Intern-spective: The Gap Between College and Adulthood

I recently started interning at JP and let me tell you, real world experience is extremely different from classroom experience.

What is the purpose of college? After asking adults, peers, teachers, and even Google, it seems to have two main goals:

  1. To prepare students with work-related skills to have successful careers
  2. To prepare students with personal growth to have successful lives

Career Skills

In my opinion, universities have a handle on goal #1. Internship programs are giving students some amazing real-world experience while still in school. I’ve personally been lucky enough to have a few internships during college which shaped my future. In fact, I never planned to get into marketing. It was not until I spontaneously decided to take a marketing internship my junior year that I realized I was destined for a life in marketing.

University career centers are a beautiful thing. They play match-maker to find the perfect job field that coincides with your skillsets and interests. It’s like eHarmony for your career.

Career centers, internships, and mentorships are giving students the chance to explore career paths and gain work-related skills. My time at JP has taught me so much about marketing and professionalism. Working with the various aspects of JP has shown me the wide reach marketing agencies have and the sense of urgency needed to be successful. I’ve also grown a lot in my understanding of prioritizing tasks and always communicating with my co-workers and clients. It’s these experiences that make me feel prepared for my future career.

Personal Growth

The issue becomes – how is college helping students with personal growth? Well, Connor, that’s a great question.

Perhaps the largest issue facing college students and graduates is the infamous student loan. Students loans linger like a rain cloud over the head of bogged-down, overwhelmed graduates. I’ve heard countless horror stories of student loans causing major issues for graduates looking to start life on their own. Coming out of college with debt of $30,000 or greater puts a huge burden on a new graduate.

When it comes to loans, the issue is students not understanding the process. Students learn the number of electrons in Boron, but they don’t learn how interest rates work. That’s usually important to know when you sign up for a loan. Basic financial skills are being left out of curricula, and because of this, it is not uncommon for college graduates to have little or no knowledge about budgets, interest rates, credit cards, retirement accounts, or managing student loans.

One of the most important areas for adults and families is personal finances, and we are neglecting it in our education system. However, understanding finances goes well beyond personal life. At JP, I see marketing budgets from various clients. Properly utilizing the funds and using every penny to its fullest potential is critical. This experience has shown me that having a handle on your own finances will be beneficial for personal and professional use.

The Solution

With any problem, I love finding a solution. So, here is my simple and straight-forward answer to this problem – create the “Life Guide” class. It’s a required course for all college students to take that covers a myriad of topics including personal finances and other life lessons that will help form successful students as they progress into adulthood. In the short time I’ve been at JP, I’ve experienced tremendous personal growth. I would love to see my fellow students utilize college and internships to have the same transformational experience.

Connor Esraelian, Account Intern