Sunday, 3 May 2009

Let it be me

This week involved interviewing interns. Those who have made it through the rigorous screening process, which every year sees my colleagues hanging about after work one day with a few bottles of wine as we sift through the many CVs. My team is young, with the majority of us being under 30, so it’s not that long since we ourselves were the interviewee. Life is tough – there are slim margins between applicants on the academic side as they all seem to be excelling at top notch universities – so more often than not, it comes down to that special chance that one word somewhere on the CV makes a connection with the interviewer – be it a shared interest or the same home town. At the end of the day, they are all plenty smart but you want them to fit in with the existing team but also to bring something new.

At university, I was much like any other student, with that subtle arrogance from the belief that I was en route to something big. The place was full of high achievers who spent their free time perfecting their tennis serve, protesting for human rights or running for university president – all things I believed I could achieve too if I chose to. Then comes graduation, which for many is the final curtain on their childhood, and we are released to once again, become the smallest fish in a very large pond. My self belief is eroded away with every unsuccessful job application and I’m left with regrets. I had a unique four year window of opportunity where I was free to chase after any dream but was too lazy to take advantage of it.

And now it gives me great pleasure to meet these hopeful interns, who are trying to plan their summer vacation to include experiences that will help them on their road forward. Their new suits, straight postures and eager eyes takes me back to a happy time – although with every passing year, the edges become a little more frayed with thoughts of what could have been.


  1. My hubby's company gives their own IQ test. They do not trust the grades or the resume. And... they check their knowledge.

    After you pass the tests.... they have an informal get to know you interview with off the wall questions - What is your favorite episode of Seinfeld? Tom's answer to this one nailed the interview. They all got to laughing and gelled. His favorite - the contest.

  2. I am not familiar with your blog, this is my first time here, you mentioned regrets of what could have been, I was curios as to what you meant!

  3. ah, don't get started with "what could have beens"! I too have a tendency to stray down that path and it's a dark one that leads straight to unsatisfaction with one's current life which usually isn't so bad after all! ;o)

  4. Hit 40 - US TV was a late entrant to my life (although I've never looked back since!). Lucky for me I managed to see it through the medium of Google and I can see how it would have cemented your husband as a guy with a sense of humour!

    Otin - no worries, I just assumed it was the American spelling - haha! As Cris says, life isn't so bad really now but you always think about what you could have done differently, especially when you see someone making the same choices you once did.

  5. Oh what could have been. I like to imagine that sometimes too. I always wish I could have someone take me on an alternative path in my life (kind of like Scrooge) and that it ends up being crappy, which makes me realise that I did in fact make the right choices!