An Open Letter to Corporate Recruiters

Dear Mr. or Ms. Corporate Recruiter,

First, let’s get a few things straight:

  1. We, the students at Penn State, have absolutely nothing to do with the horrible (alleged) acts committed by a few powerful men formerly employed by Penn State University.
  2. This scandal has not changed the quality of education or value of experiences that we’ve received at Penn State University.
  3. If you disagree with numbers 1 or 2, we don’t want to work for you anyway.

Now, let’s cut right to the chase. You’re disgusted by this scandal, and so are we. However, we’re not letting it get in the way of our future. We expect to be looked at the same way by companies, yet rumors have flown suggesting that some of you may not be complying with that request.

Last year, if you recall, Penn State took the top spot in The Wall Street Journal’s recruiter rankings. The sample comment accompanying that ranking labeled us as “bright, well-round students…with the core competencies we desire.” The students you are considering for jobs and internships right now are the same students who helped Penn State reach that #1 ranking, and to discredit them because of a scandal that has nothing to do with them would be absurd.

I know what you’re thinking. “What about those kids I saw rioting in the streets last Wednesday night?” Those kids idiots represent a small minority of the Penn State student body, a group that the rest of us simply shook our heads at in disgust. Do not lump the résumé in front of you in with the images of that night, because chances are you’re making a big mistake.

Maybe the image of those “riots” is all you can picture right now, but, I ask you, picture something else for a second. Thousands of us crowded Old Main lawn on Friday night, candles in hand, to show our support for the victims of this horrible situation and their families. The 20,000+ who wore blue ribbons and shirts to Saturday’s football game did so for the same reason. Flip on CNN or NBC or any of the other dozens of media outlets who have occupied State College the past week and watch students, like myself, discuss our reactions and plans to move forward in a thoughtful and wellspoken manner.

You want to know what Penn State students are about? We’re about THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, that raised over $9.56 million last year for the fight against pediatric cancer. We’re about Paternoville, where over 700 students spent all of last week outside Beaver Stadium to support the student athletes who were unfairly affected by this scandal. We’re about passion, drive, determination, and, most importantly, love. Love for what we do, and love for our school.

As I close this letter, I am reminded of a sign I saw a girl holding last week that proudly stated “We Are Penn State, Not Them.” Mr. or Ms. Recruiter, I think you can agree that judging a book by its cover would be unwise. More unwise, however, would be to judge thousands of “bright, well-rounded” students by the actions of a few misguided men.


John Tecce

P.S. If you’re an actual recruiter and reading this, I’m a marketing major graduating in May with experience in marketing, sales, public relations, management, and communications. Hire me!

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About the Author

John Tecce

John is a senior in the Smeal College of Business majoring in Marketing. He currently serves as the President of the Paternoville Coordination Committee and as a THON Chair for Nittany Nation. He tweets a lot.

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