Chat with our Pricing Wizard


Advice for Employers and Recruiters

Top Schools for Recruiting Interns and Early Career Talent in Business/Consumer Services

Anita Jobb AvatarAnita Jobb
May 13, 2024

When you’re recruiting students for internships or recent grads for early career, business/consumer services jobs, which are your favorite schools to recruit from? Here is what 9 thought leaders have to say.

  • Prestigious Marketing Institutions
  • Innovative Programs Attract Talent
  • Strong Engineering Schools Preferred
  • Experiential Learning Opportunities Valued
  • State Universities Offer Diverse Talent
  • NIT Tiruchirappalli Excels in Sustainable Construction
  • Top-Tier Universities with Practical Skills
  • Practical Skills and Cultural Fit Key
  • Universities with Well-Rounded Candidates

Prestigious Marketing Institutions

As a veteran recruiter in the advertising/marketing industry, I take pride in following the academic world. With the ever-changing industry landscape, companies must keep their finger on the pulse of which schools are staying relevant by providing their students with the necessary tools to be prepared when they enter the workforce. The good news is there are schools scattered across the country with excellent curricula.

Some of the leading marketing institutions—in no particular order—include the University of Texas at Austin (McCombs), New York University (Stern), Georgetown (McDonough), University of California, Berkeley (Haas), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler), Northwestern (Kellogg), University of Pennsylvania (Wharton), University of Southern California (Marshall), University of Michigan (Ross), and the University of Oregon (Lundquist).

These schools, along with many others, have faculty littered with current and former industry practitioners. With a wide array of classes—and degrees available—students can tailor their education to the specific marketing discipline that interests them.

One of the best ways to get hands-on training while in school is by participating in the AAF National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC). Each year, schools from across the country compete in a challenging “real-world experience” whereby teams are tasked with developing a strategic advertising, marketing, or media campaign for a selected corporate client and are judged by industry leaders and corporate executives.

Participating in the NSAC provides a significant opportunity for students with a genuine interest in a career in advertising and marketing. For six months, it allows them to apply their classroom learnings in a practical environment. In addition, it also offers the students networking opportunities with professionals in the industry and potential employment prospects. (Sidebar: This competition was the key to unlocking my marketing career, and I will be forever grateful.)

Another highly recommended route to gain entry into marketing is to accept one, maybe two, and possibly even three summer internships. While nothing is guaranteed, internships are one of the best ways to learn hands-on the ins and outs of the trade while working shoulder-to-shoulder with industry experts.

Jamie McCann, Executive Recruiter, Cohen Partners

Innovative Programs Attract Talent

In my experience, I find great talent from a diverse range of schools, but I particularly cherish partnerships with institutions known for their innovative programs and emphasis on practical skills. 

Schools with strong alumni networks and career development resources also catch my eye. It’s not just about the name; it’s about finding students who are passionate, driven, and eager to make an impact in the world of business and consumer services.

Ryan Doser, Co-Founder, AI Insider Tips

Strong Engineering Schools Preferred

I give preference to universities known for their strong engineering and construction management programs when looking for interns or new graduates in the construction business. 

Elite universities with a strong theoretical and practical skill set include Purdue University, Stanford University, and the University of California, Berkeley. Their demanding coursework and focus on practical learning guarantee that graduates are ready to succeed in real-world construction settings.

Andrew Johnson, Founder,

Experiential Learning Opportunities Valued

When recruiting interns or recent grads, I prioritize schools with strong programs in business and consumer services. Some of my favorite institutions include those with hands-on, experiential learning opportunities and a track record of producing well-rounded candidates. 

These schools not only provide students with relevant theoretical knowledge but also equip them with practical skills essential for success in the dynamic world of business and consumer services.

Ryan Whitcher, Founder and CEO, Harmony Home Buyers

State Universities Offer Diverse Talent

My typical choice for recruiting students is state universities, since I’ve had experience with graduates from these schools. They bring a mix of knowledge, a willingness to learn, and adaptability, which I find very valuable in interns and young professionals. The diverse student body allows us to tap into skills and viewpoints, boosting our team’s creativity and problem-solving abilities.

For instance, I once brought on board an intern from California State University who turned out to be incredibly hardworking and quick at grasping our processes and concepts. His commitment to his role and his willingness to go the extra mile in assigned tasks greatly contributed to the success of our projects. This particular experience reinforced my belief in the caliber of students from such institutions; they appear prepared not only academically but also in terms of their work ethic and ability to adapt in fast-paced settings.

David Rubie-Todd, Co-Founder and Marketing Head, Sticker It

NIT Tiruchirappalli Excels in Sustainable Construction

When it comes to sourcing interns or recent graduates for early-career construction roles at the company, one institution that consistently stands out for me is the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Tiruchirappalli. For example, when we recruited interns from NIT Tiruchirappalli, we were impressed by their deep understanding of sustainable construction techniques and materials. 

They demonstrated a keen interest in incorporating environmentally friendly practices into their work, showcasing a commitment that resonated strongly with our company values. The success ratio of recruiting from NIT Tiruchirappalli has been exceptional, with approximately 90% of interns and recent grads proving to be valuable assets to our team. 

Their education and training at NIT Tiruchirappalli have equipped them with the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in our plastic-free construction environment. The institution encourages hands-on learning and research in eco-friendly construction practices, perfectly aligning with our company’s ethos. 

What makes it a favorite for recruitment is its focus on practical applications and sustainable solutions. This collaboration has significantly contributed to advancing our mission of promoting eco-conscious construction practices in India.

Swayam Doshi, Founder, Suspire

Top-Tier Universities with Practical Skills

Our preferred institutions for recruiting students for internships and recent graduates for early-career positions in business/consumer services include top-tier universities known for their strong business programs, such as Harvard, Stanford, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

We also focus on institutions with outstanding programs in hospitality, marketing, and communication, such as Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. These schools not only provide students with a solid foundation in business principles but also instill the practical skills and innovative thinking necessary to thrive in the dynamic consumer services sector.

Amit Doshi, Founder and CEO, MyTurn

Practical Skills and Cultural Fit Key

When recruiting interns or recent graduates for entry-level roles in business or consumer services, I value schools that prioritize practical skills and real-world experience. While prestigious universities often produce talented graduates, I find that candidates from institutions with strong internship programs and industry connections tend to be better equipped for the demands of the job. These schools typically foster a hands-on learning environment, providing students with opportunities to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world settings.

Moreover, I look for candidates who demonstrate a strong alignment with our company culture and values. Schools that emphasize collaboration, creativity, and innovation in their curriculum often produce graduates who thrive in dynamic work environments. 

By recruiting from such institutions, we can find candidates who not only possess the necessary skills but also have the right mindset and attitude to excel in our organization. Additionally, establishing partnerships with these schools allows us to engage with students early on, providing mentorship, internships, and networking opportunities that can lead to long-term talent acquisition.

John Werner, President and CEO, Pilot John

Universities with Well-Rounded Candidates

I’ve found certain schools consistently produce standout candidates for our internship and entry-level business/consumer services roles. The University of Michigan is always a top pick—their students bring stellar communication skills, tech savviness, and a drive that fits our fast-paced environment. 

I’m also regularly impressed by the well-rounded candidates from schools like Boston College, Georgetown, and UVA. Their curricula seem to instill intellectual curiosity, strong work ethics, and polished soft skills that serve our teams well.

That said, I avoid getting too hung up on pedigrees. Amazing fits can come from anywhere if they have the right attitude, creativity, and cultural alignment. A willingness to roll up their sleeves and make things happen often outweighs the university name on a resume when making hiring decisions for ThriveAgency’s internships and entry-level roles.

Tristan Harris, Demand Generation Senior Marketing Manager, Thrive Digital Marketing Agency

Request a Demo

For prompt assistance and a quote, call 952-848-2211 or fill out the form below. We'll reply within 1 business day.

First Name
Last Name
Please do not use any free email addresses.
Submission Pending

Related Articles

No Related Posts.
View More Articles