Big Fish in a Little Pond; My Existential Crisis

The group projects are officially finished so all that’s left is cramming for exams in two weeks (during week 9). Last week was a bit stressful and overwhelming, but like always I’m going to share every gritty detail with you.

Crazy Week at Work

This last week was absolutely nuts at work. Why you might ask? Well, for starters, I walked into the office on Tuesday (Monday was Easter holiday) to find that the program I use for editing (Premiere Pro 2017 CC) had been deleted from my computer! It took 3 days for IT to get it back which meant that I lots 3 days of work. To top it off, I had about 5 really important projects that needed done that week. I was able to work an extra 6 hours this Saturday after class to catch up but that was obviously not ideal.

Electives Marketplace

On Wednesday, Frankfurt School hosted our electives marketplace. This was our chance to check out the electives offered for the rest of our program and talk to the professors. I don’t think it was super helpful because I basically already knew which class I wanted to take (Behavioral Finance). Not because I’m super excited for the course but because it’s the least bad option available. If you’ve been following me for any length of time you will know that I am working hard to be able to study abroad my final semester. The main reason for this is because I really don’t like the electives Frankfurt School offers. They’re all generally very hard-skill, technical, math-based courses such as Python Algorithm trading (yuck).

I think behavioral finance will be fun though mostly because I will be able to draw on my marketing background’s emphasis on psychology. I think I mentioned it all the way back in Week #7 of last semester that I began an introductory psychology class on iTunesU. I haven’t had time to finish the course but I got over halfway though it and really enjoyed it. I have half a mind to download the lectures to listen to on the bus or plane or (heaven forbid) beach during Spring Break. But then again, it’s my one chance for a vacation so I should probably avoid making myself do any extra work.

Existential Crisis

You all know that I like to be very honest here on my blog. With that in mind, I think that it is only appropriate to talk about the final major event in my week; my existential meltdown. What started out as an informative and helpful in-class discussion about preparing for the job markets and how to practice for interviews ended up with me in tears the rest of the night.

Basically, I don’t know how I will be able to compete with my classmates on the job market. Many of them already have jobs that put them through these insane interview processes and the rest seem so much more able/confident in their abilities to be ready for these interviews in the near future.

If you didn’t know, interviewing for these giant investment banks is pretty much the most rigorous and stressful event in our young lives. People spend months preparing for them learning the most random statistics such as country demographics, niche markets, and of course the company history and current projects. I don’t know where any one comes up with the time to do all of this, especially if they are working, like me.

So assuming my fears are founded (keep in mind that I am a very good judge of these things or at least so said the counselor I saw last year), I don’t know how I will get a good enough job to offset the giant price I paid for this program. The foundation of my meltdown was worrying that I could have gotten an average job after my undergraduate and been in the same (or better) position overall than if I get a slightly better job after taking on so much more debt here at FS.

It’s very difficult to try and remember the value of this degree in United States terms though. I know where I stand if I tried to get a job in Germany but I think that my degree could possibly appreciate in value in the US just because a European education and experience abroad is seen very positively. At the same time, I don’t know how well known FS is in the industry outside of Germany/Europe. It’s possible that the obscurity of the school will offset the value of the international experience and I will be left back at square one.

I guess only time will tell if I made the right decision or not. At the moment, I really have to focus on passing my classes (and maybe even getting a good grade in them) and internship applications. One of the biggest things setting me back right now is a lack of relevant work experience which a summer internship would help solve. So far I haven’t hear back from any of the first round of applications I sent so at some point I am going to have to find time to send out another round.

So much to do and so little time to do it seems to be the motto for the program and I’m no exception. Oh well, only 3 weeks until sunny Portugal!

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