One of the most gratifying feelings a teacher can have is to mentor students and seeing them succeeding. This is Matt, one of my former academic advisees, who now is the manager at Enterprise-rent-a-car after only a few years out of college. Matt once said, “Dr. A, I just want to graduate from college and have a suit and tie job so I can support my family.” We sat down and in a period of a few months, we generated a strategy to help him achieve his dream of working in a white collar job. Although there are so many ways a pre-professional can be advised, there are three ways in which I believe future workforce stars should be guided.
- Future workforce stars should be encouraged to look at the self. I don’t care if a recent graduate majors in Engineering, Communication, Art or History. Everybody has a talent given by God. The real challenge is to find out what people are really great at. The best person to answer this question is of course the person seeking advising. Rather than trying to work in a job purely because of money, future workforce starts should do what they can to work in their talent. Matt works in his talent. He is successful and happy.
- Future workforce stars should be told when they suck at something. You read it right. Nobody can improve to a level of a star if they think they are good in an area when in trueness they suck at it. Never forget this — You are perceived by society based on how others see you. It really doesn’t matter if you think that you can sing like Prince if others tell that you sing like William Hung. True success is defined by what others think of you. Once in a while, it is good to be told that you suck at something if the constructive criticism leads you to discover your true talent. Remember to not be cocky. Nobody is great in everything. If somebody tells you that they can do everything chances are high that they can’t really do anything.
- Future workforce stars should be told about the word of God. As an empiricist, I can’t prove to you with quantitative data why this is the case because nobody can prove or disprove God. We simply trust or should I say, “have faith.” What I have seen in my life as a teaching professional and adviser is that God can do miracles in our lives. The bible says in Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 21:22 states, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” It seems only logical that we should believe (have faith) and start thinking about living a life for God. I wish I could prove this to you but scripture is gospel or colloquially put, “good news.” Being with God is a gift that pays off. By knowing about God, you are going to know more about yourself.
Caring academic advising is a necessity for the lifelong success of any employee. Nobody, I mean.. nobody wins alone. College graduates might fulfill the requirements for a bachelors degree on their own but letters of recommendation are required for full-time employment. The same goes for Master degree candidates or doctoral degree recipients. If you think you can do it all alone, think again. Embrace the lifelong learning philosophy and seek an academic advisor in which you trust. You won’t regret.