Offers

Harvard’s conviction is that students must have the opportunity to explore in order to make effective decisions. In conjunction with our faculty and deans, we are committed to the transformative purposes of a liberal arts and sciences education and supporting students as they gain a sense of what they want to do with their gifts and talents, assess their values and interests, and learn how they can best serve the world.

Students need to be aware that many employers in the OCS Recruiting Program have a very short timeline from when first-round interviews start to when offers are made to candidates. Sometimes students feel pressured by employers to accept an offer quickly. Like other offers, the first step is to say thank you and ask for more details in writing.

Keep in mind that it also takes work to manage an offer, and it is usually in students’ best interest to make a decision in as timely a manner as possible. Connect virtually with an OCS adviser during drop-ins or a scheduled appointment for advice on managing and evaluating your offer. Email the OCS Recruiting Program via ocsrec@fas.harvard.edu for advice on asking for more time to make a decision.

We expect employers to honor all offers made to students. Exploding offers are prohibited and refer to any condition that places undue pressure on the student to accept early (e.g., "We have 10 offers outstanding for 8 openings and will accept the first 8 students who get back to us," or “We will extend an offer if you agree to accept today,” etc.).

Reneging on Offers

Reneging on a job/internship offer is considered an egregious breach of ethics and may damage your professional reputation. Students who renege on an offer will have their Crimson Careers account blocked immediately and will have to meet with the Director of the OCS Recruiting Program. If an opportunity has come along that you would like to pursue after you have accepted an offer, consult OCS to discuss how you might approach the situation. 

Offer Policies, Decision Date Guidelines, & FAQs

Policies & Decision Date Guidelines

All employers participating in OCS Recruiting (which includes all interviews conducted off-campus with students whose resumes have come to employers through our resume drops) as well as employers who utilize OCS promotional channels (including fairs, networking and information sessions, coffee chat/office hours, etc.) are asked to extend the timetable below to Harvard candidates. At the same time, students are expected to be active decision makers, avoid waiting until the last minute, and honor commitments and agreements that they make during the recruiting process.

Note these dates are guidelines. Several employers have communicated the difficulty posed by lengthy offer decision windows in light of COVID-19. OCS maintains that students should have at least through the end of their summer experience to decide about opportunities beginning the following summer. After that point, 2-week or longer decision windows may be permitted. Students may ask for additional flexibility, and we are happy to advise and advocate on students’ behalf on a case by case basis. 

Full-time & Internship Hiring Acceptance Deadlines

Offer Decision Deadlines

All employers that utilize and benefit form OCS resources*  are asked to extend the following timetable to Harvard candidates:

Offers for Opportunities Beginning in 2021

Timing of Offer 

Decision Deadline

Full-time or Intern offer extended now - end of term (May 15, 2021)

2 Weeks from Date of Offer   

Offers for Opportunities Beginning in 2022

Timing of Offer 

Decision Deadline

Full-time offer extended prior to September 1, 2021
OR as a result of a previous summer internship
Thursday, October 7, 2021
Intern offer extended prior to September 1, 2021
OR as a result of a previous summer internship
Thursday, October 21, 2021
Full-time or Intern offer extended
September 1, 2021 - October 21, 2021
Thursday, November 4, 2021

Full-time or Intern offer extended October 22, 2021 or later

2 Weeks from Date of Written Offer                                                                                                      

*OCS Resources = career fairs & expos, networking nights, interviews, information sessions, coffee chats/office hours, events promoted on OCS calendar/email lists, OCS Recruiting Program posting including prior years, etc.

No Exploding Offers. We expect employers to honor all offers made to students. Exploding offers are prohibited and refer to any condition that places undue pressure on the student to accept early (e.g., "We have 10 offers outstanding for 8 openings and will accept the first 8 students who accept," or “We will extend an offer if you agree to accept today,” etc.). If you receive an exploding offer or have a concern about offer deadlines, please contact the OCS Recruiting Office right away at ocsrec@fas.harvard.edu.
Students should always insist on receiving offers in writing. Please examine the contract you sign very carefully. Students who renege on offers after both parties have signed will be denied future access to OCS Recruiting.

 

FAQs

Q. What is the salary range for OCS Recruiting positions?

The organizations that participate in OCS Recruiting range from nonprofits to retailers to financial services firms. Thus, there is a wide range of possibilities in terms of compensation. We recommend several resources for benchmarking salaries and other benefits in the Decision Making section of our website. For junior internships (between junior and senior academic years), many employers in finance and consulting will pay the equivalent of their full starting salary, prorated for the length of the internship. Note that this is not universal, and does not usually apply to students prior to junior year.

Q. I've received an offer from an employer, are there resources to help me navigate this stage? 

OCS is happy to be a resource to students during all stages of the job and internship search. See the 2020 Managing Offers Webinar Transcription (pdf) and 2020 Managing Offers recording for advice on advocating for yourself while maintaining good professional relationships. The Evaluating & Negotiating Offers section of our website has resources to assess your offer including the OCS Job Offer publication. OCS advisers are also available to help you consider your options. Schedule an appointment with an OCS adviser in Crimson Careers or email ocsrec@fas.harvard.edu for help with a time-sensitive offer question.