Friday, September 30, 2005

(Un)Friendly Competition in Law School.

Last night, I had an heart-breaking experience during my Patent Law class. An acquaintance told me about an internship opportunity in NYC with his company that he thought I would be good for. As he was telling me this, inside I was jumping in excitement because I thought that maybe this was destiny helping me find a job. First of all, my rabbis always warned me -- NEVER LOOK FOR DESTINY WHEN CONSIDERING FUTURE EVENTS; ONLY SEE WHERE DESTINY WAS IN PLAY DURING PAST EVENTS. I am often guilty of doing this -- I know I should stop.

Anyway, as I was talking to my classmate about the patent law opportunity, I was concealing my overwhelming excitement so as not to sound desperate. When he mentioned that the internship is in the city, a girl piped up and said "I live in the city." He turned to her and asked her, "so, do you want the internship?" and she said, "of course I would." He then describe the internship to her.

I felt crushed because right out from underneath me, the internship opportunity appeared and then disappeared. I decided that showing interest would maybe persuade him to tell me about it too. I told the girl, "if you find that the internship is not something you are interested in, I would be VERY interested in pursuing it." I hoped that this would have influenced him to talk to me about it later. That didn't happen.

I could tell that the girl felt a little bit of guilt for stepping in on an opportunity, but she was also upset at me for letting it be known that I was interested in the internship, a sign of open competition for a position in the serene classroom environment. At our school students have a silent motto, and that is not to compete or impede the opportunities of the other students. Law school in most schools is cut-throat -- people step on each other and ruin friendships for advancement. This girl was a transfer student.

I sat down at my chair feeling sullen and overpowered. I had a brief friendly confrontation and while I stood up to the competition, I lost. All feelings of failure and inadequacy began to swim around my thoughts, coupled with my ego which kicked in and influenced my thoughts to think that I deserved that position.

However, the truth has to be told. I am not as special as I think I am. I am a regular guy; I have to remember that. Good things can happen, but I should never be angry or sad when they don't happen. I am in charge of my actions, but not the outcomes -- those are up to G-d to decide what is good for me and what is not. Plus, in a week or so, Yom Kippur will be here, where G-d will make an official decree what is in store for me for the coming year -- and that includes how much money I will make and where I will work and whether I will find a shidduch. Apparently these weren't in the cards last year because time has run out and again, the Jewish new year is upon us.

I don't exactly know where I will be working, but in my heart, I feel the need to start searching. All my friends at law school are attending interviews and doing what they should be and I feel like I am falling behind. I haven't sent one resume out, and I haven't made one phone call to meet anyone to find a job. Somehow I am hoping that everything will just work out -- it always has. However, I decided to be proactive and so in the coming weeks, I will get my stuff together and I will start the job search. After all, working as an attorney was the end goal in deciding to go to law school.

1 comment:

Rowan said...

yeah, sometimes destiny needs a little help I believe, at least proactively try to find the employment, then, you'll know that you did all you could.