Applications to Yale Law School and the School of Management have skyrocketed this year as Yale seniors and their peers nationwide feel the effects of a tight job market.
Philip Jones, the director of Undergraduate Career Services, said fewer companies are coming to campus and many of the perennial recruiters at Yale have fewer job openings. Meanwhile, with final application deadlines still approaching, there are already 46 percent more applicants to Yale Law School and 40 percent more applicants to the School of Management.
Jones said some seniors are changing their post-graduation plans because of the difficulty they are having finding job placements.
Because the number of seniors involved in the campus recruiting and interviewing process is almost identical to last year’s, Jones said there is more competition for a limited number of positions.
“A company that might have interviewed 50 in another year would see 20 this year,” Jones said. “In raw terms, students are getting about two fewer interviews.”
Multiple investment banks reached for comment said they could not give out information about recruiting trends.
But Hayden Gallary ’02 said he submitted 10 resumes and only netted one final round interview. He eventually got a job at Putnam Investments, but friend Luke Garrett ’02 said the difficult Gallary had in obtaining interviews does not bode well for Yale students in general.
“Hayden is probably more qualified than anyone I know,” Garrett said. “A guy like that, if there’s any financial firm, he’d be a huge asset to them, and he had a lot of trouble finding a job.”
Cynthia Calejesan, mother of Virgil Calejesan ’02, said she expects the job search to be tougher for Virgil than it was for his older brother Edward last year.
“Everything just went very smoothly and I’m thinking I wish the same thing could just happen to Virgil,” Calejesan said. “But it’s going to be a very different ball game.”
Jones said the scarcity of jobs, particularly in the business, finance and consulting sectors, is leading students to consider other options.
“What we are seeing is an increased interest in law school,” Jones said. “When the economy is not doing as well as it had been, there’s almost a direct relationship between the numbers not going into corporate sector as going into law school.”
Jean Webb, the director of admissions at Yale Law School, said the final deadline for applying is Feb. 15, but that as of Jan. 28 applications were up 46 percent from last year.
“My sense is that this is related to problems in the economy,” Webb said.
But Webb also said there may be other factors contributing to the rise this year, explaining that during the recession of the early 1990s the number of applications went down and not up. She said the increase this year is not due to recruiting efforts.
Jonathan Kidwell ’02 said he made the decision to apply to law school before the recession set in. But, he added, the slow economy poses challenges for him as well.
“Because of the job market, a lot of people are applying to grad schools this year,” Kidwell said.
At the Yale School of Management, Director of Admissions James Stevens said, applications are up 40 percent from last year, and the final deadline is not until March 15. Stevens attributes the rise in part to recruitment efforts and a significant increase in the number of senior faculty.
Yale is not the only school to see a large increase in the number of business school applications; the University of Chicago business school has seen applications more than triple so far this year, spokesman Allan Friedman said.
Jones said Yale undergraduates are not typically applying to business schools right out of college because it is usually necessary to have two years of work experience before you can apply. But the tremendous increase in the number of applicants to these management schools highlights the challenges in the job market for students looking to enter the industry for the first time.
“The number of applicants would jump because frankly a lot of people who have been working for a few years have lost their jobs,” Jones said.