Get Ahead for a Successful Future!
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Generate, research, and refine a college list.

An often overlooked activity that most students try to steer clear of is working. Surprisingly, there are few teenagers who take on part-time jobs today and those that do become more mature and responsible. When I suggest finding a part-time role to my students, I am met with fear. Most don’t know where to even begin searching and the idea of putting effort into finding a job that they don’t see a future career in, makes the idea unpalatable. My advice to my student is: the best things in life are the ones you work the hardest for. This is why we put so much effort into getting into good colleges; the outcome is worth it.

When students graduate from college, a major concern is finding a job. It can take anywhere from three months to a year to land a job out of college, especially if it’s your first. This is a reason why students should start early. So, why does flipping burgers at McDonalds or making drinks at Starbucks during high school have anything to do with a future career in medicine or engineering? Well let me show you two profiles:

College Freshman 1:
– Volunteered for Red Cross in high school for a semester
– Took College level classes
– Was a part of two clubs: Anime Club and Key Club
– 4.0 GPA
– 2000 SAT score
– Personality: needs motivation and constant reminders to get things done.

College Freshman 2:
– Worked at McDonalds for two years starting Junior year, ended the job as a team lead.
– Was a part of two clubs: Anime and Key Club
– Played Soccer
– 3.9 GPA
– 1950 SAT score
– Personality: very mature and focused.

Both of these are Aeronautical Engineering students who want to get a summer internship at Boeing. Which of these two would you hire? The one with proven experience working with others in a professional setting or the one who is seemingly bright?

For many parents, gaining acceptance into college is the priority, but I believe that ensuring our children’s future as capable, mature adults should not be overlooked. Therefore, give your child a chance to learn from his or herself by allowing them to see what the real working world is like. Let them make mistakes because doing it now in the safety of your care is much wiser than having them flounder and struggle alone hundreds of miles from home when they’re in college.

By Bael Sayavong , ThinkTank Learning Academic Counselor and Admissions Consultant