For the Class of 2014: 4 Tips for New Graduates from Richard Branson
The billionaire founder of the Virgin megabrand dropped out of school at the age of 15 after his headmaster told him he could no longer work on his magazine, Student, while a student at the school. But despite his lack of formal education, Branson still feels it is “absolutely crucial to success and to the progress of the world at large.”
Below are the most important tips from his online speech.
Work on What You Love
No matter what field your degree is in, you should do what you love, says Branson.
Everyone should be able to find ways to apply their education to whatever they’re truly passionate about. Branson credits his company’s expansion into a variety of enterprises to his own “insatiable curiosity to enjoy new experiences and pursue fresh challenges.”
When an opportunity presents itself, jump right in.
Branson advises graduates to put their wealth of time and freedom into something they love doing early on. For instance, if you find yourself in an unexciting position at a company and discover an opportunity to move into something more exciting, take it. There’s no reason to feel trapped right out of school. You have an entire lifetime for that.
If Possible, Travel
Just as college isn’t really about what you learn in the classroom, traveling isn’t really about jetting off to an exotic location.
“Take on new experiences and draw upon those when it comes to making the decisions that will shape your future,” Branson says. You may even discover the next big thing while traveling. “If you don’t want to reinvent the wheel, you may find a business that works in another market that could be adapted for your own.”
Never Stop Learning
Every experience is an opportunity to learn — whether through travel, jobs, relationships, or a long line at the grocery store — there’s always something new to take away.
Image: Fast Company