Monday, September 25, 2006


The basics of On Campus Recruiting

Unless it has already gotten underway, on campus recruiting will begin at U of M in the very near future. A wide range of companies across industries and geographies will visit Michigan and hopefully make some of you future employees of their organization. Typically, the first wave of company presentations and interviews in September and October will be geared towards full-time positions for graduating seniors, while a second wave geared towards underclassmen seeking summer internships will come at the beginning of the winter semester.

Most companies send alumni to do their on campus recruiting, so do not get nervous about meeting and speaking candidly with these recruiters. They are all overjoyed to be back on campus and genuinely want to bring in as many students from their alma mater as possible (although they likely have a target number or limit as to how many students will get offers). Approach as many company representatives as you can until every question you have about working at their firms have been answered. In fact, I recommend asking the same question to multiple people at the same company to get different perspectives or to make sure you get the right answer. Ask about your recruiters' personal experiences and how they made the jump from college to the workplace. The only way that you will get the advice and insight that you need in order to figure out if a job and/or company is right for you is to hear what actual people in those positions/companies do. Questions seem to be the intangible component of a student's candidacy for a job. Asking questions proves to recruiters that you have done research on the company, the position, and the industry. It also shows your level of interest, or lack thereof, and opens the door for providing examples of how your experience relates to the job at hand.

Citigroup will assuredly be one of the financial services firms recruiting for both full-time hires and summer interns at Michigan. Similar to other companies, on campus recruiting at Citigroup results in hired students becoming part of a professional development program. For example, undergraduate hires will enter into an Analyst program, while hired graduate students will enter into an Associate program. Unless these programs have changed this year, both result in an offer to work in a specific Citigroup division (not every division recruits at Michigan) for the duration of the two-year program. After two years, assuming satisfactory work performance and positive reviews, the employee will graduate out of his/her program and then have the opportunity to interview with other areas of the company. You can also stay in your most recent position if you want. At the same time, some employees will take a job at another company, and others will not receive an offer to continue employment at Citigroup and will have to seek work elsewhere.

I believe Citigroup is recruiting undergraduates at Michigan this year for full-time and intern positions in IBD (Investment Banking Division) only. IBD and Sales and Trading divisions are probably going to be recruiting Michigan graduate students, but I'm not very familiar with Associate program recruiting, so if you are a grad student interested in working for Citigroup, let me know and I will find out for sure.

During the recruitment process, here are a few basic pointers to get you moving in the right direction so as to put yourself in a position to get an on campus interview:

There is so much more to say, but the points that I have made seem to pertain to recruiting and pre-interviewing as a whole regardless of major/company/geography. If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask. Best of luck getting your dream job. For those of you who do not get hired on campus or have not found anything of interest yet, go to your school's Career Planning office and begin your off campus search. As an off campus hire that went through on campus recruiting initially, I plan to tackle the off campus job search in a future entry.

M Go Blue, Beat Minnesota

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