October 18, 2011

Letter to the Editor: Not spineless

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To the Editor: Re: “Surrounded by Spineless Seniors,” Opinion, Oct. 17

I have to say, although I do love a little clever name-calling on occasion, I found myself feeling mildly offended after reading an article that appeared in The Sun earlier this week regarding those “spineless sheep” like myself who are pursuing corporate careers in finance, consulting or otherwise. I don’t presume to maintain that every single student after an analyst role at a bank or consulting firm is in it for the right reasons; there will always be those who deem compensation a singular priority when looking for a job. I do, however, think there is an argument to made against grouping all of us aspiring corporate employees under one stigmatized umbrella.I am all for following your dreams, but I don’t think a dream is something that remains constant from childhood, through college, to adulthood. Frankly, if everyone held strong to their dreams of first and second grade, we’d have far more firefighters, baseball players and veterinarians than anyone would know what to do with. To say these types of jobs are the only ones that require innovative minds and a passionate attitude is a bit harsh in my opinion. Why is it impossible for somebody to be passionate about something like working with other people on a day-to-day basis, solving complex and varied problems or helping other businesses succeed?  These are all qualities that attracted me, personally, to a corporate-style job. It’s true, the average kid probably does not have high hopes of one day sitting at a desk in an office crunching numbers (among many other things, of course), but I also don’t know of many kids who dream of working for a non-profit.The unglorified truth is that the contemporary world economy is run by the corporate and financial sectors (exhibit A: the financial crisis of 2008).  Because of this, I think that while steps should always continue to be taken to make change on a smaller scale (i.e. Teach for America, non-profits and other laudable jobs of that sort), steps towards a more ideal world also need to be spearheaded by those in the position to have a more macro-level impact (i.e. the “evil” corporations). Working out of a cubicle may never be deemed as valiant as curing disease in a developing country or protesting vehemently for political change here in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean those of us that end up in an office have lost all sense of morality and given up on following our dreams or making positive change in the world.We at Cornell who are trying to break into the financial and consulting industries are the next generation of corporate America. When we finally join whichever company we ultimately choose, we will provide that company not only with intelligent minds but also with fresh perspectives.  I am confident that as Cornellians we will not only be able to bring some organic passion into our “soul-less” occupations, but also leverage our roles for the benefit of the world.  I, for one, am proud to ascribe to this particular dream.By the way, to the author of the originally published article: See you at dinner, roomie!Kevin Giroux ’12