/22/17
wsorookie789:

NO, there are generalities but I and many don't have time to get a list for you. unless if you want misery after you're locked in, you know what to do now.

Wasn't asking for a list, I just don't get the secrecy. If companies only recruit from specific institutions, why not make it public so people can make educated choices? Why put large amounts of copy and space on your website to attract talent towards your program (and a dedicated job page) if you're only going to recruit from a select few schools per year anyway? Why bother with the effort? It's a waste of time for all involved... Moreover, don't they want employees who are loyal and come a long journey to work for THEM (and not whatever that school recruits from)?

Let's say I ONLY want to work for Budweiser and they did most of their recruiting at U of Missouri and a few expensive Unis. Why not let people know so those looking to ONLY work at Bud can choose the cheaper option? I just don't understand why the secrecy helps anyone other than the admissions council of the top MBA programs...

Again, my mentality is probably coming from the Marketing world. I can work in practically any company that wants my skillsets, as its a two-way competitive market. I prove myself and thus become valuable. My education is only valuable as a means to an end, not the end.

my 2 cents anyway...

9/22/17

I don't think you're wrong by any stretch, but dude, dont vent at me just because I dont know the list off top of my head

M7 MBA, iBanking. Top MSF grad. AntiTNA. Truth is hard to hear! But... :
DickFuld: Yeah....most of these people give terrible advice.:
9/22/17

Some quick notes that I know off the top of my head. These are not exhaustive, just based on what I know

General Mills- Kellogg, Tuck, Wharton, local MW schools (U Minnesota, Michigan, probably UW)
Unilever - as of 2017, no longer recruits MBAs
P&G - almost all MBA programs in the top ~20 with a bias towards Midwestern schools
Mars - Stern
J&J - probably 50% of top 20 MBA programs with a bias towards the Northeast

FYI, I don't know anyone from a top program who's gone to Kelloggs and am not sure they have a major MBA recruiting program. They're also in the middle of nowhere.

You should add Colgate Palmolive and SC Johnson to your list - two top-tier CPGs that recruit MBAs.

9/22/17

This isn't my industry, so I don't know too much - but when I toured Berkeley Haas my tour guide interned and had an offer at General Mills.

10/11/17
Masterz57:

Some quick notes that I know off the top of my head. These are not exhaustive, just based on what I know

General Mills- Kellogg, Tuck, Wharton, local MW schools (U Minnesota, Michigan, probably UW)
Unilever - as of 2017, no longer recruits MBAs
P&G - almost all MBA programs in the top ~20 with a bias towards Midwestern schools
Mars - Stern
J&J - probably 50% of top 20 MBA programs with a bias towards the Northeast

FYI, I don't know anyone from a top program who's gone to Kelloggs and am not sure they have a major MBA recruiting program. They're also in the middle of nowhere.

You should add Colgate Palmolive and SC Johnson to your list - two top-tier CPGs that recruit MBAs.

What if you go to a top school, but the company does not recruit there? Let's say you go to Yale SOM, but let's say Mars doesn't recruit there ... what are your options?

10/12/17

See my answer re: diversity conferences on this thread.

Accepted.com
9/23/17

Enjoyed reading this thread. OP I'm with you- as someone who will begin my MBA next fall and wants to get into Brand Management in CPG there is certainly a dearth of information about the industry. What I will say, is that I know a guy at Fuqua and he said that BM recruiting is every bit as competitive (for the top companies P&G, JNJ, etc...) as consulting is. You don't just luck your way into a brand management position- you have to network just like you would for IB or consulting.

10/3/17
southernstunna:

Enjoyed reading this thread. OP I'm with you- as someone who will begin my MBA next fall and wants to get into Brand Management in CPG there is certainly a dearth of information about the industry. What I will say, is that I know a guy at Fuqua and he said that BM recruiting is every bit as competitive (for the top companies P&G, JNJ, etc...) as consulting is. You don't just luck your way into a brand management position- you have to network just like you would for IB or consulting.

Me too! Best info I've seen on the 'net. Frustrating there's so little info! If ya gonna be prissy about recruiting, at least holla and let ppl know. Considering the same thing but the other side of the fence. Options for PT programs are a lot better here in Cali (UCLA/Davis) and cheap.

Besides on-campus stuff, what other good ways are there to network besides networking with my new alumni network? My Uni was a small liberal arts and doesn't have any leads. Like to get as many hit points as possible.

10/4/17

What you need to realize is that for major CPG companies, BM is their "front office". They put a premium on talent they source for these roles, and spend a ton on their internship programs w/ the idea that these will be the people who get handed the reigns to run the company and own P&Ls for their biggest products. So you can't look at this as a "how do I backdoor my way in?" situation but as more of a "what's the best school that will get me there?"

You'll get looks for CPG BM at any top 25-30 school, as well as the 2-3 best regarded regional schools located in the area where your target company is, as a rule of thumb.

Another thing you should be aware of, some companies have an unspoken preference for those hired from their internship programs vs. standard hires-and that can be anything from differences in access to mentoring, internal hiring and movement, rotations, etc. So even if you succeed in catching on outside of their core programs, you might be generally restricted in your mobility, both upward and lateral. The closest example I can think of is when a fancy law firm hires a "staff attorney". They're there to do one job, have limited chances at upward movement (partner track is out of the question), and don't typically get the most plum assignments vs. those Associates who summered.

10/4/17
10/4/17
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