Homecoming Week is a busy one. In addition to honoring Terry McNew at the Black & Gold Gala, we had our Dean’s Advisory Board Meeting, opened The Exchange and had a flurry of activity on Facebook. As it turned out, all of these things became related. Let me explain.
Part of our Dean’s Advisory Board meeting was spent interviewing 100 students. Each board member had one-on-one conversations with four different students. Each conversation started with the same question: Tell me what you want to do when you graduate from UCF and what you are doing now to make sure you accomplish your career goal. After each ten minute conversation, our board member filled out an evaluation of how the conversation went with the student. When all the interviews were done, we tabulated the results and spent an hour talking about the experience.
The short story is that the students went 3 for 4. Three out of four students had a career goal and could talk about what they were doing at UCF to prepare themselves for that future. The fourth had a rougher go. The discussions that fell short ranged from vague to indifferent. Consistently going three for four in baseball gets you in the Hall of Fame. Doing that in higher education earns you a “C”.
The very next day, one of our board members had the opportunity to do a similar exercise (i.e., mock interviews) with soon-to-be graduating law school students. After her session with these students, she posted the following on Facebook:
Made two law students cry today doing mock interviews. They are graduating in May and could not tell me what they wanted to do when they graduate. I reminded them that 3,190 students will graduate from law school in Florida this year and asked them why any employer would hire them over the other 3,188 if they can’t even tell me why the are “the one?” I have been hanging out with Paul Jarley too much.
A flurry of comments followed. I posted that the students cried because my advisory board member’s reminder told them what they feared they already knew.
That same day we were opening The Exchange in BA 1. There Terry McNew, the very alumnus we honored the night before at the Black &Gold Gala was telling students about his career journey to leadership at MasterCraft. One hundred and twenty students chose to hear him speak rather than go to Spirit Splash. They came with good questions and gained insight into how to become “the one”. I’m betting our attendees won’t cry at their mock interviews. The students even stuck around to take a picture with Terry. We couldn’t fit them all in the frame, but it looked like this:
To join us in The Exchange and discuss something important to your future, click here. Leave the crying to the lawyers.