This might be the last year I'm a student at Boston University, but it's the first year that I (A) had a legal sip of beer and (B) had my face broadcast on over 750 college campuses. So bring it on, Mayans! I'm ready for the apocalypse of 2012.
When I was first contacted by mtvU, I bolted out of my classroom at BU. The network was gearing up for an exciting new segment involving the 2012 presidential candidates and they wanted a college comedian to be the star. My first step: after my work study job the next day, I would run to the student union and call a producer named Annie. After unknowingly butt-dialing her at midnight the night before with my new 99-cent-upgrade iPhone, I gave her a ring:
"Hello?" Annie answered.
"Hi this is Annie!" I eagerly responded. "Is Cody there?"
To quote another 2012 presidential candidate, "Woops."
Luckily, my stand-up clips online impressed the folks at MTV's 24-hour college network enough to make up for my telephonic impairment -- and enough to let me star in a special episode of "mtvU's Hire Learning." So, I took off my Red Sox socks, put on my Yankees underwear, and hopped on a bus from the city that drunkenly passes out to the city that never sleeps.
Now I'm no stranger to college TV stations. On buTV10, our campus station, I've gone from playing a meth-dealing baby-daddy to a caricature of myself on Welcome Back, Brotter. But living rooms in 750 college communities across America? mtvU reaches about nine million students -- from the computer screen to the TV screen to the projector screen at BU Central all day long. Talking to our faculty advisor during office hours is one thing, but meeting with a team of execs in a Viacom conference room with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Times Square is another.
Fresh off my summer internship at The Daily Show -- where my boss gave this year's mtvU Convocation Address! -- I was ready to be the best (undergraduate) correspondent in the Big Apple. My challenge: take the entry-level resumes of President Obama and Governor Romney and see how they'd fare in the very job market that they for some reason seek to govern. But there was only one way to test how they'd fare fairly: pose as each of the candidates.
With unknowing participants and an MTV camera crew, I felt like Ashton Kutcher... but, obviously, much sexier.
Going under the fake names Robert Miller (Mitt Romney) and Oliver Brady (Barack Obama), I defended these "Pres-umes" as my own in attempts to land employment at the world-famous Gotham Bar and Grill as well as Grey Era Vintage, the chicest clothing store in the Village.
Bret Csencsitz, Gotham's General Manager, and Sierra Fromberg, Grey Era's owner, ended up being great sports about the whole thing. In fact, Sierra turned out to be a BU alum and once I finally admitted that I was just a normal college kid and that she was reviewing the resume of the Republican nominee for president, we spent the rest of the afternoon dishing about our favorite places to grab pizza on campus.
Without giving away any spoilers, not only were Bret and Sierra surprised to learn what and who they were looking at, but I was also surprised by their critiques. See, the unemployment rate for people between the ages of 18 and 29 is 12 percent! To put that in perspective, that's almost 50 percent higher than the national average. And yet, according to MTV research, 90 percent of my generation thinks they deserve their dream job.
In working on this incredibly timely television special in advance of the 2012 presidential debates, I certainly scored my dream job. And whether you're having a Tea Party or Occupying Wall Street or just voting for the first time like me, make sure to check out both candidates' resumes online. Just don't try passing them off as your own... unless you've got a camera crew to back you up.
Follow Cody Brotter on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TweetCody