Top Industries & Their MBA Recruiting Timelines

Yes, we know it’s summer. But it’s never too early to prepare for the fall recruiting season! If you’re a first-year, you’ll be inundated with employers coming to campus, posting jobs, and rapid interview schedules. If you’re a second-year, you’ll likely either accept an offer at the end of your internship (lucky you) or face the battle of re-recruiting. So, we took a look at our data to track timing for MBA job offers across the top industries, both for full-time roles and internships.

As always, our data comes from thousands of MBAs across the country, all checked and verified to make sure you get the info you’re looking for.

Consulting — still the most popular of MBA careers, despite the tech sector’s recent surge — typically adheres to a fixed schedule. Firms recruit largely on-campus, with some firms like Clareo Consulting Group (which seeks entrepreneurial candidates for their innovation consulting practice) and Huron Consulting (which takes a special interest in candidates with life sciences backgrounds) taking a specialized approach, and others (especially MBB) simply seeking “best athletes” that perform well on the case interviews. Intern hiring starts in January, but don’t be fooled into complacency — you should be networking and prepping for brutal case interviews well before the new year in this competitive field.

Full-time offers center around the end of the summer internship in August, and the peak of re-recruiting in October and November. Bottom line: if you’re a rising second-year MBA in a non-consulting internship, but want to break in, better start case prepping over the summer.

What’s the most common mistake we see MBAs looking to break into tech make? Oddly, it’s recruiting for another industry (*cough* consulting *cough*) with a similar timeline. Think about this for a second: the earliest Big Tech offers will come in February (and that’s still generous for some like Google, which hires on a rolling basis throughout the spring). You’ll be double-dipping during December and January with case prep, networking, interviews and more — for two industries. If you’re lucky or talented (or both), you’ll get some tech offers and some consulting offers around the same time in February — that’s some pretty attractive optionality. But chances are, you’ll get a consulting offer before you even finish your tech recruiting, and you’ll probably pick consulting (because, one in the hand is worth two in the bush, as they say).

The major variable in tech hiring is company size: smaller tech firms have a history of hiring MBA interns as late as May or June. Larger firms that engage in on-campus recruiting (Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Amazon) have more set timelines, with high-performing interns receiving offers in August and second year re-recruiters finishing up around November.

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