A friend's daughter recently graduated from Rice, one of the finest universities in the nation (despite a name that's a little too heavy in carbs). This cum laude student, who studied English Literature, is thrilled with her new job as a casting assistant on an MTV reality show in New York.
Another friend's son, a rising sophomore at Brown, is home in Los Angeles for the summer. He is one of those talented, charismatic kids who could get a job anywhere. His summer internship? A gofer on an MTV reality show.
And yesterday I heard about the brilliant sister of one of CJ's friends, who is undecided about her undergraduate major at Penn, but is fairly certain that she wants to be a physician. She had the opportunity to do genome research at UCLA this summer. Instead, guess where she's working.
Yes, college kids across the nation are shunning community service trips to Malawi and apprenticeships at law firms, opting to prepare coffee for the crew of Pimp My Ride and Punk'd.
(Disclaimer: I have not actually seen these shows because I can't find my MTV amidst 287 channels, but I'm sure they are of the highest quality. I do remember the Addicted to Love video, though, and it was awesome.)
The MTV career trend should come as a great relief to neurotic parents everywhere. Surely it should not matter which college your son or daughter attends if his or her ambition is to end up as a P.A. on Jackass. But, according to the Neurotic Parent Institute, that is not the case. In a surprising study, 93% of the support staff on The Real World attended Harvard, Princeton or Yale. That means students from less-prestigious colleges have been forced to seek work in the real real world instead.
How should a student prepare for one of these 21st Century dream jobs? According to Dr. Gordon A. Power, Academic Dean at Stanford, the best choice of majors would vary from show to show. He suggested the following:
Pimp My Ride – Mechanical Engineering
Jackass - Trauma Psychology (M.S. preferred)
Punk'd – Cultural Anthropology
Celebrity Rap Star – Musicology
Dr. Power also advised not limiting one's options to MTV. He encouraged recent grads to explore related opportunities on programs such as Pussycat Dolls' Girlicious on CW, appropriate for those pursuing Women Studies.
But the true victims of the MTV job glut are those students who slacked off watching MTV reality shows while in high school. These kids, unlike their Ivy League counterparts, stand little or no chance of ever working on Viva la Bam. Sadly, disillusioned students from second and third tier schools will now be forced to find employment at less desirable places like Intel or Goldman Sachs.