Senior year wanes and no good jobs in sight

It’s not easy being a senior. Somewhere in between going out every night, maintaining an expression of aloof disdain for underclassmen, dodging essay advisers, and waking up at noon, you’re expected to find yourself a future. I’m still surprised that my final registration packet didn’t include a slip of paper assigning me to a job and informing me who to report to on May 28. Apparently the responsibility for this is mine alone, because Undergraduate Career Services certainly isn’t up to the task.

Finding a job at UCS should be like checking out a book from Sterling. After a senior typed his desired career into Orbis, he could head up to the stacks where it would be conveniently shelved. A current validation sticker on his ID would be the only thing between him and a paycheck. Of course there’s no guarantee that your career wouldn’t be on 24-hour reserve, “reported missing on 1/31/1995,” or in a dark recess of the fourth floor wing. It’s an unlikely dream, but it wouldn’t hurt UCS to consider some improvements while they polish my tiara.

First, UCS must either fund teleporting technology research or improve their proximity to central campus. I’m sure the three companies recruiting on campus this year are very impressed by the fancy office building UCS moved to two years ago. Why, just the other day I overheard a recruiter in the lobby. “Fake plants and elevators!” he exclaimed, “these kids must be highly qualified!”

Placing UCS across from a Dunkin’ Donuts showed unusual foresight on the part of Yale. Everything is better with donuts. But what was wrong with the Dunkin’ Donuts on Park Street? I could be eating a chocolate frosted in Grand Central in the time it takes me to walk to Whitney Avenue.

After moving UCS to the Pierson College basement, a few “reallocations of human resources” need to be made. I would like the UCS counselor whose sole job search advice was to “network with my dad’s golf foursome” (my father does not do foursomes, golf or otherwise) fired. Yale’s budget abhors a vacuum, so the most logical personnel replacement would be a full-time fashion stylist. In today’s ultracompetitive job market, the wrong height of pumps could mean the difference between dinners at Union League or snacks of cat food. Any doubt over what color tie to wear would be assuaged by UCS’ new expert, who would also pick up dry cleaning and be handy with a lint brush.

Next there would be some changes to the On-Campus Recruiting Program. Despite my apparent flippant attitude toward future employment, I’ve become compulsive about job applications. Unfortunately I do not want to push paper around for the rest of my life while hiding behind the title of “consultant” or “analyst.” This means that when companies say “speak with our college recruiter when he visits your campus,” I’m screwed. I know Yale’s still a relatively young institution and trying to prove itself a player among high-caliber schools like East South Central Backwater Community College, but surely UCS could convince a few more corporations to make recruiting visits.

Speaking of visits, why don’t more alumni visit UCS? Walking by J. Press every day and reading too many Dink Stover-type novels has given me a romanticized idea of the power of the common Yale experience. Where is the Class of 1962, and why are they not running through my entryway passing out jobs? The lack of a cozy UCS-Association of Yale Alumni relationship means that my “Yale network” extends as far as a couple of unemployed acquaintances who graduated two years ago. When the only annual interaction between alumni and job-seeking seniors is from the roof of a U-Haul at The Game, it’s no wonder they’re not swarming New Haven this minute.

With improvements to UCS a distant dream and the future only days away, there are only two solutions: stop reading this and send out some more cover letters or wait for the Job Fairy to slip an offer under your pillow while you dream. Sleep tight.



Sarah Merriman is a senior in Pierson College. Her columns appear on alternate Thursdays.

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