Meet the Firms
Each year, SOM students pack the New Haven Lawn Club for Meet the Firms, where they meet with recruiters from the consulting, finance, manufacturing, nonprofit, and consumer goods industries, among others.
The names at this year's Meet the Firms, which was held on Oct. 10, included American Express, Boston Consulting Group, Credit Suisse, General Motors, IBM, J.P. Morgan, McKinsey, Merrill Lynch, PepsiCo, P&G, Sears, and the United Way. A number of companies were present for the first time, including Bristol-Myers Squibb, the MBA Enterprise Corps, and Mercedes Benz. In all, more than 40 companies came seeking SOM students for summer internships and full-time positions. Indeed, there were actually more recruiters at the event than last year, as some companies brought more representatives in order to attract more MBA students, especially to corporate finance positions.
"Even with the trouble on Wall Street, we're pleased to have attracted so many recruiters to our annual career fair. It's a testament to the power of the SOM brand," said Jeanine Dames, a senior associate director for the SOM Career Development Office. "There are a lot of CPG firms and manufacturing firms which haven't focused on recruiting for corporate finance in past years but see an opportunity to attract fantastic finance students." Dames added that there is also particular strength in consulting; more than 20 consulting firms are recruiting on campus this year, an increase over last year.
Another area where firms are increasing their recruitment at SOM is for leadership development programs, which prepare students to eventually become senior managers. Kristen Beyers, a senior associate director at the CDO, said the companies recruiting at SOM for these programs span all industries. "It reflects really well on how our curriculum prepares students for the challenges of managing large, complex organizations," she said.
Despite the trouble on Wall Street, financial services companies were well represented. Donna Levy, a recruiter for J.P. Morgan, said the bank is not changing its approach to hiring MBA students and graduates this year. "J.P. Morgan is really comfortable with our position now," she said. "Just as important, we always need to keep our junior pipeline filled. Wall Street firms have tended to overreact during past downturns and found themselves without key talent later on."
The idea that companies always need to bring in talented people was echoed by Robert Berg, the executive director for financial planning and analysis at Boehringer Ingelheim. Berg was at SOM recruiting for a number of slots in the company's leadership development program. "These are the future leaders of our company," he said. "Our business is looking strong, but even in tough times, you need to find the next generation of senior management."
One of the ten employers making a first appearance at Meet the Firms was Uncommon Schools, a nonprofit that runs urban charter schools in New York. Catherine Goldenheim, the associate director for recruitment, said that the organization is growing and sees MBA graduates as a way to bring a higher level of skill to how Uncommon Schools is run. "And we decided to recruit at Yale because it has a great reputation for social entrepreneurship that other business schools just don't share," she said.
Meet the Firms is just one of scores of activities organized by the CDO to help students find internships and permanent positions. For instance, to make it easier for healthcare and diversified financial companies to get in touch with students, the CDO held two new industry-focused Networking Night events, with short presentations by each firm, followed by an hour of mingling.