Tuesday, December 5, 2006

The Fordham College at Rose Hill Student's Guide to Job Hunting

If you’re a Fordham College At Rose Hill senior right now, you probably have one thing on your mind: where’s the beef? Whether you mean this in a literal or figurative sense can really only be determined on a case by case basis, as the Ultimate Dining Marketplace patties are anything but beef. (RIIIIIIIIIING! That’s the sound of the “Inevitable Fordham Cafeteria Being Not Good Reference” Alarm – keep on chiming, Fordham! Now back to our article…) However, the ‘beef’ to which I refer to is a predetermined life after these final months of drinking, boozing, alcohol consumption, kegging, beer ingestion, wine ingestion, fruity-chick-drink-that-I-still-enjoy-every-once-in-awhile-don’t-laugh-at-me-jerk ingestion, and boozing. Indeed, the road seemingly leads to a giant Godzilla-sized question mark for us Liberal Arts types. The only real question is – can we bust through it with an equally Godzilla-sized level of determination?
Probably not, especially if it’s made of titanium (which it will be), but let’s pretend. For a Rose Hill student, life after college is one of those “if I don’t see it, it doesn’t exist” things; we can’t in our right mind fathom what comes next. Of course I only speak for myself, but if someone told me I was going to prison in May, I don’t think I’d be that upset about it. Free shelter, provided food and plumbing, guaranteed companionship every night, showers, soap to drop – it’s all basically what Fordham provided us with. God knows the food’s probably better (RIIIIIIIING!). Nevertheless, my situation would be set and determined, with no looming “parent’s basement” possibility, and I’m okay with that. Sure, some students have their plans to go to graduate school, but these are the doctors, lawyers and teachers of Fordham College at Rose Hill; in other words, two people. The rest of us; Political Science majors, Communications majors, and Philosophy majors (God forbid…Music majors), are already scrambling for Best Buy job applications. I hear the employee discount’s pretty damn good.
Sure, Fordham tells us that “Fordham” looks good on a resume. Sure, if your potential employer likes words that start with the letter F. Back before Freshman year, I attended the Incoming Freshman Weekend, which I’m sure many of you remember; the positive attitude, the Long Island girls dressed up like Orientation took place on a yacht, the over zealous attempts to make friends immediately since you’re going to be with these people for four years. Of course during that weekend, several Fordham speakers made one point abundantly clear: Fordham has connections to big companies and networks in Manhattan. Well, as it turns out, they meant via subway only. To this day, a visit to the Career Planning Office will result in either a) a tutorial on “how to write a cover letter” b) someone telling you to look on Monstertrak.com c) a tutorial on “how to write a cover letter and post it on Monstertrak.com d) a free Monstertrak.com tote bag e) a song-and-dance number from the staff hailing the merits of Monstertrak.com f) a fist fight with a Monstertrak.com representative. In other words, they know just as much as we do. Oh sure, they host career fairs at McGinley center, but unless you’re a banker or an ROTC kid, the pickins are slim. I mean think about it, the Career Planning center employees have their job, and let’s face it, not a very glamorous one. Why then, would they have any desire to help a bunch of snotty Fordham philosophy majors get better jobs then the ones they have?! The concept inherently makes no sense. Wouldn’t they just take those jobs themselves if they knew about them? These are questions that should really be brought up at Incoming Freshman Weekend.
In an attempt to take my life by the horns, I actually attended my first real-life job interview at a marketing firm to get my feet wet for the future. For education purposes, I recorded the proceedings, and it came out looking something like this.
Interviewer: So, Fordham, huh?
Me: Yeah.
Interviewer: Oh-ho. So do you live near the Magic Kingdom? Bet you go there all the time.
Me: No, you’re thinking of Florida. It’s way different.
Interviewer: Oh-ho. So, “Michael”, what do you think you could bring to Johnson-Presley’s Marketing Firm and Pickle Brewery?
Me: Well, um…I’ve analyzed Socrates’ “Apology”. I could do that if you guys need.
Interviewer: I see. What else?
Me: Do you have a deli? I can buy stuff from there with flex dollars. You guys use flex dollars, I assume.
Interviewer: I don’t know what that is. Okay, next question: Why did you leave your last job?
Me: Last job?
Interviewer: Next question, what special skills do you possess?
Me: Oh man, I can totally tell you what almost every story in James Joyce’s Dubliners means. Thank you, Professor Kerins! I mean, every company needs that, right?
Interviewer: We already have a guy who does that actually. Any other special skills?
Me: Is showering a special skill?
Interviewer: No.
Me: Then no.
Interviewer: Alright moving on, what do you think are your best qualities?
Me: Oh geez, well I know when I don’t feel like working and stick to my gut on it, I know how to get by with as little effort as possible, oh and I don’t like to brag but I’m really good at going to Pugsley’s!
Interviewer: Geez, is this all you learned at Florida?
Me: Fordham. No of course not! You haven’t even asked how many Film and Society classes I’ve taken yet!
Interviewer: Alright, you should hear something by next week. But in general, don’t tell any of your friends to apply here please.
Me: …because they got no chance against me?
Interviewer: ….Right.
As it turned out, a CBA kid got the job. This brings me to my next point, CBA kids are the luckiest sons of bitches in the world. Not only because they are guaranteed a seven-figure salary right out of college, but because they actually enjoy some of the most boring jobs on the planet. Honestly, CBA may as well be called “Fordham’s College of Shattered Dreams”. As a child, my friends and I would fantasize about becoming firemen, police officers, astronauts, cowboys, movie stars, action heroes, star baseball players, and time travelers. Not one kid has ever, ever, EVER played “accountant” with their playground chums. No psychologically correct child would claim to want to grow up to be an investment banker! With this in mind, it seems then that CBA’s entire student body consists of young men and women who have given up on their dreams. It’s tragic really, where dreams of “cowboy” and “astronaut” become replaced with ones of “stock broker” and “rich husband”. Alas, CBA students have sold their soul to the corporate machine, and I am convinced are being hard wired by Fordham faculty to fill the world’s dullest jobs, just to keep the gears moving. I’m sorry, it just kills me that these people will have pools and I won’t.
I admit openly that the future for Fordham College at Rose Hill students looks a bit grim and terrifying, like alternate endings included on The Lake House DVD. However, the solutions are there, we as Liberal Arts students just need to be willing to find them. That being said, here are a few sure-fire options for financial and social success and prosperity during life after Fordham College at Rose Hill.
- Discover a new species – Science and intellectuals alike go apeshit over new discoveries in nature. Sure, some people may think that every animal that exists in the world has been discovered already. But to them I say two things; the ocean’s pretty big, and it’s amazing what you can do with some paper mace, glitter, Elmer’s glue, duct tape, Slinkees, and a snapping turtle.
- Rescue a Celebrity’s Life – Sure, you’re a nobody now, but just think what media attention you’ll get after “Fordham student (your name) rescues Renee Zellwegger from burning building” scrolls at the bottom of the screen during the morning edition of E! News. People will be knocking down your door trying to book you for talk show appearances, GQ photo shoots, and celebrity judge appearances at high school talent shows. You may even get made fun of on MAD TV! Of course, above all, Renee Zellwegger would owe you. Big time.
- Cure Cancer – Has anyone actually really tried to do this? It’s one of those extremely daunting tasks that society has just deemed impossible after years without a TylenolCancer pill available. Sure, there are charities around to help cure cancer, but you know they’re just using that money to upgrade the products in the snack machines. (Utz chips?) So my advice is this: grab a chemistry set, just start mixing combinations of things you have around the house – some concoction must cure cancer. After you’ve finally matched up the Bengay and ketchup, or whatever, just patent it and wait for the cash to start rolling in. You may even get a Nobel prize out of it, or at least a Golden Globe.
- Rob a Bank – Probably not a good idea, but hey, you know you’ve thought about it.
- Become President – You know, I don’t care what everyone in the world says, getting into office is just as easy as saying “Hey Dad, can I borrow the car tonight?” these days. I hear this job pays pretty well and best of all; barely any CBA kids will be competing with you for it.
- Sell Everything You Own on Ebay – If you’re strapped for cash, Ebay is always a fine way to create a second income, or in some cases, a first. You know that you really don’t need all that stuff you own anyway, so why not sell it all for a pretty profit on Ebay? When you run out of stuff, you can just buy more to sell with the money you’ve made or buy back some of your own stuff at a slightly increased price. Either way, you can’t lose. That much.
- Two words: Pyramid scheme. As the Fordham College at Rose Hill Class of 2007 receive our diplomas in May, shake the hands of those who run the place, and listen to countless speeches from anonymous prestigious figures about “new beginnings” “fresh beginnings” and “this is not an end, but a beginning”, the whole thing will no doubt appear a bit shallow and horrifying. If the diplomas contained a hiring letter to a high paying job that would be one thing, but I don’t think they do. Rather, coming out at the other end of Fordham with no job and no money makes me wonder – did that Intro to New Testament class really make me a better rounded person? Is Intermediate French II going to help me land that high paying job someday? How many career paths rely on individuals who’ve taken Close Reading and Critical Writing? Truly, it seems a better core requirement for Fordham should be Intro to Finding the Beef, though I’m not sure who they’d find to teach it. (Definitely not a cafeteria employee [RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING

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