Do you remember that time in the spring of your senior year of high school when you were trying to figure out who you were going to Prom with? Whether you were a guy or girl, you were continually listening to the rumors floating through the halls, trying to figure out who was taken, who was available, or who might ask/say yes to you. If you were lucky enough, you were already in a relationship or you knew early on exactly who you wanted to take and they wanted to go with you. Boom, problem solved. If you were like some of my less-moralistic friends, you asked someone early so you had a guaranteed date, and then went looking for the girl you really wanted to take. And as word got out that somebody wanted to go with you, more and more people suddenly became interested. And if you were really screwed, all the people you thought you might go with got their own dates early on. At this point you settled for whatever you could get, asking everyone you could and saying yes the first invitation you got. Basically, you just hoped you could still get into the “cool” After Party and get drunk enough to salvage the night.
By now you’ve probably figured out (or at least you should have if you looked at the title), the entire process described above essentially applies to getting an MBA internship. Beginning this week and going on for the next month, Darden essentially turns into High School. First year students walk the Grounds all hours of the day and night begging (well, it hopefully hasn’t come to begging yet) for a job and companies try to figure out who they want to go with. And the rumors swirl about whose got jobs, final rounds, blah blah blah (by the way don’t get me wrong, I’m not above any of this, I’m totally involved). If you could hear the hallways, they would be silent. But if you listen more closely, there is plenty to hear. Just like High School Prom, it’s easy for some, exciting for others, challenging for many, and hopefully, just like a classic 80s John Hughes movies, everyone ends up happy. (Note: not everyone will end up happy).
Just to prove the awesomeness of the metaphor (is it a metaphor?), I will redo the first paragraph replacing types to high schoolers with the MBA students:
Do you remember that time in the winter of your first year of B-school when you were trying to figure out who you were going to intern with? Whether you were a guy or girl, you were continually listening to the rumors floating through the halls, trying to figure out what companies had already made offers, who hadn’t made decisions yet, or who might give you an offer. If you were lucky enough, you were already sure where you were going, either because you interviewed in the fall or you were going back to your previous job. Boom, problem solved. If you were like all of my classmates, you interviewed somewhere early so you had a guaranteed internship, and then went looking for the job you really wanted to take. And as word got out that somebody made you an offer, more and more companies suddenly became interested. And if you were really screwed, all the companies you thought you might get offers from took others instead. At this point you settled for whatever you could get, asking every company you could and saying yes the first offer you got. Basically, you just hoped you could still get into the “cool” jobs next year and get drunk enough to salvage that week’s TNDC.
Hmm, that worked pretty well. I should add as a caveat, however, that the above does not apply to those going after “nontraditional” internships or others that are recruiting off-grounds. These people are instead the high school kids that either dated a guy/girl that went to a different school or those hippy, hacky-sack-playing types that were too cool to actually go to Prom.
And I should add that amidst all this madness, we start classes and three cases a day again next week. Wowzer. In the words of Kristen Dunst, Bring It On.
If you would like to contact the author, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.