One of my football buddies always used to say, "Don't let school get in
the way of college." Most laughed and knew he meant slacking off was the
cool thing to do. I took it as meaning there is more to college than
simply doing homework and papers. While this does not mean to neglect
your studies, it does mean to not neglect the other facets of the
college experience. Developing the whole man is more important than
getting a 4.0 GPA. What does spending an extra hour reading an english
book more thoroughly do for you ten years from now? Not much. How about
starting your own company from school? Man, that would be sweet. So your
GPA won't rest at 4.0; perhaps is lowers even to a 3.0. Who would be the
more valuable hire after graduation, the reader or the founder? Paul
Graham asked just this question to some fairly important people:
I asked managers at Yahoo, Google, Amazon, Cisco and Microsoft how
they'd feel about two candidates, both 24, with equal ability, one
who'd tried to start a startup that tanked, and another who'd spent
the two years since college working as a developer at a big company.
Every one responded that they'd prefer the guy who'd tried to start
his own company. Zod Nazem, who's in charge of engineering at Yahoo,
said: I actually put more value on the guy with the failed startup.
And you can quote me! So there you have it. Want to get hired by
Yahoo? Start your own company.
College is much more than high school 2.0. It's about discovering
yourself, who you are, what you stand for, where you want to go, and not
to take 'safe' classes that will look good when you apply for your first
job. Here's the kicker: after your first job, no one really cares about
your grades - they care about your production, what you've done. So do
well in school, because smart people don't get 2.0 GPAs, but don't lose
sight of the fact that a 4.0 won't get you a better job in 5 years.
Having tangibles will…