Margie Bogenschutz has been at the Ohio State Fisher College of Business Office of Career Management for over 30 years now. It’s safe to say over the past three decades, Bogenschutz and her office have seen many changes in recruiting trends and within the industry. Three of the bigger trends happening now? Earlier recruitment from employers, the integration of video into the interview process, and data analytics.
On a day-to-day basis, her job is to prepare the business students at Fisher to secure internships where they’ll be able to identify opportunities to shine and craft their job search so they’ll find themselves in work that inspires them, with companies they believe in.
In the wide-ranging interview below, Bogenschutz talks about what separates Ohio State from other top undergraduate B-schools, what she’s seeing now from employers compared to just five or so years ago, and what readers can expect to see change within the industry in the next few years.
What’s one of the most unique things that Fisher does to prepare the students for their dream careers and what do you love most about it?
We work with our students specifically on their interviewing skills and helping them develop resumes that reflect their strengths. We have a unique program called QUIC, which stands for Qualified Undergraduate Interview Candidate. It’s an online course where students go through six modules and the system is used to manage on-campus recruiting.
The six modules include students learning how to represent themselves and the Fisher school. The last module covers video interviewing where the quiz is to submit a video recording of themselves answering a video-based question. Afterward, they go into a mock interview where we pull up the recording and talk about the content, and technical aspects like lighting and technology they’ve used. This is important because lots of recruiters are now integrating a video component.
After they’ve passed all the components, including the behavioral anchors we look at, we remind them to send a thank-you note, which we evaluate too, and once that, too, has been passed, they’ll be given access to our campus recruiting sites where they can engage with employers.
Some students will receive an outright pass, some will receive a conditional pass where we ask them to practice some of the components, and others will need to go through the interview again. They can do it any time while at the school, but almost 100% of students are now directly enrolled in the QUIC program. We recommend that they target doing this in their sophomore year so they can spend their freshman year paying attention to their academics and getting situated in college. That one additional year also gives them more experience to draw on during the interview.
QUIC is now about 10 years old, but when it started, it only had four modules, and we’ve now integrated the video aspect of the recruiting process. We continue to develop it every year as the field continues to change and it’s really rewarding to see students developing their professional selves and build up their successes.
What is the most challenging thing about working with students on their careers?
One of the biggest changes in the business industry is the push to early recruiting that has steadily ramped up over the last three years. All the companies now want to visit our school as early as September. They’re interviewing our sophomore students for summer internships in fall.
Lots of companies now have a sophomore leadership program where they bring student leaders to the company to talk about what’s happening as early as the end of April. They’ve begun making offers to sophomores for internships the following summer and some try to push students to give them an answer before they even go back to school. At our career center, we have to push them to give students more time.
We have a module on appropriate job search behavior, and we tell students to never renege on a job offer they’ve accepted. But now that they are being pushed to accept so early, students sometimes find themselves in sticky situations where an attractive internship offer from another company comes by later on. Because they are undergrads and this is at the internship level, they may not know they have the power to negotiate and we remind them that they can try asking for an extension.
As a school, we’ve also had to adjust our employer policies and guidelines. We tell companies that if they make internship offers to students before school starts, they need to give them at least till October 5th to make a decision. And if they make an on-campus offer that begins at the start of the next school year, they need to give the students at least till November 1st to consider. Still, not all companies pay attention to this.
We’ve had students renege on offers, and then we have to analyze if a company has abided by our deadline. If they haven’t, we don’t penalize the student. But if the student accepted an offer and yet, just kept looking, we take away their access to our job hosting, on-campus recruiting. It’s a pretty big deal for a junior or senior to lose access to the system.