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Posts Tagged ‘underqualified’

Don’t Treat Me like A College Dropout #2

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on August 18, 2009

college dropout

“The college dropout”. Unless you’re Kanye West or Bill Gates, having this label attributed to you garners only negative attention. To be a college dropout is to be a wasted resource. “It’s a shame to see all that potential go to waste” is what most people say (behind the backs of the people to which they are referring). We hear you, though. You don’t have to say it to our faces because it shows in your eyes. Your body language expresses your contempt for us. It’s a good thing some of us don’t pay attention to your misguided attempts at encouragement, or else we may never get past the pain and onto success.

What follows is an interview conducted with Stephanie Danforth, who is the editor of Venus Diva Magazine. A strong believer in thinking outside of the box, Stephanie is passionately pursuing her dreams in accordance with her reality. She is working with her circumstances towards a path of even greater success.

Did you feel expectations from family, friends or society to succeed in college? If so, what impact did this pressure have on you?

Definitely, coming from a family full of college grads with Masters and PHd’s, being successful in college was the only route to go.  Success as it relates to school started early on for me.  My father was an English professor at a local college.  My grandmother was an Administrative head at an elementary school, and my uncles were all teachers, so to not succeed in college was unheard of.  I didn’t feel pressure to succeed.  I thrive in pressure situations.  It gets my blood boiling. The pressure of success didn’t have as much of an affect on me as the fact that I didn’t graduate.  It’s not like I felt so much pressure that I couldn’t handle it.

How do friends and family treat you because you don’t have a college degree?

I’m not treated any differently by friends, but, at times, I feel like my brothers treat me a little differently. They treat me as if I am not as educated as they are, or don’t understand the struggles of a black college student. Hello, I went to college for over four years, and I don’t have a degree; if anyone understands the struggles, it’s me.  My mom constantly tells me how I need to go back to school but when I think about the jobs that me and my brothers have had, it’s easy to view me as the most successful of the three.  So, my question to them is often, “What did having a degree get you, since I’m making more than you?” Men can be competitive at times, so, sometimes, I have to go there with them.

How do you feel about yourself?

At times I am disappointed in myself not because I didn’t graduate, but because I let it bother me that I didn’t graduate.  I’m proud of everything that I’ve accomplished and believe that everything happens for a reason, but sometimes I think not having a degree messes with my confidence.

Why did you leave school without a degree?

Why did I leave school?  The first time I was put on short term suspension for grades and the second time, financial wouldn’t give me any more money.  I guess the first time I left, I was gone too long and my loan defaulted.  I think.  I really don’t remember the details; all I know was that I ran out of money.

Do you plan to return to get a degree? If so, what is preventing you from returning in the immediate future?

I would like to, but once you start working and having a family, it’s easier said than done.  Right now I have an application in at University of Phoenix; so, as soon as they call me for the job, I will enroll.  When I ran out of aid, I promised myself and my mom that I was going to get my degree, and get someone to pay for it.  If I could afford it, I would, but I can’t; so, U of P, here I come.

What is the biggest myth equated with dropouts that you would like to dispel?

That we are incapable of working in corporate America.  There is nothing that anyone does that cannot be taught. Having a degree does not make you that much smarter.  People seldom go into a career path where their degree can be useful. In my eyes, asking for a person with a degree is nothing more than trying to weed out what’s considered good from bad.

Many people have had to leave school for reasons other than the stereotypical “college just isn’t for me” attitude; and, many would like to return to get their degree, but existing roadblocks make it difficult. Support education reform to enable the passionate people to more efficiently achieve their dreams.

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Posted in Advice, Under-qualified | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Don’t Treat Me like A College Dropout

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on August 15, 2009

college dropout“The college dropout”. Unless you’re Kanye West or Bill Gates, having this label attributed to you garners only negative attention. To be a college dropout is to be a wasted resource. “It’s a shame to see all that potential go to waste” is what most people say (behind the backs of the people to which they are referring). We hear you, though. You don’t have to say it to our faces because it shows in your eyes. Your body language expresses your contempt for us. It’s a good thing some of us don’t pay attention to your misguided attempts at encouragement, or else we may never get past the pain and onto success.

What follows is an interview conducted with Sommer Johnson, who founded Gemini Magazine, is achieving her goals and doing it all with passion. She is encouraging people to “join us in the revolution to open minds one cover, one article, one beautiful, sophisticated, professional curvy woman at a time.”

  1. Did you feel expectations from family, friends or society to succeed in college? If so, what impact did this pressure have on you?
    My parents always used to say, “If you are going to stay here after you graduate (from high school) you have two choices: college or a full time job.” It never bothered me or put pressure on me because I love learning & I love school.  What did bother me was the fact that I don’t think my parents understood my major. They wanted me to major in something like business or accounting or HR Management instead of English.  I’m sure most English majors feel frustrated like I did when fielding questions like: “So what are you going to do with an English Degree…teach?” My parents just wanted me to have a degree in something that could help me 10 years from age 18; and, to them that was business or accounting or HR Management.
  2. How do friends and family treat you because you don’t have a college degree?
    Only a few people in my family have an actual college degree.  Most of my family, if not all of them, doesn’t really care.
  3. How do you feel about yourself?
    Honestly, sometimes I feel stupid. Sometimes I over hear grown women talking about their college experience and I’m saddened by it because my experience was limited.  Sometimes I am grateful for being able to start my family early. By the time I am 43 my kids will be away at college and my husband and I can dance naked in the kitchen. Lol.
  4. Why did you leave school without a degree?
    The first time around I was lazy. I was also boy crazy and I didn’t feel like I fit in.  The second time around I was working full time, mothering 2 kids under the age of 4, and being a wife.  The 3rd time around I ended up getting a 65 on my exam paper in English (go figure), which gave me a C, which meant I had to repeat the class, which meant my financial aid was yanked (I had to get B’s or better to keep it).  Being laid off with a mortgage, two kids, a husband, and old cars made it hard to go back.  I will one day…
  5. Do you plan to return to get a degree? If so, what is preventing you from returning in the immediate future?
    Money. I would go back right now if I could afford it. Perhaps when Gemini blows up I can go back and not think about what bills I have to pay.
  6. What is the biggest myth equated with dropouts that you would like to dispel?
    That we are inexperienced.  I see tons of jobs in the accounting and admin assistant positions looking for just any kind of degree.  I’ve worked in accounting for 10 years and I grew up watching my mother be the Executive Assistant to Sanyo VP’s, small business owners, and so on. But none of that seems to matter. It’s all about what we look like on paper.  I realize from owning my own business that just because you didn’t make it through school that doesn’t mean you don’t have what it takes to make it. I feel like education is an array of things.  It’s the crappy first job you had; the stupid boyfriend/girlfriend you broke up with (or who broke up with you); it’s the half finished college degree and birth of your first born. Your life is your education, but you have to add to it to make it greater.  For some, that means getting a degree.  For others it means spending hours in Barnes & Noble or online reading up on this or that.  With my eyes on the future and my heart in God’s hands, my life is looking pretty good – degree on the wall or not 🙂

Many people have had to leave school for reasons other than the stereotypical “college just isn’t for me” attitude; and, many would like to return to get their degree, but existing roadblocks make it difficult. Support education reform to enable the passionate people to more efficiently achieve their dreams.

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Posted in Advice, Under-qualified | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Help! I’m under-qualified for an internship!

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on May 23, 2009

QuicksandDo a search for jobs in your area, look up the internships, and this is what you will see:  “Are you a student or recent graduate looking to…?”; “…COLLEGE GRADUATES ONLY!”

This is not a new issue, but it is one that deserves increased attention. A college dropout is someone who leaves their place of higher education before obtaining a degree. Today, there are marginalized sectors of people who are no longer in school, but cannot be labeled college dropouts because they did not leave of their own volition. With college affordability becoming increasing difficult, many former students are now stuck in the one of the worst Catch 22 scenarios imaginable. They want to finish their education but they cannot afford to do so. They look for a job to pay down their debt but can only get hourly, part-time jobs that barely cover the cost to commute to work. Hoping for something better, something more in line with their passions, they look for internships in their field. Confronted by the afore-mentioned requirements, they realize they’re under-qualified…for an internship.

For someone who knows exactly what they want their career to be, but they are no longer in school, and did not obtain a degree, this is just plain tiring. All of the advice out there suggests keeping pushing, or to make your own way. Sure, that makes sense. Some of the greatest inventions have come out of a need for something better and more efficient. The question becomes, why should people in this sector have to struggle with something as inefficient as job searching when there could be a better way?

So, what are you trying to achieve? What is your passion? Do you know how to get there…from here?

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Posted in Under-qualified | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »