Book by Carol Carter
Review by Jan Eriksen
School of Letters and Sciences
La Crosse, Wisconsin
An alternate title of this book could be Everything You Need to Know to Survive and Thrive in College. Although the book is designed for college students, it also works well for mature, college-bound high school juniors and seniors. In addition, parents may benefit from reading the book. The guide not only contains career decision-making tips and tools, but also discusses how to manage finances, organize study time, and deal with dating while in college. Advice for networking and finding a mentor are included in the book. Internships play a large role in the guide, with many useful suggestions about how and where to get them.
Carol Carter, president of LifeBound, makes the volume very readable for young adults by incorporating her own experiences as well as those of college students and recent graduates. Most chapters contain an “Insights from an Intern” column. Jordan Austin, for example, is an English major who secured an internship at LifeBound, where he arranged conferences, compiled PowerPoint presentations, and assisted with set-up at parent sessions for area high schools. He was then offered a job at the company his senior year in college. Two years after graduation he applied for a very competitive internship at KUSA-TV in Denver, a NBC affiliate. He got the internship which led to his eventually being hired at the station as producer of Denver’s top news show.
Another feature which appears frequently throughout the book is “Real Work in the Real World,” with advice from successful working professionals. One of them is Maria Martinez who became the first Hispanic woman named to a corporate vice presidency at Microsoft. She indicates that the glass ceiling is still very much in existence, especially in male-dominated careers such as technology. Martinez says, “Unfortunately, this culture has very low expectations for women and Hispanics and other minorities. If you agree with that, you’re never going to get anywhere” (p.130).
A third item which is highlighted occasionally in the guidebook is “My Two Cents,” the learning events of college students. Dylan Lewis of University of Colorado-Denver discusses how he finished his freshman year at a community college during his senior year in high school. He then dove into upper level courses at a four-year university and soon got in over his head. Lewis decided to leave college and join the United States Marine Corps. After a four-year tour of duty and many valuable experiences he enrolled back in college and will be graduating soon with a baccalaureate degree in English. He comments, “In the future I will make other choices, but none will be as important as the choices I’ve made since leaving high school” (p. 57).
The book also includes tips for overseas travel, sample resumes and cover letters, and planning for extracurricular activities during the college years. Useful appendices round out the book and involve, among others, suggestions for applying to graduate school, understanding financial aid and FAFSA, and using Occupational Outlook At-A-Glance.
Majoring in the rest of your life: Career secrets for college students (5th edition). (2011) Book by Carol Carter. Review by Jan Eriksen. Denver, CO: LifeBound, LLC, 308 pp., $13.95. ISBN # 978-0-9820588-0-0