I feel like I just quit my job but the search for a new one is already under way. Everyone told me that the recruiting season would come up fast, but I guess I didn’t really believe them. In this post, I want to give you a more detailed look at first year recruiting, so that you can be more prepared than I was. Note: there are two types of recruiting – mature and enterprise. Mature is the established employer relationships with steady, annual demand (e.g. consulting, banking, CPG, etc.). The details below are mostly relevant for mature recruitment. Enterprise recruiting is for companies with more just-in-time hiring and inconsistent demand year over year (e.g. PE, VC, Retail, Social Impact, etc.)
September: Start updating your resume into a specific Wharton format. Have MBA Career Services review your resume and give you feedback. Attend company Lunch ‘N Learns, informal presentations during lunch by companies who will be recruiting on campus.
October/November: Finalize resume and submit to the Wharton resume book. Meet with career advisors to talk about your recruiting plan. Attend Employer Information Sessions (EIS), which are more formal presentations by companies where you can find out more about the positions they are recruiting for and what they are looking for in candidates. There is usually a networking reception afterwards for one-on-one discussions with the company employees. Sign up for coffee chats, which are another opportunity to get one-on-one time with company employees. These are usually about 30 minutes in length and students are expected to drive the conversation and ask questions. Attend conferences, such as the Marketing Conference or the Social Impact Conference or the Women in Business Conference. Attend Day on the Job (DOJ) sessions for the companies you are interested in. Not all companies offer this, but many do. Spend a Friday in November at the company facility, meeting people, learning about the company and day-to-day activities, etc.
December: There are not many formal events in December given finals and winter break. However, resume submission deadlines for internships are typically in early January, so students are advised to start preparing for these deadlines in December (for example: start writing cover letters, submit applications early, research companies, etc.)
January: Attend interview prep workshops with relevant Wharton clubs. The Focused Recruitment Period (FRP) typically runs the last week of January. Many first and second round interviews will take place during this week. There is a specific offer extension day at the end of FRP when most internship offers are extended to students.
February: Students have about 3 weeks to make a decision about their offers. MBA Career Management sets these specific timelines so that students have enough time to consider various offers and make their decisions. Therefore, many students have accepted their internship offers by the end of February.
Again, this is only the case for mature recruiting. Enterprise recruiting can extend into March/April/May and can look very different to the timeline laid out above.