The Nashua Telegraph newspaper has an interesting story today about a mother and son who went to a local college and got their master’s degree in business administration (MBA). In part, Nancy Quinn and Keith Bellew did it to avoid getting fired from Sun Microsystems once Oracle acquired it.
The two live in New Hampshire and commuted daily down to Burlington, Mass., where Sun Microsystems has a big lab. When Sun was acquired by Oracle, the layoffs started coming in and the mother-son team got worried. Fortunately, they had already started taking classes in an accelerated master’s program at Rivier College in Nashua, N.H. Everything took its toll, as they had to commute about an hour to work each day, then take classes when they could, and then study every night. Quinn suffered some stress-related ailments.
Adding to the stress on both Quinn and Bellew were worries about their jobs, especially after one man in their class was laid off from their company.
Quinn is a principal project manager at Sun Microsystems, and she and her son hope their graduate degrees give them more security in an insecure industry. Sun Microsystems was bought out by Oracle Corp. recently, and for each of the past three years, the company has seen layoffs of 1,000 people a year. Still, the company paid for their programs.
The master’s degree “is just something to add to my box of tools,” says Bellew, who is 33 and a senior software engineer.
Back in January during Oracle’s announcement of its Sun acquisition, Larry Ellison disputed claims that about half of Sun’s staff – more than 10,000 employees – would be fired once the acquisition was complete. Instead, he said Oracle would fire 1,000 employees in the next few months but hire 2,000 to boost up its businesses. Still, this story gives a good sense of the anxiety felt among employees during an acquisition such as the Oracle-Sun deal.