EDITORIAL: A Main Line meltdown

Editorial Board

English majors rejoiced last weekend when the news of the Wall Street meltdown hit, finally redeemed in their career choice which may have previously been viewed with a bit of cynicism or the constant question: “So what are you going to do with that?” As it is, the world has turned upside down, and the previously indestructible finance majors at Villanova may be asking themselves that same question in the next few months.

Students at Villanova and across the country have been hit hard by the financial turbulence in the past few months. First went the jobs and internships at Bear Stearns last semester, and last weekend we said, “Sayonara” to two more of the five main Wall Street investment banks on a day some in the media called “Black Sunday.” Every single copy of the Wall Street Journal in Bartley had disappeared by 10 a.m. on Monday morning. All day long, students could be heard crying on the phone to their parents about their lost jobs or possibly their parents’ jobs.

Noticeably absent from the Career Fair on Tuesday were a number of the investment banks that normally recruit heavily at Villanova. Meanwhile, the (financially sound) Big-Four accounting firms PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst and Young had lines growing down the aisles of the Pavilion with eager, name-tagged undergraduates.

Morgan Stanley was the only major U.S. investment bank present at the career fair, and they were promoting operations rather than trading positions.

This financial slump in the economy will recover in the next few years. Business cycles fluctuate, but there will always be a demand for willing and qualified college graduates. The question now is what are these finance majors supposed to do in the meantime? Some may want to continue their education with a graduate degree in order to become even more qualified once the job market picks up again. Others may have to wait it out and gain job experience in a place that may not have been at the top of their lists.

But one thing is certain: a Villanova education will be an asset to you no matter where the economy is headed.