Treasurers looking to hire freshly minted B.A.s and M.B.A.s as treasury analysts will find them raring to go and generally better prepared for strategic assignments than in the past. And while young finance graduates are notoriously ambitious and impatient, that assertiveness has been tempered by the economic realities of a deep recession.
"Five or six years ago, an M.B.A. from a top school was a license to mint money," says Robert Whitelaw, chairman of the finance department at New York University's Stern School of Business. "There were lots of jobs and signing bonuses. They were masters of the universe. Now they have a sense of fragility about the economy and their own prospects."