Action, not Knowledge

The great aim of education isn’t knowledge, it’s action– Herbert Spencer.

We believe this in the College of Business. Two cases in point: Tuesday is our Hall of Fame Induction Celebration. About eight hundred of our alumni, faculty, staff, ambassadors and partners convene at Rosen Shingle Creek to honor three alums (i.e., Shelia Jordon, Terry McNew, and Dawn Olivardia) as well as Dr. Hitt. We honor them not for what they know, but for what they have done in their careers. It’s not a knowledgeable award, or a good grades award, it’s a doer award. And it’s incredibly difficult to get: of our more than 60,000 alums, less than 100 are in our Hall of Fame.

Second: This same thinking goes into our professional development courses. These aren’t read about it courses. These are doing courses. You need to do things that will help your professional development– maybe that’s job shadowing, maybe it’s learning what people do in the EXCHANGE, maybe it’s networking, or mentoring or joining professional associations or going to the internship invitational or sharpening your negotiation skills or competing in the failure competition. You just need to convince Lonny it fits.

Don’t misunderstand, we aren’t telling you that knowledge isn’t important. We are telling you that knowledge is a necessary but insufficient condition for success. Reading about swimming isn’t going to make you a good swimmer. You need to get in the pool and swim– to get really good at swimming you need to do it consistently even on days you’d rather be doing something else. Same thing with your career. You can’t just be engaging in your professional development one semester or on Tuesday, or decide to just read a book about it. This won’t get you very far, let alone into the Hall of Fame. You need to practice, refine and expand your skills everyday. And you need to start now because it’s a cumulative thing.

No one can tell you the precise path to your career success, but they can walk you through a process that will help you actively manage your career and keep you focused on doing the things that will help get you where you want to go. We think this is so important that we give you college credits for doing this and require that you do it consistently over four semesters so it becomes part of your professional DNA. It’s how you get to the one. Whether you seize the opportunity to do it or not is up to you, but I will tell you that the choice you make here is way more revealing to employers about who you are and your potential than those grades you get on multiple choice tests….

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