How you, too, can become a corporate hotshot

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Have you ever felt like a pariah while hanging out with your business-oriented friends? While you might have multiple theories as to why that happens, one plausible explanation is the language they choose to communicate with. Words spewed from their mouth have an almost mystical air of arrogance. To understand these words, you have to transcend your regular sphere of humanistic existence and enter the “visionary” realm of the corporate juggernaut. Those who use it cannot complete a single sentence without being turned on by the thought of sitting in board meetings, walking around in their 45th floor corner offices in crisp suits and throwing parties in white marbled penthouses. While it may be tempting to master their language, which as it most often seems is the only way to be close friends with them, it is important to realize that not all of us are destined for jobs in Silicon Valley and Wall Street. But if you enjoy the company of said friends and feel that a language barrier is the only thing holding you back, we have you covered with a beginner’s list of corporate lingo.



Some of you might have been notified by your data providers for using up too much internet bandwidth. And almost all of you must have experienced slow internet at some point due to excess usage. But in the hotshot playbook, bandwidth is the mental energy required to complete a task. I do not know what the conversion rate between internet and mind bandwidth is, but I am sure as hell not expending my MBs figuring it out.

Low-hanging fruit

“I picked a low-hanging fruit from an apple tree in my backyard the other day,” is what a normal person might say. But dare you use the same phrase in front of these hotshots, and you might leave a few heads scratching. See, in corporate lingo, this word is used to refer to easily attainable clients. How ironic that one of the biggest firms in the world is named after a fruit. Good luck picking that Apple.

Bleeding Edge

As if the terms “cutting-edge” and “leading-edge” were not enough, some start-ups felt the need to coin a new term to define ideas that are more innovative but carry a higher risk of failure. Similar to a bleeding edge technology that lacks testing partly because of reluctance by the market to accept change, can we all agree that our community will not accept the change that brings this term into our lives. What is this obsession with edges, anyway?


This is a powerful word when used under the right circumstances. Unfortunately, hotshots will use this instead of simply saying they were handed off a responsibility by a superior. So the next time you are told by a friend that his or her summer internship was empowering, you should feel free to assume that there was some serious sucking up to a certain boss.

Organic growth

The U.S. Department of Agriculture was left wondering how tech firms were claiming organic growth when any of the essential ingredients required in farming were nowhere in sight. Was it possible that humans had finally cracked the code to growing fruits and vegetables using microchips to provide coded instructions for growth? To the agency’s disappointment, businesses were using this term to claim growth through internal development. In any case, I do not think these firms are getting their hands on a “USDA Organic” label any time soon.


When the right occasion arises, make sure you are fully equipped with these words in your arsenal. Show your business friends who the real corporate hotshot is by unleashing a steady flow of these buzzwords.

Azwar Shakeel is the lead student government reporter. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @azwarshakeel12.