Are College Graduates Ready for Their Careers?

The question, “Are college graduates ready for their careers?” is a bit misplaced. The answer is, “No,” but the reason or blame isn’t what you might believe. In the report, How well is higher education preparing their graduates?, 89% of employers did not think college gradutaes were prepared for their career. Conversely, 92% of college and university Chief Academic Officers believed higher education did a great job preparing graduates for their careers. So what is the truth?

The truth is:

  • College courses provide a foundation of what students need to be successful. However, that foundation is only a small fraction of the experiences employers are looking for when they evaluate college graduates.
  • Employers respect grades but they are more interested in the experiences of the students over 4 years that demonstrate their grit, determination, abilities, and capacity to grow. Every college provides for these opportunities but does not require them.
  • Graduates who engaged in a variety of activities that demonstrate professional development, leadership, communication, organization, and other career skills are what employers are looking for.

Bottom line: College students need to spend most of their time in a variety of experiences that build career readiness. If you want to learn more about these experiences, purchase my book Unlocking the Code to College Success

Steven J. Harvey, Ph.D.

CEO, My Campus Max ( LLC

Growing Is A Matter of Space and Opportunity

135 Shark In Fish Bowl Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStockIf a shark grows in a fishbowl, it may grow 8 inches. If a shark grows in the ocean, it can grow over 8 feet. I didn’t create that explanation but it really hits home for student success.

This example demonstrates how environment can limit your growth. Conversely, it also demonstrates have a less restrictive environment, where you can “spread your wings” by making innovative choices, can greatly improve your personal and professional development.

That Viral Video Of A Huge Great White Shark Has Spurred Quite A  Conversation -

Pick a college where there are plenty of opportunities outside of class to grow and then, put yourself in those environments.  It might be a club, team, honor fraternity or sorority, entrepreneurship competition, volunteering or a number of other choices. Whatever you choose, choose the least restrictive environment and then take risks and grow.

Steven J. Harvey, Ph.D.

CEO, My Campus Max ( LLC

Why is it called: “My College Max”?

I developed for two primary reasons: 1) its everything you need to be successful in college and in your future career all in one, easy to use dashboard; and 2) the “My” in MyCollegeMax is hugely important for everyone to accept and drive your motivation.

No one should force or coerce you into a career path. This is your life, future, and happiness and your decision alone to make. Yes, we should listen to those around us and do our research, hence, but the final decision is yours alone.

Do your research, embrace your future with passion and a sense of purpose, and don’t let anyone tell you differently. Doing so is your first and perhaps most important step toward success.

BEST of luck on YOUR decision!

Steven J. Harvey, Ph.D.

CEO, My Campus Max ( LLC


How to Find Time in Your Day!

The following strategies are ways to find the time to achieve your educational goals and yes, find more time to be with your family and friends.  They may be very difficult at first, however, the reward is worth it.

  1. Cut the cable. Television is an incredible waste of time with little emotional return.  Cut your cable and stop watching television.
  2. Perhaps worse than cable, social media is one of the biggest wastes of time in modern society. For far too many, it is an extremely bad addiction. Ask yourself, “What do I get as a result of using social media?”  I personally like connecting to friends and I use it to promote my businesses.  So while I don’t cut it, I certainly have greatly limited my time on various platforms.
  3. Own your mornings! Getting up early is a way to add hours to your day. However, if you get up and spend 2 hours on Facebook, it defeats the purpose.  If you get up, spend 30 minutes with coffee and the news, then work out or get ready, that’s a healthy way to start your day.
  4. Work out in the morning! Let’s be honest, this can really suck! However, after about 2 weeks, you will actually look forward to your morning workouts.  After 4 consecutive weeks of  working out in the morning, it will become a very healthy habit!
  5. Limit your alcohol. How can this save you time? Easy, it will provide you with a better night sleep.
  6. Use a calendar to plan your professional and personal life.  If you use a paper calendar, switch it for a calendar you can access on your phone. This way, you can set alarms and notifications as well as set appointments in real time.  For example, instead of taking a card at the doctors and then putting your appointment in later, you just put it in. Saves you a few minutes but those minutes adds up!
  7. Clean your house/apartment before you go to bed.  Saves you time in the morning.
  8. Stop shopping! It takes time to look, purchase items, open packages, get rid of packages, stow away new items, and get rid of other items.  Of course you will need to shop from time to time, but always ask yourself, “Do I really need this?”
  9. Buy paper products and other household items in bulk.  It cuts down on your time shopping, unpackaging, and stowing things away.
  10. Use “to do” lists.  Check them off and keep them reasonable.  They do a great job of keeping you on task.

Bottom line, there are a lot of ways to save time and even add hours to your day. When I cut cable and started working out in the morning, I added about 6 hours to my day.  How? I didn’t watch TV in the morning and evening (~3 hours) and by working out in the morning, I cut my showers per day to one, I spent less time at the gym with less competition for equipment, and I was ready for my day before most people woke up.  It was a bear to do both but after about a month, it was second nature.  Give some or all of these a try and you will find the time to ace your classes and do more fun stuff with family and friends!

Steven J. Harvey, Ph.D.

CEO, My Campus Max ( LLC

If you want to soar like and eagle…….

I had the pleasure of seeing a fellow entrepreneur last night. He and I discussed a lot of ideas and the possibilities of our businesses. The thing that stuck out to me was his quote, “Either you win or learn but you never lose” (author unknown).  As he said that, and thoroughly enjoying our conversation, I thought of another quote my father, a fellow entrepreneur said to me, “If you want to soar like an eagle, you can’t run with turkeys.”

Both of these quotes offer powerful messages that we can all learn from.

  1. Failure is just a perspective. As the great Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss every shot you don’t take.”  So go ahead and try. You won’t fail, you’ll just learn.
  2. Surrounding yourself by the kind of people you want to become is no “secret,” its a great strategy. Don’t let anyone bring you down or rain on your dreams. Find people who believe in you, who encourage you, and who will be there whether you win or learn.

Since my conversation last night, I have complete three separate projects on my business. This level of productivity is a direct result of my conversation last night. I’m glad I surrounded myself by someone who believed in me.

Steven J. Harvey, Ph.D.

CEO, My Campus Max ( LLC

What’s the BEST Major?

“What’s the best college major?” The answer is, “The one you will love!”  That’s not to sound Pollyanna, rather it recognizes the #1 predictor of future career success….job satisfaction.  Below are the top majors for jobs:

1. What degree has the most job opportunities? (Forbes)

There’s no better way to answer this question than to list the top 10 college majors by the percentage of graduates who received at least one job offer while still in school:

  • Computer Science: 68.7%
  • Economics: 61.5%
  • Accounting: 61.2%
  • Engineering: 59%
  • Business Administration: 54.3%
  • Sociology/Social Work: 42.5%
  • Mathematics/Statistics: 40.3%
  • Psychology: 39.2%
  • History/Political Science: 38.9%
  • Healthcare: 37.8%

Yes, graduates in these majors receive a lot of attention from employers. However, if you want to ensure your success after college, the key is not the major, it’s what you do outside of the major, including but not limited to:

  • Internships
  • Volunteering
  • Part-time Jobs
  • Professional Associations
  • Research Projects (that you volunteer for, not ones that are assigned in class)
  • Service Learning
  • Community Projects (raising money for a non-profit)
  • Student Clubs
  • Leadership Positions

There are over 150 things students can do to build their resume, many of which cost very little and take very little time.  If you don’t know what those are, register with career services or connect with a MyCollegeMax Coach! In the end, most employers will agree, it’s not the college you attend, it’s the major; and it’s not the major, it’s everything you do outside of the major that matters most!

Steven J. Harvey, Ph.D.

CEO, My Campus Max ( LLC

Plan to Succeed

How do you plan to succeed when you have never done it before and you are entering an uncertain experience? Well there are many ways to do that but the best way is to be purposeful. College success is no accident.  Students who graduate in 4 years, which is less than 40%, do so because they ask questions, they look for guidance, they go beyond their comfort zones, and they put in 100% effort.

For students who are not sure and for parents like me who have been out of college for 20+ years, college is very different. The Return on Investment is lower for students who do exactly what they are asked to do. This means, beyond course work and required internships, students need to do so much more. There are many ways to determine what are the best activities to participate in during college. Her are a few recommendations:

  • As a freshmen, meet with each of your professors in the first two weeks of each semester. Instead of asking, “How do I get an ‘A'” ask, “How can I learn the most in this class?”
  • As a freshmen, go to Career Services and register. Then set an appointment with a career counselor and take their advice on things you should do.
  • Get a college coach like who will help you to make smart decisions with the greatest return on your investment, time, energy, and resources.

Be proactive, focus on asking questions, and go above and beyond.  It will have a huge impact on your success, during college, in the job market, and as you apply to graduate or professional schools.

Best of luck!

Steven J. Harvey, Ph.D. 

CEO | College Coaching |  Credentials/Resume

Finding Your Purpose Requires Finding the Right College Major First

There are a lot of books written on finding your purpose in life.  The one thing they all have in common is that when you do find your purpose, your life will be awesome!  So how do you do it if you have no idea?  It all starts with understanding who you are and what about you, influences your happiness. When assessing high school students to develop a profile that they use to choose a major, MyCollegeMax looks at five variables: Values, Desired Work Environment, Interests, Learning Styles, and Personality Traits.

  • Values: The most important part of being happy with life is your ability to prioritize your values.  While many students know what they value, it’s the specific values that link to jobs that are important to identify and prioritize.
  • Desired Work Environment (DWE): Every job has an element of DWE variables called work temperaments.  For example, every job has a “people” component.  You either work with people 100% of the time, 0% of the time, or between 0% and 100% of the time.  When you combine the 13 work temperaments you have your “ideal work environment.”
  • Interests: Interests help come up with a list of job possibilities.  But without the other four variables, interests are not very useful in determining the best career path.
  • Learning Styles (LS): Learning styles help students understand how they approach learning. Every job involves learning to prepare and learning to stay up-to-date in your field.  That’s why learning styles are so important!  In today’s job market, we are ALL life-long learners.
  • Personality Styles (PS): Personality styles help students understand preferences.  For example, if a student is extroverted versus introverted, they would prefer a job that involved working with people or which has a strong team environment.  It does not mean a person cannot work alone.  It just means they “prefer” working with people more often than not.

The goal of having high school students assessing their values, DWE, Interests, LS, and PS is so they select the BEST college major for them. The long-term benefits in doing so are HUGE!  If you want to learn more, you can email me at

Steven J. Harvey, Ph.D. 

CEO,  |  Credentials/Resume

Engaging in the Present, Prepares You for the Future

On of the most important things you can do as a young person is volunteer with an organization you believe in.  What are the benefits?

  • It’s a “feel good” activity where you expand your horizons,
  • you meet others who share your values and outlooks,
  • you meet professionals and community leaders because they volunteer in high numbers,
  • you develop skills that are valuable regardless of your career, and
  • you demonstrate character to future employers, a value they rate very high in job candidates.

So if you are home and not quite ready to go out and volunteer due to classes or social isolation, then begin your research to identify nonprofit agencies you would like to help. Reach out to them and develop a plan of action.  You will benefit in so many more ways than are listed above!

Steven J. Harvey, Ph.D. 

CEO,  |  CEO,

Ready Or Not…..How To Maximizing Online Learning!

Whether we want it or not, many of our K-12 and college students are now working online to complete their semester or year.  So I thought I would provide some tips on maximizing your online experience, including:

  1. it’s not easier and in fact, will take as much time as a classroom-based class;
  2. find a dedicated space where you can do your work;
  3. learn what the objectives are for each online lesson and/or class;
  4. time management is HUGE; you are not going to complete an online course at the last minute;
  5. you have to be disciplined and should set time aside each day to do your work;
  6. you should try to connect with your teacher or professor regularly;
  7. don’t bite off more than you can chew….break lessons down into their more doable parts;
  8. engage in every opportunity to participate in online chats and teamwork;
  9. stay motivated which may be hard at times;
  10. set goals to accomplish each day, week, and month; and
  11. be flexible and know that life will get in the way occasionally.

For most students, online learning is a major adjustment. Combine that with what is happening in our world, nation, and communities, and you likely have stressed out kids.  Encourage them to be consistent; designate time to learn, work, and complete projects; and work toward daily, weekly, and monthly goals. We not doubt will all get through this.  In the meantime, lets stick together and persevere; which is what our nation does best!

Steven J. Harvey, Ph.D. 

CEO,  |  CEO,