Business schools including UCLA Anderson School of Management and Santa Clara University Leavey Business School—both based in California—are offering a potential lifeline for those affected with application fee waivers and extended application deadlines.
Tech giants, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, have announced more than 40,000 combined job cuts so far in 2023.
Laid off workers can apply with support to five postgrad programs at Santa Clara: the Part-Time Evening MBA, Executive MBA, MS in Business Analytics, MS in Finance & Analytics, and the MS in Information Systems. The school began offering waivers in December 2022.
UCLA started offering support for applications to its Full-Time MBA—recently ranked among the top 15 worldwide—during the second round of admissions, but has extended the scheme into round three. Those who lost their job after October 2022 can apply. Applicants who land a job while their application is being processed can transfer to be considered for the school’s part-time Fully Employed MBA.
“We created this opportunity without large expectations but with a focus on reaching out to those who were dealing with job loss and did not have an MBA,” says Gary Fraser, associate dean of the Full-time MBA at UCLA. “With that said, we are projecting 3-5% of our applicant pool to request an application fee waiver due to job loss.
“Job loss can be a devastating thing that can lead to imposter syndrome, anxiety and even depression. When we saw large scale layoffs happening, we knew this would be our small way of addressing this situation by giving someone an opportunity to open a new door to their career and life,” he adds.
Alongside those already laid off, Santa Clara is offering support and advice to workers who are uncertain about their futures as cuts remain ongoing.
“We are assisting, providing guidance, and a road map on how the Leavey School of Business can prepare them for their next opportunity to accelerate or pivot their careers by offering an outstanding education, career advising, and introducing them to the Santa Clara University Silicon Valley network,” says Joshua Rosenthal, the school’s assistant dean of graduate programs.
Both UCLA and Santa Clara feel business school can offer the next step in a laid off employee’s career journey, with opportunities to upskill and find a new position, pivot into a new industry, or even launch an entrepreneurial venture.
“The Leavey School of Business offers multiple resources to our current students and alumni who may have been affected by the tech-layoffs. We offer career coaching, executive coaching, various workshops, resume updating, interviewing training, and provide networking opportunities through our alumni industry panels and campus wide events,” adds Joshua.
The recent tech layoffs have been driven by a difficult economic environment with companies citing the cost-of-living crisis, changing customer demands, and the need to downsize following a pandemic hiring spree.
Challenges extend beyond the tech industry, as financial firms including Goldman Sachs, and BlackRock have announced headcount reductions. Goldman recently announced it would decrease hiring in 2023.
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