Wow. I know the economy is difficult right now, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to read about an alumna suing her college because she can’t find a job. But I am surprised to read about this. Obviously she didn’t put too much thought into the long term ramifications of her lawsuit.
If I were a hiring manager, the first thing I would do after glancing at the resume is run a quick Google search on a potential employee. If the first page of search results listed nothing but a news result about a baseless lawsuit against his/her former school, I would drop the resume in the shredder and never respond. If you are willing to sue a school, you would be willing to sue an employer. And that is an issue most companies are not willing to take – especially for someone who isn’t bringing any special skills to the table.
Why is she suing? Trina Thompson graduated from New York’s Monroe College in April with a bachelor of business administration degree in information technology and is suing her college for $72,000, which covers the full cost of her education, plus $2,000 to cover the stress of her 3 month job search. Why? Because she believes (in her words) the “Office of Career Advancement did not help me with a full-time job placement. I am also suing them because of the stress I have been going through.”
Her chief complaint is that her college hasn’t done enough to help her with job placement. Again, in her words, “They’re supposed to say, ‘I got this student, her attendance is good, her GPA is all right — can you interview this person?’ They’re not doing that,” she said.
By the way, her GPA was a robust 2.7, which should have most employers knocking down doors.
What does the college say? Monroe College released a statement saying that “while it is clear that no college, especially in this economy, can guarantee employment, Monroe College remains committed to working with all its students, including Ms. Thompson, who graduated only three months ago, to prepare them for careers and to support them during their job search.”
My thoughts? I don’t have all the facts, but I am siding with the college on this one. To expect a job simply because you have a degree is naive. To expect a multitude of job offers in a difficult economy, when people with years of experience have been unemployed longer than you have had a degree, is grossly naive. To sue someone because you haven’t been able to find the job you desire shows a sense of entitlement that is disturbing. No one owes you anything. You need to work for it. Simply having “good attendance and an all right GPA” is not enough. You need to bring real skills to the table. You need to show how your skills and experience separate you from the other 100 job applicants, some of whom have decades of practical experience – not just an all right GPA.
A college degree does not guarantee a job. Once upon a time it may have. But not today. Not in our economy.
Source article: Jason Kessler, CNN.