As they prepare to join the workforce, many seniors struggle with the decision whether to pursue creative passions or careers promoting known evils.
“There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing a smile spread across a student’s face at the end of a good art lesson,” said Anna Rufus ‘12, who will lobby congress this summer to reduce education spending in order to appease Fortune 500 stockholders or else be replaced by one of thousands of others willing to do whatever is necessary. “Inspiring a zest for learning in young people is the most important thing we can do.”
“But being an art teacher would probably be really hard,” continued Rufus. “Do they even get health benefits?”
While many students feel pressure from their parents to make the most of their expensive degrees, they often admit to feeling iffy about dedicating their career to companies well-known for making billions of dollars by foreclosing on the homes of low-income families.
“I’ve been playing the cello since I was six,” said Miranda Lindsay ’12, who will be selling herself to a corporation known for censoring the media, destroying wildlife preserves and buying political favor come September. “And there’s nothing that brings me more joy than playing for my friends and family.”
“But it’s not something people do for money, right?” asked Lindsay.
Companies such as News Corporation, BP Oil and Bain Capital, aware of the stigma associated with themselves, are still able to lure otherwise unwilling students to apply with offers of six-figure entry-level salaries, condo time-shares and free cereal.
“I grew up spending every afternoon in my father’s candy shop,” said Arnold Grayson ‘12, who admitted that he did not tell friends about his Goldman Sachs interview for fear that they would judge him. “It’s my favorite place on Earth.”
“But I’m not sure if it’s a sustainable living,” added Grayson, whose sixth-generation family candy shop will crumple next year under a faulty loan from Goldman Sachs.
Made possible by generous grants from Coca-Cola, Chevron and Phillip Morris, the Center for Careers and Life after Brown created a program aimed at easing the conscience of seniors joining conglomerations with well-documented histories of human rights violations and environmental abuse by reminding them that they’re going to make so much money it doesn’t matter.
“Once I make enough money, I can give a lot of it back to charity,” said Mandy Green ‘12, who accepted an offer from Exxon Mobil after writing a letter to her future self to give money to charity once she has it. “If I take some ‘whatever’ job on an organic farm or at a woman’s health clinic, I’ll never have the means to give money to help an organic farm or woman’s health clinic.”