How do I explain a degree that took ten years to earn?
July 4, 2012 12:49 PM Subscribe
I am about to graduate college ten years after I started and would love some suggestions on how to approach this topic in a job interview?
posted by sely to Work & Money (16 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I entered a top 50 four-year university eleven years ago and received stellar grades my freshman year. During my sophomore year I became extremely depressed and began a cycle of alternating 4.0 GPA semesters with semesters where I either withdrew all together or earned a combination of Cs, Ds, and Fs. During my fourth year I was on track to graduate in Spring but was faced with another bout of severe anxiety and depression that caused me to end up in a hospital for a few days. My Professors all offered to help me with make up tests, etc. but I was in such a deep amount of despair that I applied for yet another medical withdrawal to prevent my transcript from having a Semester full of Fs.
I was four classes short of graduating and frustrated with the amount of time I was taking to earn a degree.. I decided to leave the University and applied for jobs in in a large city thousands of miles from where I was living. The resumes I handed to potential employers stated that I had graduated and I ended up working for three large companies in a six year period. To this day, I still can't believe that it was not discovered that I was lying but am extremely thankful I was spared the embarrassment that would have followed had the truth come out.
Towards the end of my sixth year in the city, I decided that I'd had enough of the industry and city I was in and decided to use my small amount of savings to take an extended trip to Europe. I figured this would also be the perfect opportunity to take the remaining classes and graduate. I am happy to say that I after a few months back in school I just finished the last of my classes and will be graduating in a month.
How should I go about approaching this situation with potential employers when I begin applying for jobs again? I know that I will not have to lie about having a degree anymore but certainly don't want to put that I graduated in 2012 when I was claiming I had graduated in 2006 all this time. Is it all right to not put a date at all? If they ask me point blank when I graduated, I will of course say 2012 but am also not sure how to explain why I graduated years after I began my formal career. All of the jobs I have my resume require 4-year degrees so I'm guessing it'll look odd to have graduated six years after I started working. I'd appreciate any input you all have regarding this situation.