Editorial | Feb. 23

Editorial: Improving job and internship recruitment

Twice a year, anxious juniors and seniors head to Career Services to attempt to find jobs or internships for the next summer or for the following year. For these students, the season consists of attending information sessions, meeting alumni, going to interviews and hopefully getting the job they want. For the most part, Career Services has made this process as easy as possible for us students. Princeton’s status as an elite university has allowed it to require companies to accommodate the needs of students, which makes going through the process remarkably easy and straightforward.  However, when it comes to junior year recruiting season the board would like to suggest Career Services work with companies to make the process more compatible with the academic schedule and demands of students.

For many companies, especially those in finance and consulting, interviews for juniors occur in the first two weeks of school. For those applying to multiple opportunities, this can make it difficult to effectively shop classes and consolidate a schedule, do coursework and attend class. Some students report that they attend one or two classes over the entire first week back. In some ways this is ideal, since the first week of class is often lower on work. However, as a result, juniors participating in the process may be unable to effectively shop classes. In addition to being behind on work, they may also find themselves in classes they do not want to take as a product of not being able to attend introductory lectures to determine whether the material and the professor teaching it are a good fit for them. While some of this is inevitable, we feel that improvements can be made.

The Board suggests that Career Services ask companies to consider using the weekends for some interviews. While this might not work with certain corporate schedules, we feel that companies, anxious to recruit at Princeton, would be willing to accommodate this change in the schedule. This would allow students to spread out their interviews and also schedule some of them on non-class days, allowing them to attend more of their classes and better attend to their classwork.

We recognize that some companies must do their recruiting during the workweek. To deal with this issue we could allow them to schedule interviews during the week of Intersession to accommodate this need while still spreading out the calendar. While this would alter the plans of some students, we think that this change would better accommodate the needs of the juniors participating in recruiting as a whole and that most students would welcome the opportunity to focus on interviews at a time with few other demands.  Since our peer schools such as Harvard and Yale have earlier exam schedules, recruiting starts earlier on their campuses.  This means that their students attend earlier “super” or “final” days, interviews usually held at the company’s headquarters from which offers are extended, causing a possible disadvantage to Princeton students.  Beginning recruitment over Intersession would address this as well.

Ultimately, students that participate in recruiting for certain companies will have to make sacrifices to be part of the process. However, the Board thinks that we should explore every way possible to make sure those sacrifices do not include academics. Exploring the movement of interviews to Intersession and weekends is a good place to start.

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