After a lengthy search, HBS has hired Matt Merrick (HBS ’96C) to head MBA Career Services, replacing Linda Carrigan, who left last December.
The appointment brings the office back to full staff at a crucial time for both HBS job-seekers and the department. The national economy appears ready to move into its first recession in a decade, and some students and recruiters are still smarting over technical glitches that emerged as the department adopted the new HBS CareerLink job database.
Into that environment will step Merrick, who has a background in consulting and high-tech, rising to managing director at the Parson Group LLC in his first job out of HBS, and more recently serving as Vice President for Operations at DaVinci Software.
Steve Nelson, executive director of MBA program administration, who headed the search, said he expected Merrick to bring a strong external focus and general management perspective to Wilder House.
In a letter to MBA Program officials announcing the appointment, Nelson wrote that Merrick “brings a unique perspective as a former student and as a recruiter of MBA students.”
While Merrick has limited experience dealing with the executive recruiting community, observers said that is unlikely to be a problem, since there is no shortage of that expertise already within the department.
In fact, as economic pressures limit the number of positions available through those channels, they contend that Merrick’s ability to network with companies and alumni to encourage them to hire current students will be a major advantage for the school.
Nelson noted that the networking role would be nothing new for Merrick-he used a networked job search to secure his first position after graduating from HBS, “and got a good job.”
HBS officials said Merrick was unavailable for an interview last week, but would spend time reaching out to students once he arrives in Allston next month.
Ron Peracchio, who had served as acting director of career services, will return to his post as associate director for technology and operations once Merrick starts work in early December.