Things you wish you knew about college, graduate schools, and entry-level careers?

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by Flambeur, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. RJman

    RJman Posse Member Dubiously Honored

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    Here's what I have learned:

    None of this really matters. You're going to die (one day). Go live a travelling boho lifestyle, party, drink, drugs, women, and just experience life. Move back to the US, and all the schmucks that go to school, work their asses off, and pay taxes, will be forced to take care of you. Yes, those schmucks might get to die in a nicer nursing home than you, but you will have led a life of little stress and much drugs and sex.

    Who won at life? The boho or the working schmuck?


    Pio, this doesn't sound like your life story, or have you made some significant changes?
     
  2. Flambeur

    Flambeur Senior member

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    - Grades in college are not important unless you are trying to get into grad school or a top company, in which case they become paramount.
    -


    FTFY - many top companies have a cutoff at 3.2/4.0, 3.5/4.0, even 3.7/4.0 sometimes.


    - It is *much* easier to land a well-paying job if you studied engineering or accounting.

    Once again, FTFY, you can get any entry level finance job with an accounting degree, but not the same holds true for finance itself. Additionally, few tops schools offer finance as a degree, it's usually economics instead. On the other hand, too many crappy schools offer finance. But very true with engineering.


    Finally,
    - Connections are the number 1 asset in the working world (in real life in general).

    This is a huge deal. Build a network, and work it. Help others, maintain connections, etc. Big deal.
     
  3. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    Pio, this doesn't sound like your life story, or have you made some significant changes?

    I'm the schmuck in this story. It tooks years of being the schmuck, to realize, I'm the schmuck.
     
  4. Flambeur

    Flambeur Senior member

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    I don't know what to say really, I'm only 28 years old and my career is still very young. My philosophy is that it's better to take risks and try new things when you are young, then to one day, when you are in your 60s or 70s, look around and realize that you've spent the best years of your life locked inside the four walls of an office somewhere.

    To me, life is about more than what I do with my career.

    My tip to young people: do not be afraid to be bold. This country did not become great because of the guys who just wanted to get into the best school possible so that they could have a secure job and they could waste their youth doing some meaningless work for some big firm. This country became great because of pioneers and entrepreneurs. That spirit is very much missing from this country today, and I think that's where our problems are stemming from.


    Very good. I appreciate taking risks and have done so many many times myself. But you have to accept the possibility of failing, especially if you are betting on a very special case. Paying your dues and slow and steady growth are WAY underrated by many young people. Yes, it's better to take risks when you don't have much to lose, but don't get left on the side of the road playing lottery while everyone else is putting in real work.
     
  5. Flambeur

    Flambeur Senior member

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    Here's what I have learned:

    None of this really matters. You're going to die (one day). Go live a travelling boho lifestyle, party, drink, drugs, women, and just experience life. Move back to the US, and all the schmucks that go to school, work their asses off, and pay taxes, will be forced to take care of you. Yes, those schmucks might get to die in a nicer nursing home than you, but you will have led a life of little stress and much drugs and sex.

    Who won at life? The boho or the working schmuck?


    There are some good points in this, but I believe that you can do both - but it's up to you. If you're boring, you're boring, and if you are slow to move, that's what you are. I have to say that I have learned to experience life and to extract as much enjoyment out of it as I can, but 24/7 vacation/party/etc catches up to you really quickly.
     
  6. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

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    Very good. I appreciate taking risks and have done so many many times myself. But you have to accept the possibility of failing, especially if you are betting on a very special case. Paying your dues and slow and steady growth are WAY underrated by many young people. Yes, it's better to take risks when you don't have much to lose, but don't get left on the side of the road playing lottery while everyone else is putting in real work.

    You're right. I will also add that taking risks does not mean that you don't have to work hard.

    The other problem is that for a young kid, gettting a job in, say for example, biglaw, is not "slow and steady growth." A year out of law school, when I was about 26 years old, I was making $135k per year. My wife, at the age of 25, was also making $100k. I know the idea of the "golden handcuffs" is a little cliche, but it's true. I really wish my wife and I hadn't bought an expensive house, nice cars, gone on expensive vacations, etc. when we were pulling in a combined quarter million a year in our mid-twenties because things would be easier now. Now we have to undo all the stupid shit we did when we were making more money than we knew what to do with.
     
  7. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Only one piece of advice about first job(s): it's amazing how well one can do when one works just a little harder and applies a little more thought. Making a great impression and delivering great performance on the job is really all about having the willingness to do so - I don't know anyone around me who had an entry-level job that required enormous brainpower or intellectual capacity. Most of us know what it takes to do something right, to get a job done well - doing it is a different story - just need a little more effort than the neighbour to be an outperformer and start doing things that are more interesting (and better paid).
     
  8. milosz

    milosz Senior member

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    The world is fucked, things only get worse from here. Abandon all hope. No future, no future for you...

    Hedonism is the only rational option.
     
  9. milosz

    milosz Senior member

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    On the off chance one of your poor bastards is considering a BFA in photography:
    1. You will probably fail.
    2. There are three basic career paths:
    a. Teacher. Get your MFA, pray that someone hires you as an adjunct, try to turn a buck outside. Learn to hate all the spoiled little shits you're teaching. Fuck the hot ones if possible. On the off chance you can get a job in a city you don't mind, this isn't such a bad life.
    b. Artiste. Maybe get your MFA, learn to suck dick for gallery spots, learn to eat old-lady pussy to sell overpriced prints. Keep your Starbucks resume up to date. Learn to hate gallery owners and collectors, people who have no creative talent of their own, so they must purchase yours. I would say something about potential heroin addiction, but it's highly unlikely you will be able to afford to score.
    c. Commercial. Congratulations, there's a small chance you'll be able to earn a living at your chosen profession. Whatever creative spark you harbored will wilt under the lights of food/architectural/portrait photography, you will hate cameras when you're not working. Your overhead will be immense, you will need new computers and software every two years at a minimum, you will probably take on a great deal of debt and fail miserably. Learn to enjoy your time in front of a computer screen, because that's where most of your day will be spent. Learn to despise creative directors, people who believe "any trained chimpanzee can do this" and have no creative talent of their own.
    3. Few of your college credits will transfer outside of the fine arts/liberal arts school should you decide that being a big-timer MBA is a better option.
     
  10. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    There are some good points in this, but I believe that you can do both - but it's up to you. If you're boring, you're boring, and if you are slow to move, that's what you are. I have to say that I have learned to experience life and to extract as much enjoyment out of it as I can, but 24/7 vacation/party/etc catches up to you really quickly.


    I grew up dirt poor, in a farming/dormitory town. I left behind everone in my age cohort, to work my way up to modest success. Modest, mind you. It took many years of hard work. Now, heaven knows, I feel I have extracted maximum enjoyment (my liver will bear witness to this), but I've also shouldered mucho stress and responsibility.

    I'm just having one of those days where I wonder if those people I left behind, that live in the 1k sq foot, old homes, with the plastic stapled to the windows to keep the draft out, that really only need to worry about replacing the car radiator or where Saturday's beer money is coming from, took the better path.
     
  11. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    You're right. I will also add that taking risks does not mean that you don't have to work hard.

    The other problem is that for a young kid, gettting a job in, say for example, biglaw, is not "slow and steady growth." A year out of law school, when I was about 26 years old, I was making $135k per year. My wife, at the age of 25, was also making $100k. I know the idea of the "golden handcuffs" is a little cliche, but it's true. I really wish my wife and I hadn't bought an expensive house, nice cars, gone on expensive vacations, etc. when we were pulling in a combined quarter million a year in our mid-twenties because things would be easier now. Now we have to undo all the stupid shit we did when we were making more money than we knew what to do with.


    Ah yes, the Golden Handcuffs. I mention them often here. That's all part of being the working schmuck.

    Nothing to lose = freedom. Once you have something to lose, you're stuck.
     
  12. oldseed

    oldseed Senior member

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    potentially good thread.

    flambeur has given good advice.

    -grades count. even if u study something stupid (basket weaving), if u get an A+ in an honours bachelors of arts specialized basket weaving program, you'll still be able to get into law school, biz school, etc, and/or get a good job, and/or kick ass. if on the other hand u sucked, u're down a notch in opportunities.

    -there is more politicking in grad school PHD programs than there is in politics. seriously.

    -pursue what u love. when that's exhausted, find urself another love.
     
  13. milosz

    milosz Senior member

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    Rent a flat above a shop
    Cut your hair and get a job
    Smoke some fags and play some pool
    Pretend you never went to school
    But still you'll never get it right
     
  14. Flambeur

    Flambeur Senior member

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    -grades count. even if u study something stupid (basket weaving), if u get an A+ in an honours bachelors of arts specialized basket weaving program, you'll still be able to get into law school, biz school, etc, and/or get a good job, and/or kick ass. if on the other hand u sucked, u're down a notch in opportunities.


    This is good. However, companies and schools also do compare majors and schools. For example, lets take an engineer from MIT with 3.5 GPA and 172 LSAT and a marketing major from an ok regional school with 3.7 GPA and 172 LSAT. Which one do you think will get accepted if there is only one spot?

    This also applies to hiring and companies. Big firms that do a lot of college recruiting usually use their own employees who went to your school to analyze your resume and classify you. So they will be able to see right through listing worthless extracurriculars or how you slipped through a loophole into an easier part of your major compared to peers or something like that.

    So be smart and use common sense when it comes to that. And if you are doing basket-weaving you damn better have an A+.
     
  15. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

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    Oh yeah, for all the criticizing I'm doing of Flambeur, I probably shouldn't talk since I actually had good grades in college, went to a decent law school, had good grades in law school, was on the law review, and worked for a few years at one of the most respected firms in my state before becoming a street level lawyer. So, take what I say about taking risks and all that with a grain of salt. [​IMG]
     

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