USING THE SUMMER TO MEET ALUMS AT COMPANIES
“It is critical to get them prepared because everything is getting accelerated,” Roberts said.
Matthew Merrill, a senior at the Marriot School who is president of the Marriott Undergraduate Student Association, said this approach has been helpful since the early deadlines often creep up on students. He helped coach several pre-BBA sophomores last year, and encouraged them to take the time this summer to fly out to New York or San Francisco to meet with Marriott alums at different bank. As a result, they were able to aggressively go after early internship opportunities at banks like Credit Suisse as juniors this fall.
“If they hadn’t spent time over the spring and the summer preparing for recruiting, it would have been a lost cause,” Merrill said. “Students are now understanding that they need to be working over the summer and can’t wait till the fall semester if they really want to capitalize on opportunities and be successful. “
OFFERINGS WEBINARS TO GET STUDENTS READY TO MEET WITH RECRUITERS
Some schools have been trying for the last few years to push off the banks from conducting early fall internship recruiting for BBAs, as it has presented a number of logistical challenges for them. But now that it has become so mainstream, schools like Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business have had no choice but to follow suit. For the first time this fall, Georgetown has agreed to let the bulge bracket banks accept internships applications in mid-November, whereas in the past the deadline wouldn’t be till Jan. 15 or 20, said Rebecca Cassidy, assistant dean and director of McDonough’s Office of Professional Development. The school resisted doing early recruiting because about two-thirds of Georgetown juniors study abroad, many of them in the fall semester.
To adjust to the new timeline, the school has taken extra steps to make sure that McDonough students who are abroad are on top of recruiting deadlines. Over the summer, the school offered for the first time a special webinar series for students studying abroad in the fall that guided them through the recruiting process and advised them on how to reach out to recruiters while they’re off campus. In addition, the school recently hired several career coaches for four different sectors; the career coach specializing in finance has been Skyping with students studying abroad this fall who are interested in applying for analyst positions at the banks. “We’re making a concerted effort to make sure students participate, even if they’re not on campus,” Cassidy said.
The McIntire School has taken a similar approach to preparing its incoming juniors, and offered for the first time this summer a webinar this summer to get students up to speed on how to prepare their resumes and engage with employers in the fall. About 75 to 80 percent of incoming third-years participated in the webinar, said McIntire’s Fitch.
“Typically we would not have bothered newly accepted students before they matriculate, but now we are really working with those students to anticipate what their needs might be,” Fitch said.
TREKS TO COMPANIES ALSO STARTING EARLIER THAN EVER BEFORE
Across the board, finance treks to cities like New York, Houston and San Francisco are starting earlier. Two years ago, University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business did its trek to New York the last week of October. This year, Anne Ziemniack, Marshall’s director of undergraduate student services, took students the second week in October, and also moved up the date of the trek to San Francisco by two weeks. Last year, campus recruiting was moved up to the second week in November, and the timeline has held steady this year, Ziemniack said.
“It is a double-edged sword because we want to help our students make those connections early, but we also want to make sure they have enough time to feel prepared,” she said.
At Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, the first day of school was August 26, with recruiting starting about two week later, said Jane Hershman, director of the BBA Career Management Center Goizueta. All but one of the banks that the school works with has moved up their deadline for resumes to October, and on-campus interviews started the last week of October. This new timeline has meant the school has had to make some last-minute decisions about programming, Hershman said. For example, the school wasn’t planning on doing its banking trek this fall, but made a last-minute decision to do one in mid-October, visiting 13 companies over two days.
EARLY BIRD RECRUITING IS TEMPTING EMORY TO CONSIDER AN AUGUST TREK
“All the banks we visited on the trek were talking about how early their deadlines were, and one of the banks even joked that their Nov. 1st deadline was ridiculously late,” Hershman said.
Next year, Hershman said she and her team are considering doing the finance trek even earlier, perhaps in August before school starts. For now, it is mostly the finance firms that are doing the early bird recruiting, but she’s also seen consulting firms “start to creep” in this direction, she said.
“For a two-year program, it certainly has presented some challenges in being sure that students are prepared and know what they’re getting into,” she said. “Our students are doing well, but I’ve heard rumblings across the board that students are less prepared. It is not because of anything we or they are doing wrong. It is just early.”