February 14 is a magical day – I finally get to pick whether I spend my summer with Goldman, McKinsey or Facebook! While I feel the warm glow of affection for these companies, part of my heart sizzles with anticipation at the idea of that unnameable startup I’ve yet to meet. Should I throw caution to the wind and hold off on taking the plunge until May? Or should I demonstrate my undying love for the campus interview process?
Tantalized in Tata
This is a tough one – both options have so much going for them, and it mainly comes down to where you are in your life. Are you looking to settle down, start a career, maybe have a couple clients that you dote on? Or are you looking for thrills and adventure coupled with a potentially volatile company and the accompanying emotional roller coaster? You may choose the startup and wind up with an amazing experience. Or, you may find yourself living in a motel in Jersey, re-wearing your single suit as you shlep from sales meeting to sales meeting, maybe finding a quick fling with a client here and there, but slowly realizing you haven’t created lasting value. On the other hand, while you can have a stable, happy career with one of the Big 3, you miss out on the potential upside of finding your soul-company.
As with any career advice, only you can answer these questions, but with all the self-reflection you did in FIELD, you should be well suited to know what you want. Right?
I lost my SkyDeck seat and I am devastated that I am no longer King of my Aldrich Jungle. How can I go on?
Dear Jon S. (Jealous of New SkyDeck?),
Moving away from SkyDeck is like being an ousted dictator who still lives in the country he used to rule, sweeping alone, sweeping the streets he used to own. Lucky enough for you, Harby has a trove of Demoted from SkyDeck Survival Tips, and none of them involve Jerusalem bells or Roman cavalry choirs:
- Cold Calls: Professors can see you now, so you’ll need to start reading 6-12 page documents called cases, which have been the basis of the all the words your sectionmates have made at each other for the past three months. You can pick up cases at course distribution office in Spangler basement.
- That Pesky Electronics Policy: You relied on Instagram to get through whatever the heck TOM tried to teach last semester, but now it’s time to holster that iPhone. Or keep it discreet under the desk.
- You Will Be Roasted: Now that you no longer run section roasts, it’s time to stop hooking up in section. Anything you do can and will be used against you in the court of comic humiliation.
- Be Critical: At the same time, new SkyDeck will love hearing your “constructive feedback” on every roast they give as they realize it looks way easier than it is.
- Free Time: What will you do with your one wild and precious life? More like what will you do with your wild and precious Thursday afternoon. You have officially been freed from the shackles of roast planning!
Good luck as a missionary in a foreign field!
Harby is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated MBA advice columnist and the author of such bestsellers as Teaching Your Dog How to DCF and The Seven People You Meet at the Boston Doubletree. Want some advice from Harby? Email your question to Harby@Harbus.org