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Arne Duncan

Helping students find themselves

Helping students find themselves

As the student came into my office, I could see that something was wrong. She was pale and her shoulders sagged. "Are you OK?" I asked. "Not really," she said. "I'm graduating in two months and I don't have a job. I've been looking everywhere and networking like crazy, but nothing is panning out for me."

Sadly, many soon-to-be graduates feel anxious about their future. They worry about landing a job, especially one that is fulfilling; finding mentors; networking effectively and paying off their student loans.

Much of this angst derives from the failure of colleges to prepare their students for the real world. Colleges — and professors like...