With commencement just around the corner, a number of hopeful college graduates will soon be entering a markedly tough job market due to steadily increasing unemployment numbers. On Tuesday, a group of eager Anteaters took the opportunity to hear some words of wisdom from four seasoned economics alumni, who, with more than 100 years combined experience, have weathered similar economics times and their fair share of bumps and curves along their pathway to successful careers in the financial services industry.  
Gregory McMurran, class of '76, is a chief investment officer and portfolio manager with Analytic Investors. He explained to those in attendance the importance his UCI investment management coursework has played in his career and encouraged students to pay attention to and learn from the mistakes that are playing out in today's economy.  
Steve Borowski, class of '79 and current managing partner of Metropolitan West Capital Management, LLC, encouraged students to begin their job searches looking for careers in large firms that provide excellent cross-disciplinary training programs in order to build a firm knowledge base and gain valuable work experience in a variety of areas.  
Randy Strickley, UCI economics class of '72, is a senior manager of Bank of the West and Far East National Bank as well as an independent contractor specializing in financial institutional loan portfolio review. His key advice to students was to take advantage of being in school during today's tough economic times and focus on building up a set of skills that will crossover into multiple industries.  
Robert Panetti, class of '92 and current vice president and portfolio manager with BlackRock Private Investors Group, encouraged students to take their time getting through school in order to take advantage of some of the electives, such as psychology and sociology, that he says have wound up playing a very key role in the people portion of his investment management work. He also encouraged students not to rule out smaller firms in their beginning career searches as they provide excellent entrepreneurial experience.  
The alumni speaker panel fielded career-related questions on topics ranging from opportunities for travel within their fields to their thoughts on the importance of internships before breaking for one on one dialogue with the student audience.  
The next Social Sciences Alumni Career Series will focus on the public relations industry and is scheduled for April 28, 2009. Further information is available online at  

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