Shannon Franklin, Young & Recessioned: Spell The Hiring Manager's Name Correctly, Please

Today's installment of Young and Recessioned features Shannon Franklin, assistant director of the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University, who says that even Rice students might have to do anything at any point to try to make some income.

We help them with networking, resume building, cover letters, how to negotiate an offer, how to network with a company or recruiter. All these are different parts of a job search.

It's not mandatory for students to come in and see us, but we highly recommend it. It can be very difficult, and we're here to support them.

Do we have a hard time finding employment for our students? Yes we do.

But we can direct them to different avenues to keep networking, because there might not be a job with a certain company now, but you never know when it can turn into a job.

Our last two classes have seen a significant downfall in employment. So I think that tells [current students] a lot. Things are still evolving, things are still down, but I do foresee that turning.

There are jobs there, but it's just very competitive. Companies that have hired a lot [in the past], now they're just hiring for one position, one student. That's pretty tough, because they're not just going to Rice. They're going to all these other schools to find that one applicant.

I had one student who wrote the hiring manager's name incorrectly. And he kept writing the wrong name throughout the cover letter. That is a big, costly mistake.

Or it's just not meeting deadlines. Not getting applications in on time. They're having to come back and say, 'Can you please still consider me?'

Some students are aware that the market has changed. The signing bonus might be lower, or there might not be a signing bonus at all. Salaries can be lower. Those are things students take into consideration because of where we are right now.

We tell students that you have to have an open mind. Once those jobs in finance and investment banking are filled, they're probably not going to come around anymore.

But some students stay one-track focused. They still want to stick to what they came to MBA school for. There's nothing wrong with that, but it helps when you're willing to take on something a little different.

Some students come to the realization that they might have to do anything at any point to try to make some income.

I'm hopeful for the 2012 class that things will turn around a bit. They're just going to have to work extra hard. There are jobs out there. They might not be at your fingertips, but they are there. Companies are looking for the right candidates.

Got a tale to tell about being Young & Recessioned? E-mail Paul Knight at paul.knight@houstonpress.com.


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