Campus Recruiting Rates Inch Upward

Jessica E. Schumer

Students attend a recruiting meeting in the Science Center last night. Hundreds of Harvard students are seeking jobs for next year.

Despite increasing unemployment figures, the number of companies recruiting on campus this fall—and the number of eager seniors they will hire—has increased marginally since last year, according to the Office of Career Services (OCS).

OCS Director of Recruiting Judy E. Murray said some companies are providing more interview slots in anticipation of hiring more students from the recruiting pool. She would not name which companies are planning to conduct more interviews.

With seniors already throwing off their jeans and suiting up for investment banking and consulting info sessions at night, the recruiting season is in full swing.

Murray estimates that 47 percent of the on-campus recruiting participants will be seniors, in keeping with past statistical data.

Last year 1,375 students—most of whom were seniors, alumni or graduate students—used the recruiting process, Murray said.

Companies scouring Harvard for potential employees range from investment banks, such as Goldman Sachs and the Blackstone Group, to technology firms, such as Microsoft and Google.

For the students overflowing into the aisles of Wednesday night’s recruiting orientation meeting, the news of the slight increase in job opportunities is positive if not comforting.

While Christopher T. Conlon ’04 has had a range of consulting internships during his college years, he said he didn’t think his odds of landing one of the coveted jobs through recruiting were good.

“I’m keeping my options open,” he said. “The whole process is interesting. If you look at how this system is set up, you’re targeting a whole room of Harvard students at the same industries.”

Tariq M. Yasin ’04 said after getting an internship through recruiting last spring, the process no longer seems daunting to him.

“I think it takes some time to get acclimated to the recruiting process; with some study behind you, the whole process becomes easier,” he said. “OCS has been very helpful in preparing for the rigors of the recruiting process.”

Yasin pointed out that OCS provides resources for students on a wide range of industries—but said that he himself is looking to get an offer from a top-tier consulting firm like McKinsey & Company.

While some seniors going through recruiting this fall are relatively seasoned veterans like Yasin, many of the students who packed into the Science Center C seats yesterday and Wednesday for recruiting orientation meetings are newcomers.

Victor Y. Gao ’04 said after the meeting yesterday that he had never been to OCS yet, but gravitated toward the process out of an interest in operations management and science consulting jobs.

“I’m just curious because I know thousands of people who have gone through this process,” he said.

A majority of the companies that have flocked to Harvard this September to wine-and-dine seniors and inform them about their companies are, as in past years, in the financial sector.