First to Graduate College, First to Finish Graduate School…..

I was reading my congresswoman’s re-election page this summer

Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez’s personal story is one of many firsts: first in her family to attend college; first Puerto Rican woman elected to Congress; first Hispanic woman to serve as the top Democrat of a House Committee; and first Latina to be Chair of a full Congressional Committee.

So I thought today about how my younger brother is the first in the family to graduate college. (that’s because I was kicked out for three semesters for violating the honor code and cheating on a exam and my deans called me psychologically unstable, then we spent three semesters arguing over one credit hour). This past spring he was the first to finish graduate school.

Recently he was offered a job with the city of New York again and he declined it. I think it was a simple choice for him because he used to a former municipal employee. And he knows what he is going back to. Understandably as my friends and I all get older we realize that the same nuances we tolerated as teenagers in our high school and college years is hardly the case now.Perhaps the favorite quote is “You’re not paying me enough money to quit my volunteer job.”

Well my brother is going to finish his prerequisites and may apply to a PhD or MD program and for someone who barely skated by in undergrad I am confident he’ll be able to finish it if he chooses. And then at least you’ll be addressing his as doctor.
At the very least I have some notable firsts.  First to be laid off three times since the capital market collapse of 2008. First in terms of longest streak of unemployment amongst all my peers (ten months and counting) and longest total time unemployed (24 months and counting)


1 Comment

Filed under Dick Don't Need No Education, Gainfully Unemployed

One response to “First to Graduate College, First to Finish Graduate School…..

  1. Dick: Congratulations to your brother! I’m sure good employment opportunities will present themselves if he’s able to network with the right people and has the skill set required for the job. Public sector work is a steady paycheck and great for people raising families (my parents both worked for the government), but doesn’t always offer the earning potential of the private sector. If he’s single and has few obligations, he will be a very attractive candidate to companies looking to hire educated talent.

    My only word of caution would be in regard to student loan debt. The tuition and costs associated with getting graduate and doctoral level education is immense. Some people come out with a PhD but start their work lives over $120,000 in the hole. While the average yearly salary for someone with a PhD might equal or exceed that amount of money, don’t forget the ever increasing cost of living: rent (or mortgage payments), transportation, health insurance, credit cards, interest on loans, etc. If possible, it might be wise for your brother to put some money in the bank first and then transition into a terminal degree program once he’s on sure financial footing.

    As for yourself, the glass is half full and you’re NOT unemployable. You still have plenty of time to pursue higher education, although I would urge you to figure out what really excites you and then actively pursue employment opportunities in that field of interest.

    Finally, I read an interesting quip in a news article about people with strong education credentials not getting hired for jobs for which they have sufficient or greater qualifications. If your prospective employer denies you because you are “overqualified”, call the HR rep and say: “I just received your letter advising me that I an overqualified for job X and can not be employed at this time. You should really raise your standards.” 🙂

    Food for thought.

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