- 06 Mar 2014 at 5:26 PM
As their job prospects continue to brighten, business-school students are opting to unshackle themselves from employers who help cover school costs for those who return after graduation. In some cases, students have decided to leave employers while still at school, requiring them to repay $100,000 or more. Business schools don’t closely track students who break sponsorship arrangements, but interviews with students and administrators suggest that many M.B.A.s are no longer willing to settle for the sure thing…
One second-year Harvard Business School M.B.A. decided last fall to take a job with a private-equity firm, even though his tuition and living expenses had been covered by Boston Consulting Group Inc. in expectation that he would spend two years at the firm after graduation. “The choice of what you do after business school should be based on what you want to do long term, rather than short-term economics,” said the student. He took out a bank loan and repaid BCG $90,000—one year of sponsorship funding—within about two months of notifying the firm of his decision, and paid his second-year tuition with help from his new employer. (That money, too, is contingent on his tenure with the company.)…In the depths of the financial crisis, secure job offers were highly coveted. Now, students tend to view their sponsorships as “a put option with cheap financing attached,” the student said. In other words, they figure they have the option to go back, but not the obligation.
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