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Old 06-28-2012, 08:15 AM   #136
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What about the person who has been doing other work and spent the same amount of time maturing? If they're the same age, "maturity" is not a logical way to rule them out. Those people that you are turning down might just be incredibly talented, mature, professional people that you're ruling out and judging because they don't have a degree.

Let's say I have to hire someone as a legal assistant or secretary. I have 10 choices, 6 with bachelor's degrees, 4 without. It is just as logical here to assume the people without degrees have had a much harder time finding work and will appreciate the job a lot more. Some people with BAs feel as though they're above doing that kind of work, so they'll slack off. People without BAs tend to know where they stand more often.
You're mistaking maturity for age. I don't try to figure out how old an applicant is. What I am interested in is their life experience. If I have someone who did a 4 year undergrad and someone who spent 4 years being a secretary during that time, then obviously the latter is a better candidate because her experience is directly related. But my post clearly said, all things being equal. If one has a BA and the other one spent 4 years working at a nail salon, as a bank teller and at Starbucks, I'm still going to probably look at the BA person more because the skills the other individual has are largely irrelevant to what they'd be doing as a legal assistant. What I care about are: attention to detail (most important), ability to draft simple documents (ie. literacy), think critically and problem solve themselves (they're my assistant, I'm not there to walk them through every step of every task and some tasks may be slightly above their pay grade) professionalism when communicating with clients and other lawyers internally, organizational skills, and some comfort with math/basic accounting because they'll have to work on bills, pre-bills, invoices and so on (yes, it's mostly done by software, but stupid errors are caught better by someone who can add and spot things). People with a BA, I at least know that a) they can read and analyze what they've read, b) work independently on small research tasks, and c) write/draft documents. We'll have to work to mold them into being specifically helpful to our group/organization and of course there is a learning curve, but the fact that I know that they have those basic skills means that it's a great starting point.

Doesn't mean that people without BAs are never hired, I'm just saying that there is a reason why those with BAs have a leg up in the hiring process. And frankly, you'd find this type of view industry-wide and across many other industries as well.

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I would consider the ones without the BAs first, looking into their experience, what they did in high school (were they involved in clubs? did they get good grades?), etc.

It is not always more logical to just grab the person with the degree.

I can tell you that over the number of years when I've been involved in hiring legal assistants (or clerks or paralegals), never, and I mean [/i]never[/i] did I, any other lawyer, or any HR person give a hoot about what these people did in high school. Usually that would be on the bottom of their second page of their resume and nobody even read it.
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:17 AM   #137
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You don't? Then why were you bringing my character into this discussion in the first place? Was it to prove that I thought I knew everything, or that I was arrogant?
i was backing up Irvine

and i'm not "twisting" anything - i just thought it was amusing you would say you considered yourself so clever, that's all... i just find it strange when people say stuff like that about themselves really...
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:29 AM   #138
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You're mistaking maturity for age. I don't try to figure out how old an applicant is. What I am interested in is their life experience. If I have someone who did a 4 year undergrad and someone who spent 4 years being a secretary during that time, then obviously the latter is a better candidate because her experience is directly related. But my post clearly said, all things being equal. If one has a BA and the other one spent 4 years working at a nail salon, as a bank teller and at Starbucks, I'm still going to probably look at the BA person more because the skills the other individual has are largely irrelevant to what they'd be doing as a legal assistant.
Then I misunderstood you and I apologize for that. I thought you meant equal experience didn't matter.

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People with a BA, I at least know that a) they can read and analyze what they've read, b) work independently on small research tasks, and c) write/draft documents. We'll have to work to mold them into being specifically helpful to our group/organization and of course there is a learning curve, but the fact that I know that they have those basic skills means that it's a great starting point.
But here's the problem with that. A, B and C are all things you are supposed to have a firm grasp of at the end of high school based on our standard of education. I didn't even go to a very good school and I remember all three of those things being drilled in to me.

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I can tell you that over the number of years when I've been involved in hiring legal assistants (or clerks or paralegals), never, and I mean [/i]never[/i] did I, any other lawyer, or any HR person give a hoot about what these people did in high school. Usually that would be on the bottom of their second page of their resume and nobody even read it.
On resumes people list what they were doing in college all the time. For me, since I was only in college for two years, I list both college achievements and high school achievements. I list what I believe is relevant to my skills, and if someone doesn't take high school seriously for that, then that is an error on their part. It can be a huge mistake not to look at high school experiences on employee resumes of young folk, though my resume puts an emphasis on my experience in the professional world.

After you have a degree I agree that it's silly to list high school on your resume, but you learn the same skills in high school that you do in college. The level to which you take those skills shows a lot about you. For example, chess is a game of critical thinking and strategy. I was captain of the chess team two years in a row and won regional championships. Leading and organizing an educational club showed time management skills. Retaining high honors while doubling up on classes and working internships, like many people do in college and brag about on their resumes, is also something I did.

I took those skills into the real world and used them to further my freelance career. Without those skills, I would not be able to do what I do right now for a living. But I didn't get those skills in college. My recent job experience consists of doing contract work with clients, reaching out and advertising, answering emails for the boss, building web and gaming servers from the ground up, designing and installing layouts for drupal and movable type, mild programming, getting 80+ hour jobs done in only 1-2 weeks, being on call for to handle server crashes 24/7 (and I do get called at 3am to fix things sometimes), etc. If I'm not professional when dealing with clients, we don't get business, and since this is a contract position, if I don't get business, I don't get paid.

Unfortunately I've had people not take this list of skills (which is only related to one of my jobs, I have freelance skills listed too with references) on my resume and still insist that I needed college.


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i was backing up Irvine

and i'm not "twisting" anything - i just thought it was amusing you would say you considered yourself so clever, that's all... i just find it strange when people say stuff like that about themselves really...
No, how about this. How about I actually have confidence in my abilities after spending years relying on them so I don't go broke? How about, after growing up with no self esteem, I finally get the confidence in my own intelligence that I never believed in for years to acknowledge that "hey, I'm actually smart"? Except when I do that, someone is "amused" that I "think myself so clever". Not only that, but you WERE twisting it. I implied that, if someone with a degree was not as smart as myself (a college dropout I specified, which is self-depreciating), then there was something going wrong with college and it wasn't some infallible thing. I wasn't even trying to brag about myself, I was using my experiences as a tool to prove a point.

Many people seem to mistake confidence with cockiness. We think that if someone says they're smart, or someone says they're strong, or someone says they're good at something, they're just bragging. They're not. I'm sure if we were having this conversation in person and you heard the tone in my voice you would have never once assumed that. Yet, you do.

And yeah, I'm pretty smart. I'm sorry if my being aware of that while also being acutely aware of my flaws makes me arrogant or amusing to you. Did you know that intelligence isn't everything? You can be the smartest person in the world but still not know the first thing about life. I'm still figuring all that out. But at least I know I'm book smart and can think for myself. It helps me along this journey, learning about life and the people in it.
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:38 AM   #139
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But here's the problem with that. A, B and C are all things you are supposed to have a firm grasp of at the end of high school based on our standard of education. I didn't even go to a very good school and I remember all three of those things being drilled in to me.
with all due respect, i found there was a massive leap between high-school level writing/analysis and what was expected of me at university/postgrad level - worlds apart in my experience
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:42 AM   #140
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no, how about this. How about i actually have confidence in my abilities after spending years relying on them so i don't go broke? How about, after growing up with no self esteem, i finally get the confidence in my own intelligence that i never believed in for years to acknowledge that "hey, i'm actually smart"? Except when i do that, someone is "amused" that i "think myself so clever". Not only that, but you were twisting it. I implied that, if someone with a degree was not as smart as myself (a college dropout i specified, which is self-depreciating), then there was something going wrong with college and it wasn't some infallible thing. I wasn't even trying to brag about myself, i was using my experiences as a tool to prove a point.

Many people seem to mistake confidence with cockiness. We think that if someone says they're smart, or someone says they're strong, or someone says they're good at something, they're just bragging. They're not. I'm sure if we were having this conversation in person and you heard the tone in my voice you would have never once assumed that. Yet, you do.

And yeah, i'm pretty smart. I'm sorry if my being aware of that while also being acutely aware of my flaws makes me arrogant or amusing to you. Did you know that intelligence isn't everything? You can be the smartest person in the world but still not know the first thing about life. I'm still figuring all that out. But at least i know i'm book smart and can think for myself. It helps me along this journey, learning about life and the people in it.
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:44 AM   #141
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Sooooo about that smoking thing...
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:45 AM   #142
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with all due respect, i found there was a massive leap between high-school level writing/analysis and what was expected of me at university/postgrad level - worlds apart in my experience
I can't say anything about postgrad, but as someone who did independent study from college courses in high school (which enabled me to jump right into the advanced classes in college), I didn't find college to be a leap at all in terms of writing/analysis. High school was too easy for me, and college turned out to be breezy as well. I loved the classes that actually challenged me because they were few and far in between.

The hardest thing about college for me was dealing with how bored I got with classes. I never felt challenged enough. To poke some fun into this though, there's a joke among software engineers that they're all really bad at writing/spelling/analyzing words and constantly have miscommunication problems because of it. The degrees focus so heavily on math that it leaves the important stuff like that out. Pat got lucky and his program was a little more comprehensive than most.
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:47 AM   #143
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In the end, what people should focus in is to earn money effectively, whether with college or not.
I don't think that should be the focus of one's life.
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:48 AM   #144
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Sooooo about that smoking thing...
I never see anyone smoke anymore. Sometimes I wonder if anything would change if it was made illegal. It seems like a lot less people are smoking now than they used to. Maybe this is a beam of light or silver lining about society getting smarter about their health or something. That would be awesome.


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I don't think that should be the focus of one's life.
But with money you can buy happiness!
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:49 AM   #145
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I can't say anything about postgrad, but as someone who did independent study from college courses in high school (which enabled me to jump right into the advanced classes in college), I didn't find college to be a leap at all in terms of writing/analysis. High school was too easy for me, and college turned out to be breezy as well. I loved the classes that actually challenged me because they were few and far in between.

The hardest thing about college for me was dealing with how bored I got with classes. I never felt challenged enough. To poke some fun into this though, there's a joke among software engineers that they're all really bad at writing/spelling/analyzing words and constantly have miscommunication problems because of it. The degrees focus so heavily on math that it leaves the important stuff like that out. Pat got lucky and his program was a little more comprehensive than most.
who is Pat?
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:52 AM   #146
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Fiance, sorry.
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:11 AM   #147
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with all due respect, i found there was a massive leap between high-school level writing/analysis and what was expected of me at university/postgrad level - worlds apart in my experience
I was just going to say the same thing.

Frankly I think anyone who thinks that they learned the same things in high school as they did at the university level must have gone to an incredibly shitty university.
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:39 AM   #148
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If anybody put their high school experiences on their resume I wouldn't hire them. It would tell me that they haven t yet gotten the work and life experience they need and are deeply insecure and in need of constant validation and affirmation. Which I have no time for.
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:40 AM   #149
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Also, smoking is gross. Smoke breath makes me want to pule.
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:49 AM   #150
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You are aware that I'm discussing a very specific type of degree and not an entire type of college, right? I think at some colleges they call it "Generalist/(side focus)". The requirements for this degree are... really light. There are very few, if any, advanced courses and it's mostly made up of a bunch of intro and maybe level two courses. I'm serious. The required course list reads like a high school curriculum with a few more electives.

Except it's impossible to know all of my accomplishments when I only list a select few examples. A lot of my high school experiences are things people only got to do in college and are bragged about on resumes as part of the "college experience".
My university doesn't have a General Studies major, so I can't comment on that in particular. I would still caution you not to make gross generalizations about majors. I will agree that if someone doesn't know what they want to study, a gap year or two can be very helpful. I also don't believe college isn't for everyone. There are of course kids in college that aren't seeking knowledge. However, I really do think, someone like you would thrive in the right college environment.

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The best thing college taught me was how to work under pressure. The vast majority of the time, this was self-imposed, and learning what the consequences are for laziness (as well as the limitations of your mental fortitude) is invaluable. You learn to work without sleep, put aside your own wants to get shit done, and when you succeed, it feels great. I've been an extremely motivated student because I'm a perfectionist with low self esteem, but we all have our limitations, and learning to prioritize based on those is essential to getting anywhere in life. Otherwise, you'll get burned out or drift.

Agreed that college can be a waste, but so can an entire lifespan if you accomplish nothing with it.
I will agree with this. I didn't study in high school, as I didn't really have to. College was where I learned my time management skills. I use those daily.

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You don't? Then why were you bringing my character into this discussion in the first place? Was it to prove that I thought I knew everything, or that I was arrogant? Look, I'm genuinely sorry if anything I said came off as offensive to you, because expressing my thoughts through words isn't exactly my strong suit (I consider these debates to be practice for me so I can improve) and I know that. However, bringing who I am as a person into this by bringing up something unrelated that I said and trying to twist it to mean something it doesn't... that just seems mean to me. If you wanted to be nice you could have just never said anything in the first place.
I think that statement just came across as a bit arrogant. I don't think you are arrogant. I try not to compare my intelligence to my friends, but yeah I own being a

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Originally Posted by ladyfreckles

But here's the problem with that. A, B and C are all things you are supposed to have a firm grasp of at the end of high school based on our standard of education. I didn't even go to a very good school and I remember all three of those things being drilled in to me.

And yeah, I'm pretty smart. I'm sorry if my being aware of that while also being acutely aware of my flaws makes me arrogant or amusing to you. Did you know that intelligence isn't everything? You can be the smartest person in the world but still not know the first thing about life. I'm still figuring all that out. But at least I know I'm book smart and can think for myself. It helps me along this journey, learning about life and the people in it.
I have to disagree with the first statement. Out of high school, yes I could write a mean five paragraph essay, but my writing style and grammar improved in college. My Freshman writing classes kicked my ass. I also believe that the additional 4 years of reading really expanded my frame of reference. Now, to be fair I was in an honors program at a top tier university, but I believe you can find engaging and enlightening classes at any college/university. It may just require a bit more searching.

Lastly, you should be proud of being intelligent. And you are most certainly correct that there is a difference between intelligence and wisdom. I think your presence on this sub forum is most welcome. I love people who can debate well.
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