Career fair season is in full swing as Texas A&M students from all majors begin their hunt for that next internship or the start to their careers. The university provides its students with the resources to land the perfect job, from résumé workshops to a top-of-the-line career center. It comes as a surprise, then, that the greatest obstacle to a successful career season is going to class.
University policy mandates that job interviews are not university excused absences. Professors take such great care to rub this into every student’s face that it often merits its own italicized bullet point in the syllabus. Naturally, career fairs are also not university excused absences, considering that 50 minutes of lecturing will do far more for one’s career than 50 minutes of applying for jobs and speaking with industry representatives.
The Mugdown spoke with professors who support the current absence program. “Students should be in my class exactly when they are expected to be,” said Dr. Rebecca Gaudreau, professor of Talent Management. “You are fooling yourself if you think that an interview will get you any closer to a job than my disconnected, dead-eyed lectures will get you. My class is the most important part of your day and don’t you forget it for a damn second.”
Human Resources professor Walter Chambers told The Mugdown that he understands the career fair is a vital resource to his students. “I’ve been lecturing for three weeks on the importance of making an outstanding impression at the career fair, but we will be having class as usual,” said Chambers. “Students are expected to attend career fair, but must skip another professor’s class.”
University authorities stand behind the official rule that these career-related events are unacceptable absences. Fortunately, this should not cause any conflict with the students, because people rarely come to college to get a job, “I’m not here to give myself the foundation necessary to begin my life’s career,” said Maurice Denali, a senior finance major. “I just wanted to attend classes and then not apply any of that knowledge to my life after college.”
—Bacon & Ags