Is College Worth It?

I hear a lot of questions about college. Is it worth the expense? How should I fund it? College costs are becoming more important to families. Working a private institution, we are those who negotiate how much they will for us to teach their son or daughter is becoming more frequent. Dave Ramsey has recently come our with a new college guide to help families learn how to get through college without debt. Dan Miller has recently written about the unrealistic salary expectations of college graduates. So where is the line? Is college still worth the expense? Read the rest of this entry »

Listen to Your Customer

Have you ever worked with a sales person who would just not listen to you? I just had this experience and I felt bad for the poorly trained soul on the other end of the line.


telephone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just got off the phone with student from one of my alma maters. It is phone-a-thon time for that institution, when the development office hires students to chat up some alumni, help them recall great experiences from their college years, then ask for a donation. I get these calls from both of my alma maters and we usually give to one of them. This call was from the one we usually do not give to. I was there only a year and my connection is with a very few individuals and not so much to the institution. Read the rest of this entry »

What Should I Do With My Life?

the farmer in love - il contadino innamoratoRecently I had a woman ask, “Nick, my daughter is going to the college in the fall and has no idea what she wants to do with her life. Can you help her? Don’t you have a test they can take to tell them what they should do?” they ask. Yes, I do. When I took that test it said I should be a farmer or a mortician. I took another assessment in high school that told me I would be good at sales and marketing, even though my passion was education. I went to college declared as a business major, spent two years studying business, and really did not enjoy much of it at all. I eventually changed my major late in my sophomore year back to the education field.

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A College Educated Hairdresser

Yesterday a student came in following her spring break. “Nick,” she told me, “can I go into HR with my Criminal Justice major?” My response, as it is with so many students, is that she could do anything she wants with her Bachelor’s degree, just find something you enjoy and do it. My philosophy is that folks should never have to work in their lives, just get paid to do what they love to do. This being her fourth or fifth employment target in the year, I asked her what she really wants to do. “What skills and abilities do you have that you would love to be paid for?” I asked. Read the rest of this entry »

Quick Fix?

In my role as a career services director in higher education, it is rare that students seek me out for the entire process of career planning. Usually, they realize they are running short of money and come to find a part-time job to correct their cash flow. Or maybe they are a few days from graduation and realize they should probably find a job that matches their major. Regardless of the reason they are in my office, I always begin with the same question, “What do you want to do long term?” More often than not, the answer is “I don’t know.” Then often they will realize they know what they don’t want to do–anything but fast food. Read the rest of this entry »