Jullien Gordon would be the first to tell you that his life turned out a bit different than he initially planned.
As the son of two doctors, Gordon was expected to follow in their footsteps, but he soon found his true calling, as the CEO of the D.M.V.
Before you click away, not the D.M.V. with the long lines and grumpy staff, but The Department of Motivated Vehicles — a personal and professional development company launched by Gordon as a platform for changing lives.
Jullien Gordon has spoken to over 20,000 people at 60-plus colleges over the past three years.
Gordon lives by one core ideology. We must D.R.E.A.M. awake. (D.R.E.A.M. means to have one’s Desired, Relationships, Employment And Money).
It’s not enough to just go to college and get a job, that’s average, run of the mill and boring. Dreaming awake is all about pushing yourself to previously unknown heights and living a full life.
To date he has been extremely successful — speaking to over 20,000 people at 60-plus colleges over the past three years. He recently fulfilled a personal goal of giving a TED speech.
He has also published five books. One in particular is geared towards the college community.
Gordon sat down with USA TODAY College recently to outline his suggestions for the top five things every student should do before graduating, as adopted from the book he co-authored with Patricia Hudak, 101 Things To Do Before You Graduate.
1. Create a portfolio
During your undergraduate experience you will create approximately 20-30 projects, papers, or presentations. Your portfolio is simply a compilation of your best five best pieces of work. Your portfolio can include a variety of work samples such as:
• Projects or papers you are very proud of and got a great grade on;
• Article you wrote and published for the campus newspaper
• Letters of recommendations from professors and other professionals
As you begin exploring various career paths and going on interviews you will find that employers want to see, rather than just hear, what you’ve actually produced. Your portfolio will set you apart from other candidates who only bring their one-page résumé to interviews. Show — don’t tell.
2. Sell something & make a profit
Though we buy products and services everyday, most people don’t understand what goes into selling those products and services. Simply selling something on-campus as a fundraiser or for-profit venture will help you understand business basics such as revenues, expenses, profit, marketing, and sales.
Find some product or service that you can make, market, and sell. Consider selling lemonade, roses for Valentine’s Day, tickets for an event you organize, or t-shirts about beating your school’s rival.
Understanding these business concepts on a simpler and smaller level will prepare you for a successful college-to-career transition.
3. Raise $1,000 for a cause you care about
Knowing how to raise money and resources for a problem, person, or project is a great skill to acquire whether you become an employee or an entrepreneur. College is a great opportunity to test your storytelling ability to convince family, friends, and strangers to contribute to something you really care about.
Once you determine the cause you are committed, the next step is getting informed and clarifying why this cause is personally important to you.
Your ability to evoke emotion as you share why you got involved with this particular cause is what will move people to want to contribute.
4. Organize a huge event
Student leadership isn’t just about your title — it’s about how you grow and grow others during the academic year. The challenges you face leading people, managing resources, and marketing will prepare you for success in business and life.
You can join the join the planning committee for the upcoming school year or you can create an original event from scratch.
Event ideas include: conferences, concerts, banquets, keynote speeches, rallies, dance-a-thons, fundraisers, fashion shows, talent shows, voter registration drives, parties, panel discussions, flash mobs, career fairs, road trips or city tours.
5. Read a spiritual text cover to cover
Spirituality is the unseen core of our lives and it’s easy to forget about it when you’re in college.
You may not have transportation to get to a house of worship. You may feel uncomfortable looking for a new place of worship. Or you may not even be interested in a relationship with a spiritual source right now.
When and if you ever feel curious, choose a spiritual text — the one you were raised with or one that just interests you — and read it from cover to cover.
If nothing else, you will better understand a foundation text that has motivated countless lives. And you may end up finding a connection to a spiritual tradition that will enrich your life. Seek and ye shall find.
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