Now that I’ve had a chance to get over my initial shock, I think it’s time to weigh in on the story of Trina Thompson. Trina made headlines recently by suing her school, Monroe College in New York. And why is she suing her school? Simple. She says that the…
Office of Career Advancement did not help me with a full-time job placement. I am also suing them because of the stress I have been going through.
As such, she is suing for $70,000 (her tuition) as well as $2,000 “to compensate for the stress of her three-month job search”.
But there is more to this story. When I first read it, I thought that this was a student with fantastic marks, tons of extra-curriculars, and some excellent summer work experience. I thought she may have felt slighted by the fact that her stellar resume didn’t attract attention.
On the contrary.
As the CNN article so kindly points out:
As Thompson sees it, any reasonable employer would pounce on an applicant with her academic credentials, which include a 2.7 grade-point average and a solid attendance record. But Monroe’s career-services department has put forth insufficient effort to help her secure employment, she claims.
“They’re supposed to say, ‘I got this student, her attendance is good, her GPA is all right — can you interview this person?’ They’re not doing that,” she said.
Did I read that right? The only thing she can think of to sell her skills and abilities is a 2.7 GPA and a “solid attendance record”? So now we are giving out awards for attendance? Give me a break. Employers don’t “pounce” on these types of opportunities, then run as fast as they can in the opposite direction.
But wait, there’s more…
Her complaint adds, “The office of career advancement information technology counselor did not make sure their Monroe e-recruiting clients call their graduates that recently finished college for an interview to get a job placement. They have not tried hard enough to help me.”
So I need to get this straight. Not only does it seem like she’s got her head in the clouds about current recruiting practices, but it seems as though she is expecting that the school will call companies and request interviews for her? She must be completely delusional.
Here’s the part that really, really gets me. Trina, by suing her school, has just performed the most epic act of career suicide I have ever seen.
Want proof? Type Trina Thompson into Google (or click the link). At the time that this post was published, 7 of the top 10 results in Google were about this story. With this type of publicity (the extremely negative kind), no employer will ever hire her.
So what does she have to gain from all of this?
- Approximately $72,000, if (and that is one BIG if) she wins her case.
What does she have to lose?
- Lawyer fees
- What is left of her seriously tarnished reputation.
My advice to Trina?
First, drop the lawsuit as fast as you can. Make a public statement admitting that this was a mistake and set out to repair what is left of your good name. You have already seriously handicapped your current job search and there is no sense doing any more damage than you already have.
Second, do some research. Take a good, hard look at your job search and find ways to improve it. Network, volunteer, cold call or even knock on doors.
Finally, put in the effort that ever other New Grad is having to put in. No one, especially in this economy, is going to hand you a job on a silver platter. Even in good times, people have to work to get jobs. They don’t expect their career center to do all the work.
I’m a firm believer in people’s ability to overcome bad situations (even self inflicted ones). I honestly hope that Trina eventually finds the job she wants, but I also hope that she takes something away from this whole experience.
And finally, a note to her lawyer (who may or may not have convinced her that this was a good idea)…shame on you.