Frank Bruni's College Research: Why it Matters Right Now for Students and Grads

Once my kid gets into college, we can all relax, right? 

Not according to New York Times columnist Frank Bruni - and not according to us at Early Stage Careers!

Whether it's the value of forging relationships with professors, seeking out leadership roles in school organizations, or gaining the skill to convey a powerful story, Bruni's research supports the very same priorities in our work with students.

Parents and students can feel their work is done once they get into college - that all their efforts in high school to gain entry to that desired school paid off and they've hit the finish line. But making it through college these days, for personal and academic fulfillment and professional preparation to launch a career, is a journey that begins day one of college - and continues until that diploma is in hand. It takes a plan and it takes a circle of people who know and care about a student to set them on their way toward a satisfying life.

Some highlights of Mr. Bruni's article that really resonate with us for our clients include: 

"How a student goes to school matters much, much more than where...The wisest students, move into a peer relationship with the institution rather than a consumer relationship with it.”

  • We advise all our clients to make the most of their experience. Game changers include engaging with the community, getting involved, making a difference, taking on leadership, assisting professors with research - especially outside of the classroom. It's a blank canvas that needs to be filled in with real life and work experiences.

"My focus is on optimal ways to socialize, to prioritize, to pick up skills integral to any career and to open up exciting opportunities both en route to a degree and after you’ve acquired it."

  • Acquiring soft and hard skills throughout college matters. Seek out opportunities outside your university, if need be, to achieve this. Employers want ready-to-hire candidates with skills based experience.

“The most influential thing I did here was find mentors,” U.N.C.-Chapel Hill Carolina Covenant scholar grad.

  • We teach clients how to develop and nurture mentor relationships inside and outside of college; they are the seeds to your future and can be the foundation of building essential network relationships. And importantly, become long term advocates of one's career. In the words of one of the people Bruni interviewed, think of college as an opportunity to "widen the circle of human beings who know you and care about you."

"You’re trying to shape a life that leads you to a happy place," says Andrew Delbanco, author of “College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be."

  • Our expert guidance helps college students and recent grads shape a satisfying professional life. Summer experiences, internships, and career choices all contribute to that path to happiness.

 "The best moment in a workplace meeting belongs to the colleague who tells the best story."

  • New grads and soon-to-be grads, what's your story? We teach young adults how to craft and communicate their personal story that helps them land their dream internship or job.

Frank Bruni's research not only sets students up for a more satisfying undergraduate experience, but also propels new graduates on a path that helps them more effectively launch their careers. The advice he shares aligns perfectly with our work at Early Stage Careers.