Given that the modal career choice among Psychology 360 students is "consulting," the following quotes from President Lee Bollinger's graduation talk (May 3, 1997) are appropos.
"...too many graduates today are being lured into careers that are neither suited to them nor have the potential to develop their talents."
"If a business is willing to hire you at a large salary, say over $30,000 a year, to be a 'consultant,' given that you have virtually nothing to offer to anyone needing a consultant, you had better look closely at what the job expects you to give up. It may well be your soul."
"A university once was thought of as a place for freethinkers. Not now. The thinking is never free; it is expensive and shackled. In the absence of freethinking, college has become a vo-tech for bureaucrats. A diploma proves that you are a card-carrying bureaucrat, that you are willing to do what you are told for years at a time. thus, you are qualified to work for major corporations.
And when you go to the placement office, think about the sort of companies that would want to come to a university to hire employees. Ask yourself: If these corporations are such great places to work, why are they the only ones other than the Army to have 'recruiters'?
If you want to live your own way, it is important to understand that those who make a difference are nonconformists, rugged individualists. What school prepares you for is a life as a hard-working nonindividualist, a rugged conformist.
You arrive at graduation ill-prepared for the life-long struggle against conformity. Refuse to concede. Start by refusing to take the obvious job, the one that pays the most. You've heard that old lie about 'He who has the most toys when he dies wins.' Change the 't' in 'toys' to a 'j' and you'll be closer.
And if you have to give up a few thousand dollars a year to join a small, lively organization, remember that each $1,000 in salary is only about two dollars a day, take-home. Would you lay a $5 bill on the dresser every day to have a lively, energizing career?
So, if you want to have a chance to slip the bonds of bureaucracy, you will have to look beyond the placement office.
You will have to search among the oddballs and black sheep, among those whose shoes aren't shined and whose smiles aren't rehearsed.
No, do not go in search of a job, but an inspiration. Find a leader, a guide. Find friends. Look until you discover true individuals and then plead ith them to take you in."
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Revised - June 17, 1997