Career Starters … and Enders

Former student Beth Farrar sent this along … Nothing overly shocking in this report, to be honest, as anyone over the age of X will tell you everyone under the age of X is less professional than their generation. But it’s still worth spending some time thinking about how professionalism factors into the hiring process.

The word “entitlement” comes up a lot in here and it’s something we see around the ivory tower as well. There’s a belief amongst some – not all – students that just showing up to class is enough to earn a passing grade (or better). It’s not. It never has been. A few years ago I was on the phone with my advisor, mentor and friend David Sutherland and we were talking about syllabi. One sentence came out of that conversation that has been in nearly every syllabus I’ve written since then: Nowhere is it written, or implied, that if you come to class and do the minimum amount of work, you will master the material.

Now I could go off on my every-child-left-behind rant and talk about how school teachers have their hands tied and are forced to “teach to a test” and not teach students how to learn so students coming into university are only worried about what will be on the test, not what they need to know … but many of you have heard that before, so I’ll spare you from it. Today.

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