What ever happened to proper qualifications?

When I came home today, I was really upset. My professor came up to me and talked to me about not getting a scholarship, earlier this year. The thing is, all I ever wanted was to study a year in the States. I literally worked my ass off to get a scholarship. I just don’t have enough money to pay for an academic year in the US, myself. I really tried. The first time, I was one of hundreds. Not accepted. The second time, I tried our direct exchange program offered by our English department. The university I chose offered 2 spots and we were only 3 candidates. Chances were good but unfortunately, the American university sent back all our applications and accepted nobody. I guess there was not enough money for scholarships. The thing is, the contracts with our university were signed shortly before the application deadline. If they had changed their minds a little earlier, we could have had the chance to apply for another university. Boy, was I mad!!!

But oh well, I tried again. EVERYONE thought  I would get the scholarship. I really believed in it, too. I only had one person competing against me and I totally had the professor on my side. Today, he told me that he had highly recommended to pick me. I was his frist choice candidate and guess what, they didn’t pick me. I was devastated. It was Valentines Day, one day after my birthday, I came home from work and then, I got an email from my university. BAD SIGN! (The Email was from the wrong University) It said that the university in the States chose the other candidate. I never thought I could hate Valentines Day even more than I already do. I was sooo sad and I really, really thought that they would pick me. And my professor obviously thought they would pick me, as well. I have to admit, I’m still really bummed out because of this. It was one of my biggest dreams and it just didn’t work out. I tried sooo hard and did everything I could. Unfortunately, it was my last chance because I will (hopefully!) get my Master degree next year and then it’s goodbye university.

The thing that really frustrates me is the reason they didn’t pick me. Usually, you don’t really find out but today, my professor told me that they picked the other applicant because she has a migration background. Ummm, excuse me???  ( Of course, nobody would ever make an official statement about it, but my professor probably isn’t lying.) Well, tell me about discrimination. I think it’s the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Yeah, yeah, yeah, suddenly everyone gives people with a migration background a chance, but they’re doing it for the wrong reasons. Believe me, I think it’s great that everyone get’s a chance. I hate racism and never cared about where people come from. If I like someone, I like the person for who he or she is, not for their nationality. But not being chosen, even though you were more qualified, is just not right. The problem is that companies, universities, different people etc. want to demonstrate anti-racism by behaving like this, but I guess they don’t get that it still is racism. There are more fundamental things that have to me worked on, in order to create a universal, open-minded thinking. And the moment you choose someone over me because of where they come from, you are discriminating me! I might not have a migration background but I moved a couple of times as a child. Do they think that it was always easy? I moved to the States, not speaking a word of English and I learned to fit into place. I know how it is to adapt to new situations, to find new friends, to start all over. Furthermore, I speak the language perfectly, I have every qualification they wanted and I didn’t have a chance because I have to migration background. Isn’t that the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard?

I did everything I can and I can only be the person that I am. If that isn’t enough there is nothing left, I can do. I think it is absolutely ridiculous to choose people, no matter in which situation, based on looks, sexual orientation or social background. If someone fulfills all expectations, then one should get a job, a chance, a scholarship…whatever. Everything else is simply unfair and highly discriminating!

About haileyjaderyan

⋅ 29 ⋅ a rollercoaster ride ⋅ undateable ⋅ dreamer ⋅ explorer ⋅ disney obsessed ⋅ ♥
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10 Responses to What ever happened to proper qualifications?

  1. kanduoshu says:

    Hi! You pose an interesting concern that many people have, but I think I can offer you some perspective that is important in understanding things like race in America.

    Racism is prevalent in the US and actually hinders people of color or certain immigrants from succeeding in life – there are institutional inhibitors that hold back these minority populations. Things like affirmative action and the kind of preference you mentioned are supposed to be in place to make up for the effects that institutional racism has. It’s a very scant solution, you’d probably agree, but it’s proven a more effective solution than solving the institutional barriers that certain groups face.

    Also notable is the fact that 1.) White women are also just as likely, if not more so, to benefit from that kind of preferential choosing in many settings and 2.) in many larger cases involving allegations like the one you’re mentioning race can still play minimal influence in the choosing of the applicant; sometimes you just aren’t as qualified. If you have any questions, comment! I think this is an important conversation to have, as it involves many misunderstandings that many people have!

    • I know about all this. I’ve lived in the States, I’m majoring in American Studies and often enough, we have the same problems here in Germany. Still, I don’t thing it is ok. I can deal with being unqualified. That is a good reason not to choose someone. Everything else is simply something I cannot support. I am fully aware of why things like this happen. The moment a person with, for example a migration background, get’s regected, there is often enough an uproar. The people who are responsible are directly accused of being racist and all of this is something that I feel truly sad about. Unfortunately, there is still a lot to do in terms of showing tolerance, integration etc. but for someone who has nothing going for racism, it’s difficult to accept the chosen ways. As I wrote, I absolutely think that qualification should be more important than anything else and it’s simply sad that there is still so much that has to worked on in the 21st century.

    • kanduoshu says:

      Yes, application of preferences can be sloppy on occasion.

      If you really hate it, your only other viable option is to actively support the destruction of institutional barriers to certain minorities and people of lower socioeconomic status. You also shouldn’t consider the application of these kinds of solutions to discrimination a “loss” for yourself – you were never guaranteed or entitled to being chosen for anything really. Also, there is inequality, bias in choosing, preferential treatment even when race isn’t being taken into account. Being White will not hinder your chances in succeeding, realistically, not in any major way that being non-White will. So you’re directing your frustration at being robbed by a minority instead of being just not the right candidate.

      • I would feel the same way if the other person was a white female like me. But when I am told that they preferred to choose someone with migration background, I never even had a chance and I don’t think that it is right. I am not perfect and I don’t blame the person who was chosen, but when my teachers say that I was the most worthy applicant, based on my grades, development etc. I do think that I would have deserved it a little more. But I cannot change it and I hope the person fulfills all expectations and knows how lucky she is.

      • kanduoshu says:

        Well have you asked why they preferred that kind of person? You honestly don’t seem to have any evidence of being any more deserving than the other applicant, and migrant minorities have oftentimes been through things unimaginable to whites – to say you “deserved” it more is totally subjective, currently unsubstantiated and possibly even unlikely because you don’t know anything about what this person has been through.

      • You don’t seem to get the point. This was a scholarship for an academic year at a university. The decision should be based on aspects concerning studying etc. I’m pretty sure that the professors that know us both are able to decide pretty well who is a better candidate for this scholarship. Personal problems, heritage or whatsoever are not supposed to be the most important aspects to consider within this context. And I think having a hard life is not something that can only be found among minorities. As I said, I think it is great that everyone gets chances in life. Still, decisions should be made, regardless of “qualities” that are not existentially important for a certain position.

        I asked some of my friends with a migration background and so far, they all shared my opinion. You seem to have a different opinion and I accept that. Still, I simply think that this is not ok.

      • kanduoshu says:

        well who told you that you’re the better candidate other than your friend?

      • Ummm, the professor from our university?! The one that talked to us before applying. The one that knows our grades, our vita, our motivation, our goals. The one who wrote the letters of recommendation…

        And who ever said that the other person is my friend?

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