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    Worthy of Pay and College Graduates

    Worthy of Pay and College Graduates

    Those who feel entitled will struggle with their sense of worthiness. 

    Worthy of Pay- a topic that I love. All throughout my life, I've worked extremely hard to be worthy of pay, going back to my early caddying days at Aspetuck Valley CC; extending to my time in the USAF, to being a CPA, to managing Saugerties Packaging, and then to being a valued College Advisor/ Mentor.

    Being worthy of my pay is most important to me. I never once thought that I was "entitled". Rather, I always knew that I had to be very good at what I did, better than others! And I knew that my work had to be of value to others.

    I don't get the sense that most college graduates from recent years feel the same way. I think most of them feel entitled to substantial pay, typically far more than they are worthy of being paid. Hard work has often been replaced by the passive mindset of entitlement.

    College outcomes are predictable, good and bad. Good outcomes are years in the making, reflecting a long-term, mindful, forward-thinking approach. Bad outcomes come by default, often leaving it to whatever happens, reflecting a misguided approach. 

    College graduates who feel entitled usually return home unemployed. Those who consciously work hard towards becoming valuable are landing desired jobs with big pay. My college graduates are living proof!  

    Let's see how it works. I think a primary purpose of college is to expand one's perspective, knowledge, experience, cultural diversity, and overall intelligence.

    Expanding perspective requires the student to openly listen and learn from the perspective of others without judgement of them; it must come genuinely from a conscious intention to do's a starting point towards worthiness.

    Expanding knowledge requires the student to master the content of their classes, extending the effort beyond the textbook to better understand its application and relevance in today's's the next step to enhancing worthiness.

    Expanding experience requires the student to connect with the academic community of the college; participate in clubs and contribute to the college culture; be involved and engaged with various activities on campus; be actively interning and always networking... it's a big step towards building worthiness.

    Expanding cultural diversity requires the student to connect in a meaningful way with people from around the world coming from various cultures, backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, genders, and wealth positions. It requires the student to learn and appreciate the belief system of other people, without regard to being in agreement with them. It requires purposeful and willful becoming worthy!

    These requirements cannot be overstated. We live in a multicultural, global-minded world of activities, businesses, governments, beliefs, and perspectives. 

    Let's see where "intelligence" fits in. People mistakenly believe that they are intelligent because they are smart. But really, one has nothing to do with the other. 

    People can be born smart, typically measured by one's learning ability and validated by their high grades and test scores. But no one is born intelligent, rather, it's a forever evolving, learned and developed skill reflecting someone's ability to think. It's often referred to as "critical thinking". One's critical-thinking ability is a major variable in being worthy of pay.

    A person's intelligence is not static, rather it's either expanding or shrinking every day. The only way to ensure it expands is by consistently seeking to expand your perspective, knowledge, experience, and cultural diversity. Absent of that, intelligence shrinks...along with worthiness!

    I've heard for years people say that they deserve a big paying job coming out of college, after all, the degree proves they think. It might be what the college said back in those information-sessions. It might be what parents paid tens of thousands of dollars for
    "certificate value" it's called.

    Meet Tomas, he said to me last week upon his graduation- "Certificate value doesn't build careers."

    Brilliant Tomas...I totally agree!!!

    Tomas is from Medellin, Colombia. He came to me a few years ago upon completing his studies at a Colombia University. COVID hit, delaying his plans. We worked very hard together for two years to get him into the M.S.- Business program at Georgetown Univ. which began last fall.

    In December, Tomas thrust himself into a national job competition for a Management & Leadership position with a major global company. He was up against higher GPA students coming from more prestigious undergraduate programs. However, Tomas is trilingual, multicultural, global-minded, and internationally-experienced...considerably more so than most others.

    With purposeful intention, Tomas built his intelligence by gaining perspective, knowledge, experience, and cultural diversity. It was years in the making.

    Soon after the interviews, Tomas received a call offering him an amazing opportunity, accompanied by a substantial financial package. His years of hard work were rewarded handsomely. 

    Tomas' ultimate goal is to return home one day as a role model to the youth of his community. I am sure that he will do that! 

    Congratulations well deserved!!!

    Being worthy of pay is a lifetime of mindful intention in a daily effort driven by meaning and purpose to expand their perspective, knowledge, experience, cultural diversity, and
     intelligence...worthy of pay!

    Don't be Faked Out by Bad News

    Don't be Faked Out by Bad News

    "Why don't people do things when they are important? Because they are not yet urgent!"- Stephen Covey

    Let's get the things that appear bad out of the way.

    First of all, college costs continue to rise at an alarming rate. I think we'll see our first $100,000 per year college within two years, likely Columbia University. A few dozen colleges will quickly follow suit. The double whammy is that college financial packages are shrinking in terms of funds that are not paid back, such as Merit Scholarship and University Need-based Aid awards. Meanwhile, Parent Loans have taken their place, filling up financial-award packages and blowing up the financial plans of 75% of college families
    bad deal!

    Secondly, unemployment/ underemployment rates of recent college graduates are so much higher than people think...likely 75%. The reality is that this number is not tracked, nor is the "job placement" rate tracked by any college. When you hear a college representative boldly state that "our job placement rate is 90%", it's simply fake news made up to make the college seem worth it. Many parents fall for this when in reality, there's not a single college anywhere near it. Just ask them how they track it
    they don't!

    The rigors of college are much harder now on three-quarters (75%) of its underclassman students. Why? Because these are the students- who spent nearly two years waking up at noon having lost their daily structure, then studied online in their pajamas; who inflated their GPA's by manipulating online tests; who downgraded their academic status by blowing-off SAT's; and who did everything they could to get through the extreme challenges of COVID and its isolation. I'm not judging or blaming, rather, I'm just observing. These students have quickly found themselves in a hole as they face the real world of early morning classes, rigorous assignments, and monitored exams
    big challenge for many! 

    By the way, does anyone believe that "test-optional" is a policy favoring the student...hmmm
    Not I!

    But don't get faked out or discouraged by all that you hear. You can avoid the 75% trap. 

    The reality is that outcomes are predictable, both good and bad! It just depends on how you go about ityour approach.

    Undesired outcomes and the blame that's dished out accordingly tend to apply to people who leave important things to random chance or guesswork. They are predictable results of people who wait, and keep waiting until things become urgent or turn into a crisis.

    Good outcomes come to those who take substantive action while things are important, internalizing their needs and desires, owning their outcome, and are willing to do things now to create unique advantages later
    our approach! 

    Let's take a look.

    College costs? We don't control the prices colleges set. However, we have total control over the choices we make. If cost doesn't matter to you, then go ahead and chase the so-called elite colleges, the ones who brag about their single-digit acceptance rate as if its something to be proud of. Those colleges will cost $400,000 over the next four years, an extra $100,000 if the student changes their major a time or two. If college cost matters to you, then both you and your child have a lot to do with finding the right fit college, at the right price, and studying the right major. Students can do a far better job building their credentials. Parents can know much better about what they are about to buy

    College outcomes? Today's job opportunities have never been better for those who do it right, maybe 25%. This includes picking the right major for the right reason while building substance for your choice; volunteering in your department of study while connecting with the academic-community of the college; expanding your awareness and knowledge of the topic while mastering the subject content; actively pursuing intern/ job shadowing opportunities; building strong interpersonal skills and abilities while being able to express your passion and desire with meaning. But if that's not your purpose for college, so be it. Either way, your outcome is predictable

    Rigors of college? There's nothing to complain about here, rather, it's what's expected. As long as you build a reliable, repeatable personal foundation and daily routine consisting of internal structure, discipline, work ethic, responsibility, and accountability, you'll be ready for any and all challenges ahead of you. But for those who prefer to let the day happen randomly without much purpose, not only will college be difficult, so will adult life afterwards. It's all part of the predictable nature of ones success and satisfaction, or disappointment.

    I'm on the 25% side. I'm not faked out by woeful statistics, people's apathy, or the general lack of effort that's required to get desired outcomes, and nor should you. I know for sure that a pathway to college and life success results from practicing good habits and making good conscious decisions everyday. I'm equally certain that if you lead a meaningful life, driven by purpose, then you'll draw positive energy your way. Together, we can achieve desired outcomes
    predictably good!

    Exploring Your College Interests

    Exploring Your College Interests

    Exploration leads to self-discovery.
    Self-discovery leads to realizations.
    Realizations lead to good decisions!


    The real secret to college and young life success runs through your willingness to explore. I'm not talking about crossing the ocean in a wooden boat to explore uninhabited islands. Rather, I'm talking about spending time and energy over the next couple of years to explore your (if you're the student) deep internal interests, desires, abilities, and passion. 

    Exploring includes improving your awareness and understanding of things happening all over the world. This will expand your global mindset

    Exploring includes listening closely to other people's beliefs and feelings, without imposing judgment. This will expand your perspective.  

    Exploring includes participating in a variety of games, events, and activities; carefully scheduling your school electives and planning summer study programs; regularly reading interesting articles; working jobs or volunteering on projects. This will expand your knowledge.

    Combining it all, you will build upon your intelligence, better understand your belief system, properly identify your interests, and gain clarity on your path forward. This is self-discovery, a critical phase in a young person's development. It can't happen accidentally, rather, it can only happen by means of a thoughtful, conscious plan. 

    Through self-discovery, you will begin to realize all things that are important, relevant, and meaningful to you; what you stand for and what you can't stand; and most importantly, what you love to do. These are profound realizations, the kind that will lead to making good decisions, for the right reasons.

    This week, a great colleague of mine told me-

    "You can do what you love doing, and still fail. Or you can do what you don't like doing, and fail, but that's much worse!"

    A meaningful and enjoyable life, one driven by purpose, is created through the process of exploration, self-discovery, and realization. 

    It is the ultimate secret for defining a pathway to success and satisfaction. Without it, everything will be left to guesswork and random chance. 

    I know what I can't stand and that's leaving important matters to guesswork or random chance. If you'd like to get on a pathway to college and young adult success, let's talk.

    The Business of College Unveiled

    The Business of College Unveiled

    "Colleges are masters at molding their interests into the behaviors of society."- Marla Brady,

    I love that quote, it so applies!

    Here's the Business of College described in direct terms: a lower acceptance rate combined with a higher conversion rate of acceptances-to-enrollments drives the tuition costs higher and scholarships lower.

    Let that settle in as you come to realize that those two factors drive the college business model. All actions of the college, from tours to test-optional policies to ED Applications are designed to drive those numbers in their favor. None of it serves your interests.

    College tours? You hear what they want you to hear, see what they want you to see, and then send you home without visiting your intended department of study. It's their purest and cheapest form of marketing. How does that make sense for you?

    Test-optional policies? Do you really think those are in place because colleges don't value SAT's any longer? That would be a fallacy. Rather, they are in place to drive up the number of applicants by making it seem more likely of an acceptance, serving to lower their acceptance rate...rather brilliant of them. But how does that work for you? Ask me about MIT...

    ED Applications? Do you really think these are offered as a benefit to you? Please, ED Applications are the backbone of a direct-sales policy designed to intimidate student-families into feeling "obligated", obligated to enroll (driving the conversion rate higher) and obligated to pay full price. How does that feel? 

    Stop the Factory Line

    Stop the Factory Line

    My students have begun receiving admission acceptances while the rest of the country scrambles to submit last-minute applications. Outcomes are predictable, mine are predictably good. It's not by accident, rather, it's by our designed plan and approach.

    We stop the factory line...the factory line known in the industry as a line of digital applications coming across the computer of admission counselors. 

    Way back when in the days of paper applications, the counselors had to open the application and take a good look at it. It's no longer that way. In today's times, the counselor begins their day with a line-up of applications in their digital-queue. 

    They hit the start button and here they come. One at a time, they pass by like products rolling down a factory line for a quick inspection...maybe 1-2 minutes each. Thirty an hour at $60 per application fee yields an $1,800/ hour return...not bad!

    For whom is that good enough? Not me and not my students! Our job?

    Our job is to stop the factory line.

    We have to give valid reason for the counselor to disrupt their thirty-per-hour routine and stop on our application. Here are some secrets how that's done.

    • Applicants known personally are stopped for
    • Great Essays/ Supplemental Q's are stopped for
    • Excellent Test Scores are stopped for
    • A high enrollment-likelihood is stopped for

    Good is never good enough to get an admission counselor out of their routine. And especially not so when they have a couple thousand applications in their queue. Rather, we have to be great to get the right people to stop the factory line!