Desperation for employment fuels externship matching process

Last month, in order to provide supplementary experience to students prior to internships, the Office of Career Services hosted the externship matching process, signaling the start of a process that has long been known to dig out the sharpest grit in every student. This year in particular set a new record with exactly 78 mattresses, 41 sleeping bags, and even a tent being used by students camping outside of the Office, waiting to secure an externship.
“I am so proud of myself for withstanding the hardship for that long,” said Grant Gritson ’19. “I camped outside of Career Services for 48 hours prior to the start of registration, and it was all worth it. Did you know I skipped all my classes and didn’t eat a single meal? I even brought my bed mattress all the way from Mary Lyons to sleep on the floor! Look at me now, all ready for an externship and on my way to getting employed. I’m a step ahead of everyone else, and I damn sure earned it.”
Gritson may have been the earliest, but was certainly not the only one who camped outside. According to Gritson, the number of people camping out increased, especially near the 24-hour mark prior to the opening of the matching process. Mattresses filed in, and by the 12-hour mark, the Parrish hallways were completely filled with mattresses on both the first and second floor.
“I was late to the process,” said Donald Kim ’18, who joined the campout only 10 hours prior to the opening. “I had an alternative that no one else thought of. A week before, I ordered a tent from Amazon specifically for this event. I brought the tent with me and set up right outside Parrish West, near the Career Services Office. The result? I was suddenly closer to the office than more than half of the people struggling in line with their mattresses and sleeping bags. It was cold, but at least I got my externship. After all, only the strong survive.”
At the time this article was written, Kim was in the Worth Health Center for the fifth day due to a severe case of pneumonia brought on by the outdoor campout.
Among the most desperate were non-STEM majors trying everything possible to put their majors to use. Of the students who camped outside the Career Services Office, around 80 percent were reported to be majoring in a humanities field of study. According to Paige Turner ’18, a double-major in English literature and music, the struggle for employment is “real and brutal” for those majoring in “what the public seems to think of as useless.”
“I am doing whatever I can to make myself look as employable as those computer science majors,” Turner said. “Don’t get me wrong—I love English literature and music, but what sane employer wants to recruit someone who studied what they think is absolutely useless in real life? They want those meaty STEM majors who deal with ‘real’ stuff. I hate this reality so much, but what can I do? I majored in what I love, and I am paying the full price for it right now!”
Despite such drama surrounding these externships, the Career Services Office has refrained from discouraging such practice. On the contrary, the Office openly encouraged students to engage in such intense battle, arguing that it is all part of the Swarthmore learning process, especially as a hands-on experience to discover how competitive it is to get employed these days.
“I am so delighted that the students themselves are creating this experience,” said Camille Jobson, Career Services counselor. “I love it when I get to see students struggling because they are really preparing themselves for the future. The job market is filled with unimaginable struggles that you would not normally see in the bubble that is Swarthmore—I always worry about whether our students will even get employed in the future. Their ability to overcome this challenge gives me hope that maybe our students are employable in the first place!”
Disclaimer: This article was written purely with a satirical purpose. The information presented in this article is thus false and completely untrue. The people mentioned in this article are also fictional.

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