Opinions, Column

You Are Not Qualified For This Job

I find myself here again, sitting in Lower and watching all of the soon-to-be-employed seniors dressed in business casual, strolling into job fairs where they will surely nail interviews and network with other similarly hipster-dressed, cool-glasses wearing yuppies. There goes my freshman year roommate with her photography portfolio under her arm, and that annoying philosophy major from my sophomore seminar with his Warby Parker glasses. Are they Warby Parker? Might be too mainstream these days.

I was always told to pursue my dreams. Every motivational poster in my middle school screamed at me in some knockoff version of Comic Sans about following my heart; my high school guidance counselor told me to go to whatever school just “felt good”; and my parents lectured me about studying what really interested me. But where does that get me now? Here I am, 12 credits shy from graduating with a double major in Econ and Computer Science, no job in sight.

Don’t get me wrong—for the most part I have loved my choice of major.

Yes, some of my friends who are art history, philosophy, theology, or English do probably genuinely like what they study, but I sometimes catch myself wondering, “How truly passionate are you?” I mean, if only I had a nickel for every time I was up till 3 a.m. with my boyfriend discussing the Dow Jones and debating game theory. I never hear my philosophy or political science friends talking about Nietzsche or Machiavelli … okay, maybe when they are cramming for exams, but even then, they sound miserable.

And don’t even get me started on the administration. The Boston College handbook boasts about the diversity of majors that the school offers, telling students to “go set the world aflame.” We are urged to match our interests and qualities with what the world needs. BC also boasts about the high success rate of graduates finding jobs in post-collegiate life and how the Career Center helps alumni find internships and jobs. But as graduation creeps closer and closer, I’m feeling like my invitation got lost in the mail.
I should have seen the signs. I mean, all of the funding goes to the art department. (How many new photo enlargers do they really need?) And what about all of those fancy, exclusive philosophy dinners with expensive guest speakers? I’ve seen how the Jesuits dress (so hipster), and University President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J.’s collection of tortoise-shell Ray-Bans alone should have given it away. This school favors the artsy-fartsy, hipster intellectuals!

The signs were all there—I just chose to ignore them.

So here I am, sadly sitting alone, looking at my Deloitte application in the upstairs of Lower as I grind my teeth while anticipating Sarah bragging about the cool rep from NPR that she met last night. She’ll probably also mention how she plans on turning down New York if Chicago would only just offer already
I mean, by mid-October, all of the philosophy majors already have cool offers at CNN and Reader’s Digest!

A skim of EagleLink reminds me of what I already know, in an increasingly angry shade of red: “You do not qualify for this job.”
Even as a double major, out of 142 jobs, only five suit my interests.

Where are all of the jobs for me? The financial-modeling-loving mastermind who excels at Excel and just wants to spend the next two years of her life at Goldman? Where are the Credit Suisse listings? UBS? Bank of America? Sometimes I just feel like there isn’t anybody else out there. What the heck is a Peace Corp, and why should I care?!

BC’s model is “ever to excel,” but clearly just not at Excel.

But, I guess this is just the territory of being a CSOM senior. We’ve collected all of these interests, studied all of these abstract subjects, and now we are left to apply these four years to a three-sentence job listing that vaguely matches our experience. The art, philosophy, and English majors have been tracked for jobs during their entire collegiate experience, and we are just beginning to align our education to “the real world.” Being stranded by BC doesn’t help the feeling of isolation, and neither does EagleLink’s choice of angry, you-will-never-be-good-enough red.

But hey, at least I know I won’t have to switch to bifocals at the age of 26 because I’ve been stuck behind an easel for my entire life.

Featured Image by Kemeng Fan / For The Heights


November 17, 2014