Intersecting Minds: Education, Business and Technology at the North Carolina State Jenkins Graduate School of Management

The Economic Situation | January 8, 2009

Welcome back. After a 3-week break, we have returned to the classroom to being our Spring Semester. I’ll have many different topics to write about, but for now, all anyone can talk about is the economy coming into 2009. The outgoing class faces perhaps the most difficult job market we’ve faced in half a century.

While I was home, I sat down with a friend’s father who has been the CEO of two major companies. He told me: “Ryan, I’ve never seen a situation like this, where companies are just completely hunkering down, freezing benefits, freezing raises, not hiring, and just not making decisions. Everyone is simply trying to weather the storm.”

That pretty much sums up the situation we’re left in. Just this week, we received an announcement from our Career Resources office that the annual joint job fair between NCSU, UNC, Duke and Wake Forest had been cancelled due to a lack of companies registering for the fair. Obviously, this isn’t the kind of news MBA students who are seeking jobs and internships want to hear.

In addition to the rough news faced by current students, prospective students are also facing a tough environment. Almost every major business school in America and abroad has seen a spike in applications. People are wanting to seek refuge from the horrific job market by returning to graduate school, and they’re coming back in droves.

Needless to say, this will be a topic I’ll be following closely this year.

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