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Milkround Musings

Posted by Joyce on 08 January 2009

In MBA vernacular, milkround is what we lovingly refer to as the month of January. In January, classes and homework go on hiatus while career-search activities reach peak concentration.

Maybe it’s just me, but there is something unsettling about the term milkround. For one, milk delivery is in decline, a nostalgic fragment of a bygone era. For another, it implies that we as students only treat this as a matter of going through the motions: suit up, show up, hope you make an impression, then onto the house next door.

Before setting foot on this campus, the excitement and enthusiasm about our future careers could barely be contained. They drove us here, we minted them in our application essays and we prepared for the possibility of new pursuits. And now? Well, unless you’re really turned on by the calcium-enriching power of milk, milkround might not be the best descriptor of how January fits into your career goals.

In a way, I can understand how the term first got started. Both logistically and out of fairness, it makes sense to give students and employers a uniform recruitment schedule. It saves students from wondering whether a more suitable job will crop up three months later, and it gives employers equal access to students. Unfortunately, it might mean getting worn out from attending presentation after presentation or repeating your "elevator speech" one too many times.

I’m not suggesting that recruitment ought to happen differently. If being methodical works, it works. I only worry about the bright-eyed intentions we all started off with. Perhaps I am reading too much into the word, but maybe invoking the euphemism says more about our social collective than we want to acknowledge.

(If you’ve made it through all the semantics in this post, dear reader, I thank you! If nothing else, I know these extended musings driven entirely by one word would have made my former English teachers proud.)

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