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Nortel Networks shocked many in business and academia when it offered jobs to each of the 38 Santa Clara University undergraduate engineering students who attended its November recruiting banquet.

Thirty-four students accepted the job offers, which were made following dinner by Nortel Vice President Mario Bruketa. Each student received a Federal Express packet the next day containing the employment offer letters. Starting salaries reportedly ranged from $53,000 to $72,000. Students who accepted within the first week received a signing bonus and those who accepted during the second week received half of the bonus. Some students are believed to have received stock options as well.

Some critics, including university officials and executives from other companies, believe such "blanket hiring" is not necessarily beneficial because it prevents students from examining options with other companies and limits their focus and subsequent experience.
(, 5 April 2000)

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