The Philippines has long suffered a dreadful case of unemployment far beyond repair.
Yes, there has been an overload of Nursing graduates who have been competing against thousands for jobs that are not even available at time of application. Usually, they get training without pay only to wait for resignations of current nurses to get a slot. Before actually getting hired abroad, they need to accumulate all the experiences they could get here in the country. Others would rely on relatives abroad, and even that doesn’t give them assurance.
Other graduates end up in call centers. Whatever course you have, finished or not, you could get in as long as you could speak English. Call centers and the rest of the BPOs are the asylum to those who would rather get paid than wait for all eternity for the positions related to their field of expertise and wait for nothing.
Then, there is the system of backing up that is more than eminent nowadays. Whether you are your class’ top student or you crawled your way to graduation, it won’t even matter anymore as long as you know someone in the company everyone would love to work in. This system of accepting applicants based on relationships isn’t new to us anymore. The government has been practicing this since I-don’t-know-when, right?
However, one thing that I always hated about employment and trying to get a job in our society is the treatment of companies based on the university that applicants graduated from.
One of my bosses, for instance, told us before to refer people to apply to our company, as we were in need of more copyeditors that time (we are currently needing more now, as the recent batches are nearing extinction). My workmate did refer one, but the first question my boss asked wasn’t the person’s grammar capabilities, as that was the number-one requirement. He was more concerned with the university the person graduated from. The potential applicant being from a university in Bicol, my boss just wished good luck.
My college batchmate worked at a TV network for her on-the-job training. She was assigned to the HR department, and one of the tasks she had to do was to sort out the résumé of the applicants. They were to be sorted by the university from where they graduated, not even by their grades of what-not.
You see, we are prejudged way beyond our capabilities.
I must say that those famous universities in Manila indeed offer the best for their graduates. I commend them for that, but companies might be missing a lot with those who graduated from outside the circle of university biggies.
By the way, I received my B.A. degree from Cavite State University (CvSU).
CvSU, they say, is the premier university in historic Cavite. That is probably because it is the only state university in the province. Aside from that, it is just like any other school, or worse.
We don’t have a lot of conios lurking around the campus. We are not the wealthiest, the most famous, and the most intelligent (although I would attest to the fact that we have a lot of very promising students). We don’t have air-conditioned classrooms 24/7. Our computer rooms have computers that would have rot if biodegradable due to old age. The Internet system makes you rather search for the still-catalogue-system library and even get faster results. Only the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program gets to have two high-rise buildings of its own for its students, i.e., 1% (unreliable assumption) of the whole student population, whereas the College of Arts and Science, where all students from all programs get subjects for general education courses, suffer in a battlefield of room barters and daily war of professors only to secure a room for a certain schedule for the whole semester.
We don’t get the best in our university, not even the ample servings of what we paid for. We get less than what we deserve, but we survive.
And here these companies go, judging our capabilities and rejecting us just because of our Alma matter. We had to be laude title holders just to pass the initial résumé screening process, and then, we have to ace the exams to get their attention. In the meantime, those from the famous schools have the easy access, even though their exams almost flanked.
All the rest of the from-some-university graduates our unemployed as of time of writing, receiving constant rejections from companies with such impeccable standards.
Maybe, the companies have been missing a lot all along. Graduates from the famous universities all have the luxury of having to learn in the most comfortable state. We in the out-of-the-limelight schools learned the hard way. We have been tested through the hardest of times. We are used to a system that is painful to experience. We have literally been through thick and thin. We learned with being used to what is available. We learned by receiving the unacceptable and surviving it. We are used to the system of the country since we are trained in a place that is a mirror of it. We are fit for survival.
Now, I don’t reckon that companies should rather be choosing by how tough the challenges are in one’s university. The thing is, they should stop choosing by university in general, whether by which is more lucrative or which is more likely to mirror the real world. Every applicant has more to say than that.
They should be dealing with applicants based on what these people could do. For all we know, there could be a lot of great people from the still-undiscovered colleges. There could be potential deep within these people as much as those from the top ones. There have been a lot of cases where people overrule others despite the roots. We should not ignore that. Companies should be focusing more on what these graduates could do. They should be rooting for who is more likely to get the job done better than anybody else. They would actually get two birds in a shot with it—getting the best employees and helping mitigate the unemployment plague in the country.
HR departments, think twice before throwing away résumés. The next one you might be considering trash might be your next Employee of the Year.
Graduates and job seekers, the next time people ask you where you graduated from, answer them with your head held high. Be proud and show them what you’ve got.
Graduates from well-known universities, you’ve got some competition.
As always, it is not where you come from but what you can do that will always matter. Prove them that you are the best one for the job.