Friday, October 15, 2004

Rankings and policies 
Yesterday I had a meeting with all of the other career reps (one for each section) and career services. We discussed an ongoing issue relating to recruiters on campus because the career center is considering barring companies from a certain activity because they believe it negatively impacts students. I am trying to give a sense of the problem without coming right out and saying it, because I'm not sure if it is a sensitive issue, so don't worry if you don't really understand what I'm talking about. The bottom line is that career services is considering restricting recruiters from engaging in a specific activity. Why is this interesting? Well, let me explain.

Last week the new Business Week rankings came out, and apparently HBS ranked pretty poorly in a few categories. I believe one of these was student satisfaction with the administration, and another was companies' perception of career services. I think both of these were reasons we came out at #5. I have to apologize because I haven't read the article and I'm going off sketchy hearsay, but I'm trying to get the info and will update when I do. Anyway, career services had a few things to say about why recruiters don't, and will never, like working with them as much as they will at mid-tier schools. One of the reasons relates back to the rule they were thinking of implementing yesterday. HBS exercises a lot of control over recruiters, telling them when they can recruit, when they can interview, what activities are permissable and impermissable, etc. This is irritating enough, but what is a bigger deal is what career services does to companies that don't play by the rules. They ban them from recruiting. Now, from my knowledge, very few other schools do this, if any.

Now, taking this hard line has advantages and disadvantages. Several years back when companies were withdrawing offers due to the economy career services barred them from on-campus recruiting. A year or two later a technology firm withdrew 2 offers from every school where they recruited except HBS, since they didn't want to be banned. It tends to really irritate recruiters, though. Add to that the problem that many non-finance, non-consulting companies have just getting students to attend info sessions or interview for their positions and you can see why HBS's rankings in WSJ and BW suffer in the recruiting category. On the other hand, they had the highest placement rate at graduation (94%) last year, so it appears to be working for students.

Anyway, I just wanted to share all that. Thus far I have been very impressed with the career resources offered here. I also like how they have pushed back recruiting until mid-November to give first-year's some breathing space. One other interesting tidbit from yesterday is that they are considering creating a "career journal" section for the intranet careers section for the class of 2007. They were asking for volunteers who wouldn't mind writing about their experiences. You know, I think I wouldn't mind doing that... ;)

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