Once again, seniors are looking for jobs, and the economy remains in the wood chipper. Luckily, many of the jobs offered this fall by the Career Planning Center (CPC) are quite well paid. However, not all of us want to make bank working at a bank.
Other students wonder where they can launch themselves, as many feel that the jobs outside of finance and consulting are not easily accessible. The CPC has repeatedly tried to dispel the myth that worthwhile positions aren’t available in other fields, and has had some success in that endeavor.
After all, there are jobs in eBear in the fields of education, government, and the arts. But what the CPC has been loathe to acknowledge is that the jobs available in eBear in non-business fields don’t quite stack up to the level of prestige that is generally accorded to entry-level positions in finance and consulting. Few non-business jobs appear primed to catapult students to the upper echelons of their fields.
This is not the CPC’s fault, though. The path to a top curatorial position at the Metropolitan Museum of Art or an editorship at The Washington Post is far less clear-cut than the route to partnership at Goldman, Sachs & Co. However, the CPC is at fault for trumpeting the lower-status, humanities-oriented jobs as if they were just as prestigious and plentiful as the finance ones, while students feel the difference when they hear of the signing bonuses received by their friends.
Additionally, the recruiting networks in the business world are much more structured than those in other industries, allowing alumni to actively assist seniors in finding positions. And the simple fact that banks and consulting firms can be huge enterprises, while museums, film companies and magazines have fewer employees, means that there are fewer spots in these fields.
Getting a job in the film, publishing, journalism, or art world is more often than not a matter of apprenticeship; positions are secured through networking and a series of (sometimes humiliating) internships. BCAN, LinkedIn, and eBear are only going to get you so far in gaining entry to those fields, if they get you anywhere at all.
Most importantly, the CPC needs to articulate to students early on—even before junior year rolls around—that different industries have very different strategies for recruiting and placing new talent, and that students should customize their approach to the job search accordingly. The CPC already stresses the importance of networking, but it also needs to broadcast these differences in the recruiting processes, and adapt a system that connects students with contacts early on in their college career.
The editorial represents the majority view of the Bowdoin Orient’s editorial board, which is comprised of Nick Daniels, Sam Frizell, Linda Kinstler, Zoë Lescaze and Elizabeth Maybank.