As I write this post, the intern I’m suppose to meet for a kickoff meeting is now 20 minutes late.
I just shot her an e-mail and still have yet to receive a response. Benefit of the doubt, it’s the holiday season and the traffic is insane. But this isn’t the first time it’s happened.
When I was in school, I never worked an internship. I did however work my ass off ever since grade school at my father’s business. I was getting a wage that today’s senior undergrad would probably spend on a new iTunes playlist before they went out for thirsty Thursday.
I would have
loved killed to get the experience from a local tech company. I had to knock on a lot of doors at the local universities to even bend the ear of someone who could announce internships to the students.
I WANT TO HELP STUDENTS LEARN WHAT IT’S LIKE IN THE REAL WORLD.
Is that so hard?
Here is the scary part
I’m going to rank the 3 schools I’ve volunteered time to in order of the student’s aptitude/willingness to engage.
Local high school > local community college > local state university.
Let me start with the university…
I worked with a senior undergrad marketing class. Helping them prepare for what they might encounter in the web marketing field. Their pulse was that of a zombie that Rick just blew the head off of in The Walking Dead.
I’m talking marketing students that barely lifted a finger. I don’t think they realize the level of competition or shit jobs they are going to get when they graduate with zero experience.
I mentor students for a community college. Each semester I get 5 – 8 kids and they have a series of questions to ask me. When the semester starts off, they are all on time. Willing and ready.
By the time it’s coming down to the end – I don’t hear a peep. Either these kids are dopping out or just not doing their work. But hey – it’s a two year school and they are off to bigger and better things after this.
The wild card that surprised me the most was at a recent high school career day I attended. They were juniors in high school and these kids were sharp. Asking the right questions and seemingly prepared.
Sure a lot can change 6 years from now – but at least it’s a ray of hope in this seemingly gloomy outlook.
So WTF is my point?
I’m not the smartest guy on the planet. I did not do well at English growing up. I should be the last person putting words on a blog.
BUT I’m willing to learn, work hard, and seize opportunity when I can get it.
I sell and I’m proud of it.
The point is, why can’t these kids see the opportunity in front of them? Don’t they know how hard it is out there? Did I realize how hard it was for me when I was in their shoes?
Now she’s 42 minutes late – I assume not coming.
Oh well. Businesses are built on a pile of failures, they might as well start failing now.