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recruiting events - what are they like?

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recruiting events - what are they like? [#permalink] New post 17 Feb 2008, 12:50
I'm trying to get a better feel for how recruiting events work. During my undergrad days, I only went to a handful of events. The structure for those was: informational presentation + QA session. Then if you were lucky, you got called back for an interview with the recruiters and you were done.

It seems from other threads on the forum that events during Bschool are more like: informational presentation, QA, social mixing time. Then there is a series of dinners/cocktail hours/etc before you get called in for an interview. Repeat as needed.

is that right? Are those the big steps in the cycle? How do you prep for the events themselves?

Sorry if this sounds naive - want to make sure I understand all this correctly in case it comes up during any interviews/apps.

Thanks for your help,
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Re: recruiting events - what are they like? [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2008, 12:16
Yea, thats about right.

The cycle goes as follows.. some firms do all of this, some do some of it, and some do none of it. In general, the bigger and more in demand the firm is, the more they do. The less known and smaller they are, the less they do.

I've listed them in the chronological order they tend to happen.

Lunch and Learn: Presentations from company execs or others about something in the industry. Attendance encouraged, but optional. You learn a lot.

Coffee Chats: Sometimes scheduled, sometimes informal, come talk to someone from the firm anytime from 12pm to 5pm and get your questions answered. Don't go in unprepared.

Campus Presentations: Formalized recruiting events where they present not on the industry but the specifics of the job. Often followed by a networking hour where you go and chat it up and try and get their attention in a positive way. Knowing something about the job and industry is a must by this point.

Invitation only pre-interview invitation events: These can include cocktail receptions or dinners or both. Most firms will do one of these for the candidates that they were either particularly impressed with on paper or candidates that impressed them through the other on campus things.

Then the interview invites come out. If you got one.... from there, you follow something like this:

Invitation only interview prepatory events: Likelyhood varies by industry. Common in consulting for case prep. Come spend an hour at the office with some employees and a group of 30 other interviewees, and they'll help you prepare.

Invitation only Pre-nights: Typically held the night before the interview itself only for those invited to interview. Usually a dinner, sometimes a cocktail reception. The idea is to break the ice -- so you know the people who are interviewing you the next day. Can easily shoot yourself in the foot at these. Tread carefully.

Then you have the 1st round interview. This can be everything from a one half hour interview to 2 one hour interviews and in some cases, it's even been four back-to-back one hour interviews (thats rare though). Most common is one or two 45 minutes slots. Varies a bit by industry as well.

Then you wait for a call. Assuming you get the call...

2nd round interview invites: They are what they sound like.

Rarely, but occasionally, you'll hear of a 3rd round after that.

Assuming you get the offer, the next step is "sell weekend". This can be as simple as taking you out to dinner one night, or as elaborate as a multi-day event intended to sell the firm.

Thats basically it.
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Re: recruiting events - what are they like? [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2008, 03:17
rhyme's summary is spot on for the typical recruiting process. A few additional comments:

- As he pointed out the process varies a lot. There are some typical patterns by industry and, to a lesser extent, function. Expect a lot of schmoozing for finance jobs, some for consulting (varies depending on the company and office) and not that much for some other jobs.

- The other option is the "networked search". Let's say all of a sudden you figure out that you want to be involved in business development at a spark plug manufacturing company and they don't recruit on campus. In that case you:

a) Try to find a connection to the company, via professors, alumni, classmates, etc. If you find the connection then expect an introduction or at least some contact data. Once you contact the company, anything can happen: from an e-mail directing you to apply via their website to a phone call from HR, through a meeting in person at a mutually convenient location to an internship offer (I know a classmate who contacted the CEO of a company who directed her to the HR deparment who then proceeded to ask her when she could start).

b) You find no connection at all (could happen if you are too specific about an industry, function and a particular niche company) and have to cold call your way to the appropriate contact. Then the same as in a) applies.

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Re: recruiting events - what are they like? [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2008, 17:12
Thank you both very much for your help. This is indeed good to know. It sounds like it would not hurt for me to start brushing up on general industry knowledge, reading the business dailies, etc. Although I don't plan to start until fall of 2009 (well hope to start then!) it will probably benefit me to be more comfortable speaking to these types of things. Currently I work at a healthcare IT vendor so my scope of knowledge is really focused on that industry and not too much beyond, so sooner the better...
Thanks again,
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Re: recruiting events - what are they like? [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2008, 09:11
What do you want to recruit for?
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Re: recruiting events - what are they like? [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2008, 19:15
My ultimate goal (+- 5 years out from B school) is to work in international development (currently think a focus on public-private partnerships for growth - may change). To get experience to ultimately help with that, I would like to work in GM or consulting and within those functional areas, in the fields of intl dev.

From reading other threads in the forum, it seems that no matter what you recruit for, a base level of industry knowledge (both by funtional area as well as specialty) is needed.
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Re: recruiting events - what are they like? [#permalink] New post 25 Feb 2008, 11:37
Great write up
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Re: recruiting events - what are they like? [#permalink] New post 27 Feb 2008, 21:22
ac8706 wrote:
From reading other threads in the forum, it seems that no matter what you recruit for, a base level of industry knowledge (both by funtional area as well as specialty) is needed.


Meh. Consulting? No real industry knowledge needed; you just gotta be able to crack the case.

General Mgmt? Not so much in my experience. These interviews are about fit. I got an offer in an industry I know NOTHING about. I spent 30 minutes online before the interview, and that was that.

I-banking? Brand Mgt? OH MY GOD YES!
Here is a question from finance that I got: The yield curve is inverted. Tell me why that is happening.
Here is a common brand question: Tell me about a product that is well branded. Why? What could be better? (And don't think you can make that up - there is a correct framework for these.)

I'd say there are three tiers:

1. Do you fit? Tell me about what matters to you and how you respond in certain situations.
2. Tell me something about my company to show me that you care at least a little bit, and if we like you, that'll do it.
3. What's our stock price? Our competitors? How does X work? What would you do to make it better?

I think 2 is most common, and is probably the a safe minimum level of prep. 3 is the safest level of prep, but in my target jobs, it has not been necessary. Perhaps with more competitive roles, the norm moves closer to 3.
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Re: recruiting events - what are they like? [#permalink] New post 29 Feb 2008, 08:04
My friend was telling me about an interview he had recently with a hedge fund. The first question he was asked by one guy, as he walked into the room, was how you would go about pricing a barrier option prior to expiry. There is no way anyone at B-school at this point would have started to learn this (you might learn it in the third semester, I think). Really tricky. Which is to say in the S+T world, and the IB world as well with valuation, you need to be learning a lot outwith the curriculum.

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Re: recruiting events - what are they like? [#permalink] New post 29 Feb 2008, 12:43
good discussion! put in knowledge vault.

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Re: recruiting events - what are they like? [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2008, 16:58
Thanks much for this insight.

The IB/finance questions sound absolutely terrifying! I think in my case, given that both my undergrad and current job have nothing to do with finance, if I pursue anything in those areas I'll have to be sure to do lots of extra prep.

thanks!
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Re: recruiting events - what are they like? [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2008, 12:35
Would studying for and passing the CFA level I be particularly helpful for picking up the background finance knowledge for IB/IM/PE/HF recruiting? Its not really what I'm looking to get into, but if I'm going to drop a ton of money on b-school then I want to be ready for all possible opportunities.
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Re: recruiting events - what are they like? [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2008, 20:04
PEtoMBA wrote:
Would studying for and passing the CFA level I be particularly helpful for picking up the background finance knowledge for IB/IM/PE/HF recruiting? Its not really what I'm looking to get into, but if I'm going to drop a ton of money on b-school then I want to be ready for all possible opportunities.


CFA is relevant for IM. Not so much for IB. Definetly not PE relevant. More importantly though, if you are coming from PE in the firstplace, I doubt a CFA would make any real difference to your candidacy though.
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Re: recruiting events - what are they like? [#permalink] New post 11 Mar 2008, 07:54
Thanks for the information. Unfortunately, the PE in my username stands for Professional Engineer, not Private Equity, so I'll be just another former engineer in b-school looking for a better career. When I created my username I was just starting to look into the local part-time MBA program and didn't even know what Private Equity was. Then I came on here and realized 720 was a pretty good GMAT score and that I should perhaps set my sights a bit higher. I've learned alot since then, and while a finance related job is not my goal right now, I would like to be able to explore all the options available to me if I am going to drop tens of thousands of dollars on another degree.
Re: recruiting events - what are they like?   [#permalink] 11 Mar 2008, 07:54
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