What Dress Rehearsal?
If “all the world’s a stage,” as Shakespeare put it, then perhaps college graduation is opening night, and therefore the college years are when we learn our lines. But is college a rehearsal?
What do we do to help our students prepare for a professional life apart from teaching them subject matter? Some fields have coops and internships, and they can be a great preparation, but what about other fields? Our philosophy students can pontificate, our history students can recite dates and tell about the gender struggles of the Maori tribes from 1830-1837, but have we helped them figure out how to market themselves in the real world to make a living, a contribution, etc, apart from telling them when the GRE is?
Part of the reason some of us are in the academy is precisely because we don’t want to deal with that stuff. But many of our students don’t really have grad school as an option or an interest. How can we mentor them as professionals and citizens, not just as initiates in our field?