Albert Camus stated that ‘to name things wrongly is to add to the misfortune in the world’. Amid applications for various corporate internships while balancing university work and other fun(ish) things, these words made me think about the things that people often label wrongly. And whether, through my pursuit of a summer corporate internship, I was doing exactly this.

Whether you think a corporate graduate job or internship is a blessing or a curse depends largely on your worldview, priorities, and interests. All perspectives on corporate graduate jobs are plausible. As for myself, I remain unsure. But it’s worth exploring why these two views may be held by someone in the first place.

For a creative person, a corporate graduate job doesn’t only represent a boring grey dystopia — one not too dissimilar to life during an impeding essay deadline that stares you in the face after consecutive benders. It’s also not fruitful, not fun, and, for that reason, not feasible. It’s easy to understand why: analysing the bond market is hardly an entertaining task and — in an inflation-nation Britain — probably not very easy either. Because of this, the corporate route is the furthest thing from an option for many people. If anything, it’s a punishment. And the fine salary is hardly a remedy to the wounds inflicted on the body and mind. To people of this persuasion, saying anything contrary to this actualises one of those ‘I would go to prison for an X amount of money' kind of statements. Which is understandable if a comfy paycheck isn’t the holy grail of your existence.

“A job stands for ’Just Over Broke”

For some of the big-bad-hustle-culture-entrepreneurs — whether they be the digital libertarian crypto-loving type, handsomely-paid tutors, or activewear business owners getting a ‘traditional job’ is a non-starter in the first place. To them, a job stands for ‘Just Over Broke’. Getting paid 12 times in a year sounds more than painful– as is often expressed in their favourite rap songs.

But is this degree that I’m constantly toiling away at really going to amount to nothing but a grand-old corporate job? Working myself to the ground, all the while remaining positive because I know that I’ll sleep when I’m dead? ‘I hope not’, says my creative instincts. But, speaking with my rational hat on, I’m aware that this won’t be the case … or rather, it doesn’t need to be the case.

The process of applying for summer and spring internships has made me more introspective, perhaps even wiser. My view that corporate life is subject to a binary categorisation of ‘a blessing or a curse’ has subsided. However, I’m aware that this could be the legacy of the consecutive rejections I’ve had, which may have instilled a persistence (and debatable ignorance) towards the harsh realities of the corporate hustle.

“The corporate graduate job is what you make of it … like anything in life”

On that note, although it’s true that the depiction of the corporate world is often one of relentlessness, savagery, and intimidation, this is not the rule. Realistically, like anything, the corporate graduate job is what you make of it … like anything in life. Therefore, this univocal characterization of the corporate industry is, to an extent, rather immature. And if someone wants to regard the corporate career, whether it be at the immense investment bank, large law firm, or massive management consulting company, as a curse based on this assumption, then they may want to reconsider its plausibility. A corporate job, while difficult, strenuous, intellectually challenging, and more fast-paced than many other jobs, is not merely aimless and pointless toil. If (and it’s a big IF) that is where your strengths and interests lie, then the corporate career is not a curse, and nobody can say otherwise.


Mountain View

Corporate careers: for love nor money

There are greater forces at play that may mean the corporate grad job, much like what many assume of Oxbridge, is far from a curse. It is a ticket —in fact, THE ticket. For those with certain responsibilities, priorities, and considerations (especially financial ones), a corporate graduate role may be the break that they have been waiting for and working towards. On top of this, if it suits their strengths and is aligned with their interests, then it makes perfect sense as to why the corporate career is an appealing proposition. Therefore, far from being ‘sell-outs’, a favourite ridicule among anti-corporate-careerists, these buy-ins to the corporate life ought to be optimistic about its prospects.

As someone who considers themselves a mix of the creative and the entrepreneurial, the question of whether the corporate grad job is a blessing or a curse is something I’ll continue to explore. However, one thing I am sure of is that it cannot be labelled one of the two for everyone. And, for people such as myself, it probably cannot be labelled any of the two.