Life without GPAs.

Over the past few weeks I have met so many new people both socially and professionally. When they hear I am in-town for the summer or that I am the new intern in the department they all robotically resort to the same questions. Where are you from? Where did you go to school?

Hold up… where DID I go to school? I’m flattered you think I am older , maybe more mature than your average college kid – but, please, no crazy talk here!

I, thankfully, still have a year of college left in my undergraduate life. I am even avoiding a dreaded December graduation – somehow my parents fell for the whole “but my scholarships last through the entire year,” speech I gave them this summer so I could stick around campus for the full year. But lately I am starting to wonder how much my undergraduate education will really be valued at in the “real world.” If I am already in the position to convince people I am qualified for jobs now – what difference will 24 more credits and a GPA do?

I figured I wasn’t the only “pre-senior year student” worrying about this over the summer. Can we call it a quarter-life “moment” – a degree less severe than a quarter-life crisis? Life Without Pants proved someone else out there has been thinking about this too.

In a May post, the blog poses some great questions: “Does college matter after you graduate”? Does our hard work mean squat after we’ve walked across the stage? Is it more of a personal pride thing as opposed to a professional requirement? Does it vary from industry to industry?

I have said it before – classroom work is valuable, but internships and real field experiences are what set one candidate above the next (at least in journalism I think). Does my 3.9 GPA really matter when the guy with the 3.3 has a blog getting 10,000 hits a day and produces multimedia like a pro? Yes, as a student I should shoot for the best of both worlds, ace classes and get quality internships/experiences. But, in two years will I be talking about my favorite journalism class in college or the work I did with so-and-so company? I am pretty sure it will be the later.

Also check out this post on Ms. Career Girl about the value of self-education.

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