GOOD grades do help students get into a good college and influence their future employers. However, what's most important during the students' school years is that they learn to try their best and be happy with whatever their best might be.
Learning discipline is one of the hardest lessons, which is one reason why students are sent to school for many years. If they have learnt how to "knuckle down" and do their best, then they would be ahead of many people even if their grades were not as good.
Typical advice parents give their children as they ship them off to college is "study hard and get good grades". I simply despise this and my advice is:
GET involved in activities. Being involved in campus activities offers opportunities for leadership and other practical skills (budget management, public relations, marketing, coordination, communication and so on). It also begins the process of networking.
IT has always been difficult for new graduates to get jobs after college because they lack experience. The best way to reduce this obstacle is to get some experience through internships. In my opinion, colleges or universities should be incorporating them into every course.
Parents also need to understand another fact. As don't ensure a successful career. When interviewing for a job, most employers look for "well rounded" qualities.
The employer needs to know that his worker is going to be responsible to get to work on time every day, and that he will be able to get the job done.
Furthermore, he wants an employee who has been exposed to various other cultures and ideas. He needs someone who can work well with others regardless of race, religion or ethnicity.
It is never too late to start. High school students should be hearing the same message.
Good grades aren't enough. Being an excellent athlete isn't enough.
Well rounded and well connected, that is the key.
By R. Murali Rajaratenam, Kuala Lumpur
Source: The New Straits Times Letters to the Editors 13 May 2012