Corporate Rock: How to Shake Up the Corporate Conversation

From suits and ties to stilted HR humor and painful crop circles, Corporate Conversations just aren’t fun anymore. It has become apparent that the current model for Corporate Conversations has become strictly business. I believe that fun and responsibility can coexist once again at Booth. I have a plan to bring the fun back to these crucial forums: Corporate Conversations need to be conducted as rock concerts.

First, presenters should ditch PowerPoint and avoid handouts at all costs. Instead, they should tape their notes on the floor in front of them where only they can see. At the end of the Corporate Conversation, the diehards in the front of the room can fight each other for this priceless souvenir.

Worried that people won’t be able to follow along? Don’t be. The most dedicated fans of the firm will already know the presentation by heart and will speak all the words in sync with the presenter. Moderate fans will only know the firm’s biggest hits like “Work-Life Balance” and “There’s No Typical Candidate.” The only ones who will be lost are the posers. I believe that the poser problem can be taken care of once and for all through the use of more discreet locations and a strict no-publicity policy.

What about our Booth couples? In Corporate Conversations as they currently are, Booth couples are discouraged from flaunting their romantic good fortune. This oppressive environment, though common, is no less shameful. Corporate Conversations, like concerts, are the perfect place for gratuitous displays of fake affection. Couples should loudly kiss each other’s necks during the slideshow and tenderly hold each other and sway during the slower speeches. I say, go on and loop your fingers in your sweetheart’s belt loops while talking to company representatives.

In my plan, Career Services will be required to supply each Corporate Conversation with a middle-aged man who will unexpectedly yell “Freebird!” in the middle of the presentation. The clever quip will be greeted with laughter and approval from students and presenters alike.

Crop circles are an important feature of Corporate Conversations. My plan does not suggest their outright elimination, but it does propose a modification. Instead of circling around the firm’s stars to ask pointless questions, I suggest that students ask the stars to sign their résumés.

Finally, Corporate Conversations are currently lacking an encore process. How are students supposed to communicate to the firm that they enjoyed the presentation? I believe that after the presenters leave the room, the students should applaud and holler vigorously until the stars reemerge to answer one or two more questions. What if the students didn’t enjoy the presentation? Doesn’t matter. There’s always an encore.

I earnestly request Booth’s consideration of my proposal. I envision a Corporate Conversation that embraces the principles of fun and youthful indiscretion.  I want to go back to a Booth where a 30-year-old man will once again feel comfortable shouting out  “I love you McKinsey!” or “I want to be you!” in front of his professional idols