Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Israeli Graduates of U.S. Business Schools Are Stuck With Loan Debts and No Jobs

Daily News Blog, April 21, 2009

Jerusalem — Hundreds of Israeli business-school graduates are stuck in the United States with no jobs but huge student loans to repay, the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz reported today.

According to participants at a gathering of 100 Israeli M.B.A. students and alumni in New York on Sunday, the prospects of getting a job in the dismal economic climate are slim. Meir Stein, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, said many American finance and technology companies, particularly those receiving government money from the economic-stimulus package, will not hire foreigners.

Such support can be contingent on providing local jobs, and handling immigration issues can be a huge hassle for the employer, Haaretz said.

According to today’s Wall Street Journal, many American M.B.A. graduates who had planned to start a new career are being forced to return to their old jobs in order to find work.

The New York Times reported last week that this year’s Wharton graduates were changing direction abruptly as job offers from traditional companies dried up.

The global economic crisis has spared no one, including the Israeli M.B.A.’s, said Aharon Shenrech, who so far has no job and faces debts of $100,000 from his Wharton M.B.A. “I estimate that roughly 60 percent of my acquaintances who finished their M.B.A. studies are getting job offers, but the rest aren’t,” he said.

About 100 Israelis are accepted by M.B.A. programs at American universities each year, but their success depends on finding a good job afterward, even if the student ultimately plans to return to Israel. The whole concept of studying in the United States on a student loan is based on getting a good job, said Haaretz. And today, even if a job can be found, it may not pay well. —Matthew Kalman

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