Today’s Wall Street Journal story on summer jobs is meant to be good news. Everyone from hedge funds to Six Flags seems to be hiring more young people this summer. But it’s also kind of depressing.
Look people. The summer job racket is about far more than just earning some spending money over the summer. It’s also about padding your resume gaining valuable experience. Experience that will then help you get a job when you graduate. But as more and more students spend their summers working for investment banks and hedgefunds, and as these places start hiring younger and younger students—even freshman—pressure to land one of these jobs increases.
It’s a sort of Resume Arms Race, where everyone feels they’ve got to land a job at a financial powerhouse at the earliest possible point so that they will have a good answer to the question “What did you do after your freshman year?” in that post-college job interview. But do you really have to work at a hedge fund when you are 19 in order to make a good financial professional years later? If you are going to wind-up in a cubicle at J.P. Morgan for ten years after you graduate, do you really want to start now? Why not lifeguard? Or work as a junior park ranger?
At least that way you’ll have some memories outside of the bank to dwell on when you are running financial models at 2 a.m. in preparation for tomorrow's 9 a.m. presentation.
Summer Jobs Are Easier To Find This Year [Wall Street Journal]