I wanna put a baby in your belly…


That was his line. Seriously, who the hell responds positively to that? I thought I’d heard it all until she added, “And I just saw him coming into our office to get his schedule sorted.” Awesome… My GTA just told me that the drunken schlub who had approached her downtown and feebly attempted to use this line on her was now in our office needing help with his schedule.


Aside from simple lessons like, “drunk people are stupid” and “drunk guys are stupider,” I would like to say that the first learning moment of this interaction is, you never know where that person you meet will turn up next. Yes, this brainiac is now a student in my career professionalism classes and his grade is at the mercy of the GTA that he slovenly attempted to proposition on Orange Ave. Smooth move, dude. Lookin’ good….real good! The second lesson is, is this who you really are?


This week Dean Jarley (https://pauljarley.wordpress.com/2016/02/08/you-are-business-students-first/) reminded our students that they, “are business students first.” That before they can master a topic, they have to understand the basics. That to be considered an expert, they also need to be well rounded. I would add that “being a business student first” also means understanding and accepting certain behavioral expectations and priorities that may not have been so critical before entering our college. Specifically balancing lifestyle preferences, work priorities, and academic requirements.


Too often I see and hear students who want to have it all, a full time job, a record of academic achievement, and a fulfilling social life. I can tell you that this is difficult to achieve. When it does, it comes at the expense of one of those “roles.” If you work full time, know that your social life will probably disappear even if you only attend school part time. A full time student can have a rewarding social life, but will only be able to fit in a part-time job or internship. Want to be the life of the party? Better drop out of school and live on a trust fund. And if you live more than an hour away it only further restricts you.


Accommodating students’ desires to have it all turns what we as a college do into a mere transaction that could take place via Google and YouTube. We stress engagement and interaction because that is how business is done. Collaboratively by leveraging networks and relationships.


Since they say, “Education is like a journey,” to help you prioritize your roles, think about these three things as you get started:

  1. You have to walk before you crawl and ride before you drive – Start with the basics. Which role is the most important to you; employee, student, life of the party. Focus on one, the most important one, and get good at it. Then take another one on. Slowly at first, then add as you can. Many students enter our college already working 40 or more hours, taking more than 12 hours, and still have time for Sunday Funday. You will probably not be able to do that in our college. You will DEFINITELTY not be able to get through the business core and in one semester maximizing all three roles. Consider your wants/needs, review the requirements of each role, and make informed choices about what you can expect to spend your time doing.
  2. You need to figure out where you’re driving – A good way to prioritize your role is to really think about why you are in college and why the College of Business. If you have an identifiable career goal, great. If not, you will need to develop one in GEB 3003. If you don’t want to because you are in our college just to satisfy someone else or achieve some milestone then I encourage you to look for other, less rigorous options. Without a goal, your time here will be squandered and pointless.
  3. Don’t text and drive – Once you decide what it is you want to do and why majoring in X will help you do that, stay focused. The most common reason students fail is they take their eye off the goal. They tell me they want to do something, then spend their time focusing on a job that doesn’t do that, working for a person who doesn’t support that, or worse, choosing to do things that may negate their ability to do that someday. Taking a night off or watching a game with friends is fine. Spending your evenings on Wall St., yea….not so much.


I get it. Students need to blow off steam and have a good time on the weekends. They also need money to pay rent or have family obligations to meet. Not everyone comes straight to college, they have to work and are coming back to grow in their field. That’s why we make the buildings out of brick, we’ll be here when you need us.


Just remember that if you choose to be with us, you’re a business student first. That’s not optional here… you are going to need to engage, develop a career plan and execute that plan. We are not going to let you make excuses for not doing these things.   And don’t make dumb choices that will come back to haunt you, keep you from doing what you want to do, or turn your focus to the wrong things.  Needless to say when I see that silver-tongued devil I’ll remind him that he’s a business student first…or at least he hopes to be.