Today I came across this Washington Post opinion piece by Ezra Klein, entitled “Wall Street Steps in When Ivy Leave Fails” and I think he really hit a nail on the head.
To make this short: We live our K-12 lives waiting for college. Junior year is a whirl of SAT’s, ACT’s, AP’s, followed by the crazy fall of senior year where everyone is applying to their schools (sometimes upwards of 12 applications) and the calm of spring after everyone has been accepted. Your parents and family are so proud. You graduate and everyone is so excited… you feel like you’ve accomplished the hardest challenge of your life.
Then you go to school and learn some really neat things, meet awesome people and learn to be yourself. Is it valuable? Yes. Does it leave you feeling confident that you will excel in the work force? (oh right, that’s why we went to college isn’t it?) Not really.
So why are Wall Street and Teach for America (polar opposities of one another) able to get most of this new Ivy League talent? It’s because both of these positions have something extremely important in common: they give college students what they know best. An application to fill out, and interview and the promise that you will learn the skills you need to be successful and will finish off their two year commitments able to do anything you want.
Wait…an application to a program with the promise to provide skills for future careers? That sounds a lot like college, right?
Exactly, it’s all we know and it’s [almost] all we were taught.