Treece Blog: Earn knowledgeWritten by Ben Treece | | firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope that this column serves as guide for young people about to attend college. The next four years (or eight depending on just how many letters you wish to see after your name on your diploma) will certainly be some of the most exciting and memorable of your life. For the first time, you are independent; no mom and dad nagging you to get up and go to school or asking if your homework is completed. What a shame it would be to let it go to waste.
After leaving Ohio to attend the University of Miami in Florida, I quickly learned that there was just as much to learn outside of the classroom as in. I had friends from all over the country all seeking to obtain various degrees — everyone from business majors from California to premed majors from the Northeast. My interactions with these people helped me grow as a person and learn about different parts of the country without having to leave the comfort of Miami. We all brought our own past experiences and cultures with us to South Florida and learned from each other. Social interaction is an integral part of your college experience, almost as important as your time spent in the classroom.
This next section speaks specifically to business majors. If you are anything like me, your classes will at some point inevitably frustrate you and get on your nerves. A substantial portion of your finance and economics classes will revolve around theory. Theories are great; the only problem is that they are just that, theories and not facts. Theories are generally accepted principles that make sense on paper and in a vacuum, but are not necessarily repeatable. Business theories and scientific theories/laws are quite different. We would love for someone to argue that Modern Portfolio Theory is as factual and repeatable as the Newton’s law of universal gravitation.
I also want to give a piece of advice to all students pursuing an undergraduate degree: do not be a slacker. Most people think of slacking as someone who cuts class, doesn’t care if they pass or fail and goes to college for one big party, but that is not necessarily true. Per the requirements of my degree in international finance and marketing, I needed a handful of history credits. Why, I still am not sure, but I did. Instead of taking a course on the history of the United States or 20th Century Consumerism (which would have been pertinent to my degree), I took the history of rock and roll and listened to Led Zeppelin and Chuck Berry for 55 minutes, three days a week. I took the easy road and a slacker course as opposed to something that would provide me more pertinent knowledge.
Employers are not going to pay you for a degree. They are going to pay you for the knowledge that you have.
A degree is an honorable accomplishment and can certainly set some of us on the path to obtaining the careers of our dreams. It would be a travesty to graduate, hang your degree on the wall and wonder what could have been. College is a time for personal growth and social interaction, but it is also a time to push your intellectual capacity to new bounds. Ask the tough questions, don’t take the easy A and always question your professors. Ensure that you get the most out of your college experience; don’t look back with regret.
Ben Treece is a 2009 graduate from the University of Miami (Fla.), BBA International Finance and Marketing. He is a partner with Treece Investment Advisory Corp (www.TreeceInvestments.com) and licensed with FINRA through Treece Financial Services Corp. The above information is the opinion of Ben Treece and should not be construed as investment advice or used without outside verification.
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