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


Cox students struggle with post graduation plans

Allison Albert, an SMU finance major, is one of the few seniors in the Cox School of Business not too worried about her future. That’s because she has a job waiting for her when she graduates in May. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many Cox seniors.

As graduation quickly approaches and the recession intensifies, the job search for many students is heating up. There are fewer jobs available than last year as businesses contract. According to SMU career officials, job postings began to drop last summer and are now down 15 percent from last winter. This is on top of the national scene where 2.6 million jobs were lost in 2008 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For business students, this reality is sinking in and students say they are considering their options.

Some students are deciding whether to continue on for more education, while others are attempting to find a job.

“I am currently interning with Ernst and Young and have a job right out of college,” Albert said. “I know several students who are still seeking or choosing to go to graduate school because of the fear of obtaining a job.”

According to August 2008 statistics taken by Cox, 64 percent of Cox students were employed while 17 percent chose to go to graduate school or law school. The rest of the graduating Cox students were still seeking work, planned to travel, had plans to pursue other interests or were unresponsive to the survey. Within the business school, there are a majority of finance majors who are looking for jobs after college.

Fewer companies are recruiting on campus these past two semesters compared to last year according to Roycee Kerr, Director for BBA Career Services. There have also been fewer full time job postings on MustangTrak, the online job database for SMU students. Although full-time job postings are down, there has been an increase in the number of internships on MustangTrak.

With 23 of the Fortune 500 companies located in Dallas, SMU Cox students are at an advantage.

“The good news is this economy helped students take ownership for their careers and since students choose to stay in Texas they have better results than in different states,” Kerr said.

In 2008, of the 264 seniors in Cox, 114 were finance majors. Of these finance majors, 70 were employed as of August 2008 and 10 chose to go to graduate school. One question administrators are asking is whether the number of graduate students will increase with the May 2009 class.

For Cox marketing major, Rachel Shirey, her future is already intact with plans to attend law school after undergraduate school.

“I am attending law school in the fall. I have always wanted to go to law school but I admit that I am happy I am continuing my education with the economy right now,” Shirey said.

Other marketing majors have already found a job right out of college. Senior marketing major, Ziara Osborne, has been offered a job with Epsilon, a Dallas based marketing company, starting in May. Other marketing majors however haven’t been so lucky and are still seeking a job.

“I have been searching for a job for a while now but unfortunately haven’t had any luck. I haven’t made any alternate plans so I am going to keep looking,” senior Andrew Hill said.

Career service officials encouraged students to take internships out of college if they are unable to get a full-time position.

Several Cox students are asking more questions about the extent of what they can do with their degree and are more willing to look at companies they wouldn’t have considered before.

“One thing I hope for students is they not worry themselves into search parallelism,” Kerr said. “Students must be proactive, positive and persistent. They can’t let the gloom and doom interfere with their quest to achieve their goals.”

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