Life lessons from George Santos
Image created by Kiera O'Hara-Heinz
By Kiera O’Hara - Heinz
Editor-in-chief, Visiting Opinion Columnist
Newspapers and tabloids alike lately have been griping about George Santos and for good reason. The Republican politician was sworn into the House of Representatives less than a month ago but has already made headlines for his outlandish lies.
We all expect politicians to lie, but usually, they seem to be a bit better at it. He has lied about anything and everything. He has said that he studied at Baruch College in New York, graduating with a degree in economics and finance in 2010 (Baruch College has no record of him graduating.) He claims to have studied for an MBA at NYU (no record) and to have worked on Wall Street for Goldman Sachs (no record) and Citigroup (no record).
If that wasn’t bad enough, his lies don’t stop at his resume, extending far into the stories he tells about his personal life. Santos said he was the Jewish grandson of a holocaust survivor, despite not being Jewish, and his grandmother not actually being anywhere near the Holocaust and being from Brazil. He later claimed he meant that he was Jew-ish, as in kinda being Jewish but not really. He claimed to have been a star college volleyball player, the founder of a charity for shelter animals, and an actor in a movie with Uma Thurman (all lies!) He even claimed on Twitter in 2021 that his mother died in the South Tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11, even though she was really in Brazil all of 2001 and didn’t die until 2016.
His lies are so crazy and comical, that he seems almost like a caricature of a corrupt politician villain in a soap opera. In fact, his story is almost like a fairy tale. One day you may be a mediocre drag queen in Brazil, and a few hundred lies later, you too can be an almost universally hated republican House Representative.
No, but in all seriousness, maybe we can take a lesson in self-confidence from the laughable chaos that is George Santos. While you probably shouldn’t co-opt the tragic experience of the holocaust and 9/11 for your own personal gain, maybe you can give yourself a little more credit when it comes to your knowledge of Microsoft suite, etc. I may claim on my resume that I am proficient in excel spreadsheets despite only really knowing the sum function. But you know what, if it ever comes up at work that is what Google and YouTube are for. Learning on the job is also an important skill!
Don’t interpret this as me encouraging you to lie, honesty is important and God knows there is far too little of it in the world, but so often young people have a habit of selling themselves short and have a hard time articulating their accomplishments and skills in settings like resumes and job interviews. Remember you don’t have to be an expert in order to claim a skill, you just have to be good enough. Learn to advocate for yourself and how to explain your experience even if it may seem unprofessional. If a job description is asking for 5 years of experience in a field, could you explain a way for your summer job to fit? Maybe your volunteer service has overlaps? Babysitting is kind of like customer service. Right? Believe in yourself and take a little inspiration from George Santos, if you can dream it you can do it.
Be right back, changing my LinkedIn from conversational in Spanish to professional working proficiency.
Do you think people would believe me if I told them I’m on the U.S. National Ping Pong team, or that I was recently scouted by a record label at round-up for my excellent karaoke singing talent?
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Ryan Ford '23,