Thursday, October 13, 2005

Something to carefully consider 
I meant to write about this topic for a while but then forgot about it until I read this post from Will’s blog.  In it he relates how Medtronic is apparently joining a number of firms who do not recruit at HBS.  It doesn’t really bother me that many firms don’t recruit here, after all it wouldn’t make sense for every large company to come on campus.  What is bothersome, though, is the number of firms that don’t recruit here and refuse to interview students from the school.

This may not be a wide-spread issue, but I know that several companies like Wrigley, Campbell’s, and Quaker will not interview HBS students.  When pressed they state that they want to built relationships with a few select business schools and use them to source their MBAs.  I have a hunch as to how this came to be and I think I understand their position, even if I don’t agree with it.  Most likely they recruited at HBS and similar schools for many years and simply got tired of only getting a few applicants for their positions.  They come and set up presentations, perhaps hold dinners, and then when it’s time for the resume drop they get 3 or 4 students, and it’s just not worth the effort.  On the other hand, perhaps at schools that are more focused on their industry or located in their geography they get a great reception and lots of interest.  The difference in the caliber of students is probably not significant, so it makes sense to limit recruiting to those schools.

What I don’t understand, though, is why they refuse to even speak with applicants from other schools.  If someone is from the area, passionate about the industry, and went to another top school then it would make all the sense in the world to work with them.  Anyway, regardless of what I think is rational certain companies in certain industries take that stance with HBS graduates.  So, it really does pay to take a close look at the kinds of jobs and kinds of companies that graduates of a given school go work for, because you don’t want to be in the situation of trying to buck the trend.

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