The Power of Love

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To those of you reading this who are not computer science graduates, I want you to imagine for a moment that you are. You are a computer science graduate from the University of Hasselt, Belgium. You have written a thesis which details a proposed project on how to make websites faster. Your thesis has come to the attention of Facebook, and they offer you an internship. You gladly accept, and after completing the internship, they offer you a permanent position in the company. Their employment package includes a salary of $130,000 per year, in addition to them picking up the bill for your move to the US. What do you do?

Well, according to a story in the Flemish media today, computer science graduate, Wim Leers, found himself in exactly that position. Facebook Inc. were offering him a $130,000 per year salary and an all-expenses-paid move to the US. It was the opportunity of lifetime, so Wim Leers did the only thing he could, and declined the offer.

That’s right, folks! He declined the offer! Why? For the love of his girlfriend.

Wim Leers explained that his girlfriend was about to graduate with a degree in medicine. He said, “She’s about to graduate, and if we went to the US, she would have to start from scratch as the US doesn’t recognise foreign degrees.” However, Facebook Inc, were so keen to secure his services, that they improved their employment package offer to include all manner of lucrative benefits and inducements, but Wim Leers stood firm. “I know that jobs at Facebook are not easy to come by,” he said, “but I have a wonderful girlfriend and it wouldn’t be fair to make her start all over again with her degree. I love her, so we’re staying here.”

So, to Facebook Inc, I say this: You may be worth $328 billion, a figure which some say is an underestimation. Yet, while it’s all very well to underestimate monetary worth, you will do well to never underestimate the power of love!

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