The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Students groaned on the first day of Management 101 as Professor Lori Rosenkopf announced that absences due to interviews will not be excused.

“Job interviews … are considered unexcused absences, even if you notify your TA in advance,” the syllabus read.

The process of On-Campus Recruiting is extensive, from attending recruitment presentations and networking events to preparing for and going to interviews. As a result, OCR can cause many students to let academics fall by the wayside, even skipping classes for interviews.

According to Career Services’ Senior Associate Director Barbara Hewitt, the class of 2009 reported attending 11.7 interviews on average, with one person attending as many as 82.

“Often times you have to choose between [an] interview and class,” said Wharton senior Grace McGregor, who participated and completed OCR this fall. She added that interviews become her priority.

“The whole reason why I came to Wharton was to get a job.”

Wharton senior Erica Nachamkin agreed. “I don’t think anyone that actually gets an interview forgoes it to go to class,” she said.

“You can sign up for 8 a.m. slots if you’re really adamant about making it to class,” she added.

Even signing up for the interview time can be competitive.

“Everyone logs on at midnight to sign up for interview slots,” Nachamkin explained. “You have to refresh, refresh, refresh — it’s kind of like buying concert tickets.”

For Wharton senior Justin Hwa, “OCR really is like another class or two.” While the interview itself can take half an hour, Hwa said he also spent about a day or two preparing for each.

In preparing for jobs in the banking industry, for example, Hwa explained that he had to “learn about the company, their competitors, talk to people from the company, brush up on technical terms and practice with friends [because] the more you do, the better prepared you get for them.”

Likewise, last semester a potential employer gave Nachamkin 24 hours to prepare a presentation the day before she had a midterm. She spent the whole night preparing for that presentation, not studying for the exam.

McGregor also expressed feeling bogged down by OCR at times.

“I’m not doing anything exceptionally well — I’m just doing an okay job in everything,” she said.

She suggested implementing something similar to the MBA program’s “Dedicated Interview Period,” a time when classes don’t meet to give students time for job interviews.

Implementing a similar policy at the undergraduate level — like setting aside a few weeks before school for OCR — would minimize the amount the job search interferes with academics, McGregor said. “I’d be willing to come to school two weeks early before classes start to finish all the OCR stuff.”

But she also admitted that too much OCR is a good problem to have.

“We’re only complaining because so many people want to interview us,” she said. “At the end of the day, I have a job, and I won’t fail out of school.”

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.