If you have yet to hear of this idea of social currency as a way to create a monetary system supported by a community, you can get a pretty good idea from these two links. HERE and HERE. This idea of an alternative currency was conceived back in the 90s and failed to pick up any real steam (this is still debatable) until the recent introduction of the Bitcoin. The reason behind this alternative currency is to create a peer-to-peer currency that is both “borderless” and “decentralized”.
While I find this idea quite fascinating, I could not stop drawing parallels between a borderless and decentralized currency and many of the industries our students will be entering in the near future. My argument is that our students need to be able to show that they too are borderless and decentralized. The idea of currency is to facilitate the transition of goods and services. Students must be able to show their currency or resume is borderless and decentralized. Students that are able to accurately portray these ideals will create a much higher value for themselves in the marketplace.
In terms of borderless, my mind automatically went to Thomas Friedman’s, The World is Flat. Our students will be entering fields that will require them to work with a very diverse group of individuals. This interaction may occur inter-office (especially with this new trend to reinvent the workspace) or span various countries digitally. The idea is that it is even more important for students to develop multicultural competencies and a higher level of emotional intelligence while in school.
In terms of decentralized, I thought of how dynamic our postindustrial economy may become/is. Shaffer and Zalewski (2011) put it best when arguing that the development of human capital in students is the fundamental shift that must occurring in academic advising. They write:
“In the knowledge-driven, postindustrial economy, rapid obsolescence of job skills and specialized knowledge culminates into a need for workers who can reinvent themselves and manage their own careers, and criteria based on personal traits and attitudes…”.
The implications are two-fold.
First. On the academic advising front, we must be willing to integrate both career and academic advising to accommodate this new climate. We are in a great position as advisors to help students navigate these new industrial terrains, but we must be willing to embrace this shift and understand that it will mean acquiring new skills and knowledge. We must understand what is important or valued in the job markets our students will enter.
Second. I feel this further emphasizes the value of intentional interactions with students. Not only do all practitioners have the ability to help students find connections amongst an often-disconnected curriculum, but also we must use those very same conversations to strengthen the connection between experiential opportunities. We must be intentional with what we are suggesting, as well as, why we are suggesting.
The point is that the ability for students to showcase these two themes relies on their ability to draw connections between their academic and co-curricular opportunities. Through conversations and with this intent in mind, we can create the architecture needed to build a strong, valued resume.
Shaffer, L. S. & Zalewski, J.M. (2011). A human capital approach to academic advising. NACADA Journal, 31, 75 – 87.
Chris Huebner is an academic advisor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina