Job Seeker: My employer requires me to send quite a bit of personal information in order to work there. One of the requests is an interim transcript from my school. Our student body has a grade non-disclosure policy and I am not sure if that applies in this instance. Is this something that you have seen in the past? What should I do?
Andy: We are asked this question every year – for summer and full-time positions. Several firms require that candidates provide their transcripts for backgrounds checks in order to secure employment at the firm. And each year, all of our students comply with this request.
Since it is a background check, I have been told that they use the information to verify that you did not mislead or lie to them in the recruiting process (e.g. You say you did well in finance and you actually failed it OR you said that you’re an outstanding student and your grades are poor). I have not heard of any of our students’ employment status ever being affected by this process.
I have been informed, and do believe, that no one at the employer’s firm sees the transcript. The background check is typically handled by a third party firm.
In the few cases when students have fought to withhold their transcripts in this situation (citing the grade non-disclosure policy), it has created a ‘mark’ on their reputation before they have even started working at the firm. I would not recommend that course of action.