Friday, October 15, 2010

That (scary) thing called ‘Recruitment’

This is an amateur first year's take on what MBA Recruitment is all about. I'm hoping to create an updated blog entry for when I actually do know what the heck I'm talking about.

It’s only been three months since I’ve been out of the work force, two months since I started business school and yet, here I am losing sleep over every other MBA student's biggest source of anxiety--recruitment (aka the job hunt).

Darden devotes one week after final exams to recruitment events--company briefings, office hours (a small group of students interact with recruiters and company executives), and networking events. Darden does a good job in pushing (and scaring) students to start the job hunt early lest you don't get your dream job and ideal company. So like a scared mouse, I've been running to quite a number of company briefings and networking events in the past month including General Motors, 3M, Amazon, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Johnson & Johnson, Bank of America, etc.

So what exactly is this scary thing called Recruitment and how does it work?

Getting to Know You.
As in all relationships, everything starts with getting to know the person, in this case the company. A company briefing in business school is perhaps the first step of recruitment for both the company and the students. This is a student's first peek of the company's culture, its personality and its people. To encourage better networking, most of the company representatives are Darden alumni. Darden students who interned in the companies are also invited to speak about their internship experiences. At the end of it, students ask some questions and the presenters address these. The student then does his/her own introspection, gauge his/her level of interest after hearing what the company is all about and decide if he/she wants to pursue a possible internship opportunity or full-time job at the company.

Up Close and Personal.
If a student finds these initial qualities appealing, then it's time to get up close and personal. This happens in a number of ways. Some of which are:
a. Pitt dive: After a company briefing, some students approach the presenters to ask more questions and network with the recruiters. This is usually challenging to do as the recruiter-student ratio is usually 7:1 or even 10:1. So a student's talk time is very limited hence he/she has to make each word count (scrap 'count,' replace with 'memorable'). This way, the recruiter will remember you when you write that thank you note after the briefing and pitt dive.
b. Office Hours: These are similar to pitt dives but is usually held in smaller settings. This is a good indicator of a student's interest in the firm. The recruiter-student ratio is also more favorable at say 5:1. So students get to ask more specific questions and get more detailed responses.
c. Networking socials: This applies mostly for the Banking and Consulting industries. From what I've seen, it seems like bankers like to network in bars a lot. Yes, that's networking and socializing under the influence of booze. I haven't figured out yet how that formula works because I'm not sure how well the recruiters will remember the students after five drinks but hey, I'm no expert. Consulting networking socials also include sponsoring tailgate events (the pre football game party).

The Date(s).
So you've met the company, you've gone up close and personal through pitt dives and other networking opportunities. It's now time to move on to the date, that is, the interview. If you're lucky, you'll get a second or third date (interviews). For now, I have very limited experience in this matter so I'll reserve my thoughts on this for when I get more first-hand experience in the dating game.

I do.
Those two word say it all. If the company likes you, you'll receive an internship offer. You'll get the details of the offer probably including scope, roles and responsibilities, compensation and relocation packages. Hmm... Pretty much like your standard pre-nuptial agreement.


  1. like the parallels :) it is indeed a ritual!

  2. the analogies. Can't wait for part 2: "Honeymoon and troubles in paradise" :-D