The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Finally here

Graduates enter the real world during stuggling economy

Graduating seniors are ready to enter the marketplace eager to find a job.

The only problem is the marketplace may not be ready for them.

Even before the Sept. 11 attacks, the American economy began plummeting for the first time in over a decade, the government reported, making it clear that the country was sliding into a recession.

“We were headed into a recession already on Sept. 10,” said John P. Lipsky, the chief economist at J.P. Morgan Chase & Company.

According to the annual Job Outlook survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers expect to hire 20 percent fewer new graduates this year than last year. Overall, 30 percent of employers say they will hire fewer new graduates from the class of 2002.

After the terrorist attacks, changes would not be in the number of new graduates they plan to hire, but in how they would recruit new graduates.

Some employers say they have cancelled participation in college career fairs in favor of nontraditional methods, such as mini resume data bases sponsored by university career services offices, viewing online career portfolios, conducting telephone interviews and performing interviews by video conferencing.

According to The New York Times, the American economy employed 132.2 million workers in September, down from a high of 132.7 million in March. Revising its August numbers, the Labor Department said that the economy had shed 84,000 jobs, not the 113,000 it originally reported.

The Labor Department, which conducted its monthly jobs survey shortly after the attacks, considered anybody who worked at all during the week beginning Sept. 10 to be employed in September.

Even so, the economy lost 199,000 jobs from the month before, the agency reported, the most since February 1991, when the United States was last in a recession.

The economy was on a slow decline, and the attacks on Sept. 11 pushed the United States into a deeper recession. After the attacks, major U.S. stock markets closed for days, which had an enormous impact on the economy.

Enron’s falling out in December didn’t help the economic crisis either. Enron’s multi-billion dollar collapse left hurt an already shaky economy.

“The Enron situation has made a company take a second look at its financial stability,” senior finance major Andy O’Connell said. “They then sometimes see the need to cut costs. Cutting costs starts with cutting employees and new hires.”

SMU has hosted many career fairs and had many interviews on campus for the large number of students looking for jobs. The results are not flattering with many students still having a difficult time finding jobs.

Students are beginning to look at further education such as graduate or law school.

“In a normal economy, it is difficult to get a job with a general liberal arts degree, but in our current economy it is almost impossible,” senior English major Elizabeth Fitch said. “I was worried about getting into graduate school because the numbers were up so high to due the economy.”

The US News and World Reports said the number of graduate school applicants jumped by 27 percent over last year. It also said that the popular preparation course Kaplan also benefited from economic downfall as the applicant pool rose. According to the report Kaplan raked in 24 percent more revenue from its LSAT prep courses in 2001 than in 2000, and 26 percent more from its GMAT courses.

Other students are looking at alternatives by looking into internships, where most companies are hiring college graduates to fill the positions.

“Although it was not the route I had anticipated taking, it seems as though I am more likely to have an internship after I graduate,” said Cecile deFilippis, a senior corporate communications and public affairs/French major. “At this point, I just want to get my foot in the door of a company.”

Many business students think that Enron played a major factor in the job market. Students who began interviewing with Enron before the bankruptcy occurred now have to look elsewhere to find a job.

“After securing second round interviews with Enron and booking my flight information through their travel agent, I was then informed that they were ‘temporarily delaying’ college interviews,” O’Connell said.

As for communication students, the demand for jobs does not seem to be there anymore. Companies receive hundreds of resumes per opening, but only one person is hired, leaving many applicants with few options.

“Every time I go into an interview, I have to figure out what to say that will distinguish myself from all the other applicants,” deFilippis said. “In this job market, that is harder to do.”

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