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Why would they teach corporate in college?
on April 28, 2015
These kinds of books usually make me feel like losing my lunch.
I'm an early twenty something who graduated from college a couple years ago--and (shocker) I hold an entry level position in an office. Contrary to how the author spins college in the intro to this book, that piece of paper diploma that I have is absolutely the least significant asset I gained from college, and it had little to do with getting me in the door to my first interview. That's because the paper diploma is nothing. It merely represents a certain kind of experience that I went through--the experience of going through college.
It was that experience that got me through the door, that helped me learn how to read, write, and (if I'm lucky) think. The diploma doesn't do that for anyone. It can't even begin to open a door if the person whose named appears on the diploma can't articulate a coherent thought, or demonstrate critical capacities in asking questions. The trouble is that as soon as those corporate interests enter into the classroom, the quicker those coherent thoughts dissipate and the less talented students become.
The trickiest part of gaining these skills--reading, writing, inquiring--has tended for me to arise from the fact that these skills are really only achievable if they are pursued with great and unyielding effort. What's more, they have to be pursued outside and irreverent of corporate interests or skill sets. Which is to say that the best possible preparation for corporate life lies in eschewing absolutely all corporate attitudes from the college education. Only without these external interests can students really pursue their ideas for the sake of pursuing those ideas. And only the pursuit of such inquiry for no other reason than its pursuit will give rise to the kinds of competencies and "top talents" that corporations seek in newly minted graduates as civic minded individuals. Everyone else is just part of the crowd.
This is basically a beef with the way this book is spun, not with the content itself. You want to climb the corporate ladder? Read this book. You want to live a more fulfilled life? Screw the corporate ladder, learn a new language, ride your bike, and never stop reading serious texts (that excludes books written by political pundits and talking heads). You'll be better off and the corporation will realize it's you they want. But hopefully, if you're like me, the very thought of corporate logic will make you sick to your stomach. So at the end of the day, you'll be happier with your fulfillment coming from within rather than without.
I guess all I'm trying to say is this: no, of course they don't teach corporate in college. That would defeat the whole point.