Last week I was listening to a local radio talk show. They were discussing a recent college graduate who was placed with a National Football League team as a team assistant. The comment was made that if he had not known a former Wheeling resident, who now resides in Florida, he would not have been given this opportunity. This was followed by a statement that implied graduates today must know someone, somewhere to get a great job offer.
Now, while a part of me agrees with the above comments, because it does happen a lot, there is another part of me who would like it known that there are those students who have graduated from colleges or universities who have received great career positions or internships based on the knowledge they've gained in their field. With these students, it is what they know, not who they know. I do not think these students are given fair recognition for their amazing accomplishments.
I may be a little biased regarding this topic. I have a 22-year-old daughter who recently graduated from West Virginia University. Her name is Amber McCloskey. Amber graduated Magna Cum Laude, with a BA degree in geography and a minor in urban planning and regional development. She maintained a high honors status throughout her college career and named to the President's List and Dean's List every year. Amber worked very hard while attending WVU in her studies. Her education always came first. Every professor she had always spoke highly of Amber's drive and determination to succeed. They spoke of her intelligence and willingness to learn more than expected.
Because of Amber's excellent work at WVU in her courses, she was offered a paid internship with a company called EQT. EQT is one of the nation's leading natural gas companies. She was offered this internship position with a start date prior to graduation. Even in her interview with EQT representatives, Amber explained her knowledge of the company's operations; this impressed the EQT representatives. She was then offered the paid internship four weeks later. She has been with them for the past month and is enjoying working with a company where she is able to utilize her skills and knowledge in the field which she studied at WVU.
Amber received this great opportunity for what she knew - what she studied. Neither Amber nor anyone acquainted with Amber is associated with the EQT representatives or employees. She was just one among a number of candidates who applied for this position.
My point is, although many graduates nowadays do find positions through who they know, there are a number of graduates who do find and are offered positions strictly due to their knowledge, drive and determination to succeed in their field of study. For these graduates, I say congratulations!! Job well done, money well spent and you deserve to rise to the top in your field.