MBA trek from Texas to San Francisco reflects improved hiring climate

AUSTIN, Texas—Businesses in the Silicon Valley have not had banner hiring years since 2000, but firms in the region appear once again to be inspiring confidence among MBA students seeking jobs.

A delegation of MBA students from The University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business travels to the Bay Area this week, following a similar visit from MIT’s Sloan School of Management earlier in the month.

The itinerary for the San Francisco trek includes company visits to Cisco, Yahoo!, Hewlett-Packard, WellsFargo and ChevronTexaco, among about a dozen firms visited on the West Coast swing.

A group of McCombs MBAs is also visiting San Diego to meet with executives from Qualcomm, Duncan-Hurst, Cisterra Partners, Hewlett-Packard and FoodMaker Inc.

Such visits were commonplace in the late 1990s but have not been popular since 2001, when MBA graduates found job prospects in Silicon Valley severely curtailed. Students in the recent delegations, however, indicate optimism about employment prospects in the region

The students from Texas travel to the Bay Area Jan. 12 to explore career opportunities not just in the technology sector, but also in banking, energy and biotech.

Pamela Palacios, a Bay Area-native and co-founder of the student group that initiated the trip from Texas, believes that while the rally of the technology sector in Silicon Valley has attracted the most media attention, the outlook for careers is positive in several Bay Area industries.

Palacios’ optimism follows a hopeful fall for MBA students nationally.

MBA career services directors around the country, while they do not collect statistics on job offers this early in the year, have reported rises in the numbers of on-campus interviews.

During the fall semester at The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs MBA students logged twice as many on-campus interviews and 48 percent more company presentations than at the same time last year.

“I’m optimistic,” said Chris Taber, an MBA ’06 from McCombs, who is going on the trip as part of his search for a summer internship. “I have some contacts at Yahoo!, and I know that they’ve been doing very well and expect to hire a lot of people over this year and next year.”

For more information contact: J.B. Bird, McCombs School of Business, 512-471-3314.