Undergraduate Class of 2023 Reports Highest Starting Salary in the College’s History

Three students in a crowd of students at commencement

The undergraduate Class of 2023 knows how to pivot. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their first year on campus shifted drastically in March 2020, including where they lived and how their Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship (FME) businesses ran. They saw various shifts in markets and the future of work challenged in real time as they took classes remotely and eventually transitioned back to the classroom.  

When they walked across the Commencement stage, the world looked different than it did when they first arrived. And yet, after years of uncertainty, the Class of 2023 has pivoted into their careers no differently than Babson students before them. In fact, they have even more to celebrate. 

For the second year in a row, the Babson graduating class has reported the highest starting salary ever for Babson undergraduate students. Standing at $75,579, the average salary is almost 6 percent greater than last year’s and over 20 percent greater than the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Class of 2023 projected average for business majors.  

Additionally, 98.6 percent of the Class of 2023 is employed, continuing their education, or involved in volunteer, military, or service programs only six months after graduation. A big factor in these sustained career results is Babson students’ ability to use their skills across industries and functionalities. Graduates in finance, consulting, and retail grew this year, while other areas, such as accounting and technology, saw fewer Babson students accepting job offers. It speaks to the adaptability of the undergraduate Babson curriculum and how it’s more than just a business administration degree. 

“From the start, Babson students use their diverse perspectives and experiences to develop their own ideas into businesses in FME, simultaneously engaging in critical inquiry in their liberal arts foundation,” says Wendy Murphy, associate dean of the undergraduate school and a professor of management. “Students round out their classroom knowledge with cocurricular leadership opportunities and internships, which prepare them to hit the ground running no matter where their interests take them.” 

A Curriculum That Goes Beyond the Expected 

Because a Babson education blends business fundamentals and liberal arts and sciences classes with hands-on learning opportunities, each student graduates with both practical knowledge and an array of competencies such as leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, and interpersonal communication. The latter, specifically, are skills employers are looking for in interviews and resumes.  

“The class I talked about in every interview is The Ultimate Entrepreneurship Challenge,” says Skylar Jackenthal ’23, now a leadership development associate at the health and wellness brand Force Factor. “I don’t think you would find this class at any other school. Every week, we were given problems to solve from real businesses and were expected to present creative, out-of-the-box ideas.” 

“Being in a job where innovation is encouraged, I now feel comfortable coming up with ideas and presenting them.”
Skylar Jackenthal ’23

Jackenthal describes her education as a competitive edge: She has examples to draw on, the fundamentals, and the critical-thinking ability to pivot when needed. She’s part of a rotational program for recent graduates where they spend a few months working within each specific department of the Force Factor business model, including finance, science and innovation, marketing, sales, people, and supply chain and operations.  

Portait of Skylar Jackenthal ’23
Skylar Jackenthal ’23

The variety of classes she took at Babson, and specifically the opportunities to engage with actual businesses, now let her explore potential careers and jobs across disciplines at her current company. “Being in a job where innovation is encouraged, I now feel comfortable coming up with ideas and presenting them,” she says.  

Anchors of the curriculum, FME and Advanced Experiential courses provide students with tangible opportunities to try out and present ideas and work as a team, while Socio-Ecological Systems and other critical inquiry offerings challenge how students think and see the world while boosting communication skills. Students then build out their Babson resumes with courses such as the Babson College Fund and Management Consulting Field Experience where they work with real professionals, businesses, and money. 

Career Services That Understand the Student  

In addition to opportunities that provide access to award-winning companies, students also have access to award-winning career resources. The Wall Street Journal recently named Babson the No. 1 school for career preparedness.

The Hoffman Family Undergraduate Center for Career Development meets students where they are. That includes location-wise, as they host pop-up locations across campus in addition to their offices across from Trim Dining Hall, as well as where students are metaphorically in their career journeys. Having easy access to vast career resources allows students to start engaging with employers when they’re ready and craft their professional path on their own terms. 

Like most Babson students, Jackenthal says she worked with career resources when job searching. That can include identifying Babson alumni connections, receiving resume and cover letter feedback, using space to do virtual interviews, and attending career events that range from large career fairs to more specialized industry sessions. Companies like Force Factor also hold interview events on campus. 

Ultimately, when Babson students like the Class of 2023 enter the workforce, they can confidently enter the professional world because they have the experiences and education to back it up. Employers know it, too. 

As someone who recently went through a job search, Jackenthal saw it firsthand: “Hearing Babson in an interview certainly piques people’s interest.” 

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