• Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

Corporate ladder or slippery slope?

ByAnisah Khanom

Feb 5, 2024
Four students giving a presentation to a room of older staff sitting around a table

From financing daily treats to dealing with mice infested flats, the perils of student life are uncountable. All of which are arguably less stressful than looking at the boundless space beyond student life. Behold, the fear of not securing a grad job or an internship. This fear of not having a plan, the fear of boredom in reality is a fear of waste. That the time you’ve spent here is a waste. So to combat that, it’s unlikely you’ll find a final year student not scrambling to secure a grad job or a third year student not maniacally submitting internship applications. 

Unfortunately for us, the level of stress does not translate into success. The slew of inevitable rejections is something that many students are quickly acquainted with. And it is easy to take these rejections to heart- to let them knock your confidence. Especially since this trajectory of straight out of uni onto the corporate ladder is something that is instilled into us – failure to do so is perceived as just that. Failure.

Now this isn’t a corporate world is a construct of nepotism and nonsense campaign (although who’s to say). It is, however, a reflection on why it would be wrong to define yourself on the perceived failures of not yet having a grad job or internship. It is undeniably competitive. You can whizz through the situational judgement tests and job simulations and still be met with a “we regret to inform you.” And what is there to say about the numerical reasoning tests that require you to answer 20 questions quicker than the speed of light. I question whether this is a reasonable way to judge intelligence or competency. Perhaps you can say the same about exams in general. 

Then come the video interviews – I find it very unlikely that someone is out there watching each one. All this to say the process of successfully finding a grad job or internship is completely impersonal. Ironically the opposite of what the very same companies brandish as their values of ‘putting people first’. Undeniably, there is a corporate facade and part of the process is realising that. 

 Even when you do get round to the interview or assessment centre stage, it could still be a case of a high number of applicants and on you go to the next application. You can’t possibly quantify all you have learnt and how you have been enriched by university life through the job at the end. Besides, it is just a job and you do end up exactly where you need to be – even if that does mean having to go neck and neck with the CEO’s nephew.

Summer Internship Program Closing Celebration and Final Presentations” by MDGovpics is licensed under CC BY 2.0