For a college graduate, the corporate world of professional business attire, morning meetings, black coffee, cubicles, and paid vacation…”Wait, you mean they’ll pay me to go on vacation?” is unfamiliar territory. Most college graduates are accustomed to working in the all too unavoidable world of retail or food service where they have either folded enough Gap shirts that they are convinced they have arthritis in their fingers, or waited enough tables at Denny’s to be able to recite the entire menu from memory. Even for the select few of college graduates who had a summer internship with a law firm, accounting firm, or the like, are still not prepared for what’s to come when they leave campus for the “real world.”
Often, most college graduates preview what the corporate world has to offer through the lens of Hollywood. Movies such as “Wall Street” and “Office Space” offer very different interpretations of what the business world is and what the fresh-faced grad can expect their first day of work. Inexperienced, many new graduates resort to relying upon their crisp, just off the printer, diploma as means to gather enough confidence to make it to the office their first morning of work without hyperventilating, yet they still slip a little brown bag into their new briefcase, just in case. No matter how much education a new graduate thinks they may have, four years of higher education cannot prepare them for the corporate world. Then again, it’s not surprising; many college graduates are accustomed to the infamous college lifestyle of sleeping in late, staying out until 2 a.m. on a Wednesday, subsisting on pizza and every caffeinated beverage known to man so they can catch a late-night study session and still make the 80’s Night Party at the neighboring frat house.
However, companies have a lot to gain by hiring college graduates, even if during the first few days they may be ready to run at any second back to college, convinced their not prepared and maybe they had it wrong meeting a timely graduation. They may even have fleeting thoughts throughout the first day of work that those 5th year seniors they made fun of for staying behind may have been on to something. Nevertheless, companies, though often times not aware of it, have an enormous amount of talent on their hands when they bring new college graduates into their culture.
Once a college graduates initial fear of the real world passes, which often leaves when they receive their first paycheck, they offer companies a youthful perspective, that brings with it energy, creativity, passion, and motivation. Companies benefit in many respects when they add college graduates onto their team. In particular, college hires treat their first real job differently than other senior members of the workforce because they have passion. That is not to say that other professionals several years into their career do not have passion for their career, not at all. However, college hires have a distinct passion that can only come with your first real job.
Often they give everything they have to their career, especially in the first year because they want to succeed. Why would they spend four years of their life dedicating themselves to their academics and the occasional theme party only to graduate and fail in their new career? College hires may initially be overwhelmed by their new circumstances, but once they make the transition from college student to young professional, the prospect of staying late at the office working in a career they adore and getting paid well for it becomes appealing. Sure, at times they may yearn for their carefree college days, but who doesn’t? Ultimately, the evolution from college to career may be difficult at first, but it is well worth it for those new graduates eager to show the world what they have to offer, besides knowing how to fold a Gap Polo with one hand.