So, I just finished the Finance mid-terms and I’m back to trawling the web for job leads and future sources of procrastination. Few things better to do on a slow Sunday afternoon when you’ve already bought yourself a buffet ticket that starts at lunch and ends at 10PM.
I’ve thus far applied to 1 job lead and downloaded another 6 songs from this quirky little group that I just discovered: Garfunkel and Oates.
As financial ratios go, 1:6 isn’t bad. Not bad at all.
But then I have an inkling feeling that if I don’t pull my finger out before the start of Term 5, I might end up in the same horrible situation as this other poor blogger that Syed just told me about.
Ladies and Gentlemen, please meet Mr Keith Yost:
The whole series is a wonderfully interesting read, but the first part of his first entry probably sums it up what I’m thinking right now:
I hadn’t expected much coming out of college. I knew that recessions were not kind to the young and inexperienced, so I was surprised when I received an offer from the Boston Consulting Group to work as a business consultant in Dubai.
It seemed too good to be true — what did a business strategy firm need with a 22-year old nuclear engineer? — but the compensation was too much for me to harbor any serious second thoughts. Adding up the salary offer, signing bonus, housing allowance, performance bonus, and profit sharing, I could easily make $200,000 in my first year, topped off with a gold-plated benefits package.
I’d long given up my rebellious streak, but it was still a source of pride to outdo my parents. In a single stroke, I would surpass their highest combined income — what better proof of one’s independence could there be than that? Getting the job was not just a relief from the uncertainty of life after graduation. This was it. This was adulthood. This was everything I’d worked so hard for at MIT. I couldn’t be happier.
A short year later however, the dream job was gone.
The Dubai economy, advertised to me in interviews as recession-proof, was racked by a credit crisis that revealed deeper, arguably insurmountable, structural problems. My foreign adventure ended abruptly with a paroxysm of self-doubt and despair. In returning to the United States, I returned to all the feelings of uncertainty that came with graduation; I was right back to where I was before I had begun my job search, complete with the inescapable anxiety that comes from not knowing what you want to do in life. Seven months in the Middle East had taught me only one lesson: Even in the best of circumstances, business consulting can be a morally ambiguous and soul-crushing profession.
Now back in Boston, I find it hard to complain about how things turned out. I still may not know what I want to do in life, but I learned a little more about the world. I paid off $61,000 of student loans. I continue to get to waste my weekends on idle adventures with friends. When I am honest with myself, I must admit this was more than I had expected. Yet at the same time, what I am left with is little consolation when I think of how close I was to being set for life. Sometimes I lay awake at night and wonder… what happened?
Indeed, the question in my head is “What will happen?”