Customers Rock!

A blog about customers, their experiences, and how businesses can make sure their customer experiences rock!

Timely Advice for Graduates

Posted by Becky Carroll on May 24, 2007

grad.jpgBack in March, I was invited by Drew McLellan to share my advice for how to land your first job.  Although the focus is mainly marketing, much of the advice applies across the board.  In my response I also applied the advice to relationships with customers.  Here is one of my entries, with the customer application included:

2. Be honest at all times.

Story: I was an engineering undergrad and interviewed for a job at HP. I was told the hardest part of the interview would be the technical interview session. With sweaty palms, I entered the conference room and was asked many questions to test my technical abilities and knowledge. There was one question that was especially challenging, and I didn’t know the answer to it. I could have faked something, but I decided to be honest and said, “I don’t know the answer.” The interviewer thanked me and moved on to the next question. “Wait, what was the answer to that question?”, I said. The interviewer answered, “I don’t know, either. I just wanted to see how you would answer.” I got the job (and then worked for HP for nearly 14 years!). Honesty and integrity will serve you well as you put your best foot forward into the job market (and beyond). Go get ‘em!

(Application to customers: Be open, honest, and transparent with customers at all times.  If you truly can’t answer their question, let them know — but then find someone who can.  Customer trust is often shaken by even small mistakes.  Admit them, apologize, and do what’s right for the customer.  Building strong relationships will help your organization grow trust with your customers, but it takes time and planning.  It is worthwhile!)

Drew took all the great advice he received and has turned it into a beautiful, free eBook just in time for college graduation season!  The book is 50 pages long and is so nicely done it would make a fabulous gift (I am giving a copy to my niece who just graduated from University of North Carolina!).

 There are two download options: with or without photos.  I highly recommend the photo version, which is a little over 3MB.  If you prefer, you can download the tiny, text-only eBook, which is 300K.

Again, many, many thanks to Drew for pulling together such a fabulous eBook.  Drew, you are so generous with your time!  Below is the list of contributors.  If you send it on to a grad, let us know how it was received!

College Grad Advice eBook contributors:

Aaron Potts
Andy Brudtkuhl
Andy Nulman
Andy Wibbels
Ann Handley
Ann Michael
Anne Simons
Becky Carroll
Bob Glaza
C.B. Whittemore
Carolyn Manning
Chris Cree
Christine Brown
Darren Barefoot
David Reich
Delaney Kirk
Derek Tutschulte
Designer Mike
Doug Karr
Doug Mitchell
Drew McLellan
Joan Schramm
Kevin Hillstrom
Lewis Green
Liz Strauss
Mario Sundar
Mark Goren
Mark True
Mary Schmidt
Nick Rice
Patrick Schaber
Paul McEnany
Phil Gerbyshak
Roberta Rosenberg
Roger von Oech
Rosa Say
Seth Godin
Sharon Sarmiento
Stephanie Weaver
Steve Miller
Steve Sisler
Terry Starbucker
Toby Bloomberg
Tony D. Clark
Valeria Maltoni

(Photo credit: fozrocket)


10 Responses to “Timely Advice for Graduates”

  1. Doug Karr said

    Thanks for posting the list, it was a fun exercise!

  2. Thanks for taking part in it, Doug! Your section was very, very wise.

    Nice to see you!

  3. Becky:

    Thank you for spreading the word. This is such a great compilation of sage advice. I think it applies across many disciplines, not only a first job.

  4. I agree with you, Valeria, that the suggestions given in the eBook can apply across many areas (customer relationships) as well as many types of industries. The world seems much tougher now than when we first graduated from college. Anything we can do to help these bright minds get plugged in will benefit us all.

  5. Becky, thanks for spreading the word on this fantastic project.

  6. Thanks for being a part of it too, C.B.! You are a fantastic blogger, and your advice is worth reading. 🙂

  7. Thanks for getting the word out to grads…I know my students will benefit from this great resource!

  8. Toby said

    Becky – It was a great project and one that brought a lot of wonderful bloggers together. Thanks for the shout out.

  9. Hi Delaney and Toby,

    Thanks so much to both of you for contributing! It is great to get persepctives from academia, business, and everything in-between.

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