Friday, October 23, 2009

“All I Got From College Was A Piece Of Paper” - Wrong

3. “Distant” Interpersonal Skills

What do I mean by “distant” interpersonal skills? Think of it this way, in high school, you basically saw most of the same people day by day, so you couldn’t lose touch a whole lot with them. In college, you may see someone once a week in one lecture and that’s it – it’s what you do outside of that one lecture with that person that builds the relationship, and that will either make the relationship flourish or flounder. If you even knew one person in college you could call a “friend,” then you, my friend, developed some fine distant interpersonal skills. Does that really matter? Of course: interpersonal skills are the seeds that will eventually grow and transform into your job networking skills.

4. An Open Mind 

You hear this one a lot about attending educational institutions, but what does it exactly mean? Now I’m not expecting that you lead a political protest or that you were the only guy in a Woman’s Studies class - I’m talking about simply getting a taste for new ideas and concepts. By taking those general elective courses your first year, by getting to know fellow students from all walks of life, and by learning from professors with different approaches to teaching, you developed a more open mind. What does that matter, you ask? An open mind means you’re allowing the floodgates of your brain to open and are letting in a river of all kinds of information rather than being selective. More importantly, an open mind breeds creativity and innovation. Your brain is not a muscle, but if it were, holy moly what a workout you gave it those 4 years.

So the next time you think college = a diploma + parties, remind yourself of the concrete qualities you developed as a person while attending school. They’re real and they’re there.

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