I just finished a post on my Paved With Verbs blog that I felt was too important not to share. In Going to Stanford Doesn't Mean You'll Get a Stanford Education - And Going to a State School Doesn't Mean You Won't, I wrote:
After Floatopia, I was out in the couch-boat with my friend Ben. While discussing some of the opportunities that are available at Stanford, he sighed, "Yeah. Too bad so many students here are a waste of space."
This post is exactly why I started Life Coaching for Gifted Youth. While I sincerely believe the service I provide will help students maximize their chances of getting into their dream school... I can't guarantee their admission. After all, as I wrote in Getting into your First-Choice School is NOT an Accomplishment,
Students who get into Stanford and Harvard aren't necessarily "better" than kids who only got into their second-choice (or safety) school. But they're definitely luckier. So calling the college you got into an "accomplishment" is like calling finding $5 on the street during your run an "accomplishment."
There are some consultants who, for the right price, do guarantee it. But that's just because the math works out. If you charge $60,000 to "guarantee" twenty students' admission to a certain school... statistically, at least one of them will get in. (But chances are, these students are pretty strong academically, and are really only competing with the top 50% or so of applicants, anyway.) So you get to keep a good chunk of change, and refund the rest. But in the meantime, you've had access to this money for a year or two or three, investing and growing it as you see fit. It's actually not a bad business model.
But, to me, focusing on admission to a particular school undermines the point of my service, which is to give students skills that will make them successful no matter where they go to school. Trust me -- I know many Stanford and Berkeley alumni who are currently working as baristas and bartenders. So going to the school of your dreams doesn't mean you'll get the job of your dreams.
But then again... making coffee or working in retail doesn't mean that you're not successful, either. After all, Sarah Blakely, one of the world's few self-made female billionaires (Elizabeth Holmes doesn't count -- her money is pretend money, and she is hardly "self-made"), got her start at Florida State University. She spent three months working at Walt Disney World before she took a job selling fax machines door-to-door. She hated wearing pantyhose in the hot Florida temperatures, but loved the slimming effect the control-top had on her waist. Once she had $5,000 saved up, she began developing her idea for Spanx.
Today, Spanx is a multibillion-dollar company, and Blakely owns all of it.
It's like I always say: genius isn't made in the classroom. It's made in the lives and experiences we live outside of it.
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Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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