Business school, business cards, and getting a high from networking – meet the careers wanker
Everyone’s favourite networking narcissist
It's a sad reality that in university, as in most walks of life, you'll be surrounded by a vast array of different types of dickheads. One of the most prominent cast members from this plague of social ineptitude is the careers wanker.
Generally found on economics and finance courses – although the worst of the bunch often appear from more rogue degrees, masquerading as part of the econ-gang – their lives are entirely centred on how talking to the particular person they happen to be in the same room as could benefit their life going forward. They’re never not networking.
It’s difficult to describe the personality features of these monsters, as personality is something they’re distinctly lacking in. Some distinguishing features may include: wearing a suit or shirt at any given opportunity, superficially reading the Financial Times, saying how interested they are in "the markets", and having a spreadsheet full of internships and their respective application deadlines. They’ll probably hate the poor too, although they’ll look to hide that within some rubbish about hard work and self-determination.
Given their entire life is centred on getting a job in finance, they’re also more likely than not to be against any scheme looking to support minorities getting opportunities within a white-male dominated world. "It should be done on merit", they scream, thus implying the current reason for the lack of minorities must simply be that their intellect doesn’t merit them getting to work alongside biz-soc’s finest.
This is a fun topic to push these psychopaths on, as it’s one of the key areas in which they let their mask slip, and offer a look below their incredibly thin veneer of "intelligence". To highlight this, an anecdote: at a table with a group of these narcissists I was shocked to hear that, apparently, "if you see a black guy on an investment banking scheme, you assume he’s there because of a quota". Do I? Didn’t realise I was a massive racist, thanks for letting me know.
Now this isn’t to say that anyone switched on with regard to their future career is to be derided. Quite the opposite in fact, those that go on about how disorganised and lazy they are can be as boring as their overzealous counterparts. It is perfectly fine, advisable even, to attend some careers events and dress smartly for the occasion. What sets this group apart is the way in which, once there, they cling to any sort of senior employee, falsely laughing at every little quip and feigning enthusiasm.
In a perfect world, this very clear socially-idiotic behaviour would ostracise these people, meaning it achieves the exact opposite of its intended target, leaving them outside the careers that they so worship. Sadly, enough of their predecessors have smuggled themselves in already, creating a portal through which they too can enter the career of their dreams.
Not that the career will do them much good in the long run. Sure, you’ll be earning a good wage, but that won’t fix the glaring lack of personality, appalling taste, and the feeling that you’re dead inside. Hopefully we'll see them leaving their Central London office with their possessions in a cardboard box in the not too distant future.
Anyway, I’m off to start the third year of my economics degree and apply for an internship at the Big Four.