Monday, September 29, 2014

On Air: Marquette Business Professors Featured on National Radio's Marketplace

This month, three Marquette Business professors – Drs. Abdur Chowdhury, David Clark and David Krause – were featured on the nationally syndicated business radio program Marketplace.

Chowdhury, professor of economics, commented on the European Central Bank’s stimulus plan; Clark, professor of economics, discussed post-9/11 air travel, calling on some of his earlier research; and Krause, co-director of the Applied Investment Management program, weighed in on Twitter’s recent debt offering.

The segments aired on dozens of National Public Radio affiliates nationwide, including in the Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Austin, Portland, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New York markets, among others.

Marketplace logo  
Chowdhury segment
Clark segment
Krause segment

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Link to Jim Bianco's 9/16/2014 Presentation at Marquette University





Jim Bianco


The September 16, 2014, presentation by Jim Bianco at Marquette University can be accessed on the AIM web site or by following this link: http://business.marquette.edu/content/uploads/AIM/BiancoPresentation914.pdf

Jim Bianco will be speaking on campus on Tuesday, September 16 at 3:30 pm in Todd Wehr (Room 100)


Please note that the Jim Bianco talk with now be held at Todd Wehr Chemistry Building (Room 100) on Tuesday (9/16/2014) beginning at 3:30 pm. The talk was originally scheduled for the AIM Room – please notify anyone you invited about the room change. His presentation will be posted here after the event.



Saturday, September 13, 2014

On NPR's MarketPlace Dr. Krause commented on Twitter's new $1.5B bond offering

​Click to play clipTwitter
Twitter has gone to the bond market in an effort to raise as much as $1.5 billion as it remains unprofitable. 
This week, Twitter announced its plan to raise at least $1.3 billion by issuing convertible bonds. Unlike some companies that turn to the debt markets, the company doesn’t appear to be in dire need of cash. So what is their grand strategy?
“I don’t think it’s so much ‘What is the big strategy?’ I think the question many people will be asking is: ‘Is there a really meaningful strategy?’” says Nate Elliott, vice president at Forrester Research. He points out that Twitter’s user base, while large, is still closer to Google+ than Facebook, and the company is not yet profitable.
“If Twitter’s revenues matched its notoriety, it’d be doing just fine,” Elliott says.
But bond market investors are not in a skeptical mood, says David Krause, finance professor at Marquette University. “Companies are raising record amounts of debt right now.” 
The primary reason: With near-zero interest rates, other options are slim pickings — a rather unhappy economic indicator. “It’s the result of an economy that is still struggling, and it’s also due to what we’re seeing globally,” says Brian Rehling, chief fixed income strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors. “We’re seeing very weak if not negative growth over in Europe."
On the positive side, the drive to issue debt now may be motivated by a belief that the macroeconomic picture is going to change. “I think there is a sense from some that this is not going to last,” says Rehling.
“It’s a very opportune time for companies that may not be investment grade to be able to go out and lock in some long-term money at some very attractive rates,” says Krause.
Krause thinks Twitter’s offering will be very attractive to investors.
Even if all it buys Twitter in the short term is more time.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Largest Milwaukee-area investment managers (ranked by managed assets as of Dec. 31, 2013)

Locally Researched by: Barbara Zaferos, Milwaukee Business Journal
22-Aug-14
The list of largest Milwaukee-area investment managers is ranked by assets managed (Dec. 31, 2013)
Rank
Company
Managed assets as of 12/31/13
Investment strategy, style
Top local executive
1 Mason Street Advisors LLC $118,500,000,000 Fixed income - investment grade corporate, securitized, government, high yield Ronald Joelson, president
720 E. Wisconsin Ave. equity - domestic growth
Milwaukee, WI 53202
2 Artisan Partners $105,500,000,000 Independent investment firm that provides broad range of high value-added strategies Bob Batchelor, managing director, head of marketing and communications
875 E. Wisconsin Ave.
Suite 800
Milwaukee, WI 53202
3 Fiduciary Management Inc. $20,650,900,000 Equity strategies that apply a value discipline, with a focused approach firmly rooted in fundamental research Ted Kellner, executive chairman
100 E. Wisconsin Ave. Patrick English, CEO, chief investment officer
Suite 2200 John Brandser, president, COO, CCO
Milwaukee, WI 53202
4 Baird Advisors $20,105,160,000 Structured, short,intermediate, taxable and tax-exempt, core fixed income, including long duration customized benchmarks Mary Ellen Stanek, managing director, chief investment officer
777 E. Wisconsin Ave.
Suite 2500
Milwaukee, WI 53202
5 Geneva Capital Management $6,700,000,000 U.S. mid-growth and small-cap growth Nick Bauer, principal, director of consultant relations
100 E. Wisconsin Ave. Amy Croen,
Suite 2550 Scott Priebe, managing principals
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Young, Fabulous and Unemployed: Strategies for Survival


This appeared in a recent posting on the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA) site. Susan Mach, PhD, is a communication coach, trainer, and strategist. She teaches management communication part time at major NYC-area business schools, and investment research report writing at NYSSA.

Early-autumn weather is bracing. Millions of students eagerly gear up for a new school year.  Business leaders fine-tune their strategy for the fourth-quarter push.  It’s a time of optimism, renewed energy, and forward-looking thinking. 

But these times are painful for people who are unemployed. So, if you’re a recent college grad, it’s understandable that you miss the structure, rhythms, and deadlines of the semester. 

Bottom line: Take a job—any job.  As long as it won’t harm our health or violate you ethics, any job is better than no job.  If you hate it, leave it.  But it’s worth a try. 
Here’s why:

  • Structure:  Having a job means having a schedule. Regardless of what kind of job it is, you have to manage time, balance family and work responsibilities, and plan your days. Plus, as you continue to search for the job of your dreams, you have to stay focused, in shape, and highly presentable. So you might as well earn some money.
  • Revenue: Even if it’s a low-paying job, at least you have a revenue trickle, if not a stream. It will enhance your emotional intelligence: Imagine the challenges people face when they have no education, no skills, no credentials, no network.
  • Network: Video games, Facebook, and texting can be fun, but they are also time vampires. And having no job can lead to loneliness and isolation—which have deadly effects on your morale. Most jobs require you to interact with others. You never know where your big break—an idea, a contact, a job lead--will come from. 
  • Skills: Today’s job market is a skills game. Every job is an opportunity to add to our personal skills arsenal. If you can wait on a table of six demanding customers ordering breakfast with a total of 18 unique configurations of coffee, omelets, and toast, you know how to stay calm under pressure. If you can stock shelves in a grocery store, you learn a lot about inventory management, customer preferences, and global trends in the food retail industry. If you’re working as an assistant day-care worker, you observe a wide variety of learning styles and you sharpen your ability to communicate clearly and concisely.
  • Forward movement: Taking any job demonstrates your work ethic. It’s not giving in to paralysis. It’s not standing still—and that’s what matters most these days.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Insider Trading: SAC's Martoma gets 9 year prison sentence for illegal actions

In the AIM program we have a course devoted to investment ethics. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of 'real world' material to learn from. In this most recent case, Mathew Martoma, a former portfolio manager at billionaire Steven A. Cohen's SAC Capital Advisors LP hedge fund, was sentenced on Monday to nine years in prison for engaging in what authorities called the most lucrative insider trading scheme in U.S. history. (Note: much of this material is from news accounts from Reuters and Bloomberg).
U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in New York said he had to account for the "enormous" $275 million gain SAC obtained as a result of illegal trades in pharmaceutical stocks. Prosecutors said the trades were based on tips Martoma received about a clinical trial for an Alzheimer's drug.
"I cannot and will not ignore that the gain is hundreds of millions of dollars more than ever seen in an insider trading prosecution," Gardephe said.
The sentence came despite appeals for leniency by Richard Strassberg, Martoma's lawyer, who cited "fragile family circumstances." Gardephe also ordered Martoma to forfeit $9.3 million, including his Boca Raton, Florida, home.
While Martoma, 40, faced up to 19-1/2 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines, Gardephe said such punishment should be reserved for repeat offenders or criminal enterprise leaders.

But the judge said a severe sentence was nonetheless necessary, saying "there was nothing accidental about Mr. Martoma's conduct or the gain realized."
The nine-year sentence is among the longer prison terms in U.S. insider trading cases, reflecting a trend of increasingly lengthy sentences in recent years.
In 2012, corporate lawyer Matthew Kluger was sentenced in New Jersey to 12 years for trading on information from law firms about mergers. A year earlier, Galleon Group hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam was sentenced in New York to 11 years.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, whose office is engaged in a broad crackdown on insider trading, called the nine-year sentence "well-suited to the audacity of the illegal trading in this case."
The case against Martoma, who worked in SAC's CR Intrinsic Investors unit, stemmed from a long-running insider trading investigation of the hedge fund.
Eight employees have been convicted, and SAC last year agreed to pay $1.8 billion in criminal and civil settlements and plead guilty to fraud charges.
SAC recently changed its name to Point72 Asset Management, and the Stamford, Connecticut-firm was transformed into a family office managing Cohen's fortune.
Prosecutors said Martoma sought confidential information from doctors involved in a clinical trial of an Alzheimer's drug being developed by Elan Corp, since acquired by Perrigo Co (PRGO.N), and Wyeth, now a unit of Pfizer Inc (PFE.N).
Based on a tip Martoma received from Sidney Gilman, a former University of Michigan professor who chaired the drug's safety monitoring committee, SAC Capital in July 2008 began selling its $700 million position in Elan and Wyeth, prosecutors said.
They said most of the trading occurred in accounts controlled by Cohen, who had a 20-minute phone call with Martoma after receiving information about the negative results of the study.
Cohen has not been criminally charged. He faces a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission civil action seeking to bar him from the financial services industry for failing to supervise Martoma and Michael Steinberg, an SAC portfolio manager convicted of insider trading in a separate trial in December. Cohen denies wrongdoing. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Under Performance of the Common Investor Relative to the Overall Stock Market

In his 2013 and 2014 MOOC on Applied Investing, Dr. Krause, director of Marquette's Applied Investment Management (AIM) program, talked about the significant underperformance of the common investor relative to the overall stock market. 

Dr. David Krause
He made reference to Dalbar, a company which studies investor behavior and analyzes investor market returns. The results of their research consistently have shown that the average investor earns below average returns. For the twenty years ending 12/31/2013 the S&P 500 Index averaged 9.22% a year – which is an attractive historical return. The average equity fund investor earned a market return of only 5.02%.

Why is this?  Academic studies show that when the stock market goes up, retail investors put more money in it. And when it goes down, they pull money out. This is akin to running to the mall every time the price of something goes up, and then returning the merchandise when it is on sale - but you are returning it to a store that will only give you the sale price back. This irrational behavior causes investor market returns to be substantially less than historical stock market returns.

What would cause investors to exhibit such poor judgment? After all, at a 9% return, your money will double every eight years. Rather than chasing performance, you could simply have bought a single index fund, and earned significantly higher returns.

The problem is the human reaction, to good news or to bad news, is to overreact. This emotional reaction causes illogical investment decisions. This tendency to overreact can become even greater during times of personal uncertainty; near retirement, for example, or when the economy is bad.

The study of behavioral finance documents and labels our money-losing mind tricks with terms like recency bias and overconfidence. Despite research and education, the performance gap continues. So what can the average investor do to avoid this fate? 
Consider the following four rules:


  1. Do little or maybe even nothing. A conscious and thoughtful decision to do nothing is still a form of action. Have your financial goals changed? If your portfolio was built around your long-term goals (as it should be), a short-term change in markets shouldn't matter.
     
  2. Hands off. To quote Dr. Eugene Fama, the famed University of Chicago financial economist, “Your money is like soap. The more you handle it, the less you’ll have.”
     
  3. Never sell equities in a down market. If your funds are allocated correctly, you should never have a need to sell equities during a down market cycle. This holds true even if you are taking income. Just as you wouldn’t run out and put a for sale sign on your home when the housing market turns south, don’t be rash to sell equities when the stock market goes through a bear market cycle. Wait it out.
     
  4. Science works. It’s been academically proven that a disciplined approach to investing delivers higher market returns. Yeah, it’s boring; but it works. If you don't have a discipline, you probably shouldn't be managing your own investments.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

TEN JOB SEARCH RULES TO BREAK

Break the Rules and Get a Great Job by Liz Ryan 

This was a recent post I read about some unorthodox approaches in the job searching process. I would say that these are somewhat controversial and might raise a few eyebrows with the traditional human resources professionals. I would not suggest breaking every rule, but it does provide some interesting approaches to stand out in your interviews.

1) Break the rule that tells you not to use "I" in your resume. How absurd! Your resume is a marketing document. You are the product. Six or seven uses of the word "I" in your resume will make it a personal document between you and the reader -- the person who could easily become your next boss.
2) Next, break the rule that tells you to list your tasks and duties on your resume. Who cares? You're different from anyone who has ever held any of your past jobs. Don't tell us about the job description. We can guess from your title what each job required. Tell us what you left in your wake in each job, instead!
3) Now, break the rule that tells you to reply to a job ad by pitching a resume into the Black Hole of an automated career portal. Your chance of hearing back are close to zero.
Write directly to your own hiring manager -- the person you'll be working for if you get the job. Send that manager a Pain Lettertogether with your Human-Voiced Resume,right through the mail.
4) Break the rule that says "No direct contact with your hiring manager," an instruction that shows up in job ads sometimes. Since when are you responsible for reading job ads? You can stop reading job ads right now. You can send a Pain Letter to anyone you want. You just have to find your hiring manager's name on LinkedIn, and that's not difficult.
5) Defy the rule that tells you to report your salary history as you apply for a job. Is the employer going to tell you the history of salaries they've paid to other people in the same role? They won't, so why should you lose negotiating leverage by passing on your private financial details? All they need is a target salary number, so give them that.
6) Break the rule that tells you to go into an interview ready to answer questions like a good little sheepie and then go silent, waiting for the next question.
An interview is not a citizenship exam. You can get your manager off the script and into a real human conversation if you try -- and if your efforts are unsuccessful, what does that tell you about the person you'd be working for?
7) Ignore the rule that tells you to hand over your job references before you've established that a strong mutual interest exists. Firms that pressure you to fork over your references early may be planning to misuse your contacts for their own purposes, as horrifying as that sounds (and is).
8) Blow past the rule that tells you to spend your energy in a job search pleasing people, from the initial resume screener to the recruiter who never calls back. The title of this story is "Break the Rules and Get a Great Job," not "Follow the Rules and Take any Crappy Job You Can Get." That is a different story that I will write the minute Hell freezes over.
9) Break the rule that tells you to wait around for weeks while a search committee takes its sweet time getting back to you. Three business days after an interview is more than enough time to decide whether you're still in the mix or not.
Leave one voice mail message that says "Just checking in before I close the file, since I'm assuming you're going in a different direction" and then truly close the file and move on. It's incredibly satisfying to do, as Christopher found out.
10) Last, break the job-search rule that tells you that employers are in the driver's seat. That may be true in the general please-someone-hire-me sheepie job seeker talent marketplace but it's never been the case in the talent bazaar where eyes-open managers hire people to solve real business problems that could otherwise tank their companies.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Why Didn’t I Get a Job Offer Following My Interview?


Many college students are interviewing for their entry level jobs following graduation - including the members of the AIM Class of 2015. Often times students have a good interview, but don't receive a job offer. This can be disheartening and confusing for many. This material is from a hiring manager who lists the top three reasons why someone did not get the job offer after the interview.

 
“I’ve conducted many dozens of job interviews in the past several years. I’ve hired some great folks as a result of these interviews, but my experience rejecting candidates is also pretty extensive. I’ve gained some decent insight into why candidates fail, and it often comes down to some interviewing skills for which all good interviewers expect, regardless if they know it or not.

You may be a promising candidate, but you may be getting rejected because of bombing out on some of these skills. So, if you’re getting a lot of rejection calls from interviewers and you’re not sure why, these tips may be helpful. Here are my top three reasons for rejecting candidates.

1. Failure to Display Any Passion. To be successful in almost any professional role, you need to have a high degree of passion. That’s not to say you need to be bouncing off the walls with energy, but if you look like you’re about to fall asleep in the interview, you’re not giving the interviewer the impression that you’re going to dive into the job with any degree of interest or professional curiosity.

Passion can be demonstrated in your body language, inflection of voice, the light in your eyes, and the way in which you show excitement when you tell that story about when you saved the day in your last job.

2. Failure to Connect With the Job Description. All too often, candidates come into an interview thinking they know what the job requirements are just by reading the job title. Most job descriptions do a halfway decent job of explaining some of the main skills and/or experience needed to be successful in the role. It’s unfortunate that candidates often ignore this information and try to spend most of the interview talking about skills and experience that have no relevance to the job.

It’s OK if you lack some (or a lot) of the direct experience listed in the job description, but if you make a conscious effort to connect your experience to the skills I’m looking for, that’s a huge plus. This shows that you took the time to read and understand the job description, understand the skills I’m looking for, and properly prepared for the interview.

3. Failure to Ask Questions. I interviewed a promising candidate a few years ago who was well on his way to getting an offer. His experience was relevant, his leadership and communication skills appeared strong, and he was knocking the interview questions out of the park. Towards the end of the interview, as I always do, I left plenty of time for questions. He had none. He didn’t show the slightest bit of curiosity regarding how our organization was structured, how the team worked, what challenges we were working through, … nothing. Unfortunately, his resume ended up in the “rejected” pile.

 
An internal candidate may be able to get away with this depending on the circumstances of the relationship with the interviewer, but there’s no excuse for an external candidate to not have any questions. Even if the interviewer spends a large amount of time explaining the ins and outs of the job, there are still hundreds of questions a candidate could ask. Having no questions gives the interviewer the impression that the candidate doesn’t understand the job well enough to ask intelligent questions, doesn’t have any professional curiosity, or doesn’t even care about how things are done at the organization.
 

A good candidate will have many questions written down in advance; ready to pull one out when the time is right. Ideally, the questions will come naturally during the course of the interview, but there’s nothing wrong with referring to your notes to jog your memory.

 
The majority of the interview rejections I’ve given have had one or more of these three failures. Notice that technical competency isn’t on the list. For most job positions, a baseline technical competency is a requirement, but there are so many other traits that can predict whether a candidate will be a good fit for the job. The next time you’re preparing for an interview, practice demonstrating passion, connect your experience with the job description, and prepare to ask questions. You’ll have a much greater chance of landing that offer.”

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Best Investment Strategy? Getting Out of Our Own Way

When Dr. Krause ran his MOOC in 2013 and 2014, he presented similar results to those presented in this March 3, 2014 article which appeared in the New York Times. It highlights an interesting mistake that most investors make. It is also important in highlighting for the students in the AIM program that process and consistency are important elements in effective long-term portfolio management.

The author is Carl Richards is a financial planner in Park City, Utah, and is the director of investor education at the BAM Alliance. His book, “The Behavior Gap,” was published in 2012. The following is his article as it appeared in the NY Times blog.


We’re still making the same old mistake of buying investments when prices are high and selling them once their prices have fallen.

I had hoped things had changed, I really did. But Morningstar’s latest Investor Returns data says otherwise. More than 10 years after I first started thinking about this data, the behavior gap still exists. The behavior gap is what I refer to as the difference between what the average investment returned and what the average investor earned.

What’s the difference? Pretend for a minute that we have a mutual fund with a 10-year-average return of 10 percent per year. That’s the investment return. If you put your money in the fund, kept it there for the entire 10 years, and didn’t add or take out any money, then your investor return would also be 10 percent. So in this very hypothetical example, the investment return and the investor return were the same.



The problem is that few people invest this way. Who would buy a long-term investment and actually hold on to it for the long term? That would be silly!

Most people buy and sell. We hunt for the next rock star mutual fund manager and follow our brother-in-law’s tips at the family barbecue. In fact, as Nate Silver points out in his book “The Signal and the Noise,” the hold times for stocks have declined every decade until the 2000s. Today, we hold our stock investments for about six months. We’re clearly not what anyone would think of as long-term investors.

It’s easy to understand why we behave this way. We’re hard-wired to get more of those things that give us pleasure or security, and to run away from things that cause us pain. That trait has kept us alive over thousands of years, but it makes us terrible investors. When we follow our natural instincts, we end up buying things after they’ve gone up. Then, when they go down, which they always do at some point, we sell.

The weird thing is that we do all this believing we’re protecting our families’ futures. But this well-intentioned behavior has a cost. As Morningstar’s data shows, the average equity mutual fund in the United States had a 10-year average return at the end of 2013 of 8.18 percent. The average investor only earned 6.52 percent. That’s a difference of 1.66 percentage points. It may seem like a small number, but it makes a big difference when you think of it in terms of dollars.

Imagine 10 years ago that you put $100,000 in an average American equity mutual fund. If you just sat there, you’d have $219,517 in your account at the end of 10 years. But because we’re human, you more likely only earned the 6.52 percent return of $188,066. That equals losing more than $30,000, a 17 percent difference.

The numbers are even more depressing in other investment types. Balanced mutual funds are designed to help us manage our behavior by including both stocks and bonds. They provide a cushion in down markets in exchange for not hitting it out of the park on the way up. It seems like that would help us behave. Well, the average balanced fund returned 6.93 percent, but the average investor only managed 4.81 percent.

It’s critical to understand that none of this is the investment’s fault. The average investment did its thing, but our behavior determines what we actually get. What makes this so frustrating is that we’re talking about an average American equity fund, not the best one, just the average. In other words, all we had to do to improve our return by over 1.5 percentage points was pick a mediocre (by definition, average) equity fund and then just sit there.

Instead, we ran around reading the latest research, watching CNBC and looking for the best fund because that’s the American way. Why settle for average when you’ve got a shot at being among the small minority that can pick out a stock or a mutual fund that will beat the market?

The past is the past, and there’s nothing we can do about it now. But here’s the key: The next 10 years start today. If the past is any indication of the future, we need to do something different if we want a different result. The hard part of investing isn’t picking the best investment. Instead, it’s sticking with the one we’ve picked. Only then will we have a shot at closing the behavior gap over the next 10 years.

The best part about this is that once you design a portfolio, the only thing you have to do is nothing, aside from some occasional rebalancing when some investments rise and others fall. It reminds me of my favorite Warren Buffett quote: “Benign neglect, bordering on sloth, remains the hallmark of our investment process.” As he’s demonstrated more than once, investing is one place where we are rewarded for being lazy.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

AIM Open House Presentation Material Available

The AIM open house on Friday, August 29, was well attended. As promised, here is the link to the AIM web site and the presentation materials that Dr. Krause and Mr. Zellmer presented.

As a reminder, AIM applications are due on Friday, September 12 at 5:00. Information is contained on the AIM web site at this link.

Are Students Ready for the Job Market?

Marquette's Applied Investment Management (AIM) program was established as a direct response to issues raised in this article. 

The AIM program began in 2005 to provide applied experiences to support the concepts taught in the classroom. Since then over 200 undergraduate students have participated in the investment management program. Our alumni can be found in leading investment companies throughout the country - and the world. As the first undergraduate partner with the CFA Institute, we take pride in our students' successful placements and our high CFA exam pass rates. In 2014 we added our second track: Private Equity & Banking. Please feel free to contact us at: aim@marquette.edu

Ben Carpenter is the vice chairman of CRT Capital Group and the author of “The Bigs: The Secrets Nobody Tells Students and Young Professionals.” This article appeared as an op-ed in the September 1, 2014, New York Times under the headline: Is Your Student Prepared for Life?


As 16 million young adults set off for college this fall, they are looking at some frightening statistics. Despite the ever-rising cost of getting a degree, one number stands out like a person shouting in a campus library: According to a recent poll conducted by AfterCollege, an online entry-level job site, 83 percent of college seniors graduated without a job this spring. Even when these young people finally do get jobs, the positions are often part time, low wage or not related to their career interests. The problem isn’t the quality of higher education in the United States, so what’s missing?

Two years ago, in a full-blown panic, I asked myself this exact question when I realized that my eldest daughter, a recent college graduate, had no idea what the world was about to demand of her. She had gone to a good school and done well as a student, but had never thought about her future in a structured way, and I realized what she was missing — an education in career training.

While “career training” may sound vague, if done properly it is straightforward and teaches how to get, and succeed at, a job. At most colleges this training falls under the purview of Career Services; however, there is a major disconnect between many students and this department. Earlier this year, a consulting firm, Millennial Branding, surveyed over 4,000 students and found that 61 percent said Career Services was “never” or “rarely” effective in helping them land a job.

So what can be done to make certain these young adults are being prepared for life post-graduation? The answer is simple: Colleges need to create, and require for graduation, a course in career training that would begin freshman year and end senior year.

Career training must start early because getting students to decide what job they want — and teaching them how to thoroughly research that job, get internships and conduct a job search for a full-time position — is not a quick or easy task. This course would ask students to consider their skills and interests. What are they good at? What do they like to do? Then students would be taught how to thoroughly research the industries and jobs that utilize their talents. The best way to do this is by arranging dozens of one-on-one informational interviews with contacts generated from family, friends and their school’s alumni database.

In these interviews they would learn if the jobs they are pursuing are right for them, and they would make contacts to help them eventually land a good job.

One liberal arts school, Connecticut College, offers substantial financial incentives to students who participate in its career-training program, and most students participate. One year after graduation, 96 percent of all Connecticut College alumni report that they are employed or in graduate school. Not surprisingly, this program has become a major selling point for the school.

Career training is also an issue of equal opportunity. Some students receive advice and professional contacts at home, but some receive nothing. Comprehensive career-training would help level the playing field.

Back in the day, I received little career training in college and that was consistent with everyone I knew — regardless of where they went to school. However, the world today has become so competitive and global that we must provide our children with high-quality career training as a bridge from college to the work world.

AIM Blog Postings: PE & Banking Track, Application Process, Career Tips, and More

Dr. David Krause, Director of the Applied Investment Management (AIM) program at Marquette University, has been active in posting to the AIM blog

Through the end of August 2014 there have been 60 new postings about the AIM program (including information about the newest track: Private Equity & Banking). The following links are provided for quick access to the blog posts: