- The Washington Times - Monday, April 29, 2002

Officials from six regional business schools are meeting today to talk about creating a D.C. Business School Coalition, to help their graduates find jobs during a slow labor market.
The school participating are American University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Howard University, University of Maryland, and George Mason University.
Organizers hope to unite the schools' job-placement efforts and leverage the power of the collective universities to draw top business students to the region.
"The D.C. area is saturated with MBA programs and instead of working as competition we better get together and understand how to improve at getting students placed with national, local or global organizations," says Kristine Korva, director of graduate career services at Kogod School of Business at American University. "The new economy conditions have been very difficult for all the schools."
At the end of the 2000/2001 student year, Kogod placed about 93 percent of its students into jobs within three months of graduation. This year the school expects the percentage to be 30 percent lower.
"A few years ago there were more opportunities because there were more start-up organizations and the economy was booming," Miss Korva says. "But now the economy has changed and some industries took large hits, like the technology industry and that's where a lot of students were looking."
Technology industry hiring is down 89 percent from two years ago, she estimates.
This year students must compete not just with other recent graduates, but also a growing number of individuals returning to the workplace.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says 2.2 million people re-entered the work force between February 2001 and February 2002, 19 percent more than the year before.
Area business schools already have taken individual steps to make their graduates more competitive. Some have raised admissions requirements by considering only applicants who have accumulated two or more years of experience after earning their bachelor's degrees. Others have raised the required entry test scores on grad school exams.

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