After three years in the wilderness, there seems to be some evidence to suggest that MBA students are back in demand and investment banks are said to be once again on the hunt for MBA talent.
Firms were falling over themselves to hire MBAs during the dotcom boom and having MBAs around seemed at one stage to be as essential as having dotcom stock in a share portfolio. But the markets fell off, times got tough and MBAs quickly became regarded as just another expensive luxury. Rather unfairly, they became associated with the demise of the internet boom, Enron and casual dress.
Now, it seems, MBAs are making a comeback in investment banking. Firms are said to be returning to business schools and interviewing more business students for future roles. Dow Jones Newswires quotes Anand David, the regional head of campus recruiting for the Americas at UBS Investment Bank, as saying: 'We've noticed that our competitors are on campus, and they're more present than they have been the past couple of years'.
But, just as one swallow doesn't make a summer, a few interviews with MBAs doesn't make for a hiring frenzy. Things will probably need to pick up considerably before investment banks do more than just dip their toes in the MBA recruitment market. Even then, the chances of a repeat of the kind of MBA recruitment activity seen three years ago is thought likely to be remote.