If you’re in college, are the parent of a student, or a recruiter looking to get the best talent possible for your business, the results of this recent Gallop Poll suggest that there are only 6 major college experiences successful people have, which their counterparts do not:
For the report, researchers examined results of a web survey completed by a nationally representative random sample of 29,560 respondents who had internet access, were at least 18, and hold bachelor’s degrees. They measured how engaged respondents were in their work, as well as their community, physical, financial, and social well-being.
The results were so profound I just had to share them with everyone. We all know that no two college curriculums are exactly the same, but at least 4 out of the 6 experiences listed below are heavily reliant on how a college and its teachers structure their individual programs:
- A professor who made them excited to learn.
- A professor who cared about them as individuals.
- A mentor who pushed students to reach their goals.
- Working on a long-term project.
- Completing a job or internship related to classroom lessons.
- Being engaged in extracurricular activities and groups.
How many of you out there can honestly say you have or are currently experiencing all 6 of these? At least 4?
82% of the 29,560 “successful” respondents stated that in college they had experienced all 6, while only 5% felt they had experienced none. The remaining 13% who participated in the poll claimed to have experienced at least 4 out of the 6 factors believed to be linked to lifelong success in business and life.
So only 5% of nearly 30,000 people who were labeled as successful in life had none of these experiences? Pretty convincing.
So what does all this mean?
Well, honestly it means what many of you knew already, long before clicking on to this article: not everyone will benefit from getting a college education. Leaving many secondary education critics out there giving themselves a pat on the back.
So why are these 6 specific factors so important to success?
1. A professor who made them excited to learn
Read up on any successful person and they’ll tell you your life’s dead in the water if you’re not learning new things every day. Being inspired to learn is a cornerstone to blasting through barriers and expanding your opportunities.
2. A professor who cared about them as individuals
Having a professor who shows interest in them helps students to feel less like a number and more engaged in their studies.
3. A mentor who pushed students to reach their goals
Mentors keep us on track. When we slip, they help pick us up, offering advice and encouragement. Very few successful people in the world got to where they were without some sort of mentor to help walk them along the path to success.
4. Working on a long-term project
Working on long term projects teaches people that results don’t always happen right away. Sometimes we have to persevere to succeed. It also teaches us lessons about failures, how to notice pitfalls early, and to adapt when strategies need tweaking.
5. Completing a job or internship related to classroom lessons
This one is pretty easy to connect one’s education with their later success. At the very least, one should get some practical experience under their belt before leaving school and ushering themselves into the working world.
6. Being engaged in extracurricular activities and groups
Having activities and passions outside work is essential to creating the work/life balance necessary to avoid burnout.
So that’s my synopsis of the study. What’s yours? Leave a comment and let’s get a conversation going.
Main image by Steve Jurvetson