ONE option (there are others — we’ll get to those in future posts) that English/CW majors should know about: management development programs. Sometimes called “leadership development” or “rotational programs,” these opportunities involve a one- to two-year commitment to a mid-size to large company. During that time, the new employee rotates through several different departments, learning how different parts of the company operate, trying out different skill sets, and and getting the big picture that will eventually help him or her flourish in a particular role. If all goes well, at the end of the program, the employee is hired into a permanent managerial role in whichever part of the company is the best fit.
To understand their work ethic, I do ask this question: Would you be willing to leave your family at Disneyland to do something that was really important for the company?
Some people have said no, and I haven’t hired them.
It’s interesting because I did leave my wife and kids at Disneyland once. It was to close the biggest deal of our company’s history. I left for two days. It wasn’t like I was leaving them there for the whole vacation.
To me, it’s not so much a loyalty question. It’s more of just trying to understand their work ethic.
There are a number of takeaways here.
To work at this company, you have to be able to answer “yes” with sincerity.
If your answer would be “no,” you wouldn’t get the job. But that could be a good thing.
It might be worth asking yourself: what is the work for which you WOULD leave your family at Disneyland for two days? A career-making writing opportunity? The chance to do some game-changing fundraising for your nonprofit? An international conflict that needs your particular skills?
If you can’t imagine the career goal that would take you away from a family vacation, that may be a non-negotiable core value that will shape your career decisions. Or it could mean that you haven’t yet discovered the work that means that much to you.
There is no “right” answer to an interview question — there is only the answer that accurately conveys whether or not you would be a good fit for that organization (and by extension, whether the organization is a good fit for you).
There’s lots coming up for the literary-at-heart! Shakespeare, of course (Twelfth Night, this year), but also Rules of the Game (Pirandello’s absurdist play, reimagined by a team including the musician Pharrell Williams, a dancer, and a visual artist), Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins (Lin-Manuel Miranda was not the first to come up with witty political musical theater!), and Imago Theater (pushing the boundaries of storytelling with puppets, for grownups).
And of course, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (even if you live in Chicago, you will never see them as easily or as inexpensively), the Moscow Festival Ballet, the Takacs Quartet…and that’s just scratching the surface.
Our advice?Look over the schedule (if you’re in CU, you can pick up a hard copy in the Krannert lobby), pick out two or three performances you want to commit to, get your tickets online this summer, and mark the events in your calendar NOW, with a reminder a day or two before. Worst case scenario? If you realize the day before that you have an unavoidable conflict, you can usually exchange the tickets for credit towards a different event. (See details on refunds and other ticketing matters here.)
Overwhelmed by choice? We suggest a variation of our approach to signing up for clubs on Quad Day. Pick one thing from each category:
an event that that connects to your interests in some way (a play if you’re a theater buff, a musical performance involving the instrument you played in high school or a composer you’ve heard before, a visiting performer from a country that interests you),
an event that will expand your cultural experience in some way that you desire (never been to an opera or seen live ballet? want to know classical music better? trying to cultivate an ear for jazz? GO!), and
an event that sounds completely new and unfamiliar.
Then, when the semester is underway and you’re settled into the stressful ebb and flow of college life, you’ll have something to shake you out of your routines and give your brain a break. You will think, “Oh, I can’t possibly…why did I do this…no…I have so much to do…” but then you will go, and you will be glad you did.