Nepotism: Not as Important as It Seems

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Minh Hua
Campus Beat Reporter

There are three hard facts of life: we all die someday, buffalo chicken cheese fries are good when you’re drunk, and internships are valuable. When it comes to finding internships, some are more lucky than others. If a college student has a relative working in a company that is seeking summer interns, they have a substantial advantage when it comes to getting the internship — and that’s totally fine.

On the surface, nepotism might seem like a corrupt practice that perpetuates privilege over ability. However, I would argue that nepotism is inconsequential in the face of diligence, ability, and gumption.

An intern who puts more work and dedication into an internship gets an infinitely greater amount of value from the experience than an intern who doesn’t. An internship has ramifications that go far beyond a single, isolated summer or semester — it isn’t simply a resume-building experience. An internship expands an intern’s network, inspires their curiosity, and teaches them invaluable skills.

As a result, if an intern does not maximize their internship experience and is only there to decorate their resume, they will be worse off than someone without an internship. Keep in mind that an internship is not a student’s end goal. It is merely a jumping off point for bigger and better things.

In the art of samurai sword making, steel is folded at least 20 times before it is turned into an indestructible weapon. In this sense, a student who goes through life coddled by nepotism is like steel folded only once — they will bend at the slightest breeze of the wind. On the other hand, a student who learns from rejection and never gives up is like steel folded a thousand times — not even a tank can hold off their unstoppable force. Therefore, nepotism has nothing to do with giving college interns advantages in the long run; in fact, it might even hurt the intern.

At its core, nepotism is an issue of luck. Luck places you in the right place at the right time — or in the case of nepotism, places you in the right family at the right company.

Simply put, the only thing differentiating two qualified candidates competing for the same position is something completely beyond the scope of their control. Because it is impossible to control the circumstances that place you in a beneficial situation, the only thing you can manipulate is how you choose to act with the opportunities given to you.

If a student is presented with an opportunity, regardless of whether they reached it through nepotism or hard work, it would be wasteful not to take advantage of it. Today’s capitalistic world was not built by equality and fairness, but by opportunists and doers.

Fading are the days of gumption, where courageous men and women braved the unknown, holding down the elements by their throats and yelling, “Look out world! Here I come.” The world’s supply of Paul Bunyans, Amelia Earharts, Ragnar Lothbroks, and Marie Curies are shrinking as a privileged world smothered by technology emerges to supplant the heroics of yore. But today I say to you “No more.”

Brothers and sisters of the world I say to you, “Put down your Facebook and pick up the hammer, for today is the day we build a better world. We shouldn’t be wasting our precious time debating the ethics of nepotism. Instead, we should be kicking down company doors and taking our rightful places with our abilities. Every single one of us has the potential to take the human race farther then it has ever been, if only we’d stop complaining and start doing.”

In the end, it all comes down to the individual in question. Are they willing to maximize any and every opportunity that presents itself? If a student can confidently answer this question in the affirmative, then nepotism is merely a tiny detour in the long marathon of success.

So next time, don’t be jealous when your friend who has a relative working in I.V. Deli Mart gets an internship as a professional buffalo chicken fryer. Look critically at yourself, reexamine your values, and you will find that you are infinitely more capable than a professional buffalo chicken fryer.