Business schools are exploring a new service: matchmaking.
After relying for years on assembly line-like interview schedules, career-services offices at some top schools are taking a personalized approach to the student job hunt. Some are beefing up one-on-one advising sessions to help students define career goals, while others are making individual introductions to alumni or sending job postings to student clubs.
The new tack comes as M.B.A.s consider careers in industries like technology and clean energy, where companies tend to hire one or two students at a time, rather than in large numbers like at finance and consulting firms, traditional B-school employers.
“There’s been a complete upending of the model,” says Pulin Sanghvi, assistant dean and director of the Career Management Center at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He reorganized the 16-person office last year to strengthen individual advising, alumni relations and connections with new employers, particularly private-equity firms, hedge funds and technology startups.
Around 80% of the companies that hired Stanford M.B.A.s last year took just one student; only 16 hired four or more.
This spring, Stanford will hold its second networking event featuring representatives from companies with fewer than 300 employees. Many don’t even have open positions, Mr. Sanghvi says, but at minimum it allows students and firms to get acquainted, so that when a job becomes available, the firm already has a student in mind.
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