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How CEOs feel about gap years

USA TODAY article .pdf – Published 5:34 pm EDT October 8th, 2010 – By Monika Lutz

How CEOs feel about gap years

Monika interviewed several CEOs on her gap year travels and presents the results for us here

The nation’s industry-leading CEOs declare it will make you, “more mature, stimulating, passionate, assertive, and goal-oriented.” No, they are not talking about a miracle pill. These are the adjectives that c-level executives use to describe how they perceive students that took a year off during any point of their education. While their reviews may seem glowing, there are several areas that former and future “gapers” must keep in mind before walking in for that all-important interview. So where exactly does a gap year get a student? I personally questioned nearly two dozen of North America’s industry leaders –from telecommunication giants to food and beverage gurus—to find out how their industries perceive potential hires that have taken a gap year.

It all begins with praise: “Fantastic!” “Very positive.” “Incredibly honorable.” Joy Rothschild, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Omni Hotels even says that she is, “jealous of gap year students”. But while the reviews may be glowing, nearly every industry’s response came down to making the year a productive one and clearing articulating your explanation. “As long as they can explain it, it’s great. If their mother told them it was time to get off the couch, so they traveled Europe for a year, I see it differently,” says Hal Rosenberg, General Manager of Veria, the nation’s first and only 360-degree Media Company devoted to healthy lifestyle and wellness.

I would also like to thank Diane Borhani, US Campus Recruiting Leader for Deloitte, Jim Carlisle, Director for Western Management Consultants, Sally Baldridge, COO and CFO of Jazzercise International, Trey Campbell, President of the Americas for NorthgateArinso, Paul Queally, Co-President of Welsh, Carson, Anderson, and Stowe, Katie Harvey, CEO of KGBTexas, and Robert Stack, CEO Community Options, Inc. for their contributions to this article.

USA TODAY article .pdf