About that Pulitzer...
Published: Friday, April 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2012 19:10
Since you’re reading this, we’re going to assume that you’ve seen the cover and know that an IUP alumna recently won a Pulitzer Prize in journalism. Which is pretty damn prestigious.
Far be it from us to suggest that your experiences (academic and otherwise) at your chosen university are responsible for everything you accomplish later in life, but there is a connection, or none of us would be in college.
But this just goes to show that the recognizably named, famously prestigious universities don’t have the monopoly on Pulitzer Prizes, just like they don’t have a monopoly on any other prize, award or accomplishment out there, or on being a pretty awesome and interesting person in general.
Up to a point, in colleges and universities as with everything, perception and branding count for a lot (which is why “I’m Schmacked” is such a concern). The Ivy Leagues are the Ivy Leagues, and IUP is IUP, and people will make certain assumptions about graduates of both.
And these assumptions are likely to be wrong. To make these assumptions is an unfair overgeneralization.
An IUP education can be a great education – just as great as one you might find elsewhere. And the value is certainly a weighty factor.
But, point being, perception is not everything, and you can’t let it be. Other people’s generalized and inaccurate assumptions may affect how long they look at your job application – but while they’re looking, they might notice that you have a spectacular GPA, or were deeply involved in a service organization, studied abroad or did a fascinating and pertinent internship.
It’s about who you are, what you’ve done, and what you can do, not what school you came from.
And although the things that you learned there are going to have an impact on your identity and abilities, it won’t be everything. Your effort, your interest, your brain, are all going to influence your future.
You can do incredible things. And anybody who says you can’t on account of their own negative assumptions is wrong.