Round #4: Are you ready?
Date: March 15, 2002 5:34 PM
Okay.. let's move on. How optimistic are you that your schooling is preparing you for the real work world?
Date: March 24, 2002 6:56 PM
I'm sitting beside Tara in Ottawa, and she doesn't want me to respond because it makes her look bad. This is a clear example of our dog-eat-dog 'job market.' Apparently, I didn't want to listen to her. :)
From a university student perspective, the only thing that links our schooling to the real work-force are some sparse co-op programs in a few faculties. Our education largely focuses on the '30,000 feet perspective' - lots of big picture thinking, lots of theory, and very few courses that directly relate to the job market.
That said, we aren't being 'prepared' for one job. Rather, the pedagogy at our universities leads us to be versatile, multi-dimensional and flexible. As students, we worry about statistics that come back that suggest that the average career changes three times. The curriculum at our universities leads to performing in today's knowledge-focused society.
After darting around the issue for about 200 words, I guess I can't be terribly optimistic. The future is extremely uncertain - three- and four-year budgeting or long-term strategic visioning is becoming redundant as our economies and societies change so spontaneously. No one predicated the effect of September 11, but it goes to show that as educated as we are, no amount of strategic planning can overcome significant environmental changes, or a low Canadian dollar. But, I digress.
Date: March 25, 2002 11:46 AM
I have grown a lot and I am really happy with the skills I have picked up. There are definitely some classes I think that have prepared me to deal with work situations I am in right now, and have shown me how to work with others to find solutions. I think in my program I have had a good mix of practical experience and theory-based learning. I remember in high school I thought some things we learned were never going to be used, but since then I have used
that knowledge and I think the same rule applies: it will help me.
Date: April 4, 6:27 PM
Well, because I have all of my education at a College, I feel that this will give me a real understanding of what the real world is like. Sometimes, when applying what you have learned in a text book to the real world, it can be a little bit different. I think that I am more confident about entering the workforce through the work experience that I've gathered throughout my time at the College. This has been really valuable because I am able to take what I've learned and actually apply it to the situation.
The Business Administration program that I am currently enrolled in prides itself in hands-on learning. We do a lot of group projects, and work that we would really be doing if we were working.
I think that with all jobs there is a learning curve. Whether or not a person is straight out of school, there are adjustments that must be made in all job changes.
I can't compare my experiences to a University, but I do know that at College most of the programs are taught so that we can go into specific jobs or areas of employment.
Date: April 8, 2002 9:48 PM
Going on and doing a post-secondary education is extremely important. It not only allows you to expand your knowledge base but it's also an amazing growing experience. University is often the time when people move away from home and really find out who they are and who they eventually want to be.
University teaches you to think about the world and to ask questions, not just to take everything for face value. That being said, I'm a firm believer that just going to class isn't enough. The real preparation for the workplace happens outside of class. Students can memorize a formula or a fact but it is often forgotten soon after the class ends, but if one applies it to a project that is meaningful then
retention is much higher. I've found that what has been preparing me for the workplace have been the experiences that I've gained from volunteering, getting involved in campus life and from my student jobs.
Date April 9, 2002 12:40 PM
OK everyone… thanks very much for being part of the panel. I've found your comments quite interesting. Good luck with everything…
Now I'd like to open this discussion to anyone else who wants to take part.
P.S: On April 9, a very excited Robyn signed a contract to teach English in Beijing, starting July 2002. And Oliver has accepted a summer job as a camp counsellor in Pennsylvania.
Round #1: Say hello
Round #2: The challenges
Round #3: Choosing a career
Round #4: Are you ready?
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