Sunday, October 12, 2008

The State of the Economy v. MBA Recruiting (parte the seconde)

So, here's what's going on:

  • last week, I get a recruiting email from Citi. Over the course of the next few days, they withdraw ALL future funding for MIT students past 2009. This had two immediate effects:
  1. I deleted that email.
  2. The ability of future non-US MIT applicants to finance their higher education fell into jeopardy.
As a rule, these students are dependent on sources of private funding because of their lack of access to federal loans and grants. If foreign students are unable to secure financing, they are less likely to attend American business schools, which currently attract some of the most brilliant future business minds (not an oxymoron, thank you) in the world.

These students usually attempt to stay and work within the United States after graduation, to our benefit. A financial crisis that affects foreign students has a direct affect on the ability of this country's economy to function. And I think that we're in enough trouble already.

Watch this space to see if I am able to get any more information on how MIT can help foreign students.
  • Everyone is taking a VERY close look at those offers. Banking, which used to be a direct and stable path to wealth, is being given special scrutiny. Why work your butt off and make your life a living h8ll if it means you'll be out of a job in a year, and unemployed for god-knows-how-long?
Rumors are flying about the consulting firms as well. In particular, one very prominent firm has reportedly told its NYC consultants to either leave or move to Dubai. I'd be happy to move to Dubai, but I know a lot of MBAs with marriages and children, and it would be tough for them to relocate, even to a place as happening as the Dubs. This may or may not be true, but when people are frightened, perception can be more important than reality.

Many students are angling for positions in Europe because of the perceived strength of the currency. Personally, I think this is a sound strategy (and I love Europe). I also like the American south. As the state with the most Fortune 500 companies in the nation and a healthy energy sector, Texas seems like a big winner, and a lot of people are aiming for Dallas or Altanta offices.

My take:
Places like Microsoft and Apple and a few CPG or food firms which are cash-rich should come out the big talent winners for at least the next 2 years, as we start to see the job equivalent of a "flight to quality."

Ultimately, it means that these companies are most likely to ensure continued success in the long-term because their management pipeline will be filled with the best and brightest. Banking is probably screwed for the next decade or so.

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