3 Summers

Begin with the End in Mind means to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make things happen. ~ Stephen Covey

Dearest Daughter, hope you’re enjoying your first semester of college. It sounds like you’ve thrived and survived your mid-terms, not easy given your course of study. With that said, I wanted to write and discuss your options for your “Summer Terms”. What your end-state at graduation looks like is largely up to you, and we’ll do our best to support your chosen course of action. With that said, let me paint you a picture of what things might look like for you a few years down the road. My canvas, my paints, my brushstrokes, but while the vision you paint may be similar to mine, it must be your own. Your mother and I love you very much, and are incredibly proud of you and your achievements.

A vision of the future > Saturday, 15 May 2020

It is a beautiful spring day, this 15th of May, 2020. Dear Daughter beams excitedly, giggling amongst with her classmates, attired in her cap and gown, excitedly Snapping away. She is smiling outwardly, for it is Purdue’s Commencement Day. She has done well, graduating as she did in high school, with Honors. Today she’ll collect her diploma, a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Technology, as her parents look on fondly, seated in the audience. Yet, she also smiles inwardly, humble with gratitude, for the opportunities she has been afforded.

  • Unlike many of her classmates, She graduates with no college debt, able to start her professional life unencumbered by the weight of student loans.
  • Unlike many of her classmates, She has diligently interviewed with the numerous companies seeking her talents, and has secured several job offers, one of which she’s accepted and starts toward the end of June, after her well deserved vacation and graduation trip.
  • Unlike many of her classmates, she’s prepared to move to the City for her new job, and has secured a small apartment.
  • Unlike many of her classmates, she’s lived frugally, and was able to afford the security deposit, as well as first and last month’s rent to her landlord.

Wonder how much longer she’ll be able to ride her parents’ cell phone plan and insurance? No matter, she says to her self, for I am “Socially Acceptable and Economically Viable”. It all makes sense now. How much did she hate hearing that from her parents all throughout high school? At long last, she understood what it meant, and what was expected of her.

Back to Life, Back to Reality…

However, in present day, we are in the fall of 2016. For you to realize that beautiful vision above, we begin with the end in mind. Strategy is defined as the ways, means, and endstate for a particular endeavor. Since we have the end state defined, we must now look at the ways (tactics and procedures) and means (logistics, time, resources) that must be backplanned in order to realize our end state.

You have Three Summers

Based upon your chosen Program of Instruction, you must complete 120 credit hours of select requirements in 8 semesters of fall and spring terms. Which leaves three summers.

The Venn diagram here is an amalgamation of choices.

The attributes which define your choices in each of these summers, will have a substantial impact on your ideal end state. And I assure you your top classmates are already planning and coordinating what they’re going to do in the summer of 2017, and so you should be too. Let’s discuss…

An ideal summer activity might be a paid internship with Google in Paris.

  • professionally enhancing: you want to do something that is relevant to your field and adds to the body of knowledge which you are acquiring
  • culturally developing: traveling in Europe, summer in Paris. ‘Nuff said
  • revenue producing: wages sufficient enough for you to live on and see a bit of the country, but also enough to save so that you have some pocket money and maybe even contribute to your books/fees/etc during the fall 2017/spring 2018 semesters

Another summer activity would be shucking corn in Jimtown, IN — just outside Elkhart.

  • professionally enhancing: not much, unless you get a chance to see how computer information technology is optimizing corn and production techniques
  • culturally developing: subjective, nothing wrong with an honest day’s work, but perhaps better options are available
  • revenue producing: wages through the roof, as backbreaking work toughens hands and back, fills the pocketbook with cash

Lifeguard/Starboard bartender in Dewey Beach, DE

  • professionally enhancing: not much, but at least you learn a valued trade of slinging drinks if the computer business doesn’t work out
  • culturally developing: anything outside Indiana can be considering culturally developing
  • revenue producing: money coming out the wazoo, as you’re working two jobs, living frugally, and saving like a fiend (big assumptions here)

COOP/Purdue internship program

  • professionally enhancing: most definitely, aligned with studies and companies willing to give responsibility
  • culturally developing: unknown
  • revenue producing: very likely

Do nothing.

  • Plan nothing for summer term. Return home to Bloomington. Hang out with friends, maybe work a part-time job and maybe take a class online.

Three summers to work. Three summers to study. Three summers to grow and develop. Three summers to explore the possibilities. Three summers step outside of your comfort zone and potentially change the course of your life. Three summers to accomplish nothing of substance. Which will you choose?

Some ideas for you to think about, and given the long lead time some of the better internships/summer activities require, let’s discuss options once you’ve finished up your mid-terms. If you research, prepare, apply, and follow-up throughout the winter and early spring, you’ll likely have your ideal choices solidified around spring break (Mar 17) or shortly thereafter.

You possess many talents and gifts that will allow you to accomplish extraordinary things. I look forward to watching you make decisions that will set you on the path to happiness, fulfillment, and making a positive difference in the world.

Can’t wait to see you at Christmas, enjoy the second half of the fall semester!

All My Love, Dad