May 19, 2007
I help colleges and employers throughout the U.S. recruit top students. As you graduate from high school and move on to college, keep the following in mind:
Blend areas of learning and knowledge
Not many seniors know exactly what they want to do when they grow up. So give yourself some leverage and more opportunities to succeed. The student who declares a double major will have more opportunities than someone with an undergraduate degree. A kid who combines relevant work experience with academic study will have an edge when looking for jobs. I know a former PCHS student who is giving consideration to blending an EE with a master’s degree in bio medical engineering and potentially earning a medical degree. He is also fluent in Spanish, which has allowed him to gain valuable work experience in a relevant field of medicine. Combining areas of study like this gives you a broader base of knowledge and will lead to more opportunities in life once you are out of school.
Leadership values now include social and environmental awareness
Nationwide 18,000 people in America over the age of 50 retire every day. The trend in boomer retirements has caused organizations to place a premium on future leaders. Every generation has "larger-than-life" issues, which define that era of time and determine important attributes of its leaders. Your generation will grow up contending with global warming and unequal economic development throughout the world. Organizations today no longer exclusively focus on maximizing profits at all costs. They are taking more responsibility for the environment and society in which they live. The new economic value proposition for companies is about sustainability related to people, planet and profits. During your collegiate years, practice and understand what it means to truly be responsible to others and your environment. These are the new standards of leadership on which your future could depend.
Language translation is becoming part of every job
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You will soon witness the fact that we live in a global world where language translation is increasingly valued. John Challenger, an international expert on employment, recently cited language translation as one of the hottest jobs in America. The need is expected to grow 26 percent by 2014 and professional translators now start out earning $43,000 per year, even without a college degree. Don’t sacrifice your college education, but realize language translation is becoming part of every profession and job category. As you advance through college you will likely move ahead of your peers if you can further develop and combine your language skills with study in a special field or academic discipline.
At college you will interact with professors, advisors and other students. And, in many cases, you will develop lifelong relationships with other people. While friendships will always have intrinsic meaning, the community of personal and professional relationships you build through college is also important. Longitudinal studies conducted with MBA students, who pay $50,000 or more a year on tuition, indicate the network of peers students develop while in school is the most important benefit they take away from college. Invest in relationships during college and work to retain friendships when you leave.
These are the times of your lives. Have fun and make the most of your opportunities to learn.