Educational Shame

by Roger Pynn

My head’s just been up in the clouds lately.  No matter how I tried, I seemed to be in a fog when it came to seeing something worth writing about.  Maybe, I thought, there’d be an app for that.

And in today’s email came a message from a young Nigerian woman (no, not an Internet scamster) seeking her first career opportunity … and I realized what a disservice is done to many international students who are given degrees, but not given the requisite ability to communicate if they stay in this country.

What institution would confer a degree on a student that would send an email like this to prospective employers?

“To Whom it may concern,

Good day to you, my name is [name] i am a graduate student of the University of Rhode Island i studied communications (Public Relations concentrate) I have been working as a public relations specialist for quiet a while now, i have worked with artists and non profit organizations. I am seeking employment with your company mainly because I want to expand my horizons and gain the experience of working in a real firm. I am a very hardworking and dedicated young lady, I take my work very seriously. An opportunity is what I seek, any position offered would be gladly appreciated and I plan to work my way up to being a great asset to the company, thanks for your time. Attached with this email is a copy of my resume. I look forward to hearing back from you soonest.”

It was clear from her résumé that she’s hard-working.  She’s held responsible jobs.  But she cannot communicate in English.  To have graduated her and suggested she could function in this field seems nearly criminal.  Interestingly, according to her résumé, they allowed her to take public speaking, acting, small group communication and writing classes.  One has to wonder about English and grammar class requirements.

Someone at the University of Rhode Island owes her an apology.

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