Nand Kishor Contributor

Nand Kishor is the Product Manager of House of Bots. After finishing his studies in computer science, he ideated & re-launched Real Estate Business Intelligence Tool, where he created one of the leading Business Intelligence Tool for property price analysis in 2012. He also writes, research and sharing knowledge about Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Data Science, Big Data, Python Language etc... ...

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Nand Kishor is the Product Manager of House of Bots. After finishing his studies in computer science, he ideated & re-launched Real Estate Business Intelligence Tool, where he created one of the leading Business Intelligence Tool for property price analysis in 2012. He also writes, research and sharing knowledge about Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Data Science, Big Data, Python Language etc...

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16 Tips You'll Never Hear In A Graduation Speech, But Should

By Nand Kishor |Email | Jun 15, 2017 | 9954 Views

Graduating from college is like jumping off a plane with no parachute. Nobody teaches you how to fly as you fall.

Most commencement speakers will say: follow your passion! Shoot for the moon! Impossible is nothing! Just do it! And other pieces of advice that could easily pass as brand slogans.

This made me feel lost when I graduated college. It took me years to realize that the real world is not this scary place. It's actually awesome. Today, I work at Google, write for Forbes, and draw cartoons like the 6 year-old that I am deep down. So I want to share 16 specific tips that helped me chase my dreams so you can too.

1) Send This Email To 3 Alumni

Graduation puts you back at the bottom of the totem pole‚?? - ‚??and that's a good thing! It means you're highly mentorable. So reach out to three alumni from your school who inspire you. Find their emails using your school directory or tools like Hunter. Here's an email template to personalize:

Subject: [College name] Alumni Reaching Out

Hi [Alum's Name],

I recently graduated [college name] and admire what you've done as an alumni, especially [say something specific about them].

As someone who loved [college name] and was involved with [say something about your extracurriculars], I was hoping to get your advice as I enter the real world. [bonus: if you're entering their industry, mention that instead of "real world"]

Would you have 10‚??15 minutes to chat? [Mention time limit so they know you'll respect their schedule. End on a question so they know what to respond to.)

- [Your name]

PS [optional: insert something you've already done to help them "I saw that your company is hiring engineers and shared the opportunity with friends" or "I loved your recent blog post and shared with friends" ]

This email is most powerful right after graduation. It's when alumni can step into your shoes and remember how uncertain they were‚?? - ‚??and be more willing to help. I emailed Elon Musk, Ivanka Trump and David Pottruck. I met two of the three (Elon, I'm not offended. You're busy saving humanity. I get it.)

2) Stop Apologizing So Much

I'm embarrassed to say this cartoon is based on a real experience from my first months working at Google. I sent that lengthy email.

Afterwards, my boss took me aside and said: "You sound like you're fresh out of college." To which I replied, "But I am fresh out of college!" And he said: "Right, but that doesn't mean you should sound like it." I'll never forget that. He taught me how to be less apologetic. To remove the word "just" from my vocabulary. And to stop asking for permission. It's easy to be submissive when you don't realize it. Be concise. Be clear. You don't need to be a senior leader to speak like it.

3) Get A Sleeping Mask

People call me a grandpa for wearing one. But screw ‚??em! Sleeping masks block light you didn't realize kept you up and help you get much better rest. I can't live without mine now.

4) Start A "Catch Up Thread" With Friends

The hardest part about graduating is not being around your friends. My buddy Alex had a great solution to this. Months after graduation, he emailed a group of us with five candid updates about his life and asked us to do the same.

This started a thread of 30 heartfelt responses. Of course, this doesn't replace catching up in real life. But it's great for friends who are spread across the world.

5) Create Alumni Email Groups

Use this spreadsheet template to connect alumni from your campus communities (greek life, student government, etc). Email the class above you and keep going until you have a sizable group. You may surprised at what happens next. People meetup and help each other. In one group, my friend Jodi started sending quarterly updates to celebrate everyone's milestones and it really brought people closer together.

6) There's No Perfect Time To Take A Vacation. Do It Anyways.

School makes it deceptively easy to take a break because they schedule it for everyone at the same time. At work, it's much harder. There's always the next launch. The big presentation. The upcoming deadline. Maybe that's why 41% of Americans don't take time off. Work goes on without you. You deserve a break. Take it.

7) Ask Your Professor For 2 Introductions

Professors are your biggest advocates. Yet we forget that after leaving their classrooms. Not to mention, professors know a ton of smart people. If you feel close enough, email your professor to ask for introductions to 1) a recent graduate who works in your industry and 2) an industry expert who is 15‚??20 years older. They'll help you navigate the path you're heading on.

8) Buy Two Dumbbells For Your Bedroom

Exercise increases confidence and decreases stress. Having two dumbbells nearby makes it easier to workout when you're "too busy." For people in long distance relationships, this is also a great way to multitask on calls with your significant other. Um, not that I've done that or anything.

9) Buy That Plane Ticket

It may be for a friends' wedding. A reunion trip. A chance to prank your family. If you question the cost, remember that you can make more money but you can't make more memories.

10) Wear Your College Apparel At Gyms & Airports

You never know when it'll spark a conversation or where it'll lead. It's a way for people to approach you to say they're a fellow alum or know someone who is. This especially works at gyms and airports, where there's new people around and downtime to chat.

11) Be More Than Just Your Job

Fiercely protect your hobbies. Pursue side projects. Take classes. Learning shouldn't end once school does.

12) Keep An Extra Bottle Of Wine Handy

Adulthood means trading frat parties for dinner parties. Don't be the guest who arrives empty handed. Have an extra wine bottle handy so you're not sprinting to the store with your Uber four minutes away.

13) Be Your Friends' #1 Fan

You may know someone like Greg who quits consulting to sing. Or Sarah who becomes an artist. Or Taylor who sells socks. Take it from someone who's been there: it's terrifying. Be there for them. Share their work. Attend their shows. If you feel close enough, give feedback. It doesn't matter if this idea is the idea. But your support can get them there.

14) Dig Deeper When Someone Says They "Got Lucky"

Maybe you're having coffee with your boss. Or an alumni you emailed. They tell you how something amazing happened due to "luck." Newsflash: that's them being humble. Ask for details. Give them permission to brag. That's when you hear the good stuff that'll guide you when you're in a similar spot.

I realized this when I interviewed The Chainsmokers, the Grammy-award winning duo of Alex Pall and Drew Taggart. These guys hustled harder than I ever imagined. When they were staring out, they emailed their songs to bloggers to the point where Gmail locked them out for exceeding daily limits.

15) Your Parents Are Cool. Spend More Time With Them.

Parents are best friends you never knew you had. As a first-generation American, I thought my parents were embarrassing (okay, they still are). But they know me better than I do myself sometimes. If you've felt the same way, try opening up to your parents. Tell them about your love life. Your work life. Chances are, they'll open up too.

16) Stop Trying To Be "The Youngest" To Do Something.

Instead, aim to be the "most different." School trains us to see things on a curve. To compete and compare. In the real world, we're chasing different finish lines. Your twenties are a time to find yourself. You can take risks, fail miserably, and still be okay.

As final word to anyone who is graduating, I'll say: college may have been awesome but the real world is even better. If I can ever be helpful with your journey, feel free to email me at

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Source: Forbes