Look out, NFL Draft: here’s the “Workforce Draft”


Teaching | Thursday, October 17, 2013

Look out, NFL Draft: here’s the “Workforce Draft”

The Workforce Draft

The NFL Draft attracts lots of media hype. What if our top students got that attention for academics? (Flickr / mjpeacecorps)

After being immersed in the NFL regular season for six weeks, I’ve been thinking: What if there was as much emphasis put on students coming out of college to the real world as there is with football players entering the NFL? It made me wonder …

“Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the 2014 Workforce Draft. I’m your host, Esteban Morales, and we’ve got eight hours of non-stop coverage as our best and brightest minds are selected for the top jobs in the United States.

We’re about to get underway with the first pick in the draft. Our Workforce Draft day coverage is brought to you today by Microsoft, Verizon Wireless, Pepsi, Ford and a slew of other sponsors. Honestly, folks, as popular as this event is, the advertisers just fight tooth and nail over these slots.

Coca-Cola has the first pick in this year’s Workforce Draft and several representatives are here at Radio City Music Hall in New York to welcome their selection. Coca-Cola is already a great force in connecting with its customers, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it take Rosie Stephenson, a marketing major out of University of Southern California with this pick. She’s really the envy of every corporation in this draft.

To a throng of boos and hisses, here comes Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, to announce the first pick.”

Duncan: “With the first pick in the 2014 Workforce Draft, Coca-Cola selects Jim Stambaugh, chemical engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”

Morales: “Wow, that’s a shocker! Coca-Cola has been consistent with its Coke recipe for such a long time. Using the first pick for a chemical engineering major is a real statement pick.

But you can’t go wrong with Stambaugh. His internships are solid. His senior project – creating an environmentally healthy all-purpose house cleaner – was actually purchased by S.C. Johnson after Stambaugh graduated.

He’s a once-in-a-generation chemical engineer, so I wonder what big plans Coca-Cola has for him.

In the studio today, we have Rocko Tribiani, our analyst and Senior Workforce Insider. Rocko, what do you make of this pick?”

Tribiani: “Well, Esteban, you can’t go wrong with Jim Stambaugh, but this year’s draft class is packed! There’s Lisa Schlotter, the public relations major from Indiana State University who organized the clean water initiative for Zambia. There’s also Mark Turk, the computer hardware major from Cal who consulted with Apple on its latest project.

There’s so much talent coming out of universities right now. It’s hard to make a bad pick, especially with the first selection in the draft.”

Morales: “Right you are, Rocko. What an exciting day this has already been! If you’re just tuning in, Coca-Cola selected a chemical engineering major with the first pick in the Workforce Draft! I’ll bet they’re ready to invest in a new flavor of Coke, and Jim Stambaugh will lead them there!

It’s no wonder that this is the second highest-rated televised event behind the Super Bowl. This is great stuff! We’ll be right back after a word from our sponsors.”

What are your thoughts about the Workforce Draft? What details would you add or change to what you just read? Leave a comment below!

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  • Chad Smith says:

    Interesting read…..it would be a paradigm shift no doubt….I am hearing IU is losing students early, before graduation, as the job markets is calling some of the finest in certain fields. We need to get our Valvictorians to sign local endorsments with local business to start a grassroots movement.


  • Ken Keene says:

    Assigning the “picking” order would be a challenge. Stock market results? Data minimums? Social weighting? . . .

    Certainly, more “press” regarding the positive correlation between scholastic results and career opportunities might provide a meaningful incentive. But something tells me that this correlation is already recognized by the masses. Yet, it does not seem to motivate the majority of U.S. students.

    Is there a disconnect that occurs between having a dream (goal) and having a vision (plan)? When a dream does not come true, most students fail to realize that the fault lies in not having a vision. Continued failure to meet goals prompts them to give up the game, so to speak. So, why does the disconnect occur?

    Now that is the $64,000 question, the answer to which should provide the direction to the solution. Thoughts?

    • Jennifer Tait says:

      Good observations, Ken; however, I sometimes wonder if our students have “goals” or even dreams. So many are just trying to survive from day to day just as mom and dad (or whatever the parental unit is) are trying to do. I teach goal setting in all of my classes and it amazes me how many students look at me like I am crazy when I ask them to write a goal or two for themselves for the next 9 weeks or semester.

  • Jennifer Tait says:

    Awesome!! Wouldn’t this be so exciting for our students. I, also, think something similar should be done for the students who are graduating high school when they are applying the colleges. I work with AVID students and have been trying to come up with something to “showcase” their college signings. This may have just given me an idea!!

    • Matt Miller says:

      That would be awesome! If you go with it, shoot me an email and let me know how it went!

      • Jennifer Tait says:

        I definitely will, Matt, and perhaps a picture or two. I know that I want to do something to celebrate because AVID students are the middle of the road students who have chosen to work towards attending college and find a way to get there. We are starting to get Acceptance Letters and their faces just beam when they bring it to me to copy and post on our “Oh, the Places You Will Go!” Wall. That smile is priceless!

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