Exit interviews are mandatory during college. You will be asked questions about your dreams and plans after college. It also works like a mock job interview.
Fortunately, the interviewer on my exit interview was the one who also interviewed me during admission. I know he did not expect my answers but he gave me the biggest smile afterwards. I knew then that I aced that mock interview.
So here is what happened,
I was handed sheets of questionnaire and a number. I wanted to finish first so I volunteered. I was asked to introduce myself, as usual, and was asked questions about my strengths and weaknesses. But nothing is really unusual until he asked me about my plans after college. I know he was expecting me to say
“After college, I will look for a stable job. Maybe work for a big corporation” and so on.
But that was not the answer I gave him.
This is what I told him:
“After college, I don’t know. I don’t know if I will be working for a big corporation, or for an accounting firm. I haven’t decided yet. I am lazy and I don’t like working for others. You know I almost flunk on half of my subjects and I guarantee you that I will never be the best employee. Yeah, maybe, I will work for some time, but I am not planning to work forever. It’s my dream to be the boss of my own. So, let’s see what the tide will bring.”
I knew that he was shocked about my honesty and he asked me,
“Let’s say I am the owner of a company you are applying with, Now tell me, why will I hire you?”
I know it’s not always advisable to be honest all the time but since I don’t want to fake my views, I told him anyways.
“If you were the owner, I think you will see no reason not to hire me. You know, just like you, I want to have my own company as well and I think it’s safe to assume that we are in the same boat. We think alike. And I do think there’s already the connection”
That ended the mock interview. Got an A on that.
I already knew back then that I am not the typical teenager who dreams of working for a big company.
As early as 15, I have already read the book The Millionaire Next Door. It was just one of those books that I read cover to cover. I know 15 is a bit late, I could have read that when I was just 10 or something. But yeah. I remember once on my grade school year when my teacher asked me what do I want to be when I grow old, so I stood up and told her with my head held high, “I want to be as rich as Bill Gates… Nope, double that.”
My classmates, even my teacher laughed as if they have heard a joke. So I grinned and told them, “I was not bluffing.” And during college, we were all asked how do we see ourselves in the next 10 years. I was 8th to the last to answer,
“Well, I know this is ambitious but I want to become like Warren Buffet. You know how’s he like? He lives in a humble house, he owns a minivan but he is damn rich that he can buy the Philippines with his net worth” (He was the richest man during that year and of course I was just exaggerating about buying the Philippines stuff… but I don’t know, maybe he really can with his wealth). I was the youngest in the class. And I was a cross enrollee.
Who doesn’t want to get rich? I bet every one of us does dream of living a life of comfort. But there is always the difference and it starts with the following questions:
1. How much do you want to achieve that dream
2. What are you going to do to achieve that
As for my part, I really want to turn that dream into reality so bad. I just regret that I started realizing that dream when I was 10. Thanks to all the parents who teach their kids to dream of becoming a doctor, an accountant, a lawyer, a teacher, instead of teaching them to aspire something bigger. Even I was a victim of it. I stepped into the stage during my kindergarten years telling everyone that I wanted to become a doctor someday, even if I don’t know what the doctors really do. (no offense to all the professionals, it’s my point of view and I am not degrading your profession.) I don’t see wrong in aspiring to become a professional, I just don’t like the fact that at an early age, children are taught to dream of becoming employees.
I am an employee. But I am not planning to stay an employee forever. For me, this is just the first step. Of course, I will need a source of income and I am just starting. I need to be exposed in the work field. If I am a boss, I will not be the one who will be sitting idly on my office. I want to learn at least the basics of everything. I want to be a piece of everything. I am an employee but you know, it’s latent but I am already studying the intricacies of business. I know it’s not easy to have your own, that’s why I am trying to learn everything while I am still incapable of building my own.
It’s okay to dream big but It’s not okay to JUST dream. You’ve got to do something to make it real. Be ambitious but make sure that you’re guided by SMART goals.
and most importantly, start while you’re still young. 🙂