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Dear Oppy: September 2021

We are proud to continue our agony advice column, Dear Oppy: B-School Advice for the Everyday Sternie – “real questions, terrible advice.”

Oppy can be quite Stern at times but is here to answer the queries and qualms of all MBA students so send them his/her/their way at or fill this out, anonymously.

Dear Oppy, 

I have gotten myself into a tale as old as time. I was living life to my fullest value proposition this summer – interning and swiping. My click-through rate on Bumble was exceeding all forecasted impressions. My demand was outweighing supply, if you will. I was an entrepreneur in heat (I’m not entirely sure what that means just yet. I started my Entrepreneurship and Innovation specialization this semester, but the term just feels right. You know what I mean?) I knew I was a premium product and would only sell if the ROI was at an all-time high. That’s when I saw her. The optics were great. We matched. It was as if we were in this perfectly competitive market and we had found the profit maximization point. She had the first-mover advantage. She took it. We ended up going out and I paid for dinner. Let’s just say my ROI was better than returns during a bull market. 

Fast forward to this week, when I went to the networking event for my top choice of the Big Four, who else is the Stern recruiter but my luscious hot item. 



Wrapped up in (the) recruit(er)ment

Dear Wrapped,

First, you need to ask yourself an important question: Are you more concerned about getting the job or the recruiter? Either way, our first piece of advice is to not describe your sex life or your professional attributes with so many business vocab-specific puns. Unless, of course, you want to end up with neither. If your preference is the job, just play the conversation straight and discuss your qualifications for a Big Four firm like you would with anyone else. Remember, she was a willing participant, too. Mutually-assured destruction is a highly underrated path to professional success. If your goal is another evening of hot regression analysis, well, if you’re willing to kiss your dream job goodbye, it sounds like you don’t need our advice to get things going on that front. We’re serious about the puns though. They wouldn’t be wow-ing us at any networking events.




Dear Oppy,

I have been having coffee chats with various recruiters and I am noticing trends with mask-wearing etiquette across industries. Look. I’m not trying to stereotype here but there are definitely themes…

For instance, I was having a chat with a Stern alum from a tech firm. For the sake of anonymity, let’s call it Moogle. We were on a Zoom call in our separate, prospective apartments and she was wearing a FACEMASK! I couldn’t help myself and asked her about it. Her response was, “Because it’s the right thing to do.” Now, let’s meander over to the other side of the spectrum. I was having an in-person coffee chat with a private equity alum. Let’s say he worked at Greystone. We were in a Think Coffee, mask was down to his chin, and he gave me a nod, as if to say, “you also think this is all liberal snowflake bullshit.” My question is, should I look for the right industry and culture fit based on compatible mask etiquette beliefs?


Masked & Confused

Dear Masked,

Honestly, the Greystone contact may be on to something. As the Belarusian President and self-anointed viral expert, Alexander Lukashenko, said regarding viruses last summer, “Do you see any of them flying around? I don’t see them either.” Still, workplace culture matters, and whether or not you’re buying into overwrought political wokeness or discussing Q’s latest revelation regarding The Steal and government control, it’s important to be on the same page. If your mask preference is important to you, letting it guide you is totally sensible. Just make sure wherever you go that they have a super efficient, nuisance-free “Daily Screener” program for you to fill out every time you go into the building.



Photo credit: SternMBAMemes Instagram

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