Running of the Economists

Running of the Economists

– [Al] I think every market,
however organized, causes a certain amount of stress. ♪ [Spanish music] ♪ – [Robert] January, Philadelphia. The convening of a ritual
that stretches back for decades. Think of it
as the economist’s version of the Running of the Bulls — there’s a horde of PhD students racing from hotel room
to hotel room, trying to land
their very first job. There are some scrapes,
the occasional goring. For all you young PhD students —
we know this is a stressful time. Take a breather,
and enjoy a few cautionary tales from those who have gone before you. – [David] I remember
the main feeling being one of just complete
collective exhaustion. – [Tyler] It feels like the rest
of your life is on the line. – [Betsey] It was an insane
number of interviews. – [Kelvin] The elevators
are impossible to get on. – [Rachel] People are literally
running up five flights of stairs. – [Josh] People were just falling
all over the place. – [Doug] My heels
were completely scarred. – [Garrett] I wrote down
an interview for the wrong day. I showed up a day late,
at exactly the right time. – [Keith] They got the room right,
but they didn’t get the hotel right. – [David] I would walk into rooms — it looked like a neutron bomb
had gone off. – [Jose] Warm in there,
and maybe even a little stinky. – [Doug] Underwear on the floor. – [Josh] I kind of enjoy
the circus aspect of it. – [Betsey] A little bit
like childbirth — I felt very emotional during it, but I then don’t really know,
deeply, what happened. – [Liya] What I knew
about the process was that it was supposed
to be scary. – [Chris] The room was dark. There was an armchair
in the corner, and a lamp that was on
above the armchair. Maybe 17 people in the room. And these questions would
just come out of the darkness. – [David] I really didn’t know
my Greek letter names, and so I was giving my talk,
this parameter V, and this faculty member says,
“That’s a Nu.” – [Marc] One of the interviewers
took a taxi with me, and then our taxi hit someone. The guy, who had been clipped,
started chasing us. So we had this car chase going while I was trying
to make my good impression. – [David] Then a few minutes later,
I said, “And this paramenter, P…” She goes, “That’s Rho.” – [Elaine] He pulled out
a tape recorder, and he said, “I’d like you to teach
to this tape recorder.” So I was asked
to explain the difference between demand and quantity demand
right on the spot. Completely failed. – [David] I put up the symbol Pi,
and just to head her off, I said, “And this parameter,
which I call Pi…” (laughs) – [Al] I once arrived
for an interview in the Business School, to be told that the position
had vanished while I was traveling. – [Betsey] You can’t read the room;
you really can’t. – [Kelvin] There’s
very little smiling. – [Liya] I’m thinking
the whole time, “This person doesn’t like me.” – [Garett] I’ve never actually
had a positive feeling coming out of any of the interviews
where I later got a flyback. – [Chris] Another good friend
of mine was walking down the stairs to her job market talk, slipped and fell down
eight stairs, tumbling. Everything she had
in her purse and bag went all over the lobby. She kind of had to pick herself up,
walk in, and give the job talk. And when she did, the first button she hit
shut down the entire projector. And she still got the job. – [Betsey] I know this is hard
for people in the market to hear — interviewing is way worse. – [Tyler] I am bored.
I don’t like your prepared script. I want to hear something else. – [Mary] Do not let them
schedule your interview at five o’clock in the afternoon. – [Josh] It was late in the day,
and late in the meetings. By the time I showed up, the hiring committee
were laid out on the bed most of the way
into a bottle of Scotch. – [Tim] I was mainly interacting
with the gentleman that was across from me, and I didn’t hear much
from the gentleman on my right, so I sort of peeked over,
and he was just… – [David] Look, it can be a really,
really tough process. Some of the interviews
won’t go well. But the people
in the next interview don’t know what happened
in the last one. – [Betsey] I think
the most important thing is that they have fun. A pretty unique and fun time to have that much attention
given to the work that you’ve spent
so much time doing. – [Al] You’re going to have
a chance to talk to lots of people about the work
that you’ve been doing over the last few years. – [Caroline] It’s not normal,
as a graduate student, to have people say, “Oh,
I’m so interested in your paper. Please tell me all about it!” It’s fun to have other people
be interested in your research. – [Josh] You’re interviewing to join
a particular kind of priesthood. Are you ready for a lifetime
of celibacy and modest rations? – [Robert] I know it’s easy
for me to say, but, in the end, do try to enjoy the process. Like the Running of the Bulls
in Pamplona, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Preparation is important. We’ve pulled together
the best guides and tips from around the web
to help you out. Click to check them out,
and best of luck, everyone! ♪ [Spanish music] ♪

9 thoughts on “Running of the Economists

  1. Looking to prep for the interviews? Check out the best guides and tips from around the web:

  2. Do you have to get a PhD if you want to study economics? Are there other jobs for someone with a Econ degree?

  3. I hope economist get kidnapped and tortured in the future so they make it more of a science and not Theory you can't trust an economist it he if he's bought off by Bank

  4. What's the point of this video? Why is it an ad on YouTube? Anyone getting a PhD knows the process, and everyone else doesn't care.

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