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Secrets to employment success shared

Published: Monday, February 4, 2013

Updated: Monday, February 4, 2013 17:02

Tim Hansen recently published an article entitled “7 Reasons Why College Grads Can’t Find a Job”. Prior to his rationalization he identifies a staggering statistic; more than 3 million college students graduate each year, but the underemployed or unemployed college graduates have reached nearly 2 million.  
Obviously these figures are not without notice, however it does raise the question of how can a graduate avoid being a statistic?
Words such as opportunity, responsibility, and achievement are often talking points used to guide or motivate a student.

Interestingly Hansen identifies his “7 Reasons” for lack of employment as; unrealistic expectations, low academic scores, poor communication abilities, lack of work experience, lack of achievements and results, lack of referees and finally lack of preparation.

Those words all seem to roll into a singular idea, that of personal accountability. While it may seem strange to hear in an opinion article it is in fact the single area that allows a graduate to separate themselves from others.  
On Jan. 30 Education Week released its 17th annual survey of education in all 50 states.

The results were extraordinarily favorable for Arkansas Students. It found that Arkansas ranks No. 5 in overall education in the nation.

The state scored No. 2 in transitions and alignments and was “one of just eight states where high schools are required to have a curriculum designed to prepare students for the postsecondary education system.”

Additionally Arkansas was No. 2 in the teaching profession category and was “one of just 11 states to have a program that rewards teachers for raising student achievement.”

That means academically Arkansas students are arriving at college with the skills necessary for success.

The key then to separation is found in fact derived through individualized effort.

Recently ASU’s College of Communications had an opportunity to hear from Gabriel Tate. Tate is a photo journalist who was here presenting a multimedia presentation on the 57th Presidential Inauguration, and additionally interviewing for a faculty position in the Journalism Department.

When asked about what created success for students he immediately defined the need for mentorship.

Tait stated, “There must be intentionality in relationships”, and went on to say, “Mentoring is the ethos of who I am”.  His words provide insight into how a future graduate can achieve untold levels of success.

Mentors guide us utilizing their experience, knowledge, and wisdom.

They impart an opportunity in mere moments that would be decades in the making. Mentors have the ability to see our areas of failure, and through caring strategies turn those into opportunities.

It’s interesting that Hansen speaks to seven reasons why graduates struggle and each of them can be tied to lack of mentorship. The only person who can make a decision to create this type of relationship is the one who looks back at you in the mirror.

Here at ASU there are a plethora of individuals who are willing to work alongside all students. Professors such as Brenda Randle, who works with Dare Dreamers to mentor young women; Chris Harper, who teaches students how to “Change the World”; and Greg Hansen, who is willing to spend his time to ensure students success.

The accountability comes in seeking out mentors and learning from them.  The secret to your employment success is you.

Ken Corbit is a senior communications major of Jonesboro


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