Posted on 26 April 2011.
I begin hearing rants and complaints about the school, professors, exams and assignments as the final week of classes’ approaches. The most thought-triggering comment of all the remarks I have heard was how important (or unimportant) a student’s GPA is.
I have always argued that a student or a scholar needs to put studies as priority. Yet, I see that many students – especially those who perceived GPA as irrelevant to their future career – have not really looked at this issue from a professional viewpoint.
“The short answer to this question is, ‘it depends,’” said Heather Huhman, a career expert, founder, and president of Come Recommended, a career and workplace education and consulting firm specializing in young professionals.
On examiner.com, Huhman wrote that the level of importance of a student’s GPA depends on the industry, the level of entry, and even the hiring organizations themselves.
“For example, consulting and major public accounting firms seek candidates with strong GPA – 3.6 and above – whereas other business-related roles may not be as particular, some sales professions,” said Dale Austin, director of career services at Hope College.
Don’t be relieved, this does not mean that students can get away with an okay performance at college. Huhman remarked that most organizations “simply need (legal) ways to weed out” the hundreds of applications they received for any one position. A student’s GPA becomes very crucial at this point.
So to me, it is not about the skills and leadership qualities you beg to offer; it is about competing with hundreds of thousands of candidates out there who claim to have the same skills and qualities.
What motivates your potential employer to pick up your resumes, from the thousands that are sent in each year? What makes you stand out? What helps you to jump off the page?
Answer: Your ability to be persistent, which is reflected upon your GPA.
Karen Nethersole, Esq., CEO and founder of Full Circle NY said the GPA is “not the be-all end-all.”
“It is important for a student to show that he or she takes courses seriously enough to do whatever it takes to achieve the highest grade possible. This shows the ability to work consistently and persistently to achieve excellent results,” Nethersole said.
It says something when a student is able to retain a 3.9 GPA while working 20-plus hours a week, volunteering on three different organizations, nailing several scholastic awards, and keeping a girlfriend/boyfriend happy.
“It is about what you are bringing to the table,” Nethersole said.
I have always observed some classmates of mine who claim that they do not need to take things “too seriously” since they are not into the “real-world” yet.
Let me tell you, my friends, “real-world” is just an excuse you give yourselves to have a little more time monkeying around. There is no “real-world;” it is now.
If you don’t plan to take things serious enough at this point in life, I have no confident that you are going to be any better in the near future.
Hence, stop alleging GPA as nonsense. Especially to seniors out there who are looking for an internship or entry level position, your GPA is the key to accomplish that.
“Without a long resume or professional accomplishments, employers have few criteria on which to judge potential new hires… the GPA may be one of the most important factors potential employers look at when evaluating their candidacy,” Kristen Campbell, national director of College Prep Programs at Kaplan Admissions, said.
So, let’s drop this rant and move on working on your grades. Good luck on your finals, and have a great summer.
Permanent link to this post
(607 words, estimated 2:26 mins reading time)