01 Dec 1997

1997 Placement Data Reflect January Cohort's Success


As with any new endeavor, the School's recent introduction of a year-round calendar - with two entry dates, September and January, for each MBA class - posed some unique challenges and uncertainties. One issue of particular interest among HBS alumni, recruiters, and students was whether the January and September cohorts would fare differently in the job market after graduation, since the January cohort proceeded straight through the MBA Program without the traditional summer work experience.

Placement statistics for the Class of 1997, as previewed in the October issue of the Bulletin, indicated little or no difference between the two cohorts as they made the transition from student to working MBA. On average, the 245 members of the January cohort reported equal satisfaction with their job offers, received the same number of offers and level of compensation, and had an equal percentage of students accepting jobs in each industry, as did their 607 classmates who entered in September.

The similarities stem from a combination of many factors, from the admissions process (which admits all students from a single applicant pool), to new initiatives by MBA Career Services, to the enthusiasm and support of recruiters. "First and foremost, the students we admit are exceptionally strong," says Kirsten Moss, director of MBA Recruiting Services. "The fact that the placement numbers are so similar speaks to the talent and leadership potential these students demonstrate before they even arrive, rather than strictly the job search they pursue while they're here."

Nonetheless, MBA Career Services launched new efforts to help the January cohort build the skills and relationships needed for successful recruiting without the standard summer internship. New programs included mock interviews, summer career fairs that drew more than seventy firms to campus, and more personalized counseling support. Some students also completed a fall internship before entering HBS, while others worked for companies briefly during their August break.

"None of these programs would work without the significant help and involvement of recruiters," says Moss. "Some of our core recruiters have been particularly thoughtful about how to support the January cohort in different ways - from offering prematriculation internships, to participating in summer programs at HBS, to even dedicating resources on their staff to work with the January cohort."

Average number of companies contacted
TotalSeptember CohortJanuary Cohort

Average number of organizations with which each student interviewed
TotalSeptember CohortJanuary Cohort

Average number of offers
TotalSeptember CohortJanuary Cohort

Average satisfaction with job offer (on a scale of 1-low to 7-high)
TotalSeptember CohortJanuary Cohort

True to the spirit of innovation at HBS (one of the main goals of multiple entry dates), MBA Career Services is rolling out successful January pilots - such as the practice interview program - for the September cohorts. Other new services include:

  • Web-based self-assessment tools (also available on the HBS Alumni Web site), based on HBS research adopted by at least forty top MBA programs worldwide;
  • The High-Growth Job Fair, which brought fifty new companies to campus this year and enhances access to MBA students for firms that have not traditionally recruited at HBS;
  • A new Web site for recruiters, with online tools, event listings, and other features to provide more efficient access to MBA students and recruiting services;
  • The Job Bank, an online database that allows students to personalize their job search and obtain up-to-the-minute company news.

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