University News

Fall recruitment comes to campus

Students juggle school, interviews, application process for spots in tech, finance, consulting

Contributing Writer
Thursday, October 13, 2016

With industry competition pushing the recruiting schedule earlier each year, students have scrambled to complete applications, travel for interviews and keep up with school work. CareerLAB has instituted guidelines for employers in an attempt to lessen the burden on students.

While the trees may be just starting to change color, fall recruiting is already well underway for many students, especially juniors and seniors. For those interested in internships or jobs in finance, consulting or technology, recruiting can begin as early as the first day of classes.

Twenty years ago, fall recruiting was just coming into play, said Matthew Donato, director of the CareerLAB. Finance and consulting companies began to push their search for talented undergraduates earlier and earlier, seeking to fill full-time positions. Recently, increased competition among industries and a heavy demand for talent has shifted that timeline forward.

Within the past three to five years, internships have become increasingly competitive for juniors. Companies are viewing internships as a way to lock up talent even earlier, creating more pressure for students interested in tech, finance and consulting, Donato said.

CareerLAB has even instituted guidelines for employers to abide by, providing deadlines for offers and decreasing pressure on students. These measures have become increasingly important, especially as employers begin to recruit more aggressively.

Internships are beneficial for students because they expose them to industries and real-world work while giving them a sense of the company culture, Donato said.

But the process of applying can be extremely stressful, especially when balancing shopping period and extracurriculars at the beginning of the semester, said Stella Huang ’17, who is in the process of looking for a full-time consulting job.

As senior year begins, students interested in tech, finance and consulting often skip classes to go to interviews at company offices, causing many students to fall behind, Huang said. While professors are usually understanding, there is still an expectation that work will be completed on time, she added.

Many companies have application processes with multiple steps. When applying to Bain and Company, students must submit a resume and then complete two rounds of interviews — one on campus and one off campus, said Nate Jackson, the associate consulting recruiting program manager at Bain.

Each company looks for different types of applicants who will contribute to its team. For example, Bain stresses the importance of an individual’s drive and passion, Jackson said.

Yiwei Zhao ’16, an associate at Keystone Strategy, emphasized the fit within the company culture. Zhao said that there is no single factor Keystone looks for in an applicant, but rather there are multiple factors that reveal an applicant’s potential — including but not limited to grade point average, extracurricular activities and personality.

Keeping track of everything during the application process can be difficult, said Julia Wu ’17, president of Women in Business. Spreadsheets and meticulous notes are helpful to keep track of companies and contacts, she added. Additionally, conferences and networking events were essential to her and other students.

The Brown alumni network was helpful for Zhao in the application process, especially because alums know which classes and clubs are difficult and time intensive, she added.

Huang also said that alums were helpful in providing information about a company as well as connections to individuals working for other companies.

While fall recruiting has become increasingly common in tech, finance and consulting, only 37 percent of students employed from the Class of 2015 found jobs in these areas, according to CareerLAB’s website. Most students who wish to work in other industries are not recruited until later in the year. But students interested in other industries should not slack off during this time period, Donato said. Students should view this time as a period to improve their resumes and cover letters and begin networking, he added.

Underclassmen should begin thinking about their future in this time as well, Donato said. Information sessions and booths at career fairs are great resources for those interested in learning more about certain industries and companies. Additionally, Projects 2019 and 2020, catered to sophomores and first-years, respectively, hold several events throughout the fall to get students thinking about future internships and make them aware of the services CareerLAB offers.

Though fall recruiting may be a stressful time, many emphasized the importance of finding a job or internship that is genuinely interesting.

“If you can do something that means a lot to you, that’s really meaningful,” Wu said. “You can have a really good story to tell.”