“It’s worse than Russia!” mused Lena Hass (OA) from the back of the line snaking from Wilder House to the Baker Library at 7:15 am last Monday morning. The cause of this unwelcome invasion of Bolshevik bureaucracy was a technical hitch with the Career Services new lottery system.
A note posted by Career Services to my.hbs on Friday, as students were departing for the weekend, warned bleakly: ‘Due to a technical malfunction, Career Services will be rerunning the open interview sign-up process that ran on October 18th. Any interview slots received through the system on Thursday, October 18th after 7:00 pm will be cancelled.”
The note went on to explain how slots would be reassigned manually, and would give students just one interview choice, available on a first-come, first-served basis.
John Byington (OB) had little time for niceties. Speaking from the back of the line, he had been happy with his haul of interviews from the lottery, only to see them disappear. “They managed to ****-up the one thing that had gone well for me,” he said, referring to the difficulties many students experienced using the new web-based system for submitting resumes and cover letters.
In the midst of the current recruiting malaise, some students were taking no chances-those at the front of the line had arrived by 6 am to secure their interview of choice. In fact the first four early risers were all targeting the same company-LVMH. Unfortunately there were only three spots available. This wasn’t a lottery-it was Survivor.
Other companies attracting insomniacs were Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Danaher and Viking Global Investors. Companies less attractive to students still had spots available going into the second day.
The crowd of approximately 65 was good-natured, considering the circumstances. A frisson of tension appeared when someone appeared to be cutting in line, but this, and the opportunist, quickly left. Spirits brightened with the arrival of coffee and donuts provided by the team from experience.com, the technology providers, who had come to help.
Commenting on the glitch, Ron Peracchio, Acting Director of MBA Career Services said, “There was an error in the application code that prevented some students who were eligible to sign-up for open interviews from doing so.”
After the busy period of EC interviews, Career Services will conduct an “in depth analysis of the system and problems with input from students, recruiters, the MBA Program Office, HBS IT, and experience.com.” Potential results of the analysis could be revisions to the system, or its complete replacement. Meanwhile, he thanked students and the SA for their understanding and patience.