Tag Archives: Student Development

College Student Development

The most common theme I hear from my students is, “I’m not sure what I want to do”.  These college students are spending countless hours and money attending college and passing classes without really knowing who they are, who they want to be, or establishing professional goals. It’s almost as if they choose college majors based on everything but personal conviction and professional passion.  Why choose a major that you don’t love and can’t see yourself wanting to know more about the subject every day?  I know some students who have picked a degree based because it had the least number of required course credits for graduation. I wonder if that’s because some students are not sure what they want.  How important is it for a student to learn about them self, their ethics, their values, priorities, and specific goals and how would those insights impact college student success more than merely going through the motions until graduation?

Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker is a handy, quick read to stimulate self discovery and goal setting for all developing individuals; especially for college students.  The book is part of the Harvard Business Review Classic Series and was intended to shape best practices and leadership skills in managers. I believe that the concepts are significantly important for college students as well.  The concepts and lessons generate personal identification of values, ethics, and goals; everything that could help students better understand who they are now and who they want to become.

Each of the following sections are partnered with simple rational and multifaceted support guiding the reader to better understand their value system, their skills, develop a healthy professional motivation, and leads to setting professional goals:

What are my Strengths?

How do I perform?

Am I a reader or a listener?

How do I learn?

What are my values?

Where do I belong?

What should I contribute?

Responsibility for relationships

Cutting down the time students flip from one major to another will help them to graduate faster.  By narrowing their focus and aligning their passion with their studies will help them to enjoy their college experience and gain more from their research.  Managing Oneself introduces the important and critical qualities that young leaders should spend time on in order to be the most efficient in their own pursuits for success. If we’re asking our college graduates to make a choice and pick a career, let’s ensure that they’re equipped with the skills, self-identity, motivation, and personal conviction that contributes towards their graduation and professional success.


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Filed under Higher Education, Leadership

But I Have A College Degree….

A student of mine approached me this week seeking advice on how to increase her professional competitiveness.  I asked her what skills she possessed and her response was simply, “Well, I’ll soon have a college degree”.

Her response is quite common amongst students.  Why is a job expected or entitled after graduation?  It has been said that a college degree is now considered the new high school diploma.  This means that the majority of applicants out in the market already have a college degree, thus making a college graduate more generic.  It certainly doesn’t guarantee anyone a job after graduation.  Often times, employers complain that their “educated” new hires lack basic qualifications and struggle to keep up in today’s evolving business climate.  So what does it take to stand out from the hundreds of other applicants?

I recommend that students have an extra talent or skill before graduating to set them apart from their future competition.  There are a couple skills which do that.  The first skill is to learn a second language.  Globalization offers you great opportunity to succeed in many industries, presupposing you have the ability to communicate with different cultures.  If you want to be the most competitive and desired applicant or qualified employee, know a second language.

Another skill is customer service which should incorporate cultural competence.  As our planet blends into one big melting pot of nationalities, ethnicities, languages, religions, and beliefs, you’re ability to communicate and build relationships with people very different from yourself, will lead you to larger networks and therefore more opportunities for success.

Lastly, become technology savvy.  I know this skill can be scary and intimidating for many of you but it is necessary for most careers.  Even competence in basic computer programs will increase your worth as an employee.  In the next few years, our world will experience significant change due to technological advancements. For example, social business is a force moving at immeasurable speeds that everyone can benefit from.  Don’t fight it or avoid it, understand it and master it.  Only a small percentage of people use social media and social business in its most effective measure.

Within the next few weeks, I will invite industry leaders within Higher Education, Social Business, and Cross Cultural Education to join me via video blogs to contribute towards our conversations regarding how these skills can increase your competitive edge within our global market.


Filed under Higher Education