I have nothing against call centers, but we’re running an art school…
Yesterday, I got a call from a call center HR representative and she asked me about one of our graduates (at the APC School of Multimedia Arts). I know the alumnus’ work habits because he had been my student and had been very diligent. I remember that he’d consult with me about his projects even outside class hours. Though working on his design portfolio had been quite a daunting task, he had exhibited the kind of determination I find rare in students these days. As an educator, I appreciate hard work and smart workers.
As the school’s Assistant Director, however, I am very keen on how effective our instructional systems are. I look at the process flows and make sure that both the faculty members and students are delivering well. This means that if I really take my job seriously, I’d be concentrating on providing the industry with the best creative talents our school has to offer.
You can imagine how stumped I was when the agent suddenly asked, “Would you recommend him for work at a call center?”
It took me a few seconds to compose my thoughts then I answered with as much honesty as I could muster: “You have to understand that we’re running an art school. I wouldn’t recommend any of our graduates to work in any unrelated field because we would want them to use the degrees they’ve attained.” Then I proceeded to enumerate his list of sterling qualities.
Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against call centers. I understand that like OFWs, call center agents have tremendously alleviated our country’s growing economic pains. It’s just that if I see our graduates working in any other field besides the creative, it makes me question our system. Have we not effectively nurtured their talents? Have we not done enough to improve their skills? Have we driven them so hard that they’d get so sick of the arts? Or did the students enter our school without knowing what they were getting into and then realizing in the end that this wasn’t what they wanted?
Of course, I’d still be happy for them wherever they decide to go. A good educator knows that if she provides the proper foundations, her students will grow in leaps in bounds. No matter which path they eventually decide to take. One graduate even became a flight attendant, one of the jobs I would have wanted for myself if I weren’t such a shorty. Another one got into real estate and seems very happy with it. Still, transitions like these make you wonder…
And this is why I am in constant dialogue with our alumni.