Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Be Sure to Not Always Jump to Conclusions

If you had read my previous post you would know that I was fairly upset about a meeting the MrGS had had with the career counselor at school. I left a rather convoluted message for the director of career services and she called me back later that afternoon. Of course I fumed and fussed all weekend about this meeting. Imagining all sorts of insult from the counselor. Well, it turns out, I was wrong.

Yeah I know. I really didn't get the jist of the original meeting and when talking to the director I grew to understand what the purpose of many of the suggestions happened to be. It wasn't that she looked down on MrGS because of his disability, but was trying to give him advice on how to boost his resume for the jobs he was interested in attaining. One of the issues that MrGS has is the fact that he doesn't have any computer science related job experiences.

Of course, being that he just started his career in computer science, that is not unexpected. However, he needs to find a way to show potential employers, and even those looking for interns are potential employers, that he has the ability to work on computer projects. He needs to show that he can take what he is learning in class and apply these concepts in the real world.

So there is something that his university does for its students by having those looking for help with short-term projects hire from the student body. This way start-ups can get some inexpensive labor and the students can add experiences to their resume. And yes, even though most of the students doing this are undergraduates, it is something that MrGS should be able to do and able to access.

Also I discussed all the odd changes to the resume, which she chalked up to style by each different counselor. To each his own sort to speak. For those we will simply do what we want. The director also told us about a listserv that MrGS could apply to, as well as networking possibilities. The truth is the information that he was given was not bad, it just didn't make sense how it was presented to me. Which means it wasn't necessarily presented properly to MrGS and the para either. But we all live and learn.

It turns out that the career services isn't like a headhunting firm that hands the resume over to potential employers. They help students create a resume, practice interview skills and point them in a good direction. But in the end it is up to the student alone to get a job. That really isn't bad. Now that we understand that, we can work towards the employment goal ourselves.

But as I said, I jumped to conclusions about someone's attitude towards my son, based upon what I perceived to be disrespect for a person with a disability. It turns out, that that was not necessarily the case. While there is still some misunderstanding about a particular recommendation that had been made to MrGS, it does seem that in general the counselor was on target and didn't treat him any different than anyone else.

So just be sure that when you go in, when you think your child has been disrespected, before you start to get your hackles up, make certain you know the entire story. Otherwise you may actually put off someone who was only trying to help and who didn't discriminate against your child at all.