Graduates said to be employed

My friend Tommy owns a small coffee shop near a college campus in Shanghai. As I was in his shop the other day, I noticed he hired a few more newbies this month.

He explained, “They are college students who will graduate this month. They are here working for free for a month and I will sign the employment agreement with them in return,” his shop is legally registered. He continued, “and then they can get the graduate certificate without being pushed from school. After that, we will cancel the contract and they can take time to find the job they actually expect.”

Doesn’t that sound ridiculous? I am not sure if it’s true but I did read a lot of posts on Sina Weibo (Chinese version of Twitter) complaining about it: college graduates are said to have found jobs. Some colleges, according to netizens, won’t give students graduate certificates or degree certificates if they fail to sign the employment agreement with the third party which can be a company or any organization that can offer employee a legal contract.

On June 9th, China’s college students’ employment report released that in 2010, the overall employment rate of college graduates is nearly 89.6 percent, which means employment has rebounded from level it was at during the world economic crisis.

The high rate seems doubtful since the students are helpless about the “being employed”. Some journalists saw this and did some investigate. Almost none of the school admitted it as they argued that students misunderstood their concerns. They initiated such rules only to urge students to find a job. In another word, it’s just a scarce tactic.

Ironically enough, one day later on the 10th, Ministry of Education issued that colleges are forbidden linking graduate certificate with employment contract. Universities are required to inspect employment information carefully and must not make false report. The “being employment” shall not be occurred under the management of related departments.

I remember the employment rate that my college published of my year was 97 percent which was pretty high. Sadly, I was the 3% as I decided to be a freelancer. I had a great job but no third party could sign a legal contract with me, thus, I couldn’t make contribution to the employment rate of my school. I did feel pressure from school because they were calling me very month to check out my job status even after I graduated. They offered me a few employment opportunities and felt very disappointed when I turned them down.

Actually the whole “being employed” thing is not new. It was disclosed a couple of years ago but it has become increasingly serious thanks to Weibo and all kinds of SNS. College students are complaining about their schools online and more and more people are aware of this. University’s image has been damaged. Many graduates exclaimed that employment rate is more like a number game.

It goes without saying that in recent years, the situation of graduates’ employment is becoming increasingly grim throughout China, which has brought great pressure on students, colleges, society and government. Employment serves as the fundamental prerequisite and basic approach for people to improve their life. As a result, local government has implemented policies to get over employment difficulty. However, some colleges are playing the games with employment rate and trying to cover the truth by faking the high rate. For some second-tier and private colleges, high employment rate could attract more students and that’s the very reason why they press students to sign the agreements.

University is a place where we learn knowledge and learn to be man. As the temple of knowledge, if it is guiding students to lose integrity, what is the essence of education? If the students have to experience “being employed” before they finish school, I say, that’s a sad thing for China’s education.

Finding true love online

My best friend just ended a long-term relationship and she found herself lost in a world of loneliness and helplessness. She asked me what is the fastest and easiest way to get back in the game and I suggested online dating.

She took my advice and had fun on her first date. As a reserved Chinese girl, she had never thought of dating online until I reminded her.

Last month, China’s biggest online dating site Jiayuan got listed on NASDAQ and it has over 40 million registered members. Earlier this year, I talked with the founder of another influential dating site and he told me there are 50 big online dating sites in China. He also said, “All the hesitations and reservations against online dating have faded away. Most people have accepted online dating as one of the most convenient ways of dating and have started using it extensively.”

However, as far as I am concerned, still a large number of people, including a lot of young people don’t trust online dating. When it comes to dating sites, they think they will only meet bad people and losers who can’t find a partner in real life on the internet. Even though they met their partnersonline, they deny it and make up another story of how they met.

I was talking about this with an American friend and he gave me a weird smile when sharing with me his date with a girl he met online. He just couldn’t believe he could find such a nice girl on the dating site.

Their concerns are understandable. Online dating is not perfect just like the traditional way. There are disadvantages to it that we should take into consideration before making the jump. Some people might just lie or exaggerate about themselves online and have profiles in more than one site, this means they’re getting responses from all over the place and from many different groups and types of people. We absolutely must have safety precautions in place before giving the person the phone number or meet them for a date.

Despite the disadvantages, I personally think dating while using one of the many online dating services is a great way to find that someone special. Being able to take the time to get to know someone through emails, chatting online and ultimately meeting is what these services provide. What makes them unique and different from meeting someone at a café or the gym? We can check out people and find those qualities we are looking for before meeting face to face.

One of the reasons I like about dating sites is that it can maximize my time. All I need to do is to view people’s profiles and see if we have things in common. If we still like each other after a couple of emails and phone calls, we are ready to go.

A more important factor is that dating sites can help me expend my network and circles of friends. Just think about it: I spend eight hours a day working with a married man at the office from Monday to Friday and at the weekends occasionally. How many chances do I get to know single guys? I can’t just sit there and waiting for them to knock my door. Getting online seems the best way.

With a little caution and attention to details, online dating can lead to many wonderful stories in the dating world. People all over the world are finding their matches online and are having great success every day. It is not impossible to find the person of our dreams, we just have to keep our eyes wide open and avoid the potholes along the way to true love.