On becoming apathetic about selling your soul

Are you panicked about Summer internships? Do you pretend to have an interest in finance? Do you worry you’re going to spend the rest of your life in an office? You’re not alone.

Anonymous student

Pictured above: Vinyl (Sunday Life)

When I hear “investment banker” the first thing I think of is straight, hypermasculine male who’s been told he’s incredible his whole life. For those who have met me, you’ll know that I fall just short of this description and in all honesty, the straightest thing I’ve ever done is download Viva la Vida on Spotify. However, this is the career path I am aiming to pursue, to dive headfirst into the big smoke, make lots of money and retire early, all while clinging to what I have left of my sanity after Cambridge. 

Why would I want to do this? I could rattle on about how I am desperate for a life of Duck and Waffle breakfasts every morning, and that at heart I am unapologetically urban, but in truth, I just want to work for as few years as possible. If that means for the bulk of my 20s, I have to dress in privilege and pretend to care about fantasy football, then so be it.

I recently went to a “Career in Finance” event; every stand was accompanied by its own caffeinated man wearing a haircut that screamed, “My masculinity is fragile, look at my scalp”. For fear of looking like a small pile of beige I straightened my back, kept my chin up and approached the least threatening of the lot – naturally, this was just a building society. I approached the stand confidently, introduced myself and swiftly asked “What does an analyst really do?” with a tone that was a little too similar to Fiona Bruce on ‘The Antiques Roadshow’. As soon as he began I involuntarily zoned out and discovered that the stand was giving out promotional notepads; being the cheap sleaze that I am for stationery, my eyes became fixed on them, he noticed and handed me one mid-waffle. I then tried to work out if his underbite was genuine or self-imposed to give the illusion of having jawline. I settled on self-imposed, it gave him a lisp that made him stand out from the other metrosexuals in a non-threatening way, classic banker. I realised that some achieved this by going for unconventional cufflinks, but I admired the efforts he had gone to here. I nodded aimlessly, thanked him and walked away pleased with my free notebook.

The more observant among you will have noticed that I am not enamoured with the idea of becoming a banker, and who knows whether I really will become one. All I know is that I am midway through my second year and my future is undetermined: I am Schrödinger’s privileged Mathmo. Before Cambridge, my aim was so clear: to get into Cambridge. What will happen to me when I enter a world where people’s dreams have never involved cloisters?

"All I know is that I am midway through my second year and my future is undetermined: I am Schrödinger’s privileged Mathmo."

P.S. To any banks that may be considering me for a position, please know that stocks are my passion, I have a poster of J.P Morgan on my door and I wear suits to bed.