RC Summer Recruiting

As our RC class returns from Spring Break, somehow more exhausted than when we left, it is time for about half of us to get back at the job search. Don’t worry – good things will happen if you put in genuine effort.

“Me, not worry? But I had 5 interviews and not a single job offer!” Grieve and move on. Hell Week does not suit everyone. There is reason for optimism. Job postings are up 27% relative to last summer’s internships. Keep checking the job bank. Spring postings seem to be more robust than in previous years; the pre-Hell Week/post-Hell Week split for postings is trending from 50/50 to something favoring later postings. MBA Career and Professional Development is “cautiously optimistic” that both the job market and the ongoing submissions to the job bank by companies will continue to trend upward.

What went wrong? How could one submit so many applications and not get an offer?

– So you submitted the wrong cover letter. Not much can be done about that. Better luck next time.

– If you submitted applications to 95 jobs, maybe focus is an issue. And it makes me wonder what you skipped over.

– If you thought the interview went well but didn’t get a call back, try not to attribute it to having missed a button on your blouse or forgetting to zip up your fly. Seriously, just because you are at HBS does not necessarily mean you are the world’s gift to distressed debt private equity firms.

We also have a few bits of advice for those of you lucky enough to land offers (or second rounds) during Hell Week:

– Stay in touch with the company that makes you an offer. Don’t go silent on them. Even the post-offer period is evaluative. You don’t want to start your summer as a stranger again.

– If you thought that accepting a McKinsey offer would give you your evenings back to have dinner on the couch, you were wrong. Have you ever met a consultant who can cook?

– If they are asking you to miss class for interviews or visits, expect that their work culture will reflect this type of tradeoff. I’m sure your girlfriend/boyfriend will understand.right?

Some suggestions from Jana Pompadur Kierstead, Managing Director of MBA Career and Professional Development, about your best process to move forward involve the following:

– Find a career coach that you click with.
– Utilize the Spring Jumpstart program if you haven’t already.
– Learn what your weakness is (e.g., networking, emailing or interviewing).
– Most of all, RELAX.

Finding the right job and career is a marathon, not a sprint. Enjoy your time at HBS. Go to class. Contribute. Learn. “Socialize” (yes, you know what section I’m talking about). Remember that a mere 15 months from now, we will be set free upon the world to raise hell and chase dreams.

If you have any feedback about the recruiting process, specific companies or things that you found particularly helpful or annoying, please email mbacareers@hbs.edu.

Dan Monahan is his section’s representative for The Harbus. Writing is an art, and he failed art. Several times. Send random judgments to dmonahan@mba2011.hbs.edu.