Thursday, December 4, 2008
Harvard MBA Indicator-2008 Update-3
"Harvard Business School students race across the bridge spanning the river that separates their campus from the rest of the university. ... Hell Week--or recruiting week, as the last few days in October are more formally known--has come and gone. But many business-school students are still anxiously searching for job offers in these troubled economic times. For some, Hell Week was filled with a dozen interviews and company dinners every night. Others were able to secure only a handful of interviews and even found that some of those were canceled as companies pulled out of the recruiting process. By week's end, students began to sound deflated. As one put it, 'I feel a bit like a punching bag.' That's quite a blow for these soon-to-be holders of M.B.A.s, who normally are among the world's most courted future graduates. Many HBS students, who came to school with an average of three or four years work experience, have professionally experienced only healthy economic times. ... One baby-faced B-schooler who interviewed with a boutique private equity shop for an entry-level associate position was informed that recently hired associates came from the ranks of middle-aged senior partners at a recently collapsed Wall Street firm. ... While some students have applied to every position offered in the online job bank, others are girding themselves for what must have seemed unthinkable when they were applying to business school. Kellie Hata, who has a background in investment management says: 'I am mentally prepared for unemployment. If I graduate without the right job, I may go get my CFA [Chartered Financial Analyst certification] so I can be even more prepared for when the business cycle finally does turn'," Elana Berkowitz at the WSJ, 21 November 2008.
Earth to Kellie, work as far from Wall Street as possible. Become a financial analyst for say: John Deere, Transocean, Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold, or any one of a hundred companies that do something. Like say Koch Industries or Ingersoll-Rand. Anywhere but Wall Street. Oh yes, and never confuse brains with a bull market.