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OCS Bans McKinsey Campus Recruiting

By Matthew F. Quirk, Crimson Staff Writer

The Office of Career Services (OCS) has barred McKinsey and Company, a pre-eminent consulting group, from this year's on-campus recruiting program because the firm backed out of the program last year.

OCS' ban on McKinsey--a major on-campus recruiter in the past--prevents the company from holding information sessions on campus and tabling at the career fair during the current school year.

But McKinsey officials said the company remains committed to soliciting Harvard students.

The ban came after a dispute between OCS and McKinsey officials last fall over the company's behavior during on campus recruiting.

McKinsey planned to find its Harvard job candidates through OCS as it has done in the past, but the firm moved off campus in order to accommodate a greater number of candidates than possible at OCS.

"Although we communicated our needs well in advance, OCS did not have the facilities to accommodate the number of students we expected to interview, and rather than reduce the number of qualified candidates we could see, we decided to move off-campus," said Matthew L. Kramer '98 co-leader of Harvard undergraduate recruiting for McKinsey and a former Crimson editor.

The lateness of the switch vexed the OCS administration, which organizes recruitment for hundreds of employers throughout the year.

"During the fall term they decided not to come on campus and caused us serious difficulties," said Bill Wright-Swadel, director of recruiting at OCS.

McKinsey later agreed to conduct on-campus interviews through OCS during the spring term, Wright-Swadel said.

But near the February due date for spring recruiting applications, Swadel noticed a McKinsey advertisement in The Crimson announcing a different deadline than that for OCS applications--indicating that the firm was not recruiting through OCS.

When Wright-Swadel told McKinsey of what he thought was an error, he was again surprised.

"At that point they notified us they had changed they mind and were not coming on-campus," Wright-Swadel said.

The firm's decision to go off-campus in the spring left OCS with empty rooms and no time to find companies to fill them.

"Organizations that would have loved to interview [on-campus] could not," Swadel said. "We felt it was inappropriate behavior."

"It was purely a business decision," Wright-Swadel said. "We trust that they will return and be a good citizen as in the past."

Kramer said McKinsey hopes to work with OCS in the future, but said in the meantime McKinsey "will be interviewing in full force this year off-campus."

"We are committed to ensuring that every student that is qualified to interview with McKinsey be able to do so and that no obstacles related to our being off campus in any way prevents that," Kramer said.

OCS will continue to help interested students reach recruiters at McKinsey.

Outside a packed OCS recruiting meeting in Science Center C yesterday, few worried that McKinsey wouldn't make it on its own.

"Being at OCS would simplify the process, but I don't think they have to worry," said Jason E. Habes '01.

"They'll be fine," added Matt E. Dost '01, standing nearby. "They're number one. They're probably laughing at OCS."

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