I’ve recently graduated from university, and after countless interviews and phone calls, have landed myself an internship. I must admit, it certainly wasn’t easy finding employment. But luck has been my friend for a moment.
Only upon starting my first job in a professional environment, I’ve then realized to what extent university doesn’t prepare you for the working world. It’s such a massive step, that I’m genuinely surprised no tertiary institute offers a course on how to appropriately conduct oneself in the working environment.
Throughout most of my years of study, the importance of precise academic writing was constantly stressed upon. Our essays handed back to us would have many comments on how we could improve the language or syntax of the point we’re trying to make in order to properly get the message across. As much as this may help with communicating in a formal environment, what about those who, like me, end up in the wide field of media where formal is hardly ever present? From our dressing to the way in which we connect with our colleagues is nothing like what a fresh graduate would imagine it to be.
That’s just the start. In theory (of the many we were bombarded with at campus) we were ‘properly trained’ how to think, deal with, and react in situations which arise specifically relating to the content we’re studying. In reality, these theories simply do not suffice.
Theories are set in ideal situations where A, B, and C are in perfect condition but D is the issue – Solve that.
In reality, A, B, C and D all have complex issues – Solve them all simultaneously without causing any imbalance to each other.
The discrepancy leaves much to be desired. I’m most disappointed in the fact that for the amount of fees I’ve coughed up for my formal education, there’s simply inadequate training involved. In my first week of my internship, although I am there to learn, I’ve felt somewhat worthless as there was almost nothing I could do or manage on my own without a tonne of questions racing through my mind. And yet I have a degree that supposedly should enable me to perform this role perfectly.
Tertiary institutions, like universities – since they are excessively theory-based with an alarming lack of training, should make it compulsory for their students to be submerged in a professional environment for at least 6 months before being deemed worthy to graduate. An intense course that helps students become aware of the fate that awaits them at their first job would also help tremendously in closing the gap.
Let’s be positive & hope future graduates will end up lucky enough to be better prepared! 🙂