Recruiter to Student: It's Not You, It's Me

(Hamilton) Paradigm Management recruiter Art Hanson dinged RC student Janice Watson for a summer internship last Friday night, citing bad experiences with past MBAs as the reason.

“It’s not you. It’s me,” Hanson said a soft, caring voice. “I just got out of a really bad internship with an MBA from Tuck. I thought I was over it, but I guess I’m not.”

When Watson asked Hanson why Paradigm Management came to campus in the first place if they never meant to hire an intern, Hanson apologized for wasting Watson’s time.

“I never meant to lead you on,” Hanson replied. “I really thought I was ready to move forward with new internships. You see, I’ve been hurt before, but I’ve always rebounded quickly. Only this time, something’s different. I just think I need a break from internships for a while.”

Watson, a student whose been dinged by numerous recruiters in the past, didn’t buy anything Hanson was saying.

“It’s because of my past, isn’t it?” Watson asked with a quivering tongue.

“I thought you said you didn’t care if I had a bunch of different jobs before business school. Who cares what other people think? That’s what you said.”

“Janice, that’s not it at all,” Hanson replied. “It would be hypocritical of me if it was. I’ve been around the block a few times myself.”

“Well if it’s not that, then there must be someone else in the picture,” Watson accused a surprised Hanson. “After all the time we spent together in the Spangler project rooms and at the Charles Hotel, you could at least be honest with me. I’d rather hear it straight from you now, rather than from some random student later, that you’ve given the internship to somebody else.”

Hanson slowly responded, “Janice, I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this, but if you really must know the truth, here it is: I found someone else.”
Watson was outraged.

“How could you do this to me?” she yelled. “You said I was the only one for the internship. I opened up my soul to you – you called every single one of my references! I thought you were different from the other recruiters, but you’re obviously not.”

Hanson tried to defend himself.

“Listen Janice,” Hanson said defensively. “I really wasn’t looking for someone else. The internship was yours. But sometimes things just happen.”

What happened, Watson discovered, was a chance meeting between
Hanson and Columbia first-year Erica Swanson. Erica, Hanson said, was his dream candidate – Ivy education, relevant work experience and, most importantly, she wasn’t looking for a serious internship. She just wanted to have fun for the summer and see what happens.

“I’m sorry, Janice, you just wanted too much of a commitment from Paradigm. But we just aren’t prepared to give it at this time.”

“Seriously, we had one 30-minute interview, and you were already talking about being a partner. After the second interview, you wanted me to meet your parents. Things were just moving way too fast for me and Paradigm. Let’s just say we’re at different stages – we simply want different things.”

Hanson then moved quickly to end the call after he noticed he had a department meeting in five minutes.

“You’re a wonderful candidate, Janice, and I know that someday you’re gonna make some company real happy.”

“I really treasure all the time we’ve spent together and I hope we can still be friends.”

Watson agreed and told Hanson she’d “call him sometime.”

Hanson hopes she’ll do that because he’d “love to hear how she’s doing.”