The Road Not Taken: Why We Don’t Do Recruiting
By Amanda Smith
Published on Friday, July 27, 2012
Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I tried to do everything in my power to prevent “the worst” from happening. But the worst happened anyway — I found myself turning into my mother.
Even though I have followed in her footsteps in more ways than I have ever imagined that I would, one thing set my path in a different direction than hers.
“You should do corporate recruiting,” she said one day after I mentioned it was an option. “I did.”
I responded to her suggestion like I did many times while growing up. “No,” I said. Short, simple and to the point.
Unlike many of the previous times I’d told her no, I wasn’t saying it to defy her. I’d heard stories from recruited friends and it didn’t take me long to figure out that recruiting just isn’t for me.
Pallavi Kuppa-Apte ’14, an economics and government double major, said she weighed her options and opted out of recruiting, even though many of her fellow majors decide to go through it.
“I’m not interested in the finance track so I wasn’t really that interested in the process,” Kuppa-Apte said.
After looking into the opportunities offered through recruiting, Kuppa-Apte concluded that she would not find them as fulfilling as those she might find outside of the process.
“I’m looking for internships in other fields like journalism or maybe pre-law,” Kuppa-Apte said. With the help of career services and family members, or by simply applying to companies with which she is already familiar, Kuppa-Apte believes that she will be able to find a job better suited to her interests.
Although corporate recruiting isn’t for either of us, it’s hard not to notice its popularity with the sophomore class.
Just yesterday, while studying with a friend in her off-campus house, I watched two of her housemates dart frantically in and out of the room as they changed their skirts, shirts, shoes and pants — all with the hope of finding the perfect interview outfit.
“Don’t forget to smile,” one girl said to the other as they changed outfits and helped each other prepare for an interview.
I watched in silence, pretending to be buried deep in my Hispanic studies book. In reality I was thankful not to be in their business casual shoes.
“They all seem stressed,” Taylor Boldt ’14 said. “Really stressed.”
Boldt, an economics major and member of the men’s hockey team, will sit this round of recruiting out because he will be in season in the winter.
“It feels kind of weird, like I’m behind the game somewhat,” Boldt said. “But I’m certainly not as stressed as my friends are.”
Boldt said he is simply postponing — not opting out of — the recruiting process. He will join his friends in the frenzy of fall resume drop to find a position for next summer, he said.
Saida Makhmudzade ’14, a government major, said she chose to pursue internships at think-tanks and in late night comedy because she is unsure of her long-term career plans. Her peers are not so secure in their indecision, she said.
“I think the majority of the people are just too afraid to not know what they’re doing with their life,” Makhmudzade said. “They’re selling out.”
Makhmudzade is happy that she does not know if she’ll be in Hanover or even the United States in the fall.
“I think it’s really exciting to be in our 20s,” Makhmudzade said. “The thought of going straight into the corporate world for the rest of my life is mind-numbing and soul-crushing.”
Makhmudzade said she believes that whether her peers admit to it or not, money talks, and many recruited Dartmouth students listen.
“They’re just trying to fund their Hamptons houses,” Makhmudzade said, laughing.
She proceeded to joke about the unpredictability of her future.
“If I end up going into consulting, you can remind me of this interview later,” Makhmudzade said.
Even though I currently have little to stress over other than the grade I’ll be getting on my Latino studies midterm, I’ll soon be congratulating my friends on their newly acquired internships.
When they ask me what I’m doing with my off-term — just as my mother did when I told her I opted out of corporate recruiting — I’ll answer honestly.
I don’t know, but that doesn’t scare me.
Kuppa-Apte is a former member of The Dartmouth Staff.