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I won’t be workin’ on the railroad

Today the UW held the first of several career fairs, so I printed out a batch of new resumes and attended with Kelly, who is searching for a job in a much more earnest sense than myself, being all graduated and whatnot. The HUB ballroom bustled with company booths and their representatives, as well as swarms of UW students hoping to get their foot in a door, any door. Some of us took this dread obligation more seriously than others. More on that in a moment.

The companies in attendance surprised me, in that at least a third were technology firms, many of them consulting firms. That seemed odd, but maybe I’m out of touch. The most popular, such as Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, and AE Games, all had lines to talk to the recruiters. The military presence also seemed pretty strong – Navy, Air Force, Army, CIA, and others all had booths set up in the same aisle. Regardless of their wares, each organization’s booth invariably had freebies to hand out, ostensibly to cement their presence in the minds of young job-seekers. Early arrivers were treated to Adidas jackets, frisbees, beach balls, and all manner of T-shirts. By the time I arrived, the pickings had slimmed, but not by enough to discourage the resourceful scavenger.

The attendees came from all walks of life, provided you restrict that to “UW students”. There were basically two kinds: those in suits / formal dresses and those not. The suits and dresses obviously had firm goals in mind when they came to the fair. Of the non-suited, there were two subdivisions: those whose goals matched the suits’, and those who just came looking for all the free swag they could carry away. Guess which group I fell into.

Man, did I ever get some boss swag. You can’t just walk up to the table, grab swag and run; the trick is to talk to the representatives as if you intended to work for them someday before grabbing the goods. “Yes, I’m very interested in the railroad industry. No, I don’t have a problem relocating to Texas.” That line and a resume scored me a sweet wooden four-tone train whistle from the folks at Burlington Northern Railway Santa Fe. EA Games has no intent to interview anyone until spring, but gave me a flashing yo-yo all the same. Expedia is actually going to call me for an interview soon, if their recruiter is to be believed, and I made off with a squishy boat thing and a beach ball. Not too bad. This is to say nothing of the dozens of sweet, sweet miniature candy bars.

After the fair, I rounded up Kelly, her friend Connor, Nathan, and Ben to go see Dodgeball, possibly the funniest movie ever made, in the HUB auditorium. I told all of them exactly that opinion when I first saw the movie months ago, but they didn’t believe me. Sure, it’s intellectually bankrupt, to use my new catch phrase, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t kick ass. It’s the feel-good movie of the year. You will see it.

Posted in Musings.


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