Making the Most of On-Campus Recruitment

Tuesday, November 06, 2018 at 1am

The Scouts have it right: being prepared is the best way you can make the most of career recruitment during your MBA and land your dream job. When you start your MBA, you’ll be inundated with recruitment and MBA job events, companies looking for talent, and job postings – so making sure you’ve got a game plan in place beforehand can be the difference between success and failure.

So, here’s how to do it: 

Know what you want

 The key to securing an MBA job is to know what you’re looking for. This is simplest if you’re carrying on with your current career trajectory. In this case, your experience and history will speak for itself. If, however, you’re interested in changing career paths, think about why. What is it that you’re looking for? What can you bring to the new industry? This is the best time to pursue something new, as it will only get harder with the more experience you gain and more entrenched you become. Be certain of the kind of career you’re looking to pursue, whether that be in terms of role or just industry, and research the opportunities available to you.

 For students who are looking to continue in their current career paths, take advantage of being headhunted. It’s common for companies to use résumé books or CV files from institutions to pick out suitable candidates. In such situations, you’re essentially guaranteed an interview. Make the most of these and the research time it frees up for you.

Be organized

Which industry do you want to work in? Different sectors have different recruiting timelines, so research yours to make sure you’re ready when it all kicks off. For example, in many countries, consulting firms will begin their recruitment drives earlier in the year, with entertainment firms coming later on. Make note of this and plan accordingly. Set Google Alerts for companies you’re specifically interested in, so you’ll be aware immediately of any updates.

Your institution should provide you with a calendar of the recruitment fairs and MBA job events occurring over the course of the year – bookmark these days and research which companies will be attending. Many companies will run additional events at institutions, either via societies and organizations or in the form of ‘company presentations’. Ensure you find out about all of these, and prepare for any which interest you.

While larger companies will work directly with schools, posting MBA jobs and coming to the campus for interviews, this won’t necessarily be the case for smaller companies or startups – so make sure you’re aware of everything that’s going on, and don’t just get swept up in the mania of the ‘major’ players.

Some companies will also partner with institutions, offering their resources and expertise as part of the course. Use this to demonstrate your skills to ensure you stand out.

Choose carefully

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the opportunities available and apply for everything you can. If you’re a good candidate, this technique will probably even provide you with an abundance of interviews. This might seem like a good method, but in fact, it can rapidly backfire. Applying for too wide a variety of companies will mean you’re not passionate about them and however hard you try to hide it, it will come across in interviews. MBA job recruitment at business schools is highly competitive, so applying for companies you’re truly interested in will increase your chances of success.

Don’t be overly selective

On the other hand, it is possible to be too overly selective too. Focusing on one or two specific companies entirely could result in opportunities being missed. Not to mention, if the worst happens and you don’t get your dream destination, you’ll need other options. Keep an open mind when researching companies, explore less well-known enterprises and don’t be too restrictive in your approach - which is where our next piece of advice comes in:

Keep a backup plan

Inevitably, not all students will land the career of their dreams. Inevitably, some students will not land the job of their dreams, so having several valid options will ensure this news won’t defeat you, and you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you have other options.

Be prepared

When you do land interviews, prepare for them thoroughly. This barely needs saying, but putting the effort in before an interview will dramatically increase your performance, not to mention it’ll ease those pre-interview nerves. Read our guide to nailing job interviews if you need a refresher course and ensure you go in prepared. Another good idea is to keep copies of essential documents on hand in case you need them. If your college provides you with a locker, keep spares in there - especially if you live far away - you’ll thank yourself later.

Focus on the internship

Most companies will hire directly from their interns, so landing a good internship in the first year can really help you on your way. Once you’ve secured the position, put as much effort in as possible – there’ll likely be more internships than full-time positions, so making the best impression possible will dramatically increase your chances of being hired after you graduate (and regardless, it’ll leave you with a great reference).

Originally posted on

Written by Amelia Hopkins

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