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Here's to the College Kids Who Do It Right

Jeff Hall

Posted on March 15, 2019 13:34

5 users

The "Varsity Blues" scandal is appalling but maybe not surprising. As our president likes to say, it's all about the winning. There is way too much corruption all around -- a "rigged system," as some put it. Many of today's students do not come from money and don't have connections. They just work hard, persevere and gut it out. Here's to them -- our true future leaders.

I had many advantages growing up and went to the finest colleges (Stanford undergrad and Harvard Business School). 

Nobody paid bribes to get me in, but it was a different era back then (early seventies).  If you worked reasonably hard, played on a team and were "well rounded," you stood a chance at getting admitted.  I could never get in today.

But, while at Stanford -- and Harvard -- I met plenty of students who came from very wealthy families and whose parents and even grandparents attended long before.  It just seemed accepted by all that this was the way of the world, so of course these kids got in. 

And, to be fair to these fellow students who came from families of privilege, many were amazingly gifted -- the possible result of extra training and opportunities they received while attending private schools, pre-college. 

But they had a certain "air" about them -- like it was their pre-ordained destiny to attend only the best schools -- and to go on, later, to obtain big positions in business, law, government, medicine and the like. 

In building TheLatest.com, it has been our great fortune to utilize the services of many student interns -- from big-name universities, lesser-known schools, community colleges and even high schools. 

More often than not, it is the kids who come from the "lesser" schools who really stand out. 

They are there to learn, to work, to accomplish something.  Getting a good letter of recommendation at the end of the summer means the world to them.

The non-U.S. students -- and we've had something like 75 interns from over 20 countries over the years -- are far more serious about their work than their American counterparts, who spend WAY too much time checking out the latest cool thing on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or Snapchat.

I finally had to set a rule: 5 minutes of phone time once an hour.

American students from the big-name schools in particular too often have a certain haughtiness about them -- like they are doing us all some big favor by showing up. 

One guy I recall showed up only rarely -- and then he'd boss others around when he was there.  He was not appreciated by his peers.  Years later, he asked for a letter of recommendation when applying for a job in tech.  I refused. 

One student never showed at all -- not once -- but received a big stipend from his very fancy university.  I reported him and he got a very soft slap on the wrist. 

Here's to the students who do it right -- and whose parents couldn't -- or wouldn't -- try and pull strings on their behalf. 

These kids didn't receive handouts, and maybe they didn't attend an Ivy League school, but they will be better off for it in the long-run.  They will have character, grit, determination.  They will feel better about themselves and be leaders others can look up to. 

Be proud, be strong -- and keep marching.  Your country needs you.

 

 

 

 

Jeff Hall

Posted on March 15, 2019 13:34

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Operation Varsity Blues has unleashed a veritable orgy of stereotypes. “Entitled white kids” has been trending, along with...

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