In the study “Exploration for Human Capital,” Stanford Graduate School of Business Professor Paul Oyer examined MBA students applying for internships and jobs.

His study included 1,482 job candidates, of which:

  • 61 percent were Americans
  • 65.8 percent were women
  • 48.3 percent attended a top 100 school
  • The average age was 30 and the average GPA was 3.45

The study also looked at the 383 hiring firms. Of that group:

  • 58 percent were public companies
  • 24 percent were on the Fortune MBA 100 list
  • They had an average of $22.56 billion in annual sales
  • They had an average of 55,000 employees

After examining the data, Oyer found:

  • Most internship offers (68 percent) came from on-campus recruiting.
  • 31 percent of internship offers came from off-campus channels
  • 1 percent of these offers came from previous employers

For full-time job offers:

  • 34 percent came from summer internships
  • 35 percent came from on-campus recruiting
  • 22 percent came from off-campus channels
  • 9 percent came from previous employers

Experience matters. For applications that resulted in job offers:

  • 7.77 percent had direct industry experience
  • 5.65 percent had related experience
  • 4.39 percent had no industry experience

Summer interns who have direct industry experience have between 14 percent and 27 percent higher probability of converting their internships into a full-time job.

Prestige and size of companies makes a difference however:

  • Non-prestigious firms are 3.57 times more likely to hire someone with previous industry experience, while prestigious firms are only 1.74 times more likely to hire an applicant with previous industry experience.
  • Smaller firms are 2.71 times more likely to hire an applicant with previous industry experience, while larger firms are only 2.28 times more likely to hire an applicant with previous industry experience.