Appreciate the final pay off
April 25, 2011
Yesterday I came to the realization that there is only one more week of classes. I can hardly believe that this semester is already coming to a close. I took the time to step back and to consider all that I have done in the last three months. In some senses, I feel like a completely different person. The search for internships forced me to take a break from the college bubble and to behave in a professional manner, which was more taxing than I would have originally thought.
As I was interviewing, however, I began to gain some perspective on my education here at the College of William and Mary. When I explained how our curriculum operates at the Mason School of Business, many of my potential employers were impressed with the quality of work that is demanded of us. These moments made me realize that not everyone is subjected to such academic rigor, nor presented the same opportunities afforded to students here at the College. We may work extremely hard, but there are reward for our labor. While the interview process seems quite competitive, one must consider that many employers will not even travel to some schools to interview applicants like they do at the College.
Beyond the internship search, I have gained a general appreciation of the difficulty of courses at the College. When I converse with other students about taking specific classes, “easy” is a relative term. To me, easy means that you can get an “A” if you put in all the work and effort necessary to do so. Hard indicates that you can put in all of the work and effort, but might still end up with a B or C. Without grade inflation, I can say I have honestly earned every single grade that I have received. I always like to think back to the first day of classes, when professors reviewed their syllabi and expectations for the course. There has been one class each semester that has seemed impossible. However, by the end of each semester, I find myself well-versed and very able in that particular subject. I will never cease to be amazed by how much students are expected to learn in such a short period of time.
So while you are working your butt off studying for your finals, take a moment to appreciate the work you have put in this semester and the benefit you have derived from all of that effort. Although we are all subjected to the same academic rigor, I do not believe many of us take the time to step out of that environment in order to value the quality of our education.
Finally, interviews, do not hesitate to discuss projects or particularly hard assignments that you did well on. You would be surprised by how many potential employers are impressed with the amount and quality of work you invested in a particular project, and what that can do for your employment prospects.