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It’s good to know I have a lot of options.

I guess summer is the time when overworked, red-eyed college students are released from our ivory towers to…”freedom”. The freedom (burden) of having many weeks of self-scheduled time to hopefully jam pack with experiences and contemplation on what we’re supposed to be doing with our lives (kudos if you’ve already figured it out, or realized that you don’t need to) away from the convenient distractions of classes and exams. Maybe helped along with some beachy lounging, moments of unadulterated bliss, and sangria here and there.

But when you’re working 14+ hour days as an analyst, you and your fellow disillusioned coworker may one day realize (via witty email exchange!) that Google can speed things up in more than just work related situations.

Google (“what to do with my life”) –> I’m Feeling Lucky

Surprisingly good article? Or maybe just hits a little too close to home. Am usually not a big fan of self-help books (“I don’t need any help!”), but may pick this one up…

PS- Am currently watching the MJ memorial on TV in my hotel room. Quite touching, actually (ooh, Kobe is there) and great performances. He may have been slightly insane, but when it comes to what to do with your life? be yourself? live to your heart’s desires, and don’t tone it down not even a little? MJ got it right.

what we don’t have. It’s a new semester.

We talked about  Herceptin ‘s mechanism of action today in my Molecular + Engineering Aspects of Biotechnology class today (great course by the way–I love classes that meet around conference tables). It made me so sad that I won’t be working at Genentech again this summer. It is such a lovely place to be–sunny, quirky, and hugging the ocean– a place where the employees swell with pride about what they do and the products they contribute to (I think I cried both times at summer orientation when they showed the video of the cancer patient talking about how Avastin changed her life).

It is crunch time right now for on campus recruiting. I tell all these firms in my interviews that I am looking for something outside of industry experience, that placing myself in a pool of type A sleep deprived professionals will challenge me to perform at my best. Compared to the tough worlds of finance, consulting, or law, Genentech is like a happy little pasture. My safe place 🙂 I hope I’ll be back someday.

The bottom line is that I don’t deal with the bottom line. The luxury in my life is I never have to think about it.
Karl Lagerfeld, on budget cuts at Chanel.

Well, no one knows luxury like Karl Lagerfeld. So is being able to do what you want to do without worrying about your company or your department’s balance sheet the ultimate career-extravagance? It certainly sounds nice, but in most professions, what happens is actually the opposite. In business, law, and industry jobs, the higher up you move within your organization, the more you are responsible for things like revenue, profits, and growth. In law especially, associates do most of the actual legal work, while partners are there to bring in the clients. No one you know willing to pay you $800 an hour for a team of bleary-eyed associates? No partnership for you. In other fields, even academics, successful doctors, or directors of non-profit organizations must eventually think about the financial health of their endowments, clinics, and donations.

In fact, I can’t think of how many fashion conscious MBA students would kill for a management job thinking about the bottom line of Chanel every day.

So not only is Karl Lagerfeld impeccably dressed, he is also very lucky. Very few people can manage both freedom of self expression at work (or lack of work) and advancement in their careers. Most of my classmates (myself included) will end up sacrificing complete creative freedom at work in exchange for financial freedom in their personal lives–the ability to enjoy a self dictated lifestyle and indulge in things like buying Karl Lagerfeld’s designs.