Here is an excerpt from my book “Tricks of the Grade,” which talks about one of the ten guaranteed ways you can raise your GPA by “out smarting” the competition. Use it today!

As a professor, there is one thing that concerns me more than anything else about students, it’s the fact that most students treat college like a vacation (i.e., a social club) rather than a vocation (i.e., a job). This is not to say that you shouldn’t have fun in college. That’s like saying you shouldn’t have fun at work. Not only is that ridiculous, it’s stressful. On the contrary, I mean that you need to accept college for what it is… a business.

Look at it from an employee’s (your) standpoint. In college, aren’t you held accountable by someone in an authority position? Do these authority figures sometimes get on your nerves? If you do not perform up to par or do not demonstrate the basic competencies to perform, will you get promoted (i.e., pass the class)? Don’t you sometimes feel like you’re being overworked? I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a job to me.

What would happen if you missed work every other week or you were late to work every other day? Right after you were warned, you would eventually get fired if it continued to happen. However, in college, professors can’t fire you but they can fail you. In a nutshell, treat school like a business by showing up and showing up on time.

Here’s another example; if my boss gave me an assignment and I constantly complained about it, consistently missed deadlines, made numerous excuses for not completing it, and it was less than professional when I finally submitted it, what would happen to me? I’ll make it easier for you, what wouldn’t happen to me? No promotions, no raises, no trust, no confidence in me – it would probably be best if I started looking for another job.

If you do these same things as a student, guess what? You won’t get that promotion (i.e., pass), you ruin your reputation, and you won’t get that raise you wanted (i.e., an A or B). Is it starting to sink in?

When I say you need to treat school like a business, I mean REALLY treat it like a business. Respect your employer (your professor) even if you don’t like him or her; turn in all assignments on time; turn in professional-looking work; accept responsibility for your mistakes and screw-ups; have an eagerness to learn; keep a positive attitude and anything else you could possibly think of. Sounds tough? Hey, no one ever said college would be easy.

Imagine telling your boss, “Oh, that assignment you gave me, I simply forgot about it and didn’t do it; or do I get extra credit for doing my job?” Sounds ridiculous, but students do this all the time. Remember, in the end your credibility (reputation) will almost always earn you one letter grade higher than you deserve. Just think about it, have you ever received a grade higher than you thought you actually earned? Now ask yourself, what did that professor think of you? More than likely, it was positive. This is not rocket science; anybody can apply this strategy. I’m appealing to your common sense here.

The fact of the matter is, whether you treat school like a business or not, your professors will. We’re trying to prepare professionals for the workforce, and the first step is to treat you like you’re already a professional.

This particular concept should be common place. No one, including professors, should have to ask students to act like professionals. As a college student, your integrity and character shouldn’t allow you to act in any other way. I tell my students all the time that your character is who you are when nobody’s looking.

Yes, you pay your money, so you have the right to treat school any way you wish. But when was the last time you bought something from Walmart and the employees got a chance to evaluate you afterwards? Given this fact, when was the last time employees rated you poorly, didn’t give you what you paid for, and then asked you to come back tomorrow and pay for it all over again? Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? But isn’t that the way the college business is run? You pay your money, most of the time you don’t get what you paid for, you get treated like crap, you’re offered no guarantees, and even if you don’t like it, you have to come back tomorrow, next week, or maybe next year and pay even more for it. What a business!

The key to using this strategy is professionalism. Always pretend you’re an up and coming executive at a Fortune 500 company. Do things with style, class, and professionalism. Make yourself standout among your peers by going the “extra mile.” No one has ever gotten lost going the extra mile. And you might as well get use to it now because that’s what’s expected of you in the “real world.” School isn’t any different. If you show your professor you deserve a raise (i.e., higher grade), believe me, you will get it.

Look forward to much more information on this topic from RealWorld University. We’ll be bringing you information, ideas, and strategies from some of the world’s leading experts and authorities in this area and many others. We believe that experience may be a good teacher, but other people’s experience is a better teacher. Our motto at RWU is, “The key to wisdom is knowing where to look for the answers.” Thanks for dropping by RealWorld University, and remember to live purposefully.

  • Share/Save/Bookmark