Blackstone Earns A Spot On MBA Students’ Wish Lists

Blackstone Group is the first and only private equity firm ever to land a ranking of “most desired place to work” in Universum’s annual MBA survey. The honor comes at a real seachange of MBA desires.

Last year, despite massive layoffs in the financial sector, MBAs still wanted to work at the big investment banks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Now a bank holding company, Goldman Sachs is still there this year (number four), but it was a lone wolf, nestled between corporations and consulting firms: Google, Apple, Disney, Nike, Bain & Co., McKinsey & Co., and BCG.

Then we have Blackstone Group, clocking in at number 11. More MBA students want to work for a public private equity firm that’s watched its stock lose well over half of its value since its debut and laid off at least 10% of its staff than want to for Microsoft, P&G, Credit Suisse or GE. Impressive, Steve.

Compared to certain financial companies that were conspicuously absent this year, Blackstone looks pretty damn healthy. That Blackstone would be there at all is a testament that private equity continues to become more mainstream.

Tony James told Fortune the firm appeals to MBAs because it doesn’t handle new employees with kid gloves.

“We try to offer an extraordinary professional experience,” he said. Incoming associates are teamed with more senior executives on high-level projects and they “are equal in any discussion – that’s exhilarating,” James said.

Previously: Help Not Wanted