It seems my roommates and most of my friends have begun applying for consulting internships this summer. This is a holy rite of passage for Georgetown juniors. I spent the last three weeks biting my fingernails because I hadn’t applied to anything, until last night, when I applied to Accenture’s summer internship program.

Accenture will not take me. My resume is not good enough. It says I like Shakespeare and Bruce Springsteen and worked at a YMCA summer camp two years ago. Does Accenture like those things?

No, Accenture likes suits and efficiency. Accenture likes efficiently fitted suits.

Last November, I went to a recruiting event sponsored by another consulting firm with my roommates. One of the positions it advertised was in its “human capital” department. Like my roommates next to me, I didn’t know exactly what “human capital” meant. “It sounds Marxist, like ‘labor power,’” I thought. Later, during the Q&A session, after more than a few seconds of awkward silence, some brave soul asked the question that was on everyone’s mind: “What exactly is human capital?”

The answer was complex and had lots of words like “strategic” and “analytic,” words whose meanings I thought I knew before going to these info sessions. It’s kind of like when you say “purple” over and over again until what you’re saying no longer sounds like a color mixed from red and blue, but rather a strange compound of sounds, “pur-pul” — at least that’s what these words are to me now.

What I gathered was that it had something to do with helping companies more efficiently organize their employees in order to maximize productivity. So, the firm representative, a recent School of Foreign Service graduate, explained that if there are too many employees not making much of an impact in one department, maybe it makes sense to move them to another department that better fits their skills and allows them to flourish.

But what if that’s not really it? What if, sometimes, “efficiency” means advising a coal company in Pennsylvania to lay off thirty unskilled workers because they don’t make a lot of sense for the company anymore? In “Up in the Air,” companies hire George Clooney’s character to fire their employees for them. In one memorable scene, an older man breaks down and explains how he doesn’t know how he will tell his children that he was fired.

Do I want to be the guy who suggests the firing? Should a 23-year-old Georgetown graduate who spends his weekends looking for new places to have bottomless-champagne brunch with his friends — someone I saw myself becoming, sitting at that info session — have that kind of power?

In truth, I have no idea if “human capitalists” suggest to coal companies in Pennsylvania that they should lay off their workers. I don’t really know anything about human capital, or consulting for that matter — at all. All I have is a vague sense that I shouldn’t do it.

And here’s the scary part: How strong is that vague sense when I find myself sitting up one night, re-formatting my resume again and again and pulling my hair out over impossibly simple questions on the Accenture summer intern application? If I’m so cool and critical of the bourgeois, boring day-to-day life of consulting, why did I spend twenty minutes deciding whether or not listing Columbus, Ohio, as my second preferred office would increase my chances of getting hired? I have never even been to Columbus, Ohio.

Consulting, I’m beginning to fear, will kill me slowly this semester. Like a bad girlfriend, it will lure me in every time I begin to believe I can do fine without it. It will flirt with me at a party, tell me of its salaries and stability, and I will bite onto it like a fish onto a hook. Why am I condemned to this wimphood?

I think Shakespeare would have something to say about this.

William Fonseca is a junior in the College. Spring Semester Days appears every other Monday on thehoya.com.  

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