Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Opinion: You need to be Jobs to get a job

With the integration of CORE into Augustana’s curriculum this year, the career development office has exposed one of the greatest weaknesses in Augustana’s culture: job entitlement.
All too often students entering into the CORE office for the first time are in shock in awe at the consideration that once they graduate, they won’t be handed a job with their diploma.
According to the Wall Street Journal, four in 10 U.S. college students graduate without the complex reasoning skills to manage white-collar work, based on the results of a test of nearly 32,000 students.
The test considered factors like “critical thinking, analytical reasoning, document literacy, writing and communication, rather than subject-area knowledge.”
It’s becoming clear that universities and colleges are going to have to train students in professionalism, not just the liberal arts.
Not everyone graduating will be an academic, nor will everyone be a businessman, but they will both need a job.
While we’ve taken the steps to develop an office centering around preparation, the culture of Augustana creates a preparedness paradox.
While the Augustana community stresses events the importance of events like Symposium Day, ProFair and graduate school fairs seem to take a back seat. I understand the need for an academic education, but there are other necessities to survive today’s job market.
While I appreciate Augustana’s Midwestern charm and seemingly unending amount of second chances, it doesn’t allow students to strengthen, or even foster traits like resilience or perseverance. In fact, it might just cause the same shock and awe mentioned previously…when you’re not hired.
This mentality isn’t new, and it has been noticed by those in the employment world. After all, only one in ten business leaders strongly agreed that institutions were graduating students with the skills and competencies their businesses needed.
We need to place a greater emphasis on an email signature that actually matters. Many students think quantity versus quality will somehow make them a stronger candidate, when in reality, it only makes you weaker.
We need to teach students to be proud of the skills they have, and strengthen their weaknesses, and that takes criticism. Something we seem to flee from on this campus. Harsh words are sometimes necessary words.
While many students believe that their GPA and personal connections will land them a job, studies show that it is quite the opposite.
According to Forbes, “nine in 10 (managers) looked for candidates who ‘demonstrated the initiative to lead’ and took part in extracurricular activities related to their field of study. More than eight in ten favored internship experience.”
It’s all about creating a collegiate environment that fosters independent leaders, those willing to accept constructive criticism and those confident in their skill set.
Unfortunately, the current paradox rewards meekness, rather than modesty. While I don’t condone arrogance, confidence is an important trait to have when applying for a job. It can often be the fine line between leader and follower. Employed versus unemployed.
Forbes reported  that “across the board, students overestimated their abilities once again – seven in ten believed they could effectively communicate with figures of authority. Less than half of hiring managers thought likewise.”
Hopefully we can build both CORE and career confidence.

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Opinion: You need to be Jobs to get a job