The start of every new school year brings with it a rush of emotions: excitement, anticipation, motivation and a slew of other positively-connotated feelings. O-Week rewards us prematurely with waves of blissful ignorance and the chance to bask in ironic nonchalance at a rigorous institution. The shrewd among us manage to reign over Add/Drop so supremely that they might not have a real class for weeks (kudos!). At the advent of Senior Year, though, I find myself grappling with a different set of emotions -— impatience, urgency and agitation prime among them. At the heart of this agitation is the paradox of choice.
Economic pressure has also changed the way students view the very concept of a major. Instead of being simply “your major subject of study,” as Prof. Michael Fontaine, classics, defines the focus, a major has become a means to employment, an expression of a student’s ultimate career ambition.
Should I buy these light-pink fringed stilettos? They’re sooooo pretty. Realistically though, how many times will I wear them? Should I get them in a more neutral color? Remember your already-failed resolution of only spending money on experiences?
The recent economic turmoil has already gotten a lot of college seniors thinking about their job options, but recent statistics show that they might need to think harder. The National Association of Colleges and Employers conducted a survey in August of 219 employers that projected a 6.1-percent increase in hiring for the class of 2009. NACE conducted the same survey again this month, and 146 of the original 219 employers responded, revealing that the projected outlook had dropped to a 1.3-percent increase.
According to Edwin Koc, NACE’s director of strategic and foundation research, the organization decided to conduct the survey again because of the recent chaos in the stock market and the credit crunch.
Six weeks into her freshman year in the College of Human Ecology, Laura Morrison ’12 is already planning her next three summers.
Morrison, who has high hopes of becoming a doctor, wants to shadow a dermatologist or intern at a hospital. Increasingly across all fields, a high-profile internship is necessary to secure a top job or to get into the best graduate school, but only in some colleges within Cornell does internship experience count for academic credit.
Outsourcing is abuzz and computer science enrollment has dropped, but in Cornell’s world-renowned computer science department, students and professors alike are confident that this outsourcing trend will not impact their futures.
When asked if outsourcing is a concern that comes up among friends, Noah Santorello ’09, president of the Association of Computer Science Undergraduates, said, “Never. Computer science is not like finance where everyone’s concerned about getting a job when the economy gets bad.”