There’s More Than One Way To Achieve A Goal: Redefining Professional Success In A 21st Century World


By Megha Goel

“They teach you how other people think, during your most productive years. It kills creativity. Makes people into bozos,” said Steve Jobs. Jobs, co-founder of one of the World’s most recognized brands, Apple, didn’t come from a technology background. He dropped out of college, helped his father in repair work, and rebuilt motor parts, which sparked his interest in electronics.

College isn’t for everybody. The traditional four-year college experience, said to be the ultimate post-high school goal, might not be the best fit for all. The July 9, EYEJ Speaks episode entitled Investing In Your Future brought together an impressive panel of educators, entrepreneurs, and skilled tradesmen to discuss if college degrees are a key for success or should the society offer students alternative pathways to a thriving future. Led by Casey Morris, Premier Field Engineer, Microsoft; the panel included awesome keynotes from:

The discussion kicked off with Katie Ross highlighting the close relationship between the theme, Investing In Your Future, with EYEJ’s mission of empowering the youth. EYEJ believes that education comes in many forms and there’s no one path to success. “Intelligence is not confined to academics and everyone excels in their own way. EYEJ incorporates alternative education options and gives the students access and resources to explore what they would really like to do. And if it’s not going to college, it’s completely okay.” Some of the other program highlights include:

Investing In Your Future

Alternatives To Traditional Education Pathways

Overcome The Challenges Entrepreneurs Face

The Importance Of Investing In Your Future

Key Takeaways

  1. Rising high school students should be allowed to follow their passion, pursue technical and vocational education rather than being pushed into a four-year university. One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to success. It’s important for students to realize that following traditionally set rules from high school to college to professionalism is not the only path. It’s time to relinquish the idea that the path to success is rooted in attaining a college education. “Secondary institutions must do a better job of informing students of multiple, successful pathways after high school graduation, college is not the only answer,” shares Thalia Anguiano, Student Admissions Lead, Noble Network of Charter Schools.
  2. “Often, people start businesses because they need income — as the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” says Charu Ramanathan, Co-founder & CEO, vitalxchange. Sometimes, a less optimal circumstance or background may lead to great ideas, cultivating passion, and resilience to achieving big.
  3. It’s not always about what you know but who you know.’ Networking is all about connecting with people, pitching them your ideas, and listening to their ideas. Advisory, mentorship, and support from people who believe in your ideas can take you a long way. Investing in building the right relationships helps in overall growth, developing and improving skills, and being on the pulse of industry trends. Justin McLoughlin, Founder & CEO, airCFO shares tips on networking: “Find your platform to establish yourself as a subject matter expert. It could easily be Instagram or Twitter, but for me, it’s LinkedIn. I have a calendar reminder to go back through my meeting schedule for the week & add everyone I met on LinkedIn.”

Our youth representative Frank Austin shared how trade school and not the traditional college worked well for him. “I was passionate about automobiles since my childhood and knew that I wanted to make a career in the same. Going to trade school gave me hands-on experience and started working immediately after.”

To view the full episode of EYEJ Speaks on Investing In Your Future, visit our Facebook page. Exploring Violence is the next episode of the Facebook Live discussion series taking place on Thursday, July 16, 2020, at 10 am EDT. Please be sure to RSVP on Facebook to be part of this community conversation. Listen to the behind-the-scenes conversation with guests on the EYEJ Podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Podcast.



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EYEJ drives social justice reform by empowering young people to advocate for change.