Time To Go Back To School? Tepper To Host Virtual Panels For Professionals Facing Job Uncertainty

Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business

2022 was a banner year for employees and job seekers, with demand for talent outpacing supply. But if recession speculators are correct, 2023 will be a lot less rosy. (The tech industry, currently in the middle of a layoff wave that has seen 180,000 workers lose their jobs in the last year, may be a harbinger of things to come.)

In response to the anticipated economic downturn, Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business is hosting a pair of live virtual panel discussions this month to help business professionals with job insecurity. In a news release today (December 5), the school announced that the panels will offer “support, advice, and insider expertise,” to those navigating unexpected career changes.

The two scheduled panels are free and open to the public.

Noon ET, Thursday, December 15: Tepper’s School’s Career and Admission experts will offer practical advice on navigating career shifts, planning for next steps, and addressing employment gaps on resumes. They’ll also offer resources for professionals facing uncertain employment or career impacts.

Panelists include Stephen Rakas, executive director of the Masters Career Center and Kathryn Riley, center director. It will be moderated by J.R. McGrath, executive director of Masters Admissions.

While the discussion is free, pre-registration is required.

Noon ET, Friday, December 16: Members of the Tepper School Alumni Board will share personal experiences in navigating turbulent professional periods in their industries. They will also offer advice and insight on positioning oneself in the downturn and pivoting careers to confidently re-enter the job market.

The discussion will be moderated by John Dischner (MSIA ’94, Managing Director, AlixPartners LLP). Other panelists will include:

  • Eduardo Tobon (MBA ’00) director of Economic Equity Advisory Group & Commercial Banking at BMO Harris Bank
  • Krista Markert (MSIA ’97), chief of staff and vice president of business operations at Absolute Software
  • Cyanne Demchak (MBA ’09, MS/HC ’09), chief strategy officer at Evernorth Care Delivery, a subsidiary of Cigna Corporation
  • Pradeep UN (MBA ’03), senior director Inclusive Innovation & Solutions at Microsoft.

Pre-register for the alumni panel here.

Attendees of either panel will be granted an application fee waiver should they decide to apply to the Tepper School.


Persistent supply chain issues throughout the world (exacerbated by China’s Zero COVID policy) along with rising inflation have led many economy watchers to predict a thornier outlook as we head into 2023. Some say a recession is coming, others say it’s already here.

Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou, Dean of the Tepper School of Business

In October, Peter Conti-Brown, associate professor of financial regulation at The Wharton School, told a room of journalists that while the U.S. wasn’t in an official recession just yet, there is trouble on the horizon. Meanwhile, Universum, an employer branding agency, reported last month that while talent demand largely outpaced supply in 2022, more companies expect to reduce hiring in 2023 – putting more pressure on both employees and job seekers.

Several top tier business schools have recently made public overtures to laid-off tech workers, a sector that has been rocked by layoff announcements at prominent tech firms. UCLA Anderson School of Management is offering fee waivers and a second-round deadline extension to its two-year MBA program. Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management is offering fee and test waivers to both its two- and one-year MBA programs. And Albers School of Business and Economics at Seattle University — based in the same town where Amazon, Dell, and many other tech companies are located — has created an entire program to help laid-off techies that includes scholarships of up to $15,000.

MBA programs at Northwestern Kellogg, MIT Sloan, Indiana Kelley, NYU Stern, and elsewhere have also extended their hands to tech employees.

While Tepper’s recent outreach isn’t tailored to tech workers specifically, it is a testament to how seriously some business schools are taking recession speculation – and how they feel they should respond.

“Here at the Tepper School of Business, we are committed to not only serving our Tepper community but the business community as a whole,” Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou, Dean of the Tepper School of Business, says in the release.

“We understand how challenging these uncertain times are and stand with you as a partner to face them. We are happy to extend our network’s expert support and insight so that we can continue to co-create the future landscape of business together.”


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.