Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Harvard Is Not A Golden Ticket

From the Boston Globe:

CAMBRIDGE - They have managed to get into one of the world's most selective colleges. Opportunity is knocking at their door.

But at some point in their life, though perhaps later than most, Harvard students will face the stinging slap the rest of the world feels regularly: rejection.

The dirty secret is out. Harvard students fail sometimes. They are denied jobs, fellowships, A's they think they deserve. They are passed over for publication, graduate school, and research grants. And when that finally happens, it hurts. Big time.

To help students cope, Harvard's Office of Career Services hosted a new seminar last week on handling rejection, a fear job-seekers are feeling acutely in the plummeting economy.

As my dad's wife used to say so often when I was a kid, "Things are tough all over."


Scott McCall said...

i remember when my dad too a test to get his position now with the state of CA (he's basically a DA), he had to take a severe test...they said they used to take only harvard, yale, and students from other highly placed law schools. my dad convinced them to let him take the test for the position.....he graduated from Lincoln law school.....no where near harvard and yale, he smoked them, got the highest score out of everyone and actually showed that the yale and harvard graduates didn't actually place that hight.

.....CA now no longer accepts high law-school grads only

David said...

Excessive fear of failure can make a bad impression on employers. I'm thinking of a couple of people who I had working for me, both at fairly high levels, who were very reluctant to take new assignments--for things we really, really needed done--because they though the personal risk was too high. Neither was a Harvard grad, though.

Ellen K said...

I will go farther than that. We have artificially placed barriers to achievement based on the idea that everyone must go to college. I know some very successful people who never went to college, one of them being my husband. I also know total twits that have many degrees but seem to be unable to find their ways out of the parking lot. It's not where you came from, it's what you do with what you have.