(As a counterpoint to the Business Education post I had a while ago…)
Hey there, Educational Institutions. It’s us, Major Corporations. A few of us got together for a bull session, and decided we wanted to bring you to the table and talk some business. Short version, we want a change, and we’re willing to put something on the table for it. Let us set the scene.
We’ve hired a lot of your graduates in the past. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. And part of that is just how things go. Bad fits, mismatched expectations, people who really want to do something else at a different company, those things happen. It’s life.
But some of the problems are bigger. We hire these kids – we shouldn’t call them kids, they’re 21 plus – we hire these college graduates, and within a week it’s obvious they’re going to need training. A lot of training. We put them on a project and…
- They aren’t professional.
- They have no teamwork. Can’t lead, can’t follow.
- They lack initiative – they don’t know how to start a project themselves.
- They can’t communicate. Can’t write, can’t present.
What’s more, everything they do, it’s like they’ve barely seen it before. It’s, “Oh yeah, I did that once… I can’t remember how, though…” We’d rather have someone with half the number of skills and twice the polish, you know? And so we spend more time finding people with those skills, because every couple hours we spend on hiring, throwing out people without those skills, can save us months of expensive on-the-job and off-the-job training. And let’s face it, no business wants to train people any more.
So we’d like a change.
Here’s the deal. On your end, you cut back on the number of different things you’re trying to jam into the day, and teach your kids the things we talked about above instead – communication, initiative, teamwork, professionalism. Give them the skills we’re really looking for. We want people who can write well, think carefully, and work together.
We know as well as you that there are only so many hours in the day, so many days in a year. Less in the school year. We respect that fact. And we know that you’d really like to teach less stuff and hit the important points. We know that you genuinely do care about preparing people for the Real World, and we, as the Real World for so many people, want that too. So let’s do what we both want to do: get some people with better Real World skills and less random facts crammed into their heads.
We know this is a big ask here. It’s going to take a lot of work to redesign so many courses, even if it’s something you want to do already. So here’s the payoff:
In return for your work, we give your students extra consideration in hiring for the next twenty years. We bump them up the list just because they graduated from your school.
And look, if you don’t want to be part of this, you can walk away from the table, no harm, no foul. Not everyone wants to work for us, and we respect folks who want to go into the military, the peace corps, or teaching. But here in Major Corporation land, we’ll be looking for the graduates of the schools who sign up with this. Think about the recruitment possibilities. Think about internships, co-ops, joint research… new facilities? Who knows?
What do you say?