Three Tips for Graduates, from a Distiller
I’ve been lucky enough to meet a lot of great students, grad students, and doctoral candidates as they come through our distillery. Here are three pieces of advice for those of you graduating this year. One thing you should buy, and two things you should do.
1. BUY A WATCH.
This Shinola Argonite 708 is the best watch I’ve ever owned. My wife gave it to me for our five year anniversary. By the way, my wife is the author of a blog called What I Wore and is the most incredible person I’ve ever met, period. You should all follow her on the social medias.
It’s made in Detroit, and it’s got the phases of the moon built into the dial. I’m a huge fan of the moon. I’ve always thought that eventually I will make it there one day. You youngin’s have a better chance.
It has a second hand which ticks away the moments, but also the moon moves very slowly across the dial over the month. So it keeps me thinking about how time is relative.
I only started wearing a watch maybe four years ago, but I think wearing a watch is very important because it keeps you from pulling your phone out all the time. When you pull your phone out to check the time, you inevitably check other crap that you shouldn’t be looking at when you’re in the middle of a conversation with someone.
Get yourself a watch. Doesn’t have to be expensive. Timex is great. Use it keep an eye on your time. Spend Time With People You Love. How you spend your hours is how you spend your life. Make sure you are doing the right thing with those hours.
2. WRITE HELPFUL EMAILS
This is very tactical, but I really hope you take this advice. Include a link to a google search of your name in any introductory email. It’s the first thing I do when a student emails me. I’ve talked to many other founders and this is true across the board. Right before you sign “Thank you”, at the end of the last paragraph (and there should only be two brief paragraphs in any business email, trust me on that) say something like: I hope to hear from you soon, in the meantime, I’ve taken the liberty of googling myself for you. Hope you like what you find.
If you have a common name, you can joke that you are not the australian rugby player John Smith, you’re the IU student John Smith. If you have a LinkedIn profile, you can link to that too. But linking to the Google search will show the person you’re talking to that you are interested in helping them.
This also means that you should control your own Google search results, which should probably be an entire course in college, if not a minor.
3. NEVER TAKE THE FIRST OFFER.
If someone wants to sell you something, they have a reason. If she wants to hire you, she has a reason. Never take the first offer. Consider the ideal outcome for yourself, and negotiate yourself closer to that outcome. Whether that’s more money, a better desk, anything.
That’s about it, kids. This world is too great a mystery for there to be only one approach to it. This is true of world religions, political parties, and everything in between. You are here to be curious, to explore, and to create.
Have fun, do your best, and always be learning. Repeat those three things over and over, and you’ll be fine.