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  • Joanne Tong

Mad Scramble

Updated: Aug 2, 2020

Mad Scramble

Mad Scramble. Pen and ink. Originally published in the Daily Pennsylvanian on February 8, 2007.

On-Campus Recruiting (OCR) was both a blessing and a curse to undergrads at our university. The process allowed companies to come directly to campus to interview students early each semester (full-time job interviews in the fall and summer internship interviews in the spring).

On the plus side, students were able to apply for, schedule, and view all their interviews (which took place on-campus) through one central, online portal — very turnkey. The whole process saved students the hassle of having to contact a million different companies individually through each of their recruiting websites, and then go to their individual headquarters for the screening. On the downside, the competition for those few OCR interview slots was crazy. Some companies received 2,000 applications for about 20 first-round interview slots that actually translated into only 2-5 job positions in the end.

For students that didn’t get picked for interviews the first time around, Add-On Interview Sign-ups were a godsend. They allowed students to submit themselves for consideration as back-up interview candidates in case the original candidates were no-shows or cancelled. (Not uncommon, since some rockstar students landed multiple interview slots and received offers early in the process.)

I know students who camped out outside Career Services daily, battle-ready in full suits, watching those Add-On Interview slots like hawks in the hopes that they’d be selected for an impromptu interview. I’d like to think that persistence paid off in many cases…


On a lighter note:

I threw in an a cappella reference because the ubiquity of these groups on US college campuses greatly amused me.

While I had friends in groups that were particularly good (e.g., the Dear Abbeys and Penn Masala), it was a little ridiculous how there was a group for every gender, culture, musical genre, and combination thereof. No niche was too small! (“We are Penn’s pre-eminent all-female, Korean-speaking, Jewish reggae a cappella group!”) The Wharton MBAs even joined in on the fun and formed a group called Notes Oustanding (a bit of accounting and finance humor — who knew?)…

GQ’s senior editor wrote a book about the entire phenomenon, citing Diane Sawyer, Art Garfunkel, and Osama bin Laden (yes, really) as alums of the college a cappella scene… And all this in the pre-Glee era!


This is a scan of the original drawing prior to publication. More about my stint at the DP here.

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