Sunday, July 27, 2014

Secrets to success after college

This Friday WSJ piece references a very interesting study about what determines success and happiness after college.  Released last May by Gallup and Purdue University, over 30,000 graduates of a wide range of educational institutions were surveyed about their engagement at work, their overall well-being, and how both relate to their college experience.

Two results stand out: (1) workplace engagement is more or less unrelated to what type of school you went to (exception: graduates of for-profit schools report much lower levels) and (2) the key variable predicting workplace engagement is successful engagement in college.  In other words, if you did nothing more than attend classes, hand in assignments and get passing grades you missed the boat. There is little payoff in workplace engagement unless you develop a close relationship with one or more professors, had an internship, or worked on a project that took a semester or more to complete.  (Aside: the payoff is even better if you do all three.)

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