One Woman Academy

November 6, 2009

Story Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — onewomanacademy @ 2:47 pm
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      A friend of mine is pursuing his doctorate in Early Modern English in England. I being the sole undergrad in our social circle at the time, he always made sure not to complain too much around me about the petty undergrad dramas that interrupt his doctoral life. But he was a consistent complainer, so I finally asked him what exactly it was that made undergrads so irritating. He told me that “undergrads are like bricks. They’re the financial foundation of this university, they’re like a brick wall during lectures, and they’re pretty much as dumb as bricks.”

 

      While I will certainly be the first to admit that not every undergrad is a genius, we do present more opportunities than at first glance. If the typical perception of undergrads, specifically underclassmen, is that we’re loud, unfocussed, and hard to connect with, then all I can ask is what exactly do you expect? The American education system is in an utter mess. I myself came from a top tier public high school and even I am occasionally set aback by my peers. We’re untrained, concerned about the job market, and are desperate to change those circumstances.
      

      My little sister went to an information technology magnet magnet high school and learned all the proper forms for business. My arts high school provided nothing similar. Colleges expect us to have the basic tools for marketing ourselves and high schools expect us to learn these skills in college. Some people, like my sister, are lucky enough to get that professional training early on so that they can present themselves as a whole package. However, I would say that the average student doesn’t know how to write a business letter, a professional-looking resume, or what not to say in an interview.
      

      So where do we go from here? One of the colleges within my university is a great business that teaches basic business etiquette in freshman year. They learn how to write a proper business email, what to wear to an interview, and every other important tip that packages you perfectly. Why should only business schools do that? Why can’t every department and college do that? Why can’t liberal arts departments have monthly seminars on what opportunities are available? Why aren’t career services business tutorials applicable for credit? These basic changes can focus students on their goals, prepare them for life after graduation, and whittle away at their fear.
     This blog is about finding out what’s going on in the academic world. Most of this post is about job training done on the part of the of our colleges, but we have to be responsible for ourselves as well. I’ll be reading The Chronicle of Higher education and other academic news sources in an effort to to understand the academic environment that my peers and I are ensconced in. I hope that you, dear readers, can glean some knowledge on the gaps we’re facing and what we can do to become more effective students and teachers.

     So learn. Knowledge is power.

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