But back to the story. The game room (or as I more lovingly refer to it, the Rockband room) was chilly that night: The window shade flapped ominously against the dark walls. As I sat down to drum to “I Think I’m Paranoid” by Garbage, I heard a noise in the corner. I was so startled that I jumped higher than the average GPA after taking Stars for Stoners. I whirled around to face the source of the noise and found myself face-to-face with an ambiguous figure. He was wearing a crumpled suit, a wrinkled tie and a look of piteous desperation.
“Second round?” he croaked, his unblinking eyes fixated on me.
Overwhelmed by fear, I cautiously answered in a shaky voice, “Do you want to join in a second round of Rockband?”
In a sudden move, he clutched my arm, and I yelped. He leaned in closer and whispered, “Do you know who got a second-round interview at J.P. Morgan?”
Oh no! I realized with a burst of horror what was standing in front of me: an internship zombie! “I don’t know anything about finance,” I stammered, trying to shake him off of me.
“Second round…” he muttered wildly. “Didn’t get a second round … who got the second round…”
I looked at him with a mix of alarm and pity. The tattered remnants of his soul had been destroyed by failed dreams of finance, clobbered by a GPA that fell one- tenth of a point short of investment banking glory. I quietly departed and left him alone to rethink the dark future of his ruined life.
Luckily I escaped my encounter alive and well. Not everyone might be so fortunate, however. This past month we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of intern zombies roaming around campus. They crave investment banking jobs, but only a few will be rewarded. The rest wander around in a state of shock, wondering with fear if they should prepare applications for law school. Intern zombies are recognizable by their business casual appearance, encyclopedic knowledge of obscure economics terms and ability to B.S. answers to completely nonsensical, irrelevant questions concerning the number of Band-Aids sold in the United States every winter for the past decade.
The question inevitably arises: Why should we be concerned about intern zombies? Yes, you say, they’re only exposing themselves to unnecessary amounts of pressure so that they can spend the next few years of their lives continuing to expose themselves to unnecessary amounts of pressure — but this is their choice. True, true. But be wary, for the internship mania is contagious. Once limited to economics and Operations Reserach and Financial Engineering (ORFE) majors, the hysteria is sweeping across such varied departments as psychology, English, history, and, yes, even my beloved politics department. One must be the best and get the best internship, or one is a failure. Remember a simpler time when we all used to work at summer camps? No, of course not — the intern zombie has crowded that out of mind with visions of a high-salary future.
For those of us who would rather avoid the do-or-die approach to internships, I have developed some helpful guidelines that would make Public Safety proud. So without further ado, I present “How to Avoid Becoming an Intern Zombie.”
1. Do not become an intern zombie. Think this is a silly first rule? I refer you to Public Safety’s own list of ways to prevent bike theft, in which the first helpful suggestion is to prevent your bike from being stolen. I am simply following the model.
2. Do not major in economics. Do not major in ORFE. In fact, do not pick a major at all. Someone once told me that they thought the slavic languages and literature department was safe from investment banking, but I wouldn’t take any chances.
3. Fail your classes. Yes, you might be expelled for poor academic performance, but… oh. Wait. No. This isn’t a good idea at all.
4. Do not buy a suit. “But it looks pretty,” you might protest. “And it’s on sale!” Stop, drop it and roll your mind around this thought: Suits lead to interviews, and interviews lead to the dark side. Simple logic, folks.
And there you have it. So until next time, good night, sleep tight, and don’t let the intern zombie bite.
Christine Brozynski is a politics major from Mendham, N.J. She can be reached at email@example.com.