An op-ed by Thomas L. Friedman published in the New York Times on February 22 has been circulating through educational circles. In the article, “How to Get a Job at Google,” Friedman discusses the company and its criteria for hiring. Curiously, one main point is that Google challenges the value of applicants’ college transcripts and their GPAs.
While all of us who believe in the power of schools recoil at the suggestion that college course work and academic achievement is not a high priority, Google’s conventional thinking is a good wake-up for us all.
Friedman points out that Google focuses on applicants’ attributes involving “leadership, humility, collaboration, adaptability, and loving to learn and re-learn.” His theory is that today’s need for innovation relies more and more on group endeavor and these five soft skills.
At North Shore, as we seek to make decisions to enhance our students’ experiences and provide the conditions to develop bright, accomplished, well-rounded individuals, we continue to reference our 2012-2016 Strategic Plan. Interestingly, I am confident Google would endorse our Plan, the energy on campus, and our teaching and learning dynamic that is both ambitious and responsive. We ask our students questions for which we don’t have answers. We challenge all – young and old – to think, debate and collaborate. And we offer a wide range of leadership opportunities while teaching students the important role of being a team player.
Interestingly, I received an email a week ago — A North Shore graduate (and a strong college graduate) has just been hired by Google.
North Shore Country Day is a private, college-prep school for high school, middle school and elementary school students in Winnetka, IL, a suburb of Chicago.