Thursday, April 17, 2008

Drinking games, visiting mothers and job interviews

From time to time you wonder if « growing up » is not hugely overrated. At INSEAD, you wonder if it happens at all. Yes, we are back at school, and somehow people behave accordingly to it, even if we are ten years older than at university.
Girlfriends are hidden in the closet when parents visit, 10 people in a room go silent because someone’s visiting mom walks in, parties end in drinking games and sex talk. The main gossip is about who’s with who, cheating on who ? Other favourite conversation topics are of course teachers and unfair exams (= job interviews). Honestly, it’s not hard to feel 16. I even experience an outburst of spots again.
The downside of this rejuvenation ? Well, we blew all our pocket money and some more on it. And somehow, this has to pay off. So take an aspirin to deal with the hangover from last night, get your suit on (again), and convince the umpteenth company that you are a well behaving, responsible, motivated, trustworthy and earnest candidate. And if you get another DING, well….then there’s always the bar or some party to get wasted again.

Looking at the above described processes from the sideline is an interesting experience. One day you see future investment banker X walking around in a suit, the next day you see him jumping around in someone’s living room, pretending that the 1.50m long red pillow is his overly excited *beep*. Future consultant Y is walking the streets of Singapore dressed up as a strawberry. And overly self confident manager Z is shredded to pieces because for the first time in his life, he had some real competition, and didn’t get the job he wanted.
All of this is clarifying a few things for myself as well :
- HR is definitely NOT the most *human(e)* field in business. If you still want/have a job in HR out of your love and interest in people, come and have a walk around campus after there has been another recruiting battle.
- Next time I’m a bit shaky about interviewing a high potential, I’m just going to picture all the things he probably did in business school (i.e. dress up as a nurse, do a lap dance and drink a beer while standing on his head).

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