Jessica Sink, Columnist

I once heard someone advise students to think as an employer might, asking the question, “would I hire me?” in order to gauge preparation for the job market. It may sound like a rhetorical question, but it is not that simple.

If you were an employer, charged with hiring the best candidate for a job, you would certainly be looking for someone with the right skills, attitude and work ethic to be successful. Introspection is critical to the job search and if you cannot answer, “yes” to whether you would hire yourself, where did you fall short and what can you do to change that answer?

Receiving a college degree is a great achievement. Four years of hard work, long hours, group projects, final exams and presentations is certainly a challenge. Yet, earning a degree should be more than just a testament to perseverance. A college education is not just a means to an end; it is a journey of successes and failures, individual growth and learning how to navigate personal relationships. It is a package deal.

As education costs continue to rise, many students and families are increasingly reconsidering the value of a college degree. Although college can spur intellectual growth, the debate continues about how much of an impact it really has on shaping individuals for the workplace.

According to a June 2011 Pew Study in Time Magazine, only a slim 55 percent of college graduates believe higher education has adequately prepared them for a job. Yet in the same study, 86 percent of the same participants stated college was a good investment for them.

Regardless of what the future may hold, college is valuable in helping students try new things, learn about other perspectives, build an identity and grow into confident, capable adults. There are certainly moments in everyone’s life when we question our decisions and wonder whether all the hard work and time we devote really matters. Pressures and expectations from family and friends can be overwhelming if you do not maintain perspective on what is really important: staying true to yourself. Whether or not you were able to land that dream job after college should not alone brand the experience as a success or failure.

We all have unique talents and abilities. Find your niche and never give up on your passions. What you do really does matter and the hard work will pay off in the end, if only to make you a better, stronger person.

Look back on your years at Miami as a time of exploration and discovery, forming the person you have become. Take pride in your accomplishments and make sure you can look in the mirror and say, “yes, I would certainly hire me.”

This will be my final column for The Miami Student. I am grateful for the support of The Miami Student and its readers, and I encourage all Miami students to write for this great school paper.

In addition to my studies in strategic communication, history and marketing, I have enjoyed my work as a writer, then editorial editor and columnist. I hope I was able to bring a new perspective and a strategic angle to many different topics and events.

I have tried to be humorous, ironic, sometimes light and sometimes deep. I don’t know if I always hit the mark, but hopefully my writing was thought provoking. You can view my past articles by searching “Jessica Sink” at www.miamistudent.net. I welcome any comments or thoughts.

The undergraduate experience really does mean something. I will emerge, like so many others, from Miami University uncertain about what the future may hold, but ready to take on any challenge.

So, to answer the question, would I hire me? Yes. But the real question now is: will you?

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