Upperclassman students were met by an earlier recruitment process when they returned to campus this fall, as the annual recruiting cycle for jobs and internships at financial institutions and many consulting firms moved from the spring semester to the fall semester for the first time.
In previous years, recruiters from firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bain & Company, McKinsey & Company, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Deloitte visited campus to host information sessions, meet-and-greets and on-campus interviews during the spring semester. This year, these firms, and many others, shifted recruiting to the fall after investment banks initially moved up their recruitment season.
Financial institutions shifted the schedule to allow themselves more time to staff their summer internship classes and conduct the advance planning that goes into their programs, according to Cawley Career Center’s Executive Director Mike Schaub. The new schedule also allows employers to connect with Georgetown students earlier in the year and increase outreach.
According to the Career Center’s 2015 First Destination Report, the top two hiring industries were financial services and consulting. Companies in these two industries hired 25 percent and 17 percent of students who graduated with full-time job offers that year, respectively.
Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers each hired 33 students, employing the most Georgetown students that year.
Schaub said Georgetown was originally asked to adjust to the fall hiring schedule last year, but only implemented it this year to better support students studying abroad.
“A number of schools accommodated this request during the 2015-2016 academic year. At Georgetown, we asked our recruiters to postpone this shift until the 2016-2017 academic year so that study abroad students would have full access to recruiting and to give the Career Center time to help students prepare for interviews,” Schaub said.
Students, deans, academic advisors and staff were first notified of changes in the recruiting timeline last September.
Although many companies now recruit earlier in the year, the process itself has not changed significantly, according to students like Dalric Fields (MSB ’18), who is currently recruiting for an internship.
“I think recruiting would be stressful at any time during the year,” Fields said. “But I do think having it directly at the beginning is definitely different, but it’s just adversity that everyone goes through in life.”
Maximilian Fiege (SFS ’18) said strong networking skills are essential for recruiting – especially because information sessions can be attended by over 200 students..
“For the majority of nights, you see yourself devoting two to three hours a night to the process. Information sessions take 45 minutes to an hour, and if you’re doing productive networking, that usually adds on another half hour,” Fiege said. “On top of all that, the follow up emails and phone calls — all of these auxiliary things that kind of float around the term ‘information session.’”
Some students — especially those who attended recruiting events in previous semesters — think the earlier schedule is problematic.
Hayden Jeong (MSB ’17) who attended recruiting events last spring and interned at PwC over the summer, said the new schedule excludes students who might need more time to prepare for the recruitment process.
“Recruitment isn’t supposed to attract only those who are positive they want to go into the industry — it’s supposed to provide a platform for students to learn more about it and ask questions from a point of view where they are still undecided about whether the industry is right for them,” Jeong said.
The Career Center has adapted its services to better support students with an earlier recruitment schedule. The Career Center no longer requires students to attend an on-campus interview workshop to prepare for recruiting season; however, some finance internships required students to attend an information session and sign confirmation forms in applicants’ sophomore Spring. Instead, students must review a PowerPoint presentation that describes the recruiting process and outlines expectations for participating students and answer a series of questions on the process to be considered eligible to participate in on-campus interviews.
Schaub said he believes both financial services and consulting will remain popular career paths at Georgetown. However, it is too early to say how the new recruiting schedule will affect the number of students pursuing these types of jobs and internships.
“Banking is appealing to many Georgetown students because it offers opportunities in which they can apply their coursework to a business setting and they are stimulated by the fast pace and competitive culture,” Schaub said. “As for consulting firms, they look for students with demonstrated analytical, quantitative, problem solving, communication and team skills. These are skills that students develop across all majors at Georgetown due to our emphasis on providing a liberal arts education.”