Advice For College Graduates

Advice For College Graduates


Are you graduating this year? With the economy still sluggish it might be best to follow the advice of Rodney Dangerfield's character Thornton Melon, "Don't go!!"


Nevertheless, there are a few pieces of advice I would give today's newly minted grads:

1) Don't shout down your commencement speaker. I'm saddened to read about efforts to silence commencement speakers. Don't join the echo chamber of opinions. Listen and embrace other views, even if you disagree. I'm pretty sure a few of your views will change by middle age.

2) Graduate. I don't mean finish your work and requirements (though that's certainly important). I mean grab your cap and gown, walk across the stage and celebrate. I graduated in December and missed the ceremony, something I regret to this day. College is a shared sacrifice, so flash a big smile with your loved ones and enjoy the milestone.

3) Get over yourself and the degree. Odds are your chosen field of study will have little to do with where you wrap up your career. In my 24 years of financial services work I have had supervisors with degrees in everything from philosophy (the market for philosophers is grim) to criminal justice. Your degree represents higher learning and is part of your personal brand.

3) Read everything you can get your hands on. Studies show that over 40% of college graduates never read another book. When I entered the workforce reading meant visiting a bookstore, newsstand or library. The internet provides us a world view at our fingertips. Seize information and never quit learning.

4) Take risks. Travel, take courses, try new things. As long as you aren't a burden on others make it work. The month I spent in Europe while completing my degree is something I will never forget. The challenge is that by the time you have some money life is in the way. As Henny Youngman said, "The problem with youth is it's wasted on the young."

5) Floss, drink lots of water and shine your shoes. My father, a retired Naval Commander, still reminds me that shoes are the first thing people see. Dress sharp; You never know where your next opportunity will come from.

*ChicagoNow bloggers were asked to give advice to new graduates. You can view the full collection of posts by clicking here.


What advice would you give a new college graduate? Thank you for reading. I would enjoy hearing from you in the comments section and would love it if you like us on Facebook.

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