I graduated from college two years ago, and I’m still waiting to use that one algebraic equation that I learned in math class. 😉 College may have prepared me for a career as a hack mathematician, but I certainly didn’t learn any life skills. For example: how should I invest my hard-earned cash? And how exactly do I do my taxes? And what’s the deal with my credit score? And remind me again: HMO or PPO?

I feel so lost!

But I’m not alone!

It seems everyone around me is just as perplexed. So I  decided to ask some friends around StyleHaul HQ what real-world skills they wish they’d learned while they were still in school.

Here, below, are a few of their responses.

Ariel Kuzon, Senior Campaign Manager

I wish I’d learned how to manage a budget. It wasn’t until my mid-twenties, when I met with a business manager/family friend, that I sorted my finances out. He helped me make a spreadsheet.

I also wish I’d learned that bad credit is better than no credit. I didn’t have a credit card when I graduated from college, so I couldn’t lease a car or even rent an apartment!

I wish someone had taught me how to coordinate a conference call with more than two people! My first job required lots of conference calling and I dropped so many calls!

Rachel Chow, Campaign Manager:

Taxes! I used to hand mine off to my accountant mom and she would handle it. Things are different now. Since going out on my own, I’ve had to learn the basics, and since I wasn’t an accounting major, I never had to take any type of financial classes. It would have been super helpful to have had a general class about taxes that explained the basics, since it’s something everyone has to do eventually!

Armando Callanta, Senior Financial Analyst:

Definitely how to NOT procrastinate. In college I would lag on completing large projects or studying for finals, which would ultimately lead to a lot of stress. But if I’d known simple techniques for preventing procrastination, like breaking a large task into smaller ones, or rewarding myself after completing a presentation, I could have avoided a lot of stress.

Nicole Burt, Director, Event Marketing:

I wish I’d learned more about making investments, and specifically, investing in my future. I contribute to my 401K and I have an aggressive plan for someone my age, but I still don’t really understand what I’m investing in and I don’t know that I’m following best practices. Do I buy stock in Apple? Beauty brands? Do I buy a home? I feel like I’m missing something!

Zach Vaga, VP, Financial Operations:

I wish I’d learned how to deal with different personalities. I learned a lot of formulas, geography, and history, but I think learning how to work with, manage, and be managed by different personalities would have been very helpful. We engage with people far more than we solve math problems or write essays, so learning how different personality styles react to different things would have made things much easier for me!

Heather Holland, Senior Network Manager:

One thing that would have helped me prepare for the real world would have been a class on business etiquette. I think it would be beneficial for college freshman to take a quick, mandatory Intro to Business course that might help them prepare to conduct business in the real world, and even with people from different countries and cultures.

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