Fall election may improve economic outlook, say new MIT Sloan students

Even in slow economy, positive about job prospects

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Aug 28, 2008 — The fall presidential election will mean not only a new president, but fresh career opportunities for management school graduates, according to some MIT Sloan School of Management students beginning their MBA studies this month.

“Compared to the current political atmosphere, the future appears to be more hopeful with both candidates,” says Hassani Turner from Los Angeles, who worked on Capitol Hill and in investment banking before entering MIT Sloan. “As someone who is interested in sustainability and economic development in poor countries, my career ideals are mostly aligned with Barack Obama's policies. Still, John McCain has proven to be a progressive Republican in terms of clean technology, climate change, and other issues pertaining to sustainability.”

Chase Meredith Behringer also sees post-election opportunities. “I have a passion for healthcare and business, and the election will shape healthcare policy moving forward,” says Behringer of New York City, who has worked as a consultant. “As we move into the next decade, health care represents a significant opportunity for business professionals and entrepreneurs to become thought leaders. For me, being an entrepreneur in the health care space is a natural way to recognize that business has an obligation to promote social development.”

The hard-hit financial sector could also benefit from the election, says Murali Govindaswamy, a native of India who held engineering, system design, and project management roles with Ericsson in Boulder, CO, for seven years before coming to MIT Sloan. “The election may stimulate much needed confidence in the financial markets, which would grow the amount of traditional and alternative finance career routes and potentially allow for a softer venture funding environment.”

India is one of 43 nations represented in this year's incoming MIT Sloan class, 36 percent of which are international students. At 34 percent, the percent of incoming women is the highest ever, as is the percentage of incoming students from underrepresented minorities at 10 percent. Applications were up by 28 percent over last year.

While keenly aware of weak economic conditions, the first-year students remain hopeful about future career prospects. “Prior to [MIT] Sloan, I worked in the real estate sector in investment banking and I saw firsthand what had happened to my colleagues on Wall Street because of the dire conditions of the market,” says Awilda Mendez, who grew up in New York City. “This made me realize that very few, if any, career choices will guarantee any form of security. But it's important to pursue a career that you're passionate about. I chose to pursue an MBA because it would provide me with the necessary resources to guide me towards the career best suited for my strengths and interests.”

MIT Sloan's link to the rest of MIT will be especially helpful, says Michele Rosiello of Italy, who describes herself as “a former violinist turned strategy consultant.”

Says Rosiello: “The MIT Sloan MBA program is renowned for its emphasis on developing leadership and entrepreneurial and innovation skills and attitude in its students. And as part of the larger MIT community, MIT Sloan is strongly intertwined with all other MIT departments and laboratories. Some of the best minds in the world are currently working at MIT, which is the best resource available to students.”

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