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Motivational speaker spreads ‘real world’ advice to college grads

Hoan Do
Hoan Do's book, 'Succeeding in the Real World: What School Won't Teach You.'
— image credit: Courtesy photo

They're questions that many graduates are asking themselves: Did I really learn anything at college, and how do I find a job?

Jobs for grads are especially tough right now, as recent students compete with job market veterans.

Hoan Do, a 2003 graduate of Decatur High School, has some advice for those students in the form of his new book, "Succeeding in the Real World: What School WON'T Teach You."

Do, who graduated from college in 2007, is currently a motivational speaker for Tony Robbins, who in turn is a nationally-known motivational speaker.

Do's turning point came when he was sitting in his business calculus class at Pepperdine University learning, or attempting to learn, about derivatives. He wondered how this would help him in the real world.

Then, Do met a couple of mentors who were in their 20s and 30s but already successful. Through them, he realized that age wasn't really a factor for success. He began attending conventions and speaking engagements with men twice his age. It was through these connections that he met Robbins — and learned lessons that school couldn't teach him.

Do learned that he could learn more outside of books.

So Do decided to write his own book about how he found himself a niche in the "real world" right after college, and the methods he used that he didn't learn in school.

It took him a year and a half to write the book, which he admitted was very difficult.

"Writing was my kryptonite," he said. "But I see the value in this message."

And now, Do has moved on to the next step: Getting the word out about his book in time for its launch.

Do will be presenting his book and speaking at Kane Hall at the University of Washington on at 6 p.m. June 4. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door for students, or $30 in advance and $35 at the door for everyone else. The tickets include a copy of the book and light refreshments.

Do also warns that this isn't a typical lecture. There will be a DJ at the event, and participants can interact in many ways, including text messaging in their questions.

"It will end with a party," Do added. "It's entertaining while educating."

Do stresses that what he teaches is more real life than anything you can get in school.

"In the real world, you don't have a course syllabus to follow," Do said. "A resume is great, but it doesn't get you the interview. (People) think ‘I have a degree, I'm good.’ Not true. I am young, but I have this experience."

Do said that right now, it is even more critical for those who are preparing or have recently graduated to change how they go about getting the few jobs that exist.

"Kids are freaked out," he said. "People are worried about the economy, worried about life, worried about not finding a job. It's not a celebration, it's more, ‘oh man.’"

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