Back to School

Last Thursday the good people at The Business School at Humber hosted a book launch for my book FAST & HOT. In addition to a great spread of tasty snacks, fresh fruit, and citrus-infused water, The Business School provided two hundred plus grad students from their Marketing Management, International Marketing and Global Business Management programs for me to talk to.

There are few things better than a good audience. One of them is a great audience, which is what I was lucky enough to receive. While introducing me, Program Coordinator Tony Gifford encouraged the students to participate by asking questions in the moment rather than waiting to the end. This allowed us a dynamic and organic discussion, something they seemed to enjoy as much as I did.

I think what impressed me the most was the candidness of the questions both during and after. I am used to a professional audience, and in most cases the people I meet are reluctant to admit out loud that they are having trouble finding something they love about their work. At least until later at the bar. The Business School students however were quite open about their hopes and concerns and it was fantastic to be able to listen and respond to them in front of the crowd.

The question most often asked was “How do I find my passion?, followed closely by “What if I don’t know what I am passionate about?”.

It’s an unfortunate reality that our society and institutions ask us to derive our identity from our work rather than allowing our work to reflect our identity. It’s no wonder then that so many people are not finding the love in what they do for a living.

Like the illusion of choice in a supermarket (i.e. who paid to be on the shelf in the first place), most young people are asked to choose their path from a set of predefined directions with standardized approaches and outcomes.

Perhaps it’s the diverse student population. Perhaps it’s the new generation or perhaps Humber’s commitment to sharing the real world with its students is truly paying off. Whichever it is I am pleased to hear young people considering this now before they head out into the fray.