About OCS Recruiting

What is OCS Recruiting?

OCS Recruiting (formerly called the Campus Interview Program) streamlines the networking, application and first-round interview process for over 100 employers, primarily in finance, consulting, tech, and business. These employers often recruit on an earlier timeline, usually late summer and early fall. Most employers seek to hire students for internships over junior summer and for full-time employment post-graduation. Some organizations, however, also offer pathway and diversity programs for first-year students and sophomores. Recruiting is one tool among many that students should utilize in their search for jobs and internships. Landing these types of positions takes careful preparation and planning, so be sure to begin to work early with OCS advisers and pre-professional student groups if this pathway interests you.

Some students mistakenly think of recruiting as the “easy” way to find a job or internship. While many aspects of recruiting make the application and interview processes more convenient, recruiting is highly competitive and often stressful, with multiple quick deadlines and demanding interview schedules. Not all students are successful through the structured recruiting process, as you can see from the "By the Numbers" statistics below.

Why is there so much Finance and Consulting?

OCS invites all types of organizations to participate in recruiting activities. The only requirements are that participating organizations have paid opportunities and that they abide by OCS policies and procedures, including Harvard's non-discrimination policy. OCS Recruiting often includes popular opportunities at Facebook, Kraft Heinz, PepsiCo, the U.S. Navy, and Walt Disney. That being said, many types of organizations do not hire through an elaborate process such as this; formal programs are very time-consuming and expensive for employers.

  • Recruiting is used by only certain types of employers that can predict their hiring needs well in advance of start dates. They often bring in a “class” of new hires each year.

OCS by the numbers graphic, 2018-2019

  • Highly sought-after organizations in areas such as sports, media, electronic gaming, nonprofits, and entertainment are overloaded with applications and have no need to spend resources in search of additional candidates.
  • Other types of organizations such as startups, venture capital, journalism, and biotech are looking for applicants to show initiative by finding them.
  • In addition, many organizations prefer to make “just in time” hiring decisions closer to the employment start date and cannot predict hiring needs in advance.
  • If you do not see an employer, organization, or industry of interest to you, they are most likely still interested in hiring you! Refer to the Career Pathways section of the OCS website and use OCS drop-in advising hours, Monday through Friday 1:00–4:00pm, to let OCS help you develop an individualized job or internship search plan.

Academic Year (2018-2019) By the Numbers

Although students often report that it feels like “everyone” is going through the formal recruiting process to find their job or internship, statistically that is not the case. Many students apply to research opportunities, fellowships, and/or graduate programs with help from their professors, houses, and OCS. Many students find their full-time job or summer internship through a Crimson Careers “Non-Recruiting” posting, an OCS panel or event, or through developing their professional network. Below, see an example of the OCS Recruiting “By the Numbers.” You may also want to review previous Harvard Seniors: Next Steps to get a larger perspective on your classmate’s activities.

    Seniors Juniors Sophomores Freshman
# in class:   1,644 1,710 1,735 1,671
# (and % of class) active Recruiting participants:   590 (36%) 663 (39%) 245 (14%) 16 (1%)
 # of Recruiting applications:   7,654 8,266 1,683 131
Average # of Recruiting applications:   13 / student 12 / student 7 / student 8 / student
# of Recruiting Interviews:   2,002 1,675 241 10
Average # of Recruiting Interviews:   4 /student 3 /student 2 /student 1 /student
# (and % of applicants) who accepted offers through Recruiting:   339 (57%) 249 (38%) 47 (19%) 8 (50%)
% of class who accepted an offer through Recruiting:   21% 15% 3%  0%