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Should Have Gone To Law School

, , , , | Learning | August 1, 2019

(I’m an admissions officer of a prestigious university in the UK. I have been invited as a guest lecturer for a junior college summer school prep course, preparing students for university entry. We just finished mock interviews and I am giving feedback to the class. I start praising several students for their performance in the mock interview.)

Me: “Another person that did very well is [Male Student]. Did you know that eight months ago he attended a work experience with his uncle, who’s a GP doctor? And that he was inspired by his stalwart attitude to his patients? And ever since then wanted to become a doctor? The second we started discussing that his face lit up, and I knew that he was genuine. That’s the thing that interviewers are looking for. More than grades, just passion and honesty.”

(Students murmur among themselves and a few admiring glances are cast at [Male Student], who looks rather surprised.)

Me: “Don’t look surprised. You were genuine and honest. Examiners like that.”

Male Student: “Uh, sir? Sorry to burst your bubble, but I lied.”

(The entire room falls silent. I blink in surprise. He seemed the most genuine of the nine students.)

Me: “Really?”

Male Student: *cheerfully* “I wasn’t inspired by my uncle’s attitude to the job. I was inspired by his paycheck. I mean, why else would I want to do a job that involves disease and injury? And all of the gross stuff that doctors have to deal with? Ugh. Anyway, he’s the richest person in the family and that’s motivation enough to take over his clinic.”

(He starts beaming as the rest of the room stares back at him in complete and utter disbelief.)

Me: *stunned* “At least some of it is true.”

Male Student: *sagely* “The best lies are ones that come from truths.”

Me: *sighs* “Anyway, speak like that in your interview and you will definitely be accepted. Just don’t tell the examiner that you were lying about why you want the job.”

(The next year, [Male Student] was among the applicants for my university. He gave the exact same lies in the interview, with even more passion and admiration than the previous time. He passed with flying colours, and was among the most discussed candidates among my colleagues. They all said that he was genuine and passionate about improving patient’s lives and the greater good. I decided not to sabotage him, so I kept quiet about his lies until after his application had been accepted. In the end, it didn’t matter as he decided to enroll in another university, but my colleagues still cannot believe his acting skills. They still say that he seemed to be one of the best and most genuine candidates.)

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