Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Business Students Bound For Success, Expensive Cars

By Nick Johnston A Famous Hoya Columnist

Let me just start out by saying how sorry I am to hear that Jeff DeMartino (that `Salad’ guy) is sick this week. So sick, in fact, that he’s passed his columnist duties off to me. Journalism is a demanding mistress, and I guess Jeff just couldn’t handle it. That, for me, is kind of surprising since even the drunken bar-reviewers in the Guide manage to churn out something each week. Well, in the pursuit of quantity, quality always suffers. And when the going gets tough, some of us just call in sick.

What Jeff apparently lacks, what has become painfully clear in his absence this week, is that he’s not a “go-getter.” No, Jeff certainly isn’t. Nor is he a “self-starter,” with a strong sense of “self-motivation.” He doesn’t have “what it takes.”

Of course, neither do I.

Being a Famous Hoya Columnist requires nothing more than Ego and rudimentary grammar skills. Editors are here to add subjects to sentences that don’t contain them and commas to paragraphs without punctuation. All I really do is show up, pose for pictures and screen voice mail from hysterical girls named “Holly.” For the most part, that’s about all that any of us journalists can be expected to do. For God’s sake, we’re English majors. You want results? Try the business school. And if you’re looking for kids in the business school, look no further than the Career Center during resume drop.

Beginning in September, and occurring every month or so until April, the MBNA Career Education Center whores itself out to all the young enterprising students that columnists, like Jeff and me, aren’t. Hundreds of seniors, stuffed with all the skills required in the “real world” submit thousands of resumes for a few dozen open positions.

They show up for their interviews in navy suits and white shirts (sensible black skirts and somber blouses for the ladies) ready to kneel before recruiters from Merrill Lynch, Arthur Anderson or Ernst & Young and plead for such lucrative positions as research analyst, financial analyst or just plain analyst. Some of them – the ones who studied extra hard in marketing – might even look forward to a fulfilling career as examiner trainee or research associate. Whatever the hell that means.

And that’s part of my problem. When one of my friends says that he’s interviewing to be a consultant or an investment banker, I have no idea what he’s talking about. If someone says he wants to be a shelf-builder after he graduates, then I know he’s going to build shelves. If someone says to me that he’s going to be a financial program consultant, it means nothing. Absolutely nothing.

I cannot fathom why they are putting on these ill-fitting suits, printing out all of these resumes on 20-pound bond paper and showing up for interviews at nine a.m. And if successful, I have no idea what they would be doing.

So what does a consultant do? Let’s ask Arthur Anderson. Their web site informs us that,

“Arthur Andersen is a global, multidisciplinary professional services organization that provides clients, large and small, all over the world, the thing they need most to succeed: knowledge.”

They sell knowledge? You mean like gas?

The web site of Ernst & Young reveals that “Ernst & Young, one of the world’s leading professional services organizations, helps companies across the globe to identify and capitalize on business opportunities. We deliver the value that clients care about; we provide ideas and solutions tailored to meet clients’ needs; and we produce tangible results. Ernst & Young’s depth and breadth of service and our global reach mean that we have the resources to serve any client, anywhere in the world.”

That’s a bit vague, but I like vague. So does the Voice. Well, how about investment banking?

“Goldman Sachs is a leader in virtually every field of investment, finance and research as well as mergers and acquisitions. Our activities are conducted within the framework of our Business Principles, which emphasize commitment to clients, excellence in service, teamwork, integrity and creativity,” according to their web site.

That’s a little better, but still kind of nebulous. It’s not like these companies are building shelves or anything. It seems like these young go-getters are aspiring to do things that sound wonderful and very important. And doing these important things will allow them to drive expensive cars and talk on cell phones that they purchased while they were juniors in college.

They are in the Career Center now, with their cell phones, scribbling last-minute interview notes on leather-bound McDonough School of Business notepads. They are a happy bunch of kids for they have heard Kerry Willigan, associate director of the Career Center, say that this is the best job market she’s ever seen if you’re an investment banker or a consultant.

So these are good days to be one of those business school kids, sensibly clad in navy and interested in delivering “value that clients care about.” There really is no better time to be a young idealistic college senior ready to be a leader in “virtually every field of investment, finance and research as well as mergers and acquisitions.”

For someone like me, however, there is little that can be done. In the twilight of my college career, I will continue to heap my scorn upon the finance and marketing majors at the Career Center. I will laugh at their suits, their cover letters and their interview scheduling. And come June, I will hope that one of them takes pity upon me.

And offers me a job.

A Famous Hoya Columnist appears Fridays in The Hoya.

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