Thursday, December 25, 2008
News Headlines Get Personal
Fed grants GMAC ability to seek bailout funds
Fed Cuts Key Rate to Record Low
Auto Bailout Talks Collapse as Senate Deadlocks Over Wages
White House, Democrats Near Short-Term Deal For Automakers
U.S. Throws Lifeline to Detroit
some recent headlines. the list goes on…
I started getting into current affairs during early October (i think), when the credit crunch kicked off in the financial industry. since then, i’d wake up to washington post and wall street journal headlines, which i’d read while brushing my teeth. in the back of my mind, i knew that this stuff was important (even though i didn’t completely understand why), and i’d discuss current affairs with some other friends who’d keep up with the news. i figured if my parents read chinese newspapers religiously, and if my advisor reads the wall street journal between academic advising appointments, i better start too.
back when i was a freshman, i was completely in the calvin bubble. i didn’t even know hurricane katrina hit until days afterwards. i learned about it from a call to prayer at some campus worship service. now i know why i should be reading about AIG, bernie madoff, oil prices, GM/Chrysler/Ford, and most recently, GMAC.
all of the headlines above have a direct effect on me, a college student.
if all goes as planned (and it rarely does), i’ll graduate in may 2010. during recessions, people like going back to school since there aren’t any jobs available. got laid off? get into grad school, take out some loans, and increase your chances of getting a better job when the recession ends. history tells us that’s true in america.
that means if i want to go to grad school, i’m gonna be competing with a lot of people, some of which have already proven themselves in the workforce. i won’t just be competing with the class of 2010. i’ll be competing with the freshly unemployed manager that now wants an MBA so he’ll do a better job next time. i’ll be competing with newly unemployed salespeople that were smart, but were just assigned to hard-hit regions like detroit, where residents are barely making enough to survive, let alone buy luxury products. i’ve heard enough admissions officers repeat the mantra, “we don’t just look at your GPA.” well, if they look at things like work experience, community service, or awards, most undergrads will lose out. and i’m pretty darn sure admissions officers look for those things.
i don’t want anyone spending $100,000 on a bachelor’s degree to end up at a restaurant serving tables. nor do i want them ending up at a retail outlet like banana republic, gap, or american eagle. but i look at my friends who just graduated in may 2008, and i see reality. they’re shooting off resumes for months, but they’re generating little interest. in the meantime, it’s back to working the third shift at starbucks.