Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Market woes hit home

Finding a job in investment banking has always been a top priority for University of Wisconsin senior Ross Chapman.

Knowing how difficult the process would be, Chapman, who is majoring in finance, interviewed with many different firms ranging in specialties like finance in the security sector and asset management.

Using the UW Business Career Center, Chapman interviewed with firms recruiting on campus but ended up having to travel on his own for additional interviews.


After countless meetings and trips to New York and Chicago, Chapman considers himself one of the lucky ones after he received an offer in Chicago.

But for many UW students, the economic crisis is beginning to hit home with their job searches.

With the Dow Jones plummeting another 360 points Monday and 6.1 percent of the American labor force unemployed in September, fewer positions are now available to graduating college students, making competition fierce.

UW Business School Adviser Jamie Marsh-Finco, who works on developing employer relations, said the current market situation has impacted students, especially finance majors, who are interested in full-time positions on Wall Street.

Marsh-Finco said students who were able to secure internships with top corporations like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs often received job offers upon graduation.

But with hiring freezes in much of the financial sector, corporations are taking back job offers to summer interns, and Wall Street firms may not even consider recent graduates at all.

UW professor of real estate and urban land economics Timothy Riddiough said companies do not necessarily stop hiring. Instead, they cut back.

“The question is, ‘Who will they hire when they cut back?’” Riddiough said.

Senior Career Adviser Greg Iaccarino said he was initially concerned UW students would have more difficulty finding jobs but was pleasantly surprised when the same number of employers attended the Career Forum as in 2007.

“Despite the challenges of the economy, employers continue to come to UW-Madison to seek out the talented and qualified candidate pool of students who are looking for jobs and internships,” Iaccarino said.

In addition, Riddiough said the Business School has relationships with companies and firms, and times like this is when building up those relationships pays dividends.

For now, Marsh-Finco said she recommends students have alternative plans and apply to middle market companies that are hiring, followed by a back-up plan in case they do not receive any offers.

“Those students who are willing to look outside the box will find jobs,” Marsh-Finco said. “Maybe in non-traditional roles, but (they) will find work.”

Iaccarino said in this economic situation, students need to be more proactive in networking and contacting potential employers.

If students have a particular idea of what they want to do, Iaccarino recommends contacting professional organizations or employers to meet with them and show interest.

“That is what seals the deal,” Iaccarino said. “I would encourage especially in the economy now, what employers are going to pay attention to are the unique things students do.”

Other opportunities like Teach for America and the Peace Corps, Iaccarino said, hire a record number of UW students and could be an option to consider if some are uncertain of what they want to do.

TFA Madison Recruitment Director Garrett Bucks said admissions numbers for TFA do not have much of a traceable impact during economic upturns or downturns, but students are currently in the process of applying.

But given the current economic situation, Bucks said the program benefits from having more people talk about the need for public service.

With all the talk about economic struggles, Iaccarino said students understand the importance of starting the job search early.

Iaccarino said there was an increase of 400 students attending the career forum, from 1,200 in 2007 to 1,600 in 2008.

“Perhaps this increase in numbers may be indicative of the economy,” Iaccarino said. “Candidates are wanting to get an early start on their job searches so that they have the most opportunities available.”

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