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When September Ends by Yuliya K. '18

on career fair, life, and other occurrences

Life is back on the MIT track…

I ended my most recent blog post with that. Here’s what it means.

Last week was Career Fair. The day when suits replace the sweatpants+baggy tee combos and everyone clutches a folder of resumes in the hopes of getting a dream job.

There are always plenty of dreams in attendance. Check your “most visited” website stats: Google, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Dropbox, Amazon

They’re all here, ready to talk to you. They might even add your resume to the thick stack on their clipboards that are definitely over capacity. Some of those resumes will yield a coveted internship, job, or career.

There’s SpaceX, 3M, Capital One, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) , Electronic Arts (EA), General Electric, Goldman Sachs, L’Oreal, NASA, National Basketball Association (NBA), National Security Agency (NSA), OkCupid, Peace Corps, Samsung Electronics, The New York Times, U.S. Department of Energy… And 400 more.

They come with catchy slogans like “Dreamers welcome” or “Wanted: insatiable curiosity.” They give out swag. Here, some stickers and pens and notebooks from Facebook. A Dropbox t-shirt. Bright Google sunglasses. You are now a walking advertisement. (For the most impressive collection of Career Fair swag, see “Tales of my first Career Fair” by Kevin S. ’19)

Regardless of job-acquisition chances, Career Fair is fun. A whole jolly bubble within the MIT bubble. You get to preview what’s way ahead. The life beyond and outside MIT. Many recruiters are alumni. You might see yourself in them. Working the dream. Moving up.

Outside, there are food trucks with long lines. Means there’s free food. Exhibit patience and you’ll get treats: ice cream, grilled cheese, and raspberry lemonade. Free food never fails.

Back home, the Career Fair mood remains. Festive and agitated. You’ll hear, “How many careers did you get?” and “How did it go?” and “Did you talk to CompanyX? Do you think you’ll apply?”

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This weekend, a group of hall residents went to see The Martian. It was awesome! Not to spoil anything, but it features JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory). And two members of hall worked at JPL this summer! One of them also builds solar cars. She’s the solar car captain. Pretty awesome. Also, MIT is designing a skintight spacesuit akin to the one in the movie. I admit, I wanted to be an engineering major for at least an hour after the viewing.

The Martian hit really close to home.

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Yesterday, I submitted my first philosophy paper. Which felt quite odd. Ask me a year ago if I’d study philosophy at Harvard, as well as read and write all the time, and I’d cringe. “I won’t have to write any papers this semester. Yay!” I said then. Oops… I was so wrong.

Today, I got a UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program). One I’ll describe later. Spoiler: I’m very excited. Spoiler 2: I might get to speak to a fighter pilot and the Department of Education for it. What do they have in common? Coming soon.

Other than that, things revolve around class and hall life, mostly. Essay season has passed. The leaves of paper have fallen into their designated slots. I’m running out of binder space.

There are also occasional Boston adventures. In Boston, there are cheap fruit, city lights, fun events, spontaneous performances, music, art, and theatre.

But actually, you can find that at MIT as well. You can cozy up in your room or one of the lounges. Feel a part of a whole separate world.

That’s what I’ll do right now.

Goodbye