Recently, I overheard a conversation between a grandmother and her grandson during a very tense lunch. She was giving him career advice and chastising him for wasting five years at Columbia by graduating with a double major in American Studies and Film Studies. Several times she shook her head and asked, “What kind of job will you be able to land?”. She continued peppering him with questions about his major choice and why he did not become an accountant like his grandfather and father had done.
I watched this young man skirm in his seat and try to explain the various internships and jobs he held throughout college. Clearly, this young grad had not just watched movies and read books for fun for the last five years. He had been working to create a profile of skills and experiences that would interest an employer, including taking one year “off” to volunteer in Haiti. Instead of working full-time this summer, he is waiting tables and working with friends to complete a documentary about his Haitian experience.
I wish this young man would have read this article that outlines what employers want from college grads. Interestingly, there was no mention of accounting skills.