Why The Blackstone Group Loves MBA Grads


It’s no secret that pursuing an MBA can help business professionals to open new career opportunities, boost their earning potential, and accelerate their careers. And for those employers that deeply understand the value of an MBA education, these sorts of benefits can be hardwired into a company’s DNA.

At a firm like the Blackstone Group, hiring and using the skills of MBA graduates to improve the company is just part of doing business. In fact, for many of the top investment banking firms in the United States, an MBA is pretty much a requirement for advancement. During a 2015 Korn Ferry executive search for a senior-level investment banker at a top firm, just two of the twenty five top candidates did not possess an MBA.

What is Blackstone?

The Blackstone Group is one of the world’s leading investment firms, with more than 2,300 employees in 25 offices throughout the globe. Founded in 1985 by Chairman and CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman and former Senior Chairman Peter G. Peterson, Blackstone aims to create a positive economic impact and long-term value not just for the companies and investors involved with the firm, but also for the communities in which they are involved.

As of September 2017, Blackstone has $387 assets under management, which include private equity, real estate, credit, and hedge fund solutions.

Why MBAs Love Blackstone

Blackstone is consistently named among the top MBA employers in the country, and it’s pretty clear why: in addition to a high earning potential, the company is well-known for providing autonomy and opportunity early on in a new associate’s career.

“New hires can expect to take on client-facing roles that make them an integral part of the company’s decision-making right away,” said Bronwen Baumgarder, who runs the company’s MBA recruiting program.

MBA degree or no, its clear that Blackstone provides an excellent work environment for its employees. Ranked “Best Place to Work” for three years in a row by Pensions & Investments, Blackstone considers its employees as an integral part of the firm’s identity and culture of integrity. Blackstone also offers many opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate business students to get involved while still in school—through summer internships and even full-time positions—making the firm an ideal place to start your career.

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Life at Blackstone

Graduate students may apply to join Blackstone’s full-time program starting in their second year of business school. Starting in August, the company sponsors recruiting events on university campuses throughout the globe, and students may begin applying for a number of available positions within the company.

The full-time program at Blackstone is open for candidates interested in a full-time role as an analyst or associate. Candidates may apply for multiple groups within the vast company, but MBAs are typically placed within the firm’s restructuring, advisory or private equity businesses. Other possible groups within the company include:

  • Charitable Foundation
  • Equity Healthcare
  • Finance/Accounting
  • External Relations & Strategy
  • Investor Relations/Marketing

Landing a Job at Blackstone

Although Blackstone actively recruits MBA candidates throughout the world, securing a position with this top firm is still highly competitive. Each year, the company typically hires eight to twelve full-time MBAs, which is only a small percentage of the total employee base of more than 1,600. While the full-time program is an excellent way for business students to get involved early, summer internships are another way for talented students to get their foot-in-the-door early in the recruitment process.

The summer internship is a unique experience, typically lasting 10-12 weeks and aimed at students in their first year of business school. The summer interns at Blackstone do a lot more than get coffee—summer analysts and associates are considered an integral part of all deals, transactions and projects throughout the summer. In 2012, thirteen summer interns were hired full-time from top business schools around the country.

First and foremost, the firm seeks talented individuals who demonstrate strong leadership skills and the potential to grow with the company.

“Our corporate culture is very important and we have very little turnover,” Baumgardner told CNN Money. “[S]o longevity is very important to us.”

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About the Author

Alanna Shaffer

Staff Writer, covering MetroMBA's news beat for Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas.

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