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Why Go to College?

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Last week I was at a soccer game, and a high school student (who knew I worked at Antonelli College) asked a simple question, “Why go to college?  Is it really necessary?”

Going to College Online

I paused before I answered him.

Five-years ago, I wouldn’t have paused.  “Of course,” I would have said, with no doubt or hesitation in my voice. “Go to college!”  The person I was five-years ago would have believed the answer with all my heart and soul.  EVERYONE needed a college education.  College was a crucible where students were magically transformed.  College was a rite of passage.  Students had parties, stayed up late and talked philosophy and politics.  Students were exposed to new music, new entertainment, new experiences, friends, and ideas.  College was coffee shops, late-night cram sessions, pizza and computer labs.

Times change, the world has changed, and I’m a different person.  I once believed going to college was embarking on a heroic adventure, and when you had a degree, jobs fell into your lap and debt was slowly, but magically, wiped clean.

“Why go to college?”  The question was spinning in my mind and making the memories of me five years ago seem so naive.  Now I pondered debt, contemplated current job prospects, gave gainful employment regulations a thought, and considered childcare and commuting costs. I wasn’t considering parties, the “experience,” or late nights discussing philosophy.

Luckily, I stopped myself before I answered.  The truth is, his question wasn’t about a rite of passage, a risk/reward analysis of debt, or my opinion on philosophy.  A party is a memory of our time in college.  We all face potentially difficult job prospects, no matter if we have a degree or not.  Debt is an investment we make in our future, with the expectation of a return.  None of this defines a college experience.

The goal of college is building a better future.  That is why we pay tuition and invest our time and effort.  We go to college in the hopes of creating a better life.  is a tool we use to create a better future.  In college, we seek knowledge, skills, experience, the opportunity to network, build relationships and ourselves.  Considering college like that, then the question is, “Why should we create a better future for ourselves?”  The answer is obvious.

“Yes,” I told him, after a LONG pause, but with no doubt in my mind.

You should go to college, but only if you are ready to make an investment.  To be honest, the five-years-ago me was a fool.  College isn’t a crucible that you dip yourself into.  College is a tool that requires an investment of time and energy.  You have to actively use it, to make an investment of effort.  Some people are happy where they are and don’t see the need to work hard, and that’s fine.  If you can find happiness in your current situation, then there is no reason to invest in the future.  The purpose of college is giving people who want to change their life the resources to change.  We should continually strive for improvement.  College is necessary because our goal should be to make our world a better place.

Looking back, the moment it took to formulate an answer to his question was packed with a lot of thought.  Good thought, I believe.

“Huh,” the High School student replied.  “Cool.”

It was a soccer game, not a late-night college discussion about philosophy.  I really shouldn’t have expected much, but hopefully, I’d made the world a better place with my answer.

Written by David Oeters, Ohio PR Associate

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What Employers are Looking for

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Interested in what employers want? Watch the video, it's good. 

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The Value of an Intern/Externship

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As the end of the quarter nears, many students are excited that they are approaching the end of their Antonelli College career.  With that excitement often comes the mixed emotion of dread knowing that they are also getting ready to begin their internship.  Yes, countless hours were spent in the classroom, but why is it also important to do an internship?

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers taking part in their 2010 Internship & Co-op Survey reported that 44.6 percent of their Class of 2009 hires came from their own internship programs.  Among these employers 83.4 percent said they designed their internship programs to help the organization recruit entry-level college hires. This speaks volumes of the impact that an internship can have on jumpstarting your career.

In addition to possibly receiving your first job offer, internships also offer the following opportunities:

  • Experience.  The first thing most hiring managers ask is do you have experience doing the job that the open position requires. Internships give you an opportunity to get hands-on practice, as well as see first-hand the ins and outs the industry.  Through this experience, you can figure out what your strengths are and really shine. It is also a good time to identify your weaknesses so they too can become stronger.
  • Direction. An internship allows you to observe professionals on a daily or weekly basis in your interested field. This allows you the chance to see how they would handle certain situations without feeling the pressure of having to make the decision.  It aids in answering key questions surrounding how they handle a difficult situation or their work ethic.
  • Compatibility. Internships are a unique opportunity that you may never get a chance to experience again in your career. Maybe you know that you want to work in the medical field; however, when it comes to what position, your mind draws a blank.  An internship aids in helping you figure out such things.  This is your chance to test drive different positions to see which one you enjoy most.  
  • Networking. It is true that many of our students actually land a job from their internship; however, it is never promised.  Even though you do not receive a job offer, you do walk away with something else of value.  You have just proven to them that you are skilled in your profession and worthy of recommendation. When it’s time for you to try to find a job, it may be one of the people in your network who informs you about an open position and/or helps you land an interview.

If you are unsure how to begin the internship search process, Career Services is available to assist you. Simply stop by and visit your campus Career Services department to make an appointment, and together you can take a step in the right direction.  

About the author: Dwanna Toney is a Career Services Coordinator at the Antonelli College Hattiesburg Campus. Connect with her via LinkedIn.

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Latest AC News

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Lights, Camera, Santa!
  On Friday, Antonelli Cincinnati held its first Lights, Camera, Santa! Event. Mr. and Mrs. Claus sat for pictures in a Winter Wonderland designed by Interior Design students and faculty. Photography students sna...
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