A West Midlands business school is giving emergency credit crunch careers advice to alumni hit by the global financial crisis.
Warwick Business School, near Coventry, wrote to its former graduates offering them help and advice if they had been affected by the turmoil that has seen the downfall of many major financial companies in recent weeks.
And just a few days after sending the emails, the school had already had about a dozen calls for help from ex-students in trouble.
One was from a senior director of a financial firm who had graduated from the Business School more than 30 years ago, but needed help after recently being made redundant.
Carol Rue, the director of personal and career development at the business school, said: “We really just wanted to reach out to our alumni in these turbulent times and remind them that they can use services that the office offers.
“It’s quite interesting, because it’s been a complete mix, anything from a graduate who’s been in a financial services role for a couple of years to the guy who graduated in the 1970s, worked in various senior positions all his life, and has just been made redundant.
“I’m getting a steady stream of contacts from alumni.”
Professor Howard Thomas, the dean of Warwick Business School, wrote to alumni offering them the support of the Business School during the current tough financial times.
In the letter, Professor Thomas said: “We recognise that, now more than ever, you will need our support and I want to reassure you that we are looking very proactively at ways we can provide this over the coming months.”
Last month, Warwick Business School said it had seen a huge leap in applications to courses, because the credit crunch meant people were choosing to go back to school rather than looking for a promotion or a new job.
And sources at many of the other universities in the region agreed people were looking to improve their education after job markets dried up and chances of promotion faded away because of the global financial downturn.
Ms Rue said the difficulties for businessmen and women meant support from universities was more important than ever.
And she said one of the most important things universities could do for their former students was act as a business network with other alumni.
Talking about the help Warwick was giving its alumni, she said: “The first thing is to do some self reflection and see what their skills are and just get out on the network. The key is to let people know you are available and use all the contacts you have.”
And she added European universities were trying to do more to build up a group of alumni for support and networking, although there was a long way to go before they could catch up with their American counterparts.
She said: “I think it’s becoming an increasing feature of European business schools. If you look at the US business schools for many decades it’s become common for people to go back to their alma mater, look at Harvard Business School network.
“All the business schools are starting to offer more services to people in their network. That was something going on anyway, and its good that it was because of the position we’ve found ourselves in now.”