Observations from the frontlines: foreign students recruiting for BBM face unusual troubles…
As the dust begins to settle on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounds of interviews in Canada, Australia and parts of Europe, we have noticed some very worrying trends about the manner in which foreign students are treated.
These are our observations from the frontlines of recruiting:
- Assume you are not in possession of a Green Card or Permanent Residency, but studying at a US, Canadian or British school and applying to a BBM office in your country of studies. What do you think will happen? Not much actually! The placement rates are dismal for foreigners across the three regions mentioned. It gets worse as well.
- Canada stands out in particular. Forget about the so-called global nature of these firms, if you are in Toronto and applying for a BBM office in the Middle East or Europe, the Toronto office is really going to ignore your application. Ignore in the sense that they will rarely give you face time and ignore in the sense that they will not even help you. We had a group of Indian nationals who had to bypass the Toronto office, who refused to help them, and network directly with other offices.
- How important is networking? Damn important. We had a candidate who scored 600 on his GMAT, 3.7 undergraduate and 3.4 MBA at Rotman. With a massive network, he has, in the space of 4 months, interviewed at 3 different offices of the same firm. How does he do this you ask? Well, he simply has very good friends at these firms who submit his resume for a referral. Much better candidates are being rejected but this guy, due to his personal network, just glides through the system.
- Do not get seduced by all the dinners and “personal” emails. We had a brilliant Slovak MBA student at an Ivy League school get wined and dined by every major consulting firm. She was so thrilled to be receiving these emails expressing interest in her background. Do not be too excited about this. Consulting firms do this often. At the end of the day, she received offers from no firm purely due to her residency status in the US – in this climate of immigration issues and recessionary speak very few firms are sponsoring students.
- Consulting firms are posting ridiculously confusing messages. From the same Bain office, we have seen the same HR coordinator send contradictory messages to three of our candidates.
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