Career is dependent on basic life skills

It was great to see the pictures of the classes of 2013 in the Valley Sun. This month I will attend my 50th reunion dinner for the Muir High School class of 1965. Wow, 50 years!

My wife and I recently attended our daughter’s graduation from Chapman College in Orange. Both our son, Austin, and our daughter, Allegra, are graduates of La Cañada High School.

When both of our kids left for their freshman years in college we gave them the following advice: First, you must plan ahead. Once you register for your classes, make a calendar of your daily classes and responsibilities. Second, be on time. Those who are always late will struggle in college and later in life. Third, manage your money.

A budget was a must. I gave each student a set amount of money on the first of each month. We told them that their ability to manage their money was critical to learning a life lesson. Each worked part-time to pay for extras. Both young adults followed these rules. Both enjoyed their college experience to the max.

In conversations with them during their four years, their frustration with roommates who could not be on time, needed to borrow money and didn’t keep appointments brought smiles to our faces.

Today it is no secret that a number of college graduates will face the poor economy we live in.

Our son graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2010. He landed a great job in finance. He impressed the hiring manager not only with his business skills, but with his comments about responsibility, organization, planning ahead and money management.

A degree from any college is great, but without basic skills of organization, community and time and money management, your son or daughter’s ability to get and keep a job is in trouble.

I hope these simple rules to follow will help students enjoy their college experience and add to their life and future.

Richard Batista

La Cañada Flintridge

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