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The New Guard

Corporate Recruiters Are Ignoring Harvard Business School Graduates In Droves Amid Ongoing Controversies Regarding Campus Antisemitism, According To Reports

By

Corey Walker

January 3, 2024

Eighty-six percent of Harvard Business School (HBS) graduates earned job offers in 2023. This represents a steep decline from the 95% and 96% who received offers in 2022 and 2021 graduating classes. 

The disappointing employment offer numbers for HBS grads comes amid ongoing backlash over antisemitism on campus following Hamas’ October 7th attacks against Israel. A slew of Harvard organizations immediately issued statements condemning and blaming Israel for the tragedy. Students also held protests demanding a ceasefire and calling for Harvard to issue a statement in support of the Palestinian cause. 

These actions solicited immediate pushback from the corporate sector. Notable business leaders publicly vowed to never hire members of the Harvard student organizations that signed the anti-Israel statements. Finance billionaire and Harvard alumnus Bill Ackman requested that Harvard compile the names of students in anti-Israel organizations and hand them over to corporations for the creation of a “do not hire” list. 

Harvard came under heightened scrutiny after President Claudine Gay’s performance in a congressional hearing, in which she answered that calls for “genocide” against Jewish students would warrant “context” as to whether they violate the school’s code of conduct. Though the school initially stood by Gay, the board eventually ousted her on January 2nd amid mounting backlash over alleged plagiarism in her academic work. 

Immediately following Gay’s testimony, prominent law firm Edelson PC issued a letter to the university’s career services department, announcing a boycott of the law school’s recruiting events. 

“This is not about Harvard law students,” Edelson wrote, “This is about the leadership of Harvard and how much of a megaphone it has on the world stage. They should use that megaphone responsibly.”

In October, leading law firm Davis Polk walked back employment offers to student members of groups who signed anti-Israel statements. 

These statements are simply contrary to our firm’s values and we thus concluded that rescinding these offers was appropriate in upholding our responsibility to provide a safe and inclusive work environment for all Davis Polk employees,” wrote Neil Barr, managing director of Davis Polk 

Prominent Harvard alumni have suggested that the school’s failure to adequately address the antisemitism controversies have damaged its reputation in the eyes of the public, diminishing the value of a Harvard degree, potentially harming the future prospects of the school’s students.

 


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