Photo: Thom Watson via flickr
In February 1981, the Harvard Crimson offered up a detailed account of Max McCreery, then chief corporate recruiter for Exxon’s New York City headquarters. It was a different era for Harvard, and certainly a different one for Exxon (pre-Valdez). In an effusive profile, the Crimson reporter follows McCreery around campus as he wines and dines HBS candidates.The piece starts off by comparing McCreery to George Steinbrenner:
McCreery can offer prospective executives the same inducements the Yankee owner dangles before baseball stars — a high salary, a successful employer, and a name almost synonymous with the business it represents.
And then explains how McCreery chooses his candidates:
The managers select about 200 to receive a Mailgram inviting them to sign up for interviews during Exxon’s visit to the B-School. Of these, about 100 accept the offer, and it is these 100 McCreery concentrates on in earnest.
“There are certain negative perceptions students have, which we work at correcting,” he says, citing the primary one: “Exxon is so big you can get lost.”
The reporter also tags along for a cocktail hour at the “B-School’s plush Hamilton lounge”:
Next to the hors d’oeuvres and cocktails are reprints of an August, 1980, New York Times Magazine article: “Inside Exxon: Managing an $85 Billion-a-Year Empire.” The men are a sea of blue and grey pinstripes; the women wrapped in tastefully muted tailored skirts and jackets with the ubiquitous string bow tie or large silk bow. Bits of conversation between the similarly Dressed-For-Success Exxon recruiters and the students relate to the topic at hand — but broadly, not broaching the specifics which will come later.
The article goes on to talk about how McCreery secures “the cream of the B-School crop, which will eventually oversee Exxon’s corporate empire” — ultimately, 7 or 8 students out of an initial pool of 750.
Read the full Crimson article here >
Oh, and if you know where Max McCreery is now, let us know in the comments.
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