A message for new graduates

Just a few days ago, Minot State University celebrated its commencement ceremony – always a wonderful moment for students and their families.

Soon, high school students will have similar experiences which are usually one of those things that create a lifetime of memories.

Congratulations to recent graduates and soon-to-be graduates. You have reached a milestone in your lives that warrant pride.

Still, there are many who claim that graduates face a tough road ahead because of a changing economy and other reasons. A national story published this weekend asserted that new graduates can expect to be thrown into the fire and tasked with doing things that had typically been reserved for veteran employees. The tone implied this was a bad thing.

But is it?

Don’t talented people still often toil away at tasks at employers which they find to be no challenge? Aren’t educated, talented young people wanting to show what they can do, instead of old school entry level tasks? Don’t many young people have a better grasp on modern technology and its potential applications of that technology to benefit an employer?

Seems reasonable. For the talented, the dearth of traditional ladder-climbing is an opportunity, not a detriment.

Some advice:

– Hard tasks are good. Ask advice, do your best and exceeding expectations will benefit you.

– Innovate. Many industries are still fixated on how things were done decades ago. Use your vision and suggest better ways to do things. Good supervisors will appreciate that.

– Volunteer to take on tasks or projects if they are things that you feel you can improve on or add new ideas.

– Never expect that a degree provides entitlement. It doesn’t. It might crack open a door but the rest is on you.

– Be patient. Don’t expect immediate high level rewards or gratification. All good things take patience, consistency and dedication.

– Always remember that employers owe you nothing. You earn advancement and rewards.

These days, suggestions like these might seem antiquated or in conflict with assertions made by family and the education establishment.

Nonsense. Thankfully we still live in a society in which you largely control your own success.

North Dakota values will serve you well in the real post-graduation world. Trust those values. They will take you a long way toward your goals.