Okay, here we go. I’ve got some substantial travel time coming up over the next few weeks and I plan to use some of these airport waits, plane rides, and bus trips to get the content I’ve been meaning to post for months finally written out.
To start with, as requested by Gsb Admit (and congrats on being admitted!!!!), here is a rundown on OCR. The acronym stands for On Campus Recruiting. Stanford has divided recruiting into (I think) three buckets. The first bucket (OCR) consists of big companies, such as consulting firms, banks and tech giants, which want to hire lots of MBAs and come do interviews on campus. The second bucket is smaller companies that don’t interview on campus but are looking to hire some MBAs. These companies post on the GSB’s job board and you can contact them and interview when and where they want. The third bucket is network-based recruiting, which is for students who aren’t interested in any of the posted jobs and need to network to find opportunities that match their interests.
OCR starts as soon as AAP (Academic Adjustment Period) ends in late October. Everyone gets emails from the big companies doing OCR with lists of dates for information sessions, cocktail hours, wine-tasting gatherings, women’s events, minority events and general networking sessions. During November there seems to be at least one consulting and one finance/banking event every weeknight. The students interested in these industries went to as many events as they could, collecting business cards and hoping to make enough connections to be invited to an invite-only dinner with their top choice company.
There are three rounds of OCR. I’m not sure who decides which round each company is in but it seemed like the more popular companies were all in round 1. Resumes and cover letters had to be submitted to each round 1 company a student was interested in by Friday, December 6th. It turned out that was also the last day of classes for the quarter and we had four papers due that day, so it was a hectic week for everyone participating in OCR. Now the companies have until early January to notify those who applied whether or not they have been chosen for an interview. Interviews are mostly the second week of winter quarter for round 1 companies.
An upside of the GSB is that companies pick about 80% of their interviewees and students get to bid on the other 20% of the interview slots. Everyone has 1000 bid points that can be used to bid on companies that either you didn’t submit a resume/cover letter to by the deadline or that you submitted to but weren’t invited for an interview. This means that if there is a company you REALLY want to interview with you have the ability to get that interview spot no matter what. From looking at past years bid information, none of the companies go for the full 1000 bid points (and some go for just 10 or 20), so it’s possible to get at least a couple of interviews this way if you need to.
My understanding is that the OCR turn-around is very quick. Students find out within a day or two of the first interview if they have been invited for a second round with the same company and that interview usually happens within a week or so. If there is a third/final round interview that happens within another week or so and then offers are extended almost immediately. Students participating in round 1 OCR will probably get job offers the first or second week of February, if not earlier.
There is also round 2 OCR and round 3 OCR which happen on a similar time frame but a week or two later than round 1 OCR. Round 2 and round 3 seem to be the smaller / less popular companies.
And that’s the nuts and bolts of OCR. It’s very structured. You can also bet that most of the students participating will be using the next few weeks to practice case interviews and stock proposals and behavioral interview questions. They get their real holiday in February once the job offers are handed out and they can relax while everyone else begins to ramp up less formal internship searches.