Phree to Make the Most Out of College? (or Not)- Guest Blogger Garron Gibbs
“A college degree gets you in the game but doesn’t guarantee you a win.”
So what does it guarantee?
It seems like everyday we hear about people becoming rich and famous without having set foot on a college campus (other than Howard University Homecoming). Even people like Antoine Dodson and 50 Tyson have been able to capitalize on borderline retarded-ness. On the other hand, we hear college alumni constantly complaining about how they put in 4+ years of hard work only to leave with a piece of paper, unescapable debt, and NO JOB. Often times those who do land a job, do so in a field that has nothing to do with what they’ve studied for the past half decade.
So why bother?
Why should I put in years of work and spend tens of thousands of dollars on something without a guaranteed return?
DISCLAIMER: This is what I’m NOT going to do with this article:
1. Argue that college does guarantee some level of success.
2. Argue that college is a waste of time and money.
Back to the question.
Why bother with college?
Because it still holds true that your chances of earning a larger income are higher with a college degree than they are without one. But college is still just a tool and just like any other tool, it only works if used properly. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your college experience.
This is probably one of the most important yet most understated ways to get the most out of college. When we say have fun, we don’t mean ignore your studies, become an alcoholic /drug addict, or have sex with everybody. We mean that you should expose yourself to everything that interests you even if it doesn’t relate to your course of study. If you’re in school for Psychology but have a love for film, than join a club or sneak into a class or two. If you love Journalism but have a penchant for graphic design then don’t be afraid to crash some galleries with your own work. I personally believe everyone should take (or sit in on) a few business classes so you can learn how to monetize whatever it is that you love. Then once you graduate you’ll be a well rounded individual who’ll be able to capitalize on what you love and not be confined to what is wriiten on your degree.
BE A PERSON OF THE PEOPLE
The relationships you build with people outside of class will become your strongest relationships. All the parties, fights, and random escapades on college campuses will build bonds that will last for the rest of your life. And if you build these bonds with people who are just as motivated as you are, then the possibilities are endless for what you all can accomplish together. The same people I got drunk with were the same people I went to the library with and are now the people with JDs, MBAs and PHDs, that I do business with. It’s always good to network with professionals who you’ll see at career fairs or seminars but don’t forget about the people sitting next to you in class. These people are the future runners of the world. Get in now.
BUILD ON SOLID GROUND
Nearly all entrepreneurs started their business while working for someone else or after working for someone else. They gained enough experience and saved enough money at their 9-5 to be able to confidently start their new venture. So it is still important to be marketable in the “normal job” market. College prepares you for the job market by enhancing your communication skills, your technical skills and by giving you access to internships. Internships give you real life job experience and connections to companies that typically only hire people they know. Those who don’t have college experience have an extremely difficult time establishing the foundation (and funds) needed to launch a business.
YOU CAN’T BE A DOCTOR WITHOUT A DOCTORATE
Some professions legally require that you have a certain degree or certification. Such professions include but are not limited to: Medical Physician, Lawyer, Professor, Real Estate Broker, Physical Therapist, Pharmacist, Engineer, Architect, Mechanic, and serval others.
BUILD YOUR BRAND
Colleges and Universities are home to a shit load of free resources. Scholarly research, professional consultants, technical equipment, event space, people, young people, ambitious people and even the people’s people. You won’t find a better environment to launch a business. It’s wise to start now, before real life punches you in the face. Diddy’s story is the perfect example of someone using college to develop business skills and personal networks to the point of being able to intern with Uptown Records and eventually starting Bad Boy Records. Although Diddy didn’t graduate from Howard University, he wouldn’t have done what he did had he not attended. He just worked a lot faster than most. Now it’s your turn.