Friday, December 6, 2013

From Zero to 4.0

Edward Brown, M.S., of Core Edge Image & Charisma Institute provides answers to questions on how students entering college and graduate school can achieve 4.0 grade point averages to get the best jobs.

Q: First, what does Zero to 4.0 mean?

Brown: Essentially, when new students enter college or graduate school, they start from ground zero. Meaning, whatever they achieved in the past does not count for this new academic undertaking. Of course, if they have excelled academically, they bring something to the table. However, you are only as good as your latest challenge.

Q: Are you speaking from experience?

Brown: Yes, I am. I had been out of college twenty-four years before I went back to get my master’s degree. Although I have always been an avid reader, I feared not being able to excel at the master’s degree level. All that reading over the years would have meant nothing, if I could not write or think on a higher level.

Q: You still would have been smarter by being an avid reader even if you had failed in graduate school. Are you being a bit dramatic?

Brown: Fortunately, I learned that there was a correlation between all that reading I had done and academic success. Reading, relentlessly, prepared me for graduate school. But, I would not have known how prepared I was until I was tested.

Q: So, what are you suggesting for students entering college or graduate school today?

Brown: The game has changed. I know a guy who took 8 years to get a 4-year degree, because he didn’t want to leave the college scene. He was just having too much fun. The cost of college tuition is too high to stay longer than 4 years, unnecessarily. I’ll go further to say that grades, like money, are only a means of keeping score of your progress. If you master the academic experience with a 4.0, it says you have learned and mastered the game.

Q: What game are you referring to?

Brown: The only game that exists. Your ability to learn every system you enter into and master its operations. For education, it’s to understand the nature of people and their interplay with ideas. When you specialize or declare a particular major, you are simply choosing to understand that part of human nature where a profession has been created. It applies to all systems, such as law, medicine, architecture, business, etc.  All systems require a mastery of a discipline to express a human idea. 

Q: Okay, so how do students leverage a 4.0 overall grade point average into the marketplace?

Brown: By understanding their objectives before entering colleges and graduate schools. Once you enter college, and have written several research papers on a specific idea or theme, you have become a subject matter expert by default. I did it with charismatic leadership. Most of the papers I wrote dealing with leadership, the media, or business operations centered on the charismatic leadership model. Add two years of academic research in addition to ten years of independent study and you have to respect my body of work on the topic. You  don’t have to agree with my research findings, but you have to respect what I have documented. Only history can speak to its long-term value.

Q: So, if students stop merely going to colleges and graduate schools to solely get jobs, but become subject matter experts, will they make more money as well as make history?

Brown: Yes, theoretically. If they can market the value of their academic work to solve a compelling problem, they will in fact become wealthy.  If the problem they solve is big enough, they will make history.

Tips for achieving a 4.0:
1. Develop a lifestyle where reading and research are at the center of all daily activities.
2. Choose a major that you are passionate about.
3. In class discussions, use your outside reading and research to make your cases.
4. Build rapport with professors. They are human and can make academic decisions based on emotions like anyone else.
5. Always exhibit an air of polish and professionalism. Image will always count in perceptions. 

Enroll in the next teleseminar, “From Zero to 4.0,” by visiting:

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