By Tracy Sun
Lehman Brothers, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and American International Group (AIG) are all prominent financial institutions that were in crisis in September. While it is no surprise Wall Street executives and stock brokers are nervous about the recent economic situation, the worry and apprehension has also spread to students across the country.
As the economic state worsens, more and more students are reassessing their career goals in the financial sector due to recent events. This school’s students are no exception.
Senior Nick Cooper, who said he originally was thinking about pursuing a career in investment banking, has now decided to look at his other options. He previously had taken business classes, including accounting and AP Computer Science, and plans to take personal finance next semester.
However, business teacher Debbie Lesjak said that she thinks most students are worried but not, like Cooper, changing their career path just yet.
“Students are following the news very closely with the recent changes in the economy. (I think) that they are just trying to determine whether this will affect them long term after they graduate or in college for now,” Lesjak said.
Although teachers have not changed their curriculum to suit student’s dynamic ambitions, they have integrated current events in their classrooms. Economics teacher Michelle Foutz said that incorporating current events in class has provided real world examples and explanations to the book.
“All of these things, talking about the money supply and the effect of higher and lower interest rates on borrowing and how that affects growth in the economy, that’s something that is part of our curriculum,” Foutz said. “Sometimes I feel like they read these terms, they read these definitions in the book, and they think that these are only things economists care about, but they’re starting to realize these are things that touch their lives every day.”
Overall, Lesjak said that students are becoming more aware and vocal about what’s going on in the economy in her business classes.
“More of my students are talking about the economic situation, when in previous years they were not concerned,” Lesjak said.
Regardless of the state of the economy, business classes have provided information for students on what they would possibly want to pursue as a career. Cooper said that he took business courses as background knowledge before he started college.
Leskjak, Foutz and Cooper said they agree on the fact that the economic situation affects all students, especially seniors who are currently applying for student loans for college.
“The problem right now is that banks are holding on to their cash, and that is creating a lot of lending problems,” Foutz said. “That is really going to affect everyone in the economy.”
Even though the recent economic situation has worsened, Cooper said he has not ruled out investment banking completely.
“I’m not going to be graduating for another four years of college,” Cooper said. “There’s still plenty of time for things like the bailout or other public policies to greatly impact the economy.”
Economic Crisis By the Numbers
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