Business As Usual
The Merit of Selling Out
Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013
Updated: Friday, January 25, 2013 13:01
Nevertheless, Patterson considers his choice of a business degree to be a way of supporting his film interests rather than a relinquishment of his high school career vision.
“I decided that a business degree was much more versatile and could be applied to a career in the film industry,” Patterson explained.
However, according to both Wang and Brian Carden (MSB ’16), the competitive atmosphere among students at Georgetown, in addition to the ubiquity of recruiting events on campus, lures many toward the corporate world, even if they may not have considered a career in a business field before arriving on campus.
“As freshmen, we’re already told to start networking and attend information sessions with various companies,” Carden said. “There are so many recruitment events here on campus that it is hard not to see the names of many Fortune 500 companies show up in your inbox every week.”
“There seems to be a constant pressure at Georgetown to succeed, which comes across in the job security, well-paying positions, respect from colleagues and friends, and general prestige you get working at a corporate job,” added Wang, who is majoring in international economics and has considered a job in financial services.
According to Associate Director of the McDonough School of Business Undergraduate Program Lisa Scheeler, about 25 students transfer into the business school and roughly the same amount transferred out each year.
Honjiyo noted that this widespread enthusiasm about the corporate world can overshadows that for other careers.
“It can be easy to forget that there are other options out there for students. A lot of people at Georgetown are generally interested in the corporate fields that they eventually pursue after graduation, but it’s frustrating when students feel obligated to take jobs that they’re plainly not interested in,” Honjiyo said.
Carden added that few in the MSB are interested in careers in entrepreneurship.
“In my accounting class, when the professor asked if there were any aspiring entrepreneurs in the room, about three hands went up,” Carden recalled of his experience in class. “This doesn’t mean the rest of the class necessarily wants to go into the corporate world and it doesn’t mean there aren’t any others who might eventually start their own businesses, but it is a good straw poll, in my opinion, of the mindset of the MSB.”
Patterson, although primarily interested in joining a financial firm in New York, has often considered the draw of entrepreneurship, though he understands why his peers might prefer the former.
“Entrepreneurship allows you to be your own boss, make your own hours and exactly what you want to do,” he said. “It allows for unchecked growth and opportunities, but corporate jobs are appealing for their security and guaranteed incomes.”
The reason that business is such a big draw for Georgetown students, argues Patterson, is that both the university and the business world cater to an intrinsic competitive drive that all Georgetown students share.
“Most students at Georgetown are extremely competitive and goal-oriented, and the corporate world offers an environment where these traits are not only accepted, but encouraged,” Patterson said. “In a world where little leagues don’t declare winners and some schools are no longer naming valedictorians, it seems that the corporate world is the last remaining example of survival of the fittest.”