With class of 2020 graduation dates just passed, business school students may be worried about the impact of coronavirus on MBA jobs prospects. But according to Doreen Amorosa, Georgetown University McDonough School of Business' career center associate dean and managing director, MBA grads are still in a good position to bolster their careers.
“Employers generally hire MBAs to strengthen their leadership talent pipelines,” Doreen explains. “Even during difficult times, opportunities exist. MBAs need to be nimble, diligent, and disciplined in the hunt for jobs right now, and we are witnessing wins every day by our students.”
MBAs around the world have nonetheless expressed concern, comparing the job market to the uncertainty MBAs faced in 2008 after the financial crash. The IMF also anticipates a 3% drop in the global economy this year, a steeper downturn than ‘08. So, are concerns well-founded?
Where are the MBA jobs?
Major MBA recruiters, such as Google, Amazon, BCG, and Goldman Sachs haven’t reported any hiring impacts so far, but the likes of Facebook, LEK Consulting, and Johnson & Johnson have reportedly canceled interviews and rescinded offers for internships scheduled to run over the summer months.
Doreen explains that for McDonough MBAs consulting and investment banking positions for the year have largely been filled, and that these firms––more often than not––have honored their job offer commitments. Healthcare, technology, and e-commerce are all under increased strain due to increased consumer demand, and are looking for workers as a result.
“However, hiring has dramatically slowed down in the hospitality, retail, and transportation sectors,” she continues. “Real estate hiring is paused, but the expectation is that it will pick up soon. Small companies in some sectors aren’t faring as well as large companies.”
McDonough School of Business lists among its top MBA employers the likes of Bank of America, EY, and Microsoft. Graduates could therefore be in a strong position to secure roles with these firms, which are operating in less affected global markets.
The number of secured placements for the class of 2020 are almost at the same levels as they were the year before, Doreen adds.
“Given the current environment, we are advising students who are still seeking jobs to play to their strengths and seek jobs where they can make an immediate impact,” she says.
Navigating job market uncertainty
Even at times of crisis when everyday life seems to have screeched to a halt, there are still opportunities to be found. Even during the financial crisis, Wall Street continued to recruit for critical positions, Doreen emphasizes.
So far, the McDonough School of Business 2021 cohort isn’t seeing too many interruptions to internship programs students had secured prior to the Coronavirus pandemic. However, for those students who have been affected, Doreen says the school is encouraging them to be creative and secure whatever valuable experiences they can.
“Consider crafting a summer experience that combines project work, educational or technical training, and volunteerism,” she says.
Future employers will appreciate the willingness to be creative when building up your portfolio of experience. Times such as now, as the pandemic rages on, make it so the conventional path MBA students take to secure job roles in their chosen industries simply isn’t possible. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
“At this very unique time in history, our goal is for all second-year students to have compelling stories to tell employers when they begin their full-time job searches in the fall,” Doreen says.
Read how McDonough is supporting its MBAs on page 2