Do You Think Your Academic Record Has Made a Difference in Your Career? 

Week of March 12, 2003

Paula Clare
Turning Point Weight-Loss Center
"My academic record is not that great. I think I would've had better opportunities open to me earlier in life had it been better. I never got to college because I hated school so much. Because of that, whenever I applied for any position I always offered to start at the bottom and work my way up, which has given me a ton of experience, but it was probably the hard way to go."

Dr. Stephen C. Thaman
Professor, St. Louis University School of Law
"Not in getting this job and not in getting work as a public defender, the only two real jobs I've had. I had a good grade-point average as an undergrad and as a graduate student. That got me into a good law school, although we had a pass-fail system there and I didn't really stand out. Funny, when I applied to be a professor here, at age 49, and they asked me what my grade-point in law school was and I didn't know."

Mary Johnson
CEO, Mary "One" Johnson Home Team Realty
"Yes and no. You don't have to be an A-plus student and genius to succeed in life -- that's not reality. What you have to do is have an A-plus desire to succeed in life, and with that desire you'll master everything you need to achieve that success -- which, by the way, isn't measured in dollars."

Cassi Ballesteros
Stylist, Great Clips
"No, a 3.8 in college didn't make any difference at all. It might come in handy to not be a complete dimwit behind the chair -- some clients are surprised when I use words with more than three syllables and know what they mean. But really, all I have to know is how to cut hair."

Oran "Alligator Man" Moore
Cajun/Zydeco DJ
"Nah, my grades didn't do no good. I only got to eighth grade, and I missed a lot of school 'cause I had to stay home to take care of my brothers and sisters. I been on my own since I was seventeen and been all over the world. What helps most is bein' able to talk to people, not book learning. One guy I came up with, he went to college to become a teacher. You know what's he's doin' today? He's plantin' rice in Louisiana."

Elani Myers
Palm-Reader/Puppeteer
"There's a commercial that says, 'I'm not my GPA,' and I had to laugh because when I was in high school, all I cared about was my GPA. Once I got to college, I'm, like, 'What does this all mean?' I made more things happen by having a strong work ethic and being open to whatever duties my jobs might've entailed. And I've always had cool jobs. My whole family's like that: We're always kind of working a deal and don't even realize it."

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