Find a Job or Internship Timing: When should I start my search?
There are three main strategies one should employ when conducting a thorough job or internship search: respond to postings, target employers and network. Review the sections below for answers to the following questions:
Timing: When should I start my search?
Early fall semester is often best, but there are timing differences based on industry, employer size and the type of position you are seeking. Each company develops its own recruiting strategy and timing, so if there are companies that interest you, in addition to considering the company size and industry area, research or contact each company to learn about their specific hiring timelines.
- Full-time and internship timelines
- Hiring based on company size
- What are industry area norms?
Full-time and internship timelines
Full-time positions: The fall semester is a very busy time for full-time recruitment. It may feel early to start your search in September, but this is the timeframe when employers are actively posting positions and recruiting new hires.
Internships: Intern recruitment occurs throughout the academic year. Larger companies and industries with earlier recruitment calendars (accounting, finance, information technology) recruit heavily during the fall semester.
Hiring based on company size
Want to work for a large company*? Start your search in the fall semester (or earlier).
On a per-company basis, large organizations often recruit larger numbers of new hires. Knowing they need 10, 20, 30 or more new employees in a given role, these organizations are often active on Handshake and with on-campus interviews in the fall semester. Large organizations will continue to recruit into the spring semester as positions remain available or as new roles become available.
*Large companies are defined as those employing more than 4,000 staff (Source: Trends in Recruiting 2009-2010).
Smaller or medium-sized companies* tend to have more individualized recruiting schedules. Recruitment will occur according to industry norms. In addition, these organizations will recruit students throughout the year as positions become available. Checking Handshake and company websites frequently and proactively contacting these companies are effective strategies.
*Small and fast growth companies typically employ 101-500 and 9-100 employees respectively. Medium sized companies are defined as those employing 500-3,999 staff (Source: Trends in Recruiting 2009-2010).
What are industry area norms?
- Accounting – Large public firms will often recruit through offers following internship experiences or in the early fall semester during senior year. Private accounting recruitment occurs throughout the year.
- Intern: Many larger public accounting firms participate in the Accounting Department’s Matching Program. Participation is open to juniors with a GPA of 3.0 or better. A kick-off meeting for the Matching Program is held each February. Recruitment for private accounting internships occurs throughout the school year, with many larger companies recruiting in the fall.
- Finance – Recruitment for investment related roles occurs early within the fall semester. Students are encouraged to attend the “Ins and Outs of Wall Street” event in April to learn the specifics of recruitment in this industry area. Corporate finance recruitment occurs throughout the year, with an emphasis on the fall semester. Attend “Careers in Finance” in October to learn more about corporate finance, banking and risk management careers.
- Human Resources – Recruitment follows company size and full-time/internship hiring norms. For many employers, human resources roles are filled as positions become available, so students are encouraged to check Handshake throughout the year.
- International Business – Students pursuing roles within international business are encouraged to consider the timelines associated with company size. Please also review the resource section for company research resources.
- Information Technology – Employers seeking INTE majors recruit throughout the year, with an emphasis on fall recruitment. BizNet (co-sponsored through the INTE and OSCM departments) is a great networking event in October for students seeking full-time and internship positions.
- Marketing – Recruitment occurs throughout the year, with more activity in spring than for some other majors. Large employers will often recruit in the fall, but for many employers, marketing roles are filled as positions become available, so students are encouraged to check Handshake and company websites throughout the year.
- Operations and Supply Chain Management – Recruitment for supply chain roles occurs throughout the academic year. BizNet (co-sponsored through the INTE and OSCM departments) is a great networking event in October for students seeking full-time and internship positions.
- Real Estate – The most activity within commercial real estate recruitment occurs during the spring semester. Students are strongly encouraged to check Handshake and work with the Center for Real Estate throughout the year. In addition, fall semester is an important time to emphasize networking relationships (building new relationships and staying in contact with current contacts).
- Rotational programs – Several companies offer rotational programs where employees work with a business for 1-3 years rotating through different departments or functional areas. Recruitment for most rotational programs occurs in the fall semester.
- Nonprofit organizations – Many nonprofit organizations will recruit to fill recently vacated positions. This “just in time” hiring means that positions become available throughout the year. With this in mind, networking and setting up informational meetings to build relationships with non-profits addressing your areas of interest are important strategies.
- Year of service – Many service-based programs have deadlines in the fall and early spring semesters. The Peace Corps application process generally requires 6-12 months. Teach for America maintains application deadlines from August – February. Jesuit Volunteer Corps recruits from September to March. As you identify areas of interest, research each program for application deadlines. The fall career fairs also include a date for post-graduate service.
Next page: Search Strategies