One of my college friends and I were both in the same major at Penn State Altoona: Business, with a focus on Management and Marketing.
We are both entrepreneurs now, albeit in different ways: a lot of my work is online; he owns brick and mortar businesses.
In conversation, he asked me: do you use anything you learned in college in your business these days?
“Hell no!” His answer was the same.
BUT… there is ONE thing I remember that I do use. I’ll tell you about it.
To receive a business degree from Penn State University, a student must complete a 9-credit internship, basically a full semester working for some business entity and learning on the job.
Prior to beginning your internship, we had to take a 1-credit, one-class-per-week internship prep class. In it, internship coordinator Mrs. Wood taught us how to go about acquiring internships (for the slackers amongst us who hadn’t yet secured one), what to expect during the internship, and how to prepare the internship presentation we’d be required to give after completing our internships.
Mrs. Wood also had each of us go through a mock interview, with she and some other professor form the business department representing a mock company. This was, presumably, getting us ready for real-life job interviews. They’d ask us interviewers questions, and we were to prepare some questions to ask back to them.
In class when telling us about the interview exercise, Mrs. Wood mentioned one thing that stuck with me.
She told us that it was a good touch to leave a short, written follow-up thank you letter for the person who’d interviewed you. It let the interviewer know that you were thinking about it, and would help you be remembered more than the other interviewees who hadn’t done so.
I had my thank-you letter with me when I went to my mock interview. On my way out of the building that afternoon, I dropped the letter in Mrs. Wood’s mailbox.
In class the following week, Mrs. Wood pointed out that I was the only one of 35 students who’d actually left that letter.
The one thing I learned in college that I both remember, and that still works for me: Follow-up.The one thing I learned in college that I both remember, and that still works for me: Follow-up. Click To Tweet
Follow up closes sales that otherwise would have been missed.
It makes connections out of people you’ve met who would otherwise forget about you.
Follow up reminds people to do the things they said they would do — but would have forgotten about or just not done had they not heard from you.
Follow up pushes your name / needs / agenda to the top of someone else’s list. Follow up makes a priority out of things that would have never been thought of again.Follow up pushes your name / needs / agenda to the top of someone else's list. Follow up makes a priority out of things that would have never been thought of again. Click To Tweet
And it’s the one thing I learned in college (well, the one thing that I learned in class) that I still use.
What did you learn in school that still matters today — anything? Reply and let me know — I read all responses.
See the following masterclasses on follow-up —
#698: The Power Of Follow-Up
#123: How To Be Persistent
#743: How To Lock Into Persistence For Life
#460: How Persistence Overcomes A Lack of Talent
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