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Top MBA Recruiters: Starbucks

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So, the following post about Starbucks as a top MBA recruiter ran on our sister site, MetroMBA, before the coffee giant was propelled into the headlines by an event at one of its Philadelphia locations that raised questions around the issues of race and discrimination. Starbucks responded by announcing that it will close all 8,000 of its company-owned locations for an afternoon in May to conduct “racial-bias” training.

“The company’s bold move, which was announced Tuesday and followed the social-media uproar and in-store protests that erupted after the arrest of two black men waiting at one of the coffee giant’s Philadelphia cafes, was mostly applauded by crisis management and diversity experts, some of whom called it a ‘courageous’ or even ‘genius’ gesture—especially following an initial statement that drew criticism,” read an April 19th analysis in the Washington Post.

Indeed, how and how well Starbucks responds to this current crisis will be an important lesson in leadership that business schools could well incorporate into their cases down the line. And if Starbucks takes this opportunity to become a leader in confronting diversity-related issues, it could also hold added appeal as a recruiter for some MBA students. On to the original article…

The following post has been republished in its entirety from its original source.

Top MBA Recruiters: Starbucks

American coffee behemoth and casual status symbol Starbucks has become one of the most well-known companies in the world with more than 27,000 stores and a massive headquarters located in Seattle, Washington. The company is known for its quality service, customizable drinks, and pre-packaged items. As it continues to grow, so does the appeal for a Starbucks corporate career.

The company got its start in 1971 when the first store was opened in the Pacific Northwest. However, it wouldn’t be until 1987, when Howard Schultz took over and re-branded the company, that it would open its first location outside of Seattle. By 1989, it had 46 stores and was roasting more than two million pounds of coffee.

In 1992, Starbucks released its initial public offering (IPO) with a revenue of $73.5 million and a market value of $271 million. By the end of the year, the share price had risen more than 100 times the earnings per share of the previous year. Now, the company earns more than $22.3 billion per year and employs more than 238,000 people worldwide.

You can’t talk about Starbucks without talking about the location of its headquarters in Seattle. Located in the city’s SoDo neighborhood, Starbucks can be found in the largest multi-tenant building in the city with over 2,200,000 square feet of space. But while the building is impressive, it’s the city that really stands out.

Washington was ranked as “America’s Top State for Business in 2017,” by CNBC, and Seattle is the city to be in. According to Outside Magazine, Seattle is one “America’s Best Towns Ever,” and a PWC survey considers it one of the nation’s most innovative cities. There’s much to love about Seattle, from its opportunities for adventure to its laid-back culture and strong economy, which grew 3.7 percent last year—almost 2.5 times the national average.

MBA Recruiting at Starbucks

Starbucks is a major MBA recruiter. It seeks MBA students who truly understand the company and how it operates. For anyone looking to steep themselves in this knowledge, former CEO Howard Schultz’s book Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul is recommended reading. Following the company on social media—including LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram—is also a smart idea. So, too, is knowing why you want to be a part of the company and how you fit in with the Starbucks Mission Statement.

Other qualities Starbucks looks for in its MBA recruits:

  • Strong analytical and technical skills
  • Ability to analyze business trends
  • A strong team player who can collaborate cross-functionally
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Great communication skills, both oral and written
  • Strong organizational and problem-solving abilities
  • Ability to balance priorities and meet deadlines

Depending on your target role, you may also need to have a deep understanding of financial planning, forecasting, and inventory management and/or a firm grasp of marketing fundamentals, sales, returns on investment, and profit and loss.

As for where Starbucks recruits, leading feeder schools include the following MBA programs:

Salary & Benefits of Starbucks Employment

According to PayScale, recent MBA graduates hired at Starbucks commanded the following starting salaries:

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA), Business Administration – $128,500
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA), Accounting – $65,111
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA), Marketing – $109,823
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA), General Business – $89,000
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA), Global Management – $77,419

As for benefits, Starbucks offers a tailored benefits package called “Your Special Blend,” which includes medical, dental, and vision coverage as well as life insurance, disability, adoption assistance, paid vacation, a 401(k) savings plan, stock investment, one free pound of coffee per week, and more. Additional perks include in-store merchandise discounts and matching gifts programs.

Interning at Starbucks

Every year, Starbucks offers an exclusive 10-week internship program in Seattle designed to provide a robust and meaningful experience. MBA students who participate take part in high-impact, business relevant projects that have well-defined goals and expectations. Interns also have access to mentorship and leadership opportunities. Graduate internship applications are accepted in January and February each year for the summer program.

According to Peter Kazarian, a ’16 UW Foster MBA graduate who interned at Starbucks, the intern program is very thoughtfully and deliberately organized.

“With part MBA students and the rest technical and undergrad interns, there was a formal on-boarding program, weekly meetings with SVP/C-suite leadership, and great experiences like a Sounders game or fancy catered dinners at museums,” Kazarian explained in a blog. “My department was under the Channel Development arm of Starbucks, which included consumer packaged goods and anything else not in a Starbucks retail store, like grocery bottled frappuccinos, licensed stores, and in my case, bulk B2B customers like airlines, hotel chains, restaurants, and campus cafes. As part of the Digital and Loyalty team, my main project involved e-commerce enhancements to our B2B team’s website and forecasting new sales revenue and cost savings from these changes.”

As for what Kazarian enjoyed most about his experience, he points to the free pound of coffee each week. He also loved getting to know his fellow MBA interns, many of whom are now good friends. “I had a great experience … and I’ll be returning to Starbucks … as a product manager,” he wrote.