April 15, 2005

The Missed Connection

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Gather ’round my children and I shall tell you a tale of irreconcilable woe and irreversible failure in my fruitless hunt for that famed, mythical creature, that rare specimen of legend, that unicorn of college experiences: the illusive Summer Internship.

My search started merely three months ago, in the isolated seclusion so conducive to research known as My Parents’ House. There, I carefully explored and investigated multiple leads in an attempt to track down even one example of my desired prey.

After leaving the island of Suburbia, I decided to apply my weeks of planning and began to send out resumes and cover letters with anticipation already brewing.

One month later, upon hearing no response from any of the places I had been corresponding with, I decided to try again. I eventually repeated this periodic send-off of self-promotional material two more times. Alas, to no avail.

I remain still exactly where I started from. But was I just kidding myself? Was I simply so entirely incompetent that employers immediately laughed upon merely seeing my name? What the heck was going on out there?

As more and more friends invited me to celebrate the achievement of their Goldman Sachs positions and lamented about the utter crappiness of having to live in an NYU dorm, I just felt more and more desire to simply punch their faces in. It was a sad time. That time being some time last week.

Okay, I get that it wasn’t exactly the end of the world. Like my mother’s emails continuously said, I could just decide to take classes during the summer … thereby speeding up my college career to facilitate my entrance into the world of employment rejection on a full time basis. Taking summer classes as an English major is like putting on sunscreen while indoors. Unless you add a qualifying phrase like “while in Paris,” the decision is just not going to make any sense.

It was time, I decided, to seek out professional advice. Off I went to university career advisors for meetings and workshops and other sorts of redundant baloney. I don’t know how things go down in CALS or Hum Ec where people’s careers are a bit more defined due to the specific educational path each person pursues, but back in Arts and Crafts, we’re merely presented with a barrage of ambiguous testimonials and declarative statements meant to disguise the truth. There is no strategy, there is only networking.

I suppose one could argue that “networking” is a strategy, but one would be wrong in that course of thinking. I waited for golden advice about hidden opportunities or formulas for a winning resume and all I got was, “Do your parents have friends?” Yeah. I’m sorry my immigrant parents and immigrant self wasted too many years trying to learn English to factor “networking” into our strategy for survival. But I guess now we must pay for our lack of preparation.

So this brings us back to now, where aside from some irrational bitterness, I am just as unoccupied as I was three months ago. The upcoming summer looks like a grim whirlpool of unrewarding slavery a la local retail shop interspersed with bouts of communication with friends who will undoubtedly lament about the utter crappiness of having to live in an NYU dorm. But hey, at least I’ll be tanned.

Archived article by Tracy Zhang
Arts and Entertainment Editor