Help Not Wanted

Twenty six percent of MBA students from more than 50 schools choose Goldman Sachs as their number one choice of employer, according to a survey conducted by a firm called Universum. It must break those ambitious little MBA students’ hearts reading about their dream employer’s ridiculous accelerated analyst program

Even so, Goldman’s not the only one making cuts on Wall Street. Getting an exact body count is tough, but Jim Cramer’s recent NY Magazine column tallied around 31,000 from Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, UBS and Citigroup. And that’s not taking Goldman Sachs and Wachovia into account.

Even though Goldman was the top post-MBA choice, and financial services companies comprise four of the top five spots, not all MBA grads want to take their degree straight to a stodgy, conservative investment bank, according to the survey’s organizers. Instead, freshly minted MBAs are opting for non-traditional employers with a more relaxed culture. Google (number three) wasn’t even a potential choice on the survey for years, but b-school students wrote it in so often that it quickly rose to the top, its organizers told me. It was number one last year. In 2008’s survey, management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. took the runner-up spot, Morgan Stanley came in fourth and J.P. Morgan fifth.

Firms like Universum exists to help companies like financial services firms project a more attractive employer image. (They call themselves “Global Employer Branding Leader,” which is a little corporate-speak itself.) In today’s hiring environment, they might be better off as recruiters for Google. Seems to be the only company on the list that’s even taking resumes.