“Real World” or simply next step? - June 2016

01 May 2016

“Real World” or simply next step? - June 2016

By David Merhib, Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce Executive DirectorIt’s officially spring. And this means we are getting close to graduation ceremonies all across the country. Over the next several weeks, college campuses will finalize commencement speakers, students will cram for final exams, and employers will seek new talent to enhance their workforce. Students of South Dakota’s institutions of higher education will too be looking for employment through internships to better prepare them for “real world” positions.

I have read the words “real world” in many blogs, articles and reports that include both high school and college students preparing themselves for the workforce whether it be through a career track or summer employment. The meaning of “real world” to me is very different than what it means to an 18 or 22 year old.

When I look back to my experiences as a college student (for those that knew me then – no laughing) and what I felt were my stress triggers, these are very similar in students today. When I interview students for internship positions and speak to the senior year SDSU classes entering the workforce, I have the opportunity to see students where I sat many years ago. Many of these students have the same hopes and fears of, “what will I do next?”

These students are living in their “real world” and what they experience on a daily basis may seem minute compared to our lives, but when these students enter into the workforce, they will experience changes that we all went through when we started our first professional job. Take advantage of the opportunity to mentor and teach those entering into the workforce for the first time and give them the experience that you were given – and in some cases wish you were given. Our next generation will succeed just as our generation has and this success will begin through your leadership.

Wishing all of those graduating this spring much success in everything you do! Congratulations from the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce.