OCR Translations

Selling yourself can be hard; sometimes you just haven’t picked the right pictures for your Tinder profile. When it comes to OCR, your physical appearance is still probably extremely important because that’s how the world works, but selling your major is the really tricky part (we’re looking at you Arts & Sciences).

Thankfully, Punch Bowl has done some of the verbal acrobatics for you. Feel free to use any of these responses in your cover letters! But regardless of what you say, McKinsey sees right through you.

Economics: “Obviously my education lends itself really well to understanding capital flows etc., and I feel quite confident that my understanding of economics would lend itself nicely to working to improve your clients’ outcomes.”

Reality: “I’m the closest thing to a Wharton kid you’re going to get without wanting to punch me in the face because I say I go to ‘The Wharton school.’ I’m your best option — I don’t care if there are, like, 700 of me in my class.”


English: “Well, I think one of the big advantages of being an English major is how effectively I can communicate, especially in a written format, but also how well I can find deeper meanings in complicated sets of qualitative data. That’s truly the best way to look at literature: data to be analyzed and interpreted for insights.”

Reality: “Okay, so I know I have no finance experience, but I had to try to make sense of Emily Dickinson for an entire semester. She just doesn’t use articles or verbs! She just leaves them out! You should give me the job just for having to pay $60,000 to be confused by the ramblings of a poet/hoarder. But also…I can write well.”


Sociology: “I feel that my sociology degree gives me a really unique perspective when it comes to solving problems and assessing situations. Sociology is a heavily empirical social science both quantitatively and qualitatively, so I have experience analyzing a complex issue rigorously from multiple perspectives. I’ve studied urban ethnography as well as statistics and I think it rounds out my intellectual capacities.”

Reality: “I had to take a stats class once so, like, I can totally do significance tests. Also, I like to think about people and things. So basically, I’m just like, totally qualified for all of the business things because I do the numbers and the words and I’m completely ready to exploit the proletariat for my own gain.”


Art History: “It was really something I was passionate about studying and though it may not have an obvious professional application, I really believe that studying cultural and historical expressions through art has taught me to see trends and patterns in the ways people express themselves, which, I think, is really analogous to trying to understand consumers and producers.”

Reality: “Uhhh, so, people make art to say things and people buy it sometimes. So basically, I studied marketing, so hire me. I mean, if I can appreciate surrealism I can sell almost anything, have you seen that s**t?! It makes no sense!”


Religious Studies: “A lot of people are confused by what I study, but that’s sort of my favorite part about the major. The academic study of religion is such a unique intellectual perspective that I’ve really learned to think outside of the box and assess what is taken for granted as divine as a social process. I’m not afraid to challenge and analyze the status quo or the sacred, and I think that makes me a fearless thinker.”

Reality: “Sometimes I’m also not entirely sure what it is that I’m studying. I’m really just praying to all of the deities right now, I really need a job. I chose this major when I was still pre-med and it’s too late to back out and I didn’t take the LSAT or the GRE yet so like, I’m lost. Dear God, why have you forsaken me?” *a single tear falls*


German: “I think having the ability to speak another language is quite important, especially working for an international organization, so I think that my strong command of the German language is really quite a boon. Also, immersing yourself in another’s culture as an outsider is a fantastic way to strengthen your ability to transition between different ways of thinking, a skill which would no doubt be useful in a world where careers are multifaceted and ever changing — I’m ready to fulfill a variety of different roles.”

Reality: “When Angela Merkel eventually has to bail the entire world out I’ll be able to understand what she’s saying and maybe tell you where she gets those sweet pantsuits. Also I can make your Oktoberfest more enjoyable if you’re down for a corporate retreat. Plus I can totally switch between thinking like a cold, efficient German and an unabashedly confident American which really makes me perfect for finance: soulless but glory-hungry.”


Consumer Psych Minors: “It’s interesting you ask about my major, I actually feel like my most relevant academic experiences involve my minor. I really learned a lot about the psychology of retail and marketing so I feel comfortable working in those fields and have a lot of theoretical and practical knowledge to apply.”

Reality: “My major is irrelevant. I’m really just going to talk about my minor and the classes I took in Wharton so there’s no need to ask me any other questions about what I learned from creative writing. I did this minor specifically so I could get a buying job at Macys and/or Lord and Taylor. Creative writing was for fulfillment only, basically, and to spite my mother.”


Nursing: “Well, I’m really interested in pediatric nursing and I’ve volunteered at HUP for two years now, both with kids and in hospice care. I’ve had all the requisite training and I’ve studied at the best nursing school in the nation.”

Reality: “Well, I’m really interested in pediatric nursing and I’ve volunteered at HUP for two years now, both with kids and in hospice care. I’ve had all the requisite training and I’ve studied at the best nursing school in the nation.”

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