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Graphics, University News

Brown grads flock to top companies

Utilizing CareerLAB and departmental resources, students find positions at Google, Goldman Sachs

Contributing Writer
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Brown students have been successful in securing jobs at top companies in the technology and finance sectors, according to data from LinkedIn.

The three companies with the most Brown alums employed based on a survey of LinkedIn profiles are Google, Microsoft and Goldman Sachs, with 386, 167 and 148 alums, respectively.

Other top companies alums reported working at include Pfizer, Stanford University, IBM, Harvard, Morgan Stanley, New York University and the Rhode Island School of Design.

The list “speaks well to the intelligence and competitiveness of our students on the job market,” said Matt Donato, director of CareerLAB.

According to data from CareerLAB, 15 percent of students in the class of 2014 entered the technology industry immediately after graduation, while 13 percent went into education and 9 percent work at consulting companies.

“We try to target really high-quality opportunities and high-quality organizations for our students. That being said, a lot of the banks, a lot of consulting firms already have Brown on their list of recruiting schools,” Donato said.

But CareerLAB is not the only group at Brown that works to connect students with job opportunities, especially for positions in technology fields.

Parielle Lacy ’15 said she used the Department of Computer Science’s Industry Partners Program to get her job at Google as a software engineer. Many top technology companies have a strong on-campus recruiting presence, Lacy said, adding that she had completed the process by October of her senior year.

Wendy Ginsberg ’15, an associate product manager at Google, had a similar experience, noting that Google recruits heavily for software programming at Brown.

While she knew some Brown students and alums who worked at Google, she did not know the company had so many alums on its roster, Lacy said.

The Industry Partners Program is meant to facilitate research collaboration between technology companies and the Department of Computer Science, but it also encourages the recruitment and hiring of Brown students, according to the program’s webpage.

While CareerLAB also hosts career fairs that can help students learn more about potential employers, few job opportunities are available through career fairs, Donato said. Most hiring opportunities are done through on-campus recruiting, he added.

“The vast majority of students get information and advice and leads on employers through the networking process and through working on identifying and pursuing targets,” Donato said.

While pursuing her job at Google, Lacy networked and got a recommendation from a classmate who had already received a job offer from Google, she said. Google is a popular post-graduation destination for Brown alums partially because the atmosphere and attitude present in the company’s corporate structure is very similar to that of Brown, Lacy added.

Donato said that he hopes to keep improving CareerLAB services to maintain existing job pathways and better prepare students for their job hunt. Much of this revolves around continuing to expand BrownConnect, a website where alums can post internships, and Project 2019, a new program designed to engage first-year students, he said.

Though CareerLAB works to improve job opportunities available for students after graduation, Donato said students should focus on the bigger picture. “Look for something you want to do when you graduate, but your first job is not going to be your last.”


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  1. I find this article depressing. If Brown grads want to have a positive impact on the world, working for these companies basically isn’t the way to go. We can quibble about the extent to which this is true, but it’s indisputable that most of the work these companies do doesn’t improve conditions for the world’s poor.

    I hope the data presented in this article is simply misleading: maybe there are a lot more Brown grads working for NGOs, but only a few at each one; maybe the socially conscious grads are all attending grad or med or law school. Nonetheless, CareerLAB certainly pushes grads towards maximally lucrative jobs in finance, consulting, and tech. We should remember that Brown has a significant interest in ensuring its alums get as rich as possible.

  2. They’re being hired into the junior ranks. As a Brown and Harvard alum, our saying is “Brown grads are cheaper and available.” Not a good endorsement of Brown’s standing in the tech community.

    In the meantime, Brown does nothing with its alums other than regard us as ATM’s. Sorry, Christina Paxson. We control the resources and the jobs. Not you.

    John Lonergan, AB 72, Harvard MBA 76, Medical Device VC, San Francisco

    • I’m pretty sure this is just wrong. It would be truly exceptional to be *not* hired into the junior ranks of a large tech company, and entry level positions at the bigger companies tend to have very uniform pay. Google, in particular, has a strict, completely non-negotiable entry level pay ($85,000 I think).

      I literally just went through this process as a Brown tech student, and most people in the department get numerous job offers from both large and small companies across a pretty wide array of pays. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if Brown students tend to be paid less than other tech grads, as a pretty huge number of people, myself included, turned down much larger salaries to take jobs they were more interested in. For example, I know of two people who turned down salaries of >$200k for jobs that paid under 100k.

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