Posted by: Louis Lavelle on April 2, 2009
With the economy in turmoil, many MBA graduates are finding the job search tough going. To give readers some insight into the strategies they’re pursuing and the difficulties they face, BusinessWeek has recruited four out-of-work MBAs to write about their experiences for a new feature called “The Hunt” that will appear periodically on the Getting In blog. Comments, as always, are welcome.
Juan Manuel Meneses Buchanan is a second-year student in the full-time MBA program at London Business School. Originally from Lima, Peru, he studied business administration as an undergraduate at the Universidad de Lima. Following graduation, he worked in consulting and then capital markets. He was recently married and he loves sports, especially surfing and diving.
His goal in getting his MBA was to learn different markets, products, and ideas, and then go back to South America to develop those new skills in the developing markets. His long-term plan was to return to Peru and seek a role in the Economy & Finance Minister’s office, central bank, or other governmental agency where he could leverage his previous experience and network to benefit the economic development of Peru.
So far, the job hunt has been daunting. Buchanan did secure a full-time offer at Lehman Brothers, where he spent five weeks working in asset-backed securities sales. Then, Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, which left the summer associates with full-time offers in limbo.
After Lehman’s Chapter 11 filing, it was a roller coaster of emotions. With Barclays buying Lehman’s U.S. operations and Nomura buying part of its European business, things were changing so fast nobody really knew what to do. Today, capital markets hiring is almost nonexistent and some of the banks that recruited on campus have halted their hiring until further notice. Despite having backup plans, Buchanan says he will most likely return to South America right away instead of putting it off while garnering skills abroad.