To illustrate the importance of setting goals, an interesting study was conducted at Harvard University among graduates.
According to the result:
8 % of students had no specific career goals
13 % had rather vague objectives (not expressly formulated in writing)
· 3% on the other hand had clear, precise, written objectives and an action plan to achieve these objectives
10 years later, a second study was conducted with these now ex-Harvard students:
The 13 % who had vague goals earned on average 2 times more than the 84% who had no goals at all
But the 3% who had specific goals earned much more than the 97% combined
Most of those in the 3% had created their own companies, the 13% were often the CEOs of companies not owned by them and the remaining 84% were more senior managers.
This shows us the importance of setting goals for your career and life in general, even before you graduate.
I would have liked to have had access to the results of this study when I was still a student.
A former student of the preparatory classes for the major engineering schools (Maths Sup, Maths Spé), then an engineering student at the ENSIIE in Paris, I was rocked by the speeches we were given. It was speeches like:
“You are the elite of the nation”
“Your professional future is assured”
“Companies will be scrambling to hire you as soon as you graduate, and sometimes even before”
“Each new graduate from a major engineering school receives an average of X number of job offers”
“The average salary of a beginner computer engineer is 180,000 Frs annually (about 27,480 euros)”
I was also in a very buoyant course: computer engineer (generalist).
No one taught me then the importance of setting goals.
I just told myself that a brilliant career was open before me, I thought that the greatest efforts were those I made in school.
I had not heard of concepts such as emotional intelligence.
After graduating in 1991, I had to deal with a shrinking job market. There was a mini employment crisis at the time.
My professional integration was not so easy, but after about 3 months, I still landed a super interesting job, in an IT services company specializing in the analysis and analysis of market studies.
It was very exciting work, very varied because market research covered areas as diverse as political polls, consumer habits, measuring customer satisfaction at car dealerships.
It must be said that I came to computer science by chance, having above all developed a real passion for mathematics. I chose the profession of computer engineer by passion for mathematics. I said to myself that this is where the use of mathematics was the most advanced.
I had done study internships at the end of each year (the first in a service company specializing in the customization of management software packages, the second in the field of manufacturing, which I did not really like, the third to the research and innovation department of a major French bank at the time, the CCF, to create a model for forecasting international stock market indices based on certain macroeconomic variables and the history of same indices).
All this to show the vast scope in which a computer engineer can operate: an IT services company, a manufacturing company, a bank and many others that I have not experienced myself.
There are many other details of my professional experience which will be very useful for your own integration into professional life.
I’ll share them with you as I go along, because there’s a lot to tell.