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Love Your Job

By Tiffany Kosolcharoen

Associate Features Editor

There is love in the air as hundreds of single students line up to enter the ultimate matchmaker: the MIT Career Office. Each comes searching for the perfect bride. As the MIT Club of New York President Thomas Halket put it, they’re in search of “those sexy jobs.”

Goldman or Lehman? Amazon or Google? Now, don’t be intimidated by the beauties that outshine each other. Remember that you, too, are an eligible bachelor dressed by the world-renowned designer, MIT.

However, the name does come with a little baggage. What we have in brains, we occasionally lack in suaveness (we should learn from those down the street). In addition to looking our best, we must remember to:

1. Nail the critical 15-second first impression.

2. Persuade in-laws that you, too, deserve to be part of the family.

3. Show your dream date why her future is better when you are in the picture.

Often, students do not give this “relationship” enough time. Just like courting, you must attend the company presentations and tech talks throughout the year, get to know the representatives, and personalize your skills to the specific company. Nobody likes a player who dabbles with every available offering.

In search of the love, I, too, enter the career center. It is dating desperation. Running shoes litter one corner. Students look uncomfortably suit-shocked. The one copy of the Wall Street Journal’s “Money and Investing” section is finally being read, and even fought for by students vying to be its next reader (I recommend subscribing to the online edition, which posts the next day’s news at precisely 11:45 p.m. the night before)!

In a sea of grey and black powersuits, two representatives from the company for which I’m interviewing appear out of nowhere. I am impressed. Although they are greeters, you must treat them like the interviewer. Just like dating, you not only have to impress the girl, but also her best friends, her parents, her dog...

The date begins. I answer the questions like “tell me about yourself,” solve a few logic puzzles, and look the recruiter in the eye.

Often, we are so eager-to-please that we forget it is a two-way conversation. People like to talk about themselves, and if you don’t give them a chance, the relationship will fail. Remember, the bride has been sitting there in the gloomy, grey cubicle interviewing over-caffeinated candidates for the past six hours.

I was lucky to have a great interviewer. In our two-way conversation, he actually talked for a third of the interview. By asking him questions, I learned that one of his frustrations in the information technology job I applied for was that the finance teams set the vision, and the IT teams merely worked to complete the assignment. It would be better to work directly for a technology company. Wisdom, indeed.

It is equally important to know what you do not value. That way, you save time by tailoring yourself to the career of your dreams.

Remember that no job is perfect. Sometimes, we work too hard in wooing that perfect “one” only to discover, too late, that there are flaws. Maybe that glamorous I-banking job on Wall Street is lucrative, but will you realize that before you are single and overworked at 40? Even if your internship is in the middle of Arizona desert, you can learn, be flexible, and more opportunities will open up for you.

Best wishes in finding love at today’s Diversity Career Fair!