Patrick Combs’ Major in Success proves to be an extraordinarily valuable tool for college students interested in deriving the most from their college experience. The book contains ample advice for facilitating a sometimes confusing time as an undergraduate student while managing to fire up dreams that can translate into amazing post-graduation opportunities, specifically jobs. Combs divides the book into sections, which include the Dream Job and the Action Plan.
Each of these two parts encourages students to pursue a brand of success that will provide personal satisfaction and happiness by providing useful tips for getting the most out of their time in school. In the very beginning of the book, the author stresses the importance of having extraordinary drive. It becomes obvious that intelligence and family background are not enough to push somebody past mediocrity. This is an often overlooked but nonetheless enlightening truth. Students need to discover their passions because “doing what [they] enjoy propels [them] to success” (4).
By figuring out what truly interests a student, they are then able to pinpoint their aspirations and discover career paths related to a particular interest. Combs offers unexpectedly simple methods of identifying where an individual’s passions lie. These include determining a passion based on a favorite magazine or by simply writing down personal sources of inspiration on a regular basis. He extends guidance and comfort to those with many talents, those whose passions continuously change, and those who may be unsure as to what exactly interests them.
One of the most interesting chapters of the book was that which focused on selecting a college major. Combs insists that choosing a major is not a major life choice because many people end up in jobs unrelated to their college major. This is a reassuring truth for the many students who stress about their choice of area of study. Employers are more interested in a skillset which includes the ability to write well, meet deadlines, and work in teams.
For this reason, it is essential that students study what interests them so that their time in college may culminate in a career that they absolutely love. Whatever a person’s passion is can translate into a job as long as the person is able to be creative. The author reiterates how necessary it is to enjoy oneself as much as possible and it is painfully clear why this constant reminder is necessary. Many students succumb to pressure from family and peers to settle for stability rather than following their personal dreams.
There are quotes throughout the book from many influential and popular figures like Howard Stern, Oprah Winfrey, Marilyn Monroe, and Jim Carrey that champion being an individual who is fearless about following a passion. By including stories and quotations from familiar figures, Combs makes achieving a dream seem feasible to college students who are aware that it is often much easier to succumb to fears. By outlining six common fears, the author identifies why some people may be preventing themselves from reaching their full potential.
Action is essential to combating fear and becoming successful. Specific actions are provided in the book to beat major fears. The author realizes how easy it is to allow a fear of failure as defined by a 3. 0 GPA hold someone back from following their dream. For this reason, the value of experiences such as internships and study abroad over grades is extraordinarily essential to developing someone’s sense of self-worth. Experiences provide memories which last forever, but not many people tell stories about their GPAs after graduation.
Opportunities like study abroad and internships permit students to develop their passions and become immersed in them. These types of experiences reinforce the fact that “every dream is worthy” (37). Another very useful section of Major in Success recommends concrete tips on how to obtain a dream job. The author explains the process of informational interviewing, how to properly research any given profession, and offers suggestions for contacting influential persons in any given field.
Combs introduces a surprising way of acing an interview when he suggests “gathering, creating, and saving items that show and tell others about your interests and accomplishments and by using these to enhance your interviews” (103). Not only is a collection of items related to a personal passion impressive to an employer, it aids an individual in developing their interests. The importance of maintaining active memberships in professional associations is also introduced in this section of the book. All of the strategies examined by Combs for realizing a dream and making oney out of it can be exceptionally advantageous to college students who may be unsure about how to directly connect their time in school to their future. Major in Success provides tangible tactics for making college easier, stimulating dreams, and eventually securing a terrific job that aligns with those dreams. Combs offers a myriad of smart and inspiring ideas to ensure that students excel at a time when careers, success, future, and happiness are at stake. This book managed to answer every imaginable question about how to succeed in college.