What I Learned About The ‘Real Life’ That College Failed To Address

Before graduating from college, I had my life planned out almost entirely. After graduation, my plan was to go backpacking to Europe for 2-3 months. Then after that, I would move to either NYC, San Francisco, or L.A. At which point, I was going to work for a consulting firm or a major bank either as a financial analyst or an investment banker. 2-3 years after working and doing the corporate grind, I would go to a major business school like Wharton, Columbia, Northwestern, or even Harvard (my top lists). Then after that I would go back to consulting or banking and just keep working until I become a partner. Well, it turns out that things are much easier said than done. Plans, apparently, are made to be broken. 

Before College

  • I thought getting good grades were enough to land you a decent job. By decent I mean, $50,000 a year with benefits and other perks. 
  • I thought it would be easy getting a job given the credentials that I have on my resumé. Good school, above-average grades, great experience and good recommendations. 
  • I thought everything would be a smooth transition. That is, graduation, travel to Europe, get back to the U.S., then   get a job and work. Things just didn’t work that way. 

After college

  • I learned that unless you come from a top 10 program in your school, which in the Univ. of Texas was Engineering, Business, or Accounting, jobs wouldn’t just be handed to you. If you don’t come from a top 10 program, you better have a stellar GPA or really great experience like say, an internship at Goldman Sachs. I had a 3.42 GPA in economics with a minor in math and that wasn’t enough. 
  • I learned that if you have a good resumé, there’s easily 100 people with better resumés. Improve your interviewing skills. Your resumé gets your foot in the door but beyond that, it’s all about the interview. Make the interviewer like you and respond with absolute enthusiasm in the company.
  • I learned that without the security of a job, which will give me the much needed cash-flow, it will be very difficult to accomplish all these travel and relocation plans. It’s doable, though, and I know some people who have done it. Pretty soon, I’ll get to travel a lot and it will be amazing. Image

courtesy of  mariecarrb.tumblr.com

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One response to “What I Learned About The ‘Real Life’ That College Failed To Address

  1. I guess every college student is the same and reality disappoints some to the extent that they gave up their plans. I used to have certain plans at high school only to find out the love of my life, then started a new life but of work and decided to have a baby. Then I realized there’s nothing better than to do a Uni and to have two babies and by the time I finish Uni I’ll have my life sorted. So now I am somewhere in the middle of those plans and have some more for the life after Uni. But I am sure the reality will be different. Anyways, definitely travel to Europe, you’ll love it 🙂

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