Mentoring by The Wicked Witch

You won’t believe this but I went to a mentoring program at Rosemont last night. AS A MENTOR! Knocked me for a loop when I was invited, too.

Here are some of the bits of advice I handed out…

“Nurse? You want to be a nurse? You want to touch rashes and get coughed on and stick needles in people and clean up shit and vomit? You sure on that one?”

“My hints for interviewing? Well, if you are being interviewed by the hiring manager, don’t come across as too smart or too aggressive because they’ll think you are a threat to their position and won’t hire you, it’s best to come across as slightly incompetent.”

“You are a business major and you need advice as to what recession-proof industry to go into? I’ve got two words for you…. FUNERAL DIRECTOR”

“Graduate School? Me? Nah, I always figured if I needed an advanced degree I’d just hire a person with one.”

“I’d absolutely suggest an internship… and running over there and getting me a cookie and a Sierra Mist.”

There were a lot of blank stares and a few tears. I had fun.

13 thoughts on “Mentoring by The Wicked Witch

  1. gomer

    And the “Far Side” caption below this episode reads:

    “Flush with success, Donna the Witch boils her intern for mis-placing another invitation to mentor, when in fact it was never sent.”

  2. B. Davis

    Your pithy comments to the uninitiated can be roughly translated: “The real world outside the halls of academia is inhabited by piranhas. You aren’t aware of that uncomfortable fact because professors live inside a bubble and so do their bosses hiding inside the ivory tower administration building. So decide now whether you want to be a piranha or piranha bait. Oh, and one more thing, it’s called WORK because you won’t enjoy most of what you do for a living. Many of your co-workers will throw stones in the path of your success.”

    I like what you said about nursing. The reason why there’s a nursing shortage and a teacher shortage is because those professions are STRESSFUL and not as rewarding as advertised. The reason there’s ALWAYS an accountant shortage is…well…who wants to do work that mind-numbing? The average length of a nursing or teaching career is about 5 years, I think.

  3. Donna Post author

    What really killed me was how every single girl I talked to wanted to go immediately to graduate school. No thought was given to what they really wanted to do with their lives or how they would PAY for it.

    The one girl said she wanted to go into politics, “Start small, like, I could be a Congresswoman.” I wanted to ask her if she was independently wealthy or if she somehow had some inside track with the real PTB. Instead, I just smiled and said nothing.

    Another girl said she wanted to be a REAL ESTATE AGENT!?!! But she would go to graduate school first. She clearly has no idea what is going on!

    I felt so bad for these kids– they have no clue what they are entering into.

  4. B. Davis

    Remember Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, clueless about the real world? Nothing has changed. I think most kids would do themselves (and their parents) a big favor by attending a community college for a couple of years. What’s the sense of sending a child to an expensive 4 year university only to see that child graduate with a blank look on his/her face? With a 10% unemployment figure it’s no wonder so many young people want to keep hiding inside the academic womb.
    And what most people won’t admit is that a lot of kids
    aren’t suited for college…they should learn a trade instead (like my dad did). The world needs more plumbers and electricians and car mechanics, not more da&%ned lawyers!!!

  5. gomer

    Devils advocate here:

    Most likely what they are “getting into” is a world dominated by the likes of us: judgmental seen-it-alls who speculate based on appearances and narrow frames of reference.

    Please don’t ban me. I challenge out of respect (unless it involves Elvis, that is purely for fun).

  6. Kozaburo

    Good advice, although I’d add that the affection(incompetence) approach will be counterproductive with “decision makers” (who like assertives like themselves) and “logical thinkers” (who care about accuracy and are turned off by both assertiveness and affection).

  7. Donna Post author

    Absolutely– like I said, hiring managers who are middle managers and watching their back all the time– those are the ones that the incompetence approach works. If you are being interviewed by HR or a decision maker- their jobs aren’t on the line if you do well- then go ahead and show your strengths.

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  9. Kozaburo

    And Rosemont apparently needs an engineering school… A BA is woefully insufficient for a professional career these days. Notatall surprised to see these kids universally looking to grad school. The topic was even mocked on the Sopranos a few years ago

  10. Donna Post author

    I’m sure in some professions you absolutely need an advanced degree but not all of them. I can’t tell you how many people I know who spent oodles of money and time getting their MBA only to find that it hurt them in the long run or didn’t serve much of a purpose. There’s a lot of jobs out there that require a BA and shouldn’t– it’s just one of those things we as a society have just come to accept. A large majority of the people I know who make good money and run successful businesses– never graduated from college.

  11. B. Davis

    The oldest joke in the world…

    Academic degrees:
    B.S. – Bull S%&!
    M.S. – More S%&!
    P.H.D – Piled Higher and Deeper

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