Michigan Ross Weekend MBA Employment Data Shows High Salaries, Increased Interest in Impact and Sustainability
The data showed the Michigan Ross WMBA Class of 2021 received a mean total compensation package of nearly $149,000, with 62% of students switching jobs after graduation. Among the top employers of WMBA grads were Google, EY, Deloitte, Ford Motor Co., and Capital One.
“Many Weekend MBA students come into Michigan Ross with great work experience, and we work with each student to help them determine the next best role in their career that they hope to obtain after graduation,” said Heather Byrne, managing director of the Career Development Office at Michigan Ross. “Whether that is advancing into a higher leadership position at their current company, moving to a different company in their field, or switching to an entirely different industry, our coaches provide the support and resources they need to achieve their professional goals.”
Of all WMBA graduates, around 34% reported having jobs in manufacturing, while nearly 30% were in consulting and 12% in technology.
Notable interest in sustainability and impact-related careers
In addition to working in those industries, there was also a strong interest shown by WMBA students in sustainability and impact-related careers, with 10% of the Class of 2021 reporting jobs that had a sustainability aspect to them.
One of those graduates was Monica Walker, MBA ’21. Walker joined the Michigan Ross WMBA Program already working in sustainability as an environmental engineer for General Motors, but her goal for pursuing her MBA was to pivot from the waste, water, and air regulatory sector into a strategy role in renewable energy.
Walker said there are many opportunities for WMBA students to engage with sustainability and impact while at Michigan Ross. She credited three experiences for helping her successfully pivot into a renewable energy role at GM, where she now works to implement the company’s renewable energy goals and engage in clean energy policy advocacy on the Energy Strategy team.
Those experiences were her participation in the Net Impact student organization, her renewable energy-focused Multidisciplinary Action Project course, and her engagement with the Ross Career Development Office.
Net Impact participation
“In 2020, right before COVID, I went with a team of four WMBA Ross students, along with two other WMBA teams, to a social impact case competition in Boulder, Colorado as part of Net Impact,” said Walker. “This was my first case competition and I was able to learn from strategizing a response to a mock scenario — a DEI-related company crisis — along with getting to know my classmates and networking with students at other institutions.”
As part of the WMBA Program’s MAP course, Walker worked with her teammates on a project with a California-based solar energy company. The project involved developing a marketing plan for the company to break into residential space for solar installation.
“This was by far the most valuable experience I could have had to get a better understanding of the renewable energy market and U.S. electricity market as a whole, which is incredibly complex,” explained Walker. “We visited potential channel partners in the Bay Area for our company to partner with, to assess viability for that partnership. For example, we interviewed home security providers - the thought being that homeowners might want to add solar to their security systems to have a backup in case of grid failure or rolling blackouts.”
Career development support
To help with her career pivot, Walker said she benefited from her engagement with the Career Development Office and resources available to students at Michigan Ross.
“The Career Development Office has great resources for students interested in social impact and sustainability,” she said. “They also connected me with alumni working in those fields, including executive officers at major retailers in the sustainability space. Although I ultimately decided to stay at GM when I was offered a position on our Energy Strategy team, these experiences allowed me to see what working in another industry would be like.”
After going through the Michigan Ross WMBA Program, Walker noted that a number of her classmates shared her interests in sustainability and impact.
“If you want to get involved with sustainability and impact work, you can absolutely do that as a Weekend MBA student at Ross,” she said. “It’s also an overall great program that proved to be an incredibly valuable experience for me.”