One of my friends from high school and college was in town this week. She has worked for the last several years as an IT specialist on Capitol Hill. I asked her what sorts of skills Capitol Hill employers look for when interviewing and considering potential employees straight out of college. She said that these are the priorities:
- Candidates must be able to write clearly and articulately. This cannot be emphasized enough: they have to be able to write well, especially under time deadlines.
- Candidates must also have good social and emotional skills. They need to be able to get along well in a team and not get flustered in stressful situations.
- Candidates must be able to supervise themselves and independently complete tasks.
- Candidates must also be dependable enough to show up for work every day, on time, and sober. Furthermore, they should be humble enough to simply “do what they’re told” when they’re in an entry-level job and not be belligerent or defiant to superiors in public.
All in all, this list was very pleasing to me. From what I can tell, Centre College graduates have ample opportunities to develop each and every one of these skills as part of their college experience, especially those in the Government program with future Washington, D.C. job aspirations.