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Ready, Set, Rat Race!

Posted by Jenny on 03 November 2009

I’m here in the library but I’d like to take a break from midterm cramming - which admittedly is difficult when you still haven’t quite gotten over the Halloween party mode. Let’s talk about internships for a bit. Yesterday I submitted my first application for an internship. Yes. Yes. Oh yes. It’s only November, barely 3 months in and we’ve already started the race for that much coveted investment banking/private equity/consulting summer associate position. Ready, set, rat race!

I have to say that contrary to popular (hopeful) belief, being at LBS does not mean a job will land on our laps like manna from the heavens. This is in no way saying that LBS does not help us at all with finding jobs – because they do – CV, cover letters, interview prep, etc – Career Services will bend their backs for us and we are of course eternally grateful. The trouble however is that we have to know first what we want to do, and then we can go to them and ask for help. Unfortunately there is no surefire formula to have that what-do-I-really-wanna-do-with-my-life epiphany. And no, there is no direct correlation between the number of hours spent at the Windsor pub and the degree of certainty of one’s future. Let’s stop fooling ourselves.

Anyway, I came to LBS two months ago thinking that I would not go back to anything remotely related to banking anymore and go to non-profit instead. Naturally though, with all the company presentations and club infosessions taking over my lunch and dinner schedule, combined with a realization that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to press the restart button in my life – I actually decided to take a peek at what’s out there. And I peeked. And then I clicked the submit button. Sorry, non-profit. Yesterday I applied for a banking position. Yes, I’m a sell-out.

But wait, what’s the thought process here?

Two weekends ago I decided I actually needed to sit down and THINK. So I did. For an entire day. I sat down, made a spreadsheet with different colors and laid out my Plans A, B, C, and Z, and noted the pros and cons and the deadlines and requirements for each. (Yes, I'm that much of a geek.) So the results: PLAN A is UN, World Bank, IFC. PLAN B is Consulting (non-profit sector). PLAN C is my safety jobs (which is still empty at the moment). And PLAN Z – Z being Zee Wildcards – are my much beloved banks. The banks made the cut because – who am I fooling here – Zee money iz good. End of story. Again, yes, I’m a sell-out.

A friend said that it’s ridiculous that my spreadsheet spans all sectors – Finance, Consulting, and Industry. It’s like I’m covering all bases, LOL. I know, it’s crazy. It’ll be tough, but that’s no reason not to do it. No one has ever won a race while sitting in the pits (or something to that effect – hey I do remember something from MOB class!) I tell myself that at least I have a colorful spreadsheet to start with!

Alright, enough with the craziness. Back to midterms.

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