Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Sunday, November 17, 2002

Nothing really interesting happened today. So I'm searching for something to post. I sent an e-mail to a friend this morning regarding my thoughts on school vs. work and the on-campus recruiting process. Maybe some of that would be interesting to anyone reading this. So here's some thoughts, based on the admittedly limited experience and perspective I've got.

My advice -- from my limited and narrow experience -- would be that before you take a job, make sure you understand the day-to-day work you will have and what they really envision you doing. My other advice is that on-campus recruiting is not the be-all and end-all of the employment world. There are other jobs out there -- and the jobs that *don't* come to campus to recruit people are perhaps in many cases much better jobs. My reasoning -- and this kind of makes sense, I guess -- there's a reason why some companies have to come to campus and woo people and make it really easy for people to take their jobs, and some companies that don't. Companies that come to campus need to do that because all else being equal, no one wants their jobs. If nobody came to campus, students would go out and find enjoyable, fulfilling jobs because they'd have to go searching regardless. But these smart companies that have crappy jobs to offer need to come and intercept -- before you find the good jobs -- and snatch up students, making it as easy as possible for them to say yes and not think about what they really want out of a job.

I know I'm ignoring the flip-side of the argument, which is that these companies really need people while the ones that don't come just don't need as many young people right out of school. But my response to that line of reasoning is that there's a reason they need more people -- because everyone quits and leaves when they realize how crappy the job is.

I don't think it's as extreme as I'm pretending it is, though. I'm sure there are lots of good matches people can find between what they want and what's being offered. Just remember you're gonna be there 40+ hours a week, so make sure you like the people and you like the work before you give them half your waking hours.

As far as working vs. going right to grad school -- it's pretty clear here who's right from undergrad and who took some time inbetween (although I'm wrong sometimes when I try to guess). Seeing what's out there besides school, even just for a year -- seems to give people a little bit of perspective, and helps them realize that school isn't everything, that they can function in the real world, that they're employable, that the world doesn't revolve around them, and they appreciate that school is easier and more fun than working. Not so much that schoolwork is easier than workwork, but that the school lifestyle is easier than the work lifestyle -- it's very hard to do much besides work when you're working all day. Your energy is low, there aren't "extracurricular" activities floating around, you don't have forced opportunities to interact with lots of people... it makes you have to try harder to do stuff. Maybe people here who came straight through don't try as hard to make themselves happy and fulfilled as people who had some outside experience, if that makes any sense. I'm not really basing this on anything except my intuition, but it seems like maybe they're more content to be stressed and unhappy and insane. And it's no fun dealing with stressed unappy insane people who can't put things into perspective and realize they're lucky to be here, they've pretty much guaranteed a decent future by being here, and law
school can be a lot of fun if you let it.

The scariest thing about working was that it's so easy not to do anything else besides work and eat and sleep. It took a bigger effort than I expected for me to fill up my spare time fulfillingly and not just busily. I found people to eat with, and occassionally do other stuff with, but it seemed like "doing things" became more special than it should have been, and instead of the default being to do something, the default became to go home and maybe try to write, or maybe watch TV, or maybe go to the supermarket, or maybe go to sleep. Which I didn't like. The best thing about being here is that it's so much easier to do stuff -- there's more time, and there's more stuff. I don't know what the point I'm trying to make here is, I'm sorry -- I forgot where I was headed. Just to basically say that school is good after not school for a while because you realize how much there is to do and how easy it is to do it.

Whew, that's a whole bunch of text. Hope it's kind of helpful and interesting... or if not, hope you'll still come back tomorrow and see if I post something better and funnier.