Yesterday the Pamplin College of Business held Business Horizons in Squires Student Center. The semi-annual event hosted hundreds of employers and gave students a chance to interact with company reps, make useful contacts, and even land a job or an internship. There was also a ton of free shit.
While all of this sounds like a decent enough reason to get out of bed Thursday morning, the career-oriented event certainly had its downsides. After sending a few of our own representatives from The Black Sheep into the job fair yesterday, we were able to compile this list of pros and cons to Business Horizons.
PRO: The free shit. Seriously, there was free shit everywhere: bottles and magnets and key chains galore. (Of course Nestlé’s booth was a popular one to visit.) As the companies became more obscure, the caliber of their giveaways increased. Coca-Cola handed out pens while Otis Elevator Company handed out ponies.
CON: Everyone was too afraid to take the free shit. While Squires was filled with enough branded cups for a world beer pong tournament, students didn’t want to grab too many freebies at the risk of looking unprofessional. No one wanted to be that guy, because that guy had his arms full of junk that will most likely be in his shopping cart under a bridge next year.
PRO: Potential jobs. We often forget that college isn’t just about getting hammered and making poor decisions; we do want to eventually earn money to better finance our alcoholic tendencies. Business Horizons was a great opportunity for students to make connections with companies and secure positions for the future. Burnett’s today, Grey Goose tomorrow.
CON: Too many people. All the business students attended this event because they knew it would be beneficial and/or their professors threatened them to go. The “packed in like sardines” analogy has never been more appropriate. Thousands of people were crammed into Squires, they all smelled like perspiration and fear, and the impressive number of accomplishments on their resumes was a little fishy.
CON: Stupid people. With so many people attending Business Horizons, it was guaranteed that stupid ones (a.k.a. freshmen) would make an appearance. Yesterday these simple folk could be found all throughout Squires, wandering around in circles, standing in people’s ways, and asking questions like, “What’s Deloitte?”
CON: Smart people. Arguably, the smart people were even worse than the stupid people. They may not have physically been in your way, but they were in the way of you ever getting a job. Employers tend to consider “participating in SGA” a more reputable extracurricular activity than “organizing the beer Olympics.”
PRO: You probably gained some experience. Even if you made a terrible impression by arriving noticeably hungover or asking one of the Big Four who they were, at least you learned a little bit about presenting yourself in a professional setting. Now you know to do your research before interviews and to not act like an idiot.
CON: People looked better than you. Everyone tried their best to dress professionally and there were definitely those people who looked way better than you did. Their outfits said something like, “I already have eight offers to work on Wall Street” while yours might have said, “I think Kroger’s interested.”
PRO: People looked worse than you. While some students were dressed to the nines, others looked like they couldn’t even count to nine. Some of our personal favorites were guy in a t-shirt, girl in a tiny skirt and stripper heels, and dude who took the time to wear a suit but decided to pair it with flip flops.
CON: No one knows half the companies. Everyone wanted to stop by the FBI booth but no one gave a second thought to Colonna’s Shipyard (unless they were handing out ponies). A job is a job and beggars can’t be choosers, but does anyone really want to work for these places? Does anyone really want to work at all? Can we just stay in college forever?
Overall we’re under the impression that no one really enjoys Business Horizons. The employers are intimidating, the number of people is overwhelming, and the whole experience reminds us that the college joyride isn’t forever. The quality of the pros may outweigh the quantity of the cons, but we’re pretty sure students only go to this event out of obligation. Maybe we can liven up the next Business Horizons by inventing a drinking game to go along with it… Take a shot for every interview you get. Take twelve when you don’t get any.