Some Castleton State College seniors will graduate this spring, some will not. Those who do graduate will leave relationships with fellow students and their professors as they venture into the real world. Paul Albro, chairperson of the business department at Castleton, has been around for 30 years, and knows a smart student who will succeed when he sees one.
“I’ve seen the good, the bad, the average and the ugly,” Albro said.
The relationships between students and professors are more important than people think.
“It is a small college, so everyone knows everyone. People that have graduated years ago have great jobs and they still keep in contact with me. This makes it easier to assign internships and create more connections with my junior and senior students,” Albro said with conviction.
Craig Haley, a senior, has been waiting for four years to get a chance to see what the real world has to offer.
“School is sort of the easy part. Trying to get internships and find out what it is I’ll be doing is the hard part. Thankfully I made a good relationship with the professors and they called up former students. Now I’ll be doing what I’ve always wanted to do,” Haley said.
Haley is currently interning for the Rutland Herald in the sports department.
Haley has made it through the difficult work and has done well with grades. Grades are an important part in college. But that’s not all that is beneficial to a graduate’s success, professors say.
Professor Robert Gershon has worked in the communication department at Castleton for 30 years, and like Albro, he has seen it all.
“I know a good student when I see one. There are always the stars and the ones that just do the work to get by. The more important things are communication skills and interaction with people, that is something that you can’t teach,” said Gershon.
Adrien Hill is a senior who has been doing a work-study program for Gershon for the past two years. Hill watches over the TV studio, helping students do the work and taking care of the place when Gershon is not present.
“I have found that the kids who are kind of quiet and don’t ask me for help usually don’t do very well on their projects. The outspoken kids who ask, and ask some more end up learning more and get better grades,” Hill said.
Gershon has grown quite fond of Hill, yet he is somewhat worried about letting him out into the real world.
“This is the worst economic situation in this country I have seen in a long time. There is the same amount of competition, but there are fewer jobs and that makes it hard for me to see such a bright student leave,” Gershon said with an uneasy voice.
Albro feels differently.
“The stars of the class will do fine, they will find jobs. The mediocre students will have a harder time finding jobs, but if they have great charisma and good attitudes, that is something we can’t teach and maybe they’ll find something. But be safe and get good grades,” Albro said.
Anne Smeglin, chairperson of the nursing department, sees it both ways.
“I find that some students who get all A’s will be fine, but those who are shy don’t find it easy in the workplace. Then I see people who get C’s and B’s who have great personalities and they make it all the way to the top. You never know,” Smeglin said.
Jackie Jones, a senior in the nursing department, is still unsure about how a recent turn of events came about.
“I have had such a fun time here and had a great relationship with Anne. She got me an internship at Rutland Regional Medical Center. It’s funny because I had worse grades than another student who also wanted the job and I was placed instead of her. I guess I had more initiative and kept asking and asking for it,” Jones said.
Professors say it is important to create relationships with professors. They are there to help and students should know that.
Albro was asked about one last thing he would say to an average student.
“Okay, you are done here, but the real work begins now and make sure you buckle down,” Albro said.
Gershon was asked what he would say to a star student.
“Not much. Good luck, stay in touch and send me your business card,” Gershon said.