As the domestic job market has continued to deteriorate over the past year, students are finding it increasingly difficult to secure future employment before graduation including graduate students in the University”s Business School. Previously flooded with lucrative offers, these students are now trying to cope with the new economic environment.
“It feels different around the Business School this year,” said Susan Ashford, senior associate dean for academic affairs. “There is stress people feel about their circumstances and finding employment.”
She noted that the Business School is working aggressively to aid students in their job searches. The school has reached out to alumni and is having a second recruiting season this spring, as well as holding a panel of speakers comprised of former students who graduated during the nation”s last recession in the early 1990s.
“This recession has clearly impacted searches, but students are still getting offers. Michigan is fortunate because we are broadly appealing to a variety of employers,” Ashford said.
With fears of traveling that have remained high since Sept. 11, there is concern about future applications from international students, who currently make up about 30 percent of the Business School student population.
“We”re watching that and we have that concern,” Ashford said.
Students admit that it has been a difficult time to find a job.
“It”s a tough year,” said Business graduate student Carl White. “We”re the first group to deal with a situation we didn”t expect. Plenty of people are still looking and they”re not sure.”
White added that the subject of jobs is a “sensitive subject” at the Business School.
“People who have jobs are not bragging and for people who don”t have jobs, it”s just a reminder,” he said.
Roberto Bel, an international grad student at the Business School from Lima, Peru, echoed that sentiment.
“It”s much, much, much tougher than last year,” Bel said. “Students panicked and tried to get anything they could. A lot are focusing on off-campus searches. The number of people doing that is higher.”
Bel said that the job search is particularly difficult for international students, as “companies are focusing on the American students.”
But as Ashford noted, “The (Business School) program hasn”t changed. We”re still preparing leaders for a whole career and the job market can be completely variable.”