Everything you need to know

Dear Joe,

I recently tried out my business prowess at the BOC. While it’s still too early to tell, I think things went pretty well. My résumé was impressive, and several companies asked me for interviews. I’ve heard these interviews can be pretty harsh. Any advice on how to maximize my chances of being selected for an internship?

—Apt applicant at Atwood

Dear Apt,

Congratulations on finding a few companies that are interested in you. Certainly, your impressive résumé helped get you to where you are now. But now what? These companies are going to ask questions with teeth. If you want to avoid bite marks, listen closely: Don’t do a thing.

That’s right. If you are like any other Carnegie Mellon student, you probably possess all the skills for whatever you are applying for. More importantly, you also most likely have enough stress to crack a steel beam. Thus, the only thing getting in your way is your nerves. Let me suggest a few quick cures: Try taking a run or swim. Now that Entropy has blocked the windows from the pool, you can swim with comfort. Take a nap after classes, or whenever you feel like it, for that matter. Spend some quality time with friends. Avoid those who make you feel like the bottom man on the Walking to the Sky pole.

When the interview comes around, hopefully you’ll be relaxed and refreshed. From there, just be sure to avoid the trap doors. These are usually activated by key words, such as “raise” or “prison.”

—Regards, Joe

Dear Joe,

Slam! That probably didn’t feel too good, did it? It seems like every building I walk into, someone is always ahead of me, almost plotting to give me a face full of door when I try getting in. Can’t people hold the door? Is the concept of etiquette a historical footnote? How do I get back at the door slammers?

-Closed-minded in Fairfax

Dear Closed,

First off, no, that did not feel too good. I get the door slammed on me too, so I do not appreciate the feeling in the comfort of my own article.

As for your other questions, it seems to me that common courtesies such as holding doors have gone the way of typewriters and ice cream that isn’t Dippin’ Dots. That doesn’t mean that we still can’t practice these courtesies. In fact, basic economics will tell you that because holding doors is so rare nowadays, anyone who does it will seem like an absolute stud. Who knows, maybe the next person you hold the door for will be a breathtaking model with good taste in manners.

So maybe I am exaggerating. Regardless, fight the issue by moving forward, rather than “getting back.” Even if Miss Entrance ’08 does not show up from your good deeds, it is encouraging to think of all those you helped out in the process.

—Regards, Joe