By Dr. Scott Taylor, Small Business ManagementScott_Taylor

My nephew, Ben Porter, came to stay with us for a long weekend. He’d graduated from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa last spring and has been looking for a “grown-up” job since then. After nine months, he was pretty discouraged.

Ben lives with his folks in Waterloo. This city has seen the worst of the economic downturn. It’s really tough to find a job, especially if you’re a new graduate.

“So come up to Minnesota and we’ll introduce you around,” we said. We lined up some friends in the marketing arena who were willing to do informational interviews.

Making a long story short, Ben had four conversations about what it was like to work in the marketing industry. One of the companies, Morgan Stanley, was impressed enough to invite him to be a paid intern this spring and summer. It’s not full time or full pay. However, his foot is in the door and he’s off and running.

But this story isn’t about Ben. It’s about what we do at South Central College. We open doors for our students each day. Just as we helped Ben move out of the comfort zone of his hometown, we help SCC students to embrace new ideas and experiences. We help our students acquire new ways of thinking and acting so that they can leave the safety of the familiar and embrace the possibilities of the unfamiliar.

Ben was thrilled to get the call offering him the job. When our students get their jobs, they are thrilled too. It’s our job to prepare them for a career. It’s also our privilege to help them land their first job. It’s what we do. Isn’t that cool?