Tie or t-shirt? What are top students choosing today?


The culture at universities in northern California is, of course, largely affected by startups. This is increasingly true for Ivy League universities on the east coast as well, and especially Boston is a booming startup hub.

Data have shown that since the financial crisis, workplaces in finance and management consulting are meeting harder competition from startups trying to attract top students from these schools – Students’ preferences are gradually shifting towards a bigger interest for startups.

We met with Gabrielle Scrimshaw at her campus, she studies the last term of an MBA program here:

”At other business schools more people choose traditional paths. It’s kind of contagious. Here – everyone wants to start a company”, she says.

Millennials – people born between the 80’s and 00’s – have been shown to have somewhat different preferences than previous generations. They are digital natives, have high expectations when it comes to employment, and values flexibility. Many millennials will also put their values before a great paycheck, and they want to participate in work they find meaningful, by doing things that can change the world for the better. These are all things that a startup may provide. And the shift becomes especially apparent in northern California.

”Everybody here does things on the side. I’ve moved around a lot and it’s a different feeling living here. And it’s hard to define”, Gabrielle tells us.