Opinion: NU Must Improve Post-Professional Education
The average Northwestern student has 2.3 majors and is “involved” in 5.7 student organizations. When we’re not studying for the MCATs and LSATs simultaneously, we’re chasing down that next potential job or summer internship. Northwestern is widely recognized as having one of the most intensely pre-professional cultures in higher education. And yet, I think we can all acknowledge the many ways in which Northwestern’s pre-professional programming has failed to prepare us for our most important challenges:
- No pre-business fraternity will ever prepare me for the utter boredom of retirement.
- No Excel workshop will remind me to properly value myself, even as I experience increasing loss of hearing and vision.
- No certificate from Kellogg will ever ready me for the shock of being abandoned to a retirement home by the kids I spent 25 years raising.
- No women-in-business seminar will ever compensate me for the utter disappointment I will feel as arthritis creeps in and I just can’t thrust as well as I used to.
- No amount of LinkedIn friends will ever prepare me for the grief I will face as my friends slowly die off one-by-one and no mock interview will ever replicate the speechlessness I will experience at my wife’s funeral.
It’s time we fight for our rights! We must encourage Northwestern to invest in post-professional education. I stand with the religious studies department. I stand with all students perusing degrees in the ‘humanities.’ I stand with Bienen.
You don’t just deserve the right to an education that prepares you to become a well-paid, productive member of our workforce. You deserve something more: the right to an education that serves no other purpose than to console and entertain you in your final years.