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Things I Wish I Knew Senior Year of College

PAUL BRADBURY VIA GETTY IMAGES

PAUL BRADBURY VIA GETTY IMAGES

Authored by Samantha Matt

I was so naive and entitled during senior year of college. I thought I was on top of the world. All of my friends lived within walking distance of me, so I had someone to hang out with at all times. I could finally legally go to bars, so go out an average of four times a week I did. I was taking classes I was actually interested in, so my grades were pretty decent without having to try. And I already had completed four internships, so I figured my resume was basically set to score me a job after graduation no matter what. I was walking on air. I thought I was great. I thought I was awesome. I thought I was special. Little did I know I was in for a wake up call that was going to rock my little universe. That wake up call being the real world.

My conceited attitude about myself quickly changed when I moved back home, far away from all my friends, and started to get rejected by job after job. Eight months after graduation, I was finally offered my first job. It took eight months. At that very moment, I realized that I wasn’t special. The life I was living then was not the life I had pictured for myself post-college eight months prior. I knew I was going to have to put myself out there and gain a hell of a lot more experience (which I honestly thought I had at age 22) to be successful in the future.

Now, I probably could have sped up this thought process a bit if my senior year self was aware of a few things. Here are 11 things I wish I knew in college:

1. Network, network, network. Networking is like life. It might be awkward, but you have to deal with it... and it never gets any easier. The more out of college you are, the less of a chance you’ll have to talk to prominent people in your industry. Read More...

 

The Business of Healthcare: Preparing Students to Tackle a Challenging Industry

Authored

Authored

Shaan Patel’s path to business school was a little different than most. With three years of medical school under his belt, the Las Vegas native traded the University of Southern California (USC) for Yale School of Management (SOM), where he’ll complete his MBA before returning to USC for his final year of med school.

“As a medical student, I wanted to learn more about healthcare management,” he says. Yale SOM has been great, he continues, offering plenty of healthcare electives as well as opportunities to collaborate with the Yale School of Medicine. “One of the problems with medical school is that you become so focused on the pathophysiology of disease and clinical medicine that there’s not much exposure to the business side of medicine, healthcare administration, insurance,” he says. One Yale SOM class in particular—“Healthcare, Economics, Finance and Policy”—helped him learn about things like Medicare, Medicaid and the roles played by pharmaceutical and insurance companies. “Most medical students have to learn those things on the job after they are in practice,” Patel notes. Read More...

Five Ways That Mayors Can Promote Better College and Workforce Results

Authored by Carol D’Amico, Executive Vice President, National Engagement and Philanthropy, USA Funds

 

The common perception is that the nation’s mayors don’t hold much sway over the higher education system or the quality of the workforce in their communities. I beg to differ with that perception, however.

I believe that city leaders have both strong motivation for improving the so-called talent pipeline through college and into the workplace, and the authority to spur meaningful change. Every mayor is concerned about the economic vitality of his or her community. Ensuring that both existing employers and potential new employers have access to the talent they need to run their businesses is critical to a community’s prosperity.

Likewise, in my experience, mayors are all about getting things done. For example, in the early ’90s, mayors got involved in the reform of K-12 education after they decided they no longer could tolerate very poor high school graduation rates. Their involvement made a huge difference.

Today, communities face another education challenge: Too few students who enroll in postsecondary programs complete them, and too many graduate with skills that don’t mesh with the needs of employers. The result is a high level of unemployment and underemployment among recent college graduates. Read More...

To Solve the Skills Gap in Hiring, Create Expectations in the Classroom

Michael Morgenstern for The Chronicle

Michael Morgenstern for The Chronicle

Authored by Charlotte Kent, a visiting assistant professor of English at Mercy College, in New York.

On the first day of classes I, like most teachers, introduce my students to the syllabus and class expectations. I have draconian-seeming rules that students often don’t believe and even many colleagues question.

If students are late, they are absent. I do not account for any reasons; they may be absent three times over the semester. They are responsible for contacting classmates about missed work when they are absent. They are responsible for submitting work on time. This also means they are responsible for knowing what work needs to be submitted and when.

The syllabus indicates assignment due dates, and any changes are posted on Blackboard. If students forget about an assignment, that is indeed unfortunate. I don’t offer makeup opportunities or extra credit. Classroom participation and engagement with the work is their opportunity to impress me, since they can shine there even if they are struggling with written work.

These rules exist for a reason. Read More...

Consulting Career Prep at NYU’s Stern School of Business

                                                                Authored

                               

                              Authored

If you want to earn an MBA with the end goal of pursuing a consulting career, many schools in theNew York City metro area may be a perfect match. For instance, New York University’s Stern School of Business had 28% of its 2015 graduates accept jobs in the consulting field. Furthermore, eight prominent consulting firms hired three or more graduates from the Stern School each in 2014. Consulting employers include the Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey & Company, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

To prepare its students for these consulting careers, the Stern School offers Read More...

As Graduation Rates Rise, Experts Fear Diplomas Come Up Short

Berea High School in Greenville, S.C., graduates 80 percent of its students, but ACT scores indicate few are ready for college.  CreditSean Rayford for The New York Times

Berea High School in Greenville, S.C., graduates 80 percent of its students, but ACT scores indicate few are ready for college. CreditSean Rayford for The New York Times

GREENVILLE, S.C. — A sign in a classroom here at Berea High School, northwest of downtown in the largest urban district in the state, sends this powerful message: “Failure Is Not an Option. You Will Pass. You Will Learn. You Will Succeed.”

By one measure, Berea, with more than 1,000 pupils, is helping more students succeed than ever: The graduation rate, below 65 percent just four years ago, has jumped to more than 80 percent.

But that does not necessarily mean that all of Berea’s graduates, many of whom come from poor families, are ready for college — or even for the working world. According to college entrance exams administered to every 11th grader in the state last spring, only one in 10 Berea students were ready for college-level work in reading, and about one in 14 were ready for entry-level college math. And on a separate test of skills needed to succeed in most jobs, little more than half of the students demonstrated that they could handle the math they would need. Read More...

Increasing education: What it will and will not do...

Authored by Brad Hershbein, Melissa S. Kearney of Brookings Institution and Lawrence H.Summers of Harvard University

Mainstream labor economists as well as several public commentators have argued that trends in the economy over recent decades—including technological developments, globalization, and trade, among others—have weakened the relative earnings power of those with lower levels of skills, especially those without a college degree. In recent decades, the earnings of those with a college degree or more have risen steadily, while the wages of those with lower levels of education have stagnated or fallen. Furthermore, lifetime earnings of workers with a college degree are nearly twice as high as those without one, a point made by a number of previous Hamilton Project analyses, including one fromthis past year.[1]

This line of reasoning leads to the view that to further the goal of widespread economic prosperity, it will be imperative to increase the skill level of many in the population, a position that a subset of us (Hershbein and Kearney) took in a recent Hamilton Project framing paper. Other commentators have objected that education is not the answer to the nation’s inequality challenge. Following up on remarks made at a recent Hamilton Project event, one of us (Summers) noted in a Washington Post interview that “to suggest that improving education is the solution to inequality is, I think, an evasion.” In this essay we clarify the different elements of the public debate and note explicitly that these positions are not necessarily at odds. Read More... 

Law School Graduates Struggle in Job Market

Jonathan Wang graduated from Columbia Law School in 2010; he is a test-prep tutor now. CreditJames Estrin/The New York Times

Jonathan Wang graduated from Columbia Law School in 2010; he is a test-prep tutor now.CreditJames Estrin/The New York Times

Jonathan Wang has not practiced law since he graduated from Columbia Law School in 2010, but he did not plan it that way.

When he entered law school, the economy was flourishing, and he had every reason to think that with a prestigious degree he was headed for a secure well-paying career. He convinced his parents, who work in Silicon Valley, that he had a plan. “I would spend three years at school in New York, then work for a big law firm and make $160,000 a year,” said Mr. Wang, 29. “And someday, I would become a partner and live the good life.”

Mr. Wang, who works in Manhattan as a tutor for the law school admissions exam, is living a life far different from the one he envisioned. And he is not alone. About 20 percent of law graduates from 2010 are working at jobs that do not require a law license, according to a new study, and only 40 percent are working in law firms, compared with 60 percent from the class a decade earlier. To pay the bills, the 2010 graduates have taken on a variety of jobs, some that do not require admission to the bar; others have struck out on their own with solo practices. Most of the graduates have substantial student debt.

Even as law school enrollment was peaking in 2010 — reaching 52,488, according to American Bar Association figures — those graduating were not receiving job offers from firms where they were interning. And offers to some students were rescinded. Read More...

Is college worth it? Is this even the right question?

Are graduates getting value for their money?  Merrimack College/Flickr ,  CC BY-NC-ND

Are graduates getting value for their money? Merrimack College/FlickrCC BY-NC-ND

Authored by Josipa Roksa, Associate Professor of Sociology and Education, University of Virginia, and Richard Arum, Professor of Sociology, New York University

Is a college degree worth it? Yes, on average, college graduates fare much better in the job market than high school graduates.

This question, however, ignores a more important set of issues: Are graduates getting value for their money? And are colleges preparing students responsibly for smooth transitions into adulthood?

There is no doubt, those with college degrees earn substantially higher wages. And even though the recent recession was difficult for everyone, the Current Population Survey indicates that in 2011, twice as many young adults without college degrees were unemployed as young college graduates.

But our research, published in a recent book, Aspiring Adults Adrift, shows that colleges are too often failing to impart students with critical thinking, problem solving and written communication skills that are important to their success in the labor market.

Financial challenges after a college degree

We followed close to 1,000 graduates from the class of 2009 across the United States as they transitioned from a range of four-year institutions into their lives after college. Two years after completing college, only approximately half of the college graduates not pursuing full-time graduate studies were employed full-time and earning over US $30,000. Read More...

From College to Career: Her First Job After Graduation

Authored by Diane Propsner is an advocate of women’s colleges and blogs about their advantages on her blog site. She has an undergraduate degree in biology from a women’s college in Pennsylvania. Her career involves recruiting within the life sciences and technology as well as providing coaching services for job seekers.

I don’t know about you, but I always get tickled pink when I learn about a person getting hired, maybe it’s the recruiter in me. And there’s something extra special when it’s the first job after college.

For this blog post, I decided to check in with several women’s colleges to see what jobs their newest alumnae have landed; and I’m so glad I did. Getting acquainted with these young women is always inspiring. And knowing they are well prepared to embrace any career they choose makes me smile. Building on a solid academic education, including opportunities for developing skills and leadership abilities, they also had the career services support necessary, including strong alumnae networks to tap into. Read More…