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Van Vugt 1 David Van Vugt December 17, 2013 College Writing The College Question When my father

began to assume control of the greenhouse business that my grandfather started, he was able to use only experience from working there all his life and wisdom imparted from his father. With no more than a high school diploma, my dad pursued his career in business. He loved working in the greenhouse when he was young, and he enjoys managing the operation today. Just as my father sought his fathers advice, I go to Dad for lessons in business. One of the main things he advised was; Go to college. I did not have to, but the world is changing and you should get a higher education to compete in todays business world. I took Dads words to heart, and chose a college where I could earn a business degree. However, when I enrolled at college, and started my classes, I realized that this semester I was not going to learn much regarding business. I knew I had to take general courses, but attending classes which mirrored high school definitely dampened my mood about college. I asked myself a very serious question; with all the things I will learn that do not relate to business compared to the time I will spend here, will college be worth it? If my dad now runs the business without a degree, do I really need a degree? After questioning mentors who have been in the work force for many years, I concluded that yes, for all it entails, college will help me gain my objective of being a better business man. Although my father did not attend college himself, he wholeheartedly believes that I, as well as any other person entering the work force, particularly the greenhouse business, ought to attend college in order to gain a degree in business that will further the expansion of the greenhouse. Dad has been in the work force for about forty years, and his experience has led him

Van Vugt 2 far; however, he does not believe that he could have started running the greenhouse today if he had not gone to college. Due to massive advances in technology, my father says that work has changed dramatically. The simple way work was conducted when he was young has quickly disappeared; today, manual labor and long hours had been replaced with machinery. Although these advancements are beneficial, the knowledge required to maintain such a machine is high enough that the everyday layman would have much more trouble operating it than the college graduate. There are those who feel differently, however. Others in the greenhouse view the work as more hands-on, and not full of the theories and practices learned in college. Steve Mol, another greenhouse worker, has been employed at the greenhouse for about twenty-two years. Although he has witnessed numerous changes, the single biggest change has been the decrease of independent shops, which the greenhouse mainly sells products to, and the increase of chain stores, which the greenhouse attempts to avoid due to lack of demand for a professional product. However, demand for diversified product has led the greenhouse to expand in products, and Steve has been one of the pioneers in developing a diverse portfolio for the greenhouses inventory. Steve never attended college, and he is glad that he did not. He believes that hard work and experience is enough to propel a person to substantial success. Although he thinks that his children, some of whom want to join the greenhouse business, ought to go to college, he still holds the belief that college is not worth what it entails, especially for the greenhouse business. When pressed why, he states that The work we do is such that a college kid is not going to get the experience needed; it takes years of work and diligence in the facility in order to succeed. His words made me think more than twice about my decision. In all the years of my familys greenhouse business (and there have been over 50 years) very few people have earned a college degree; in fact, only the growers, those who ensure that

Van Vugt 3 the product grows and looks presentable, have gone to college none of the owners, shipping handlers, or marketers have gone to college; everything they have done is by experience alone. Since I am currently attending college for business management, I will be the first businessman in the greenhouse to have attended college, and according to advice from my elders, and from observations in the economy, I believe college will be worth my while. Although Steve and my father never went to college and yet are succeeding with the greenhouse business, they both admit that when they entered the work force, times were much different. My fathers peers were not expected to go to college, did not need to go to college, and did not go to college. This is drastically different from today, where the norm is to attend college regardless of state, profession, or goals. However, attending college for business is wise; my degree will equip me to remain competitive. Businessmen are versatile; in order to grow, one must adapt with the times. Competition coerces people of business to strengthen. Versatility cannot only be learned by experience and hard work. Although these two fundamental aspects of a successful career propel one from mediocrity to substantiality, they alone cannot produce new information to the extent of revolution. However, higher education is the zenith where information is not only transmitted, realized, and achieved, but also mined. New information about flexibility, adaptation, and revolution flows into students, which in turn drives the prospective businessman to a depth of quality in which ideas are stimulated, turns into achievements for the greenhouse business. In Richard Sennetts story about Enrico and Rico, the father and son who led completely different lives and yet both wanted the American dream, Rico had the fears that accompanied the work force. In Ricos case, the fear of lacking control is straightforward: it concerns managing time (No Long Term 310). William Paterson University is wonderful for pressing the need to

Van Vugt 4 manage time, and one thing I am sure I will learn is to govern my time properly. Although school is needed for more important things, managing time is an overlooked concept that is vital to running a business. Rico did not realize this, and from learning from mistakes and being educated, I can understand the importance of governing time. My father is still running the greenhouse. Every day he goes to the greenhouse, greets his employees, signs papers, and does the normal routine of a boss. His experience keeps increasing, and he continues to impart his wisdom to me. Whenever I need a question answered, Dad is happy to respond with his years of experience. And yet he still gives me the words that I need to get through college dont give up; dont think that just because I did not go to college means that you should not go. The business world is changing, and changing fast. College will provide you with the skills necessary to compete in todays economy. I still believe and trust my dad. There is no advice like a parents, and heeding their words is wisdom already showcased. The story of my father and me is one of many Americans: a fathers dream and a son willing to fulfill it. This is the same story as Enrico and Rico, the low-to-middle class father and son whose dreams of being true hard-working Americans came to fruition in different ways. However, I do not intend to turn my fathers hard-earned wishes into a short-term mugs game. The benefits of college will help me carry on the greenhouses aspirations. Higher education does not suit everybody, and although I am going to college in order to gain skills in business, it is important to not feel pressured to go to college some jobs simply are not worth the expense and the time. So is college worth it? It depends; follow your parents advice and pursue your ideal job. For the greenhouse business, yes, college is worth it.

Van Vugt 5 Questions for the Interview How long have you been working in the greenhouse? What is the biggest change you have seen since working? Do you think college is necessary for working in the greenhouse? Are you going to send your children to college?

Van Vugt 6 Works Cited Mol, Steven. Personal Interview. 2 October 2013. Sennet, Richard. No Long Term: New Work and the Corrosion of Character. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. Ed. Laurence Behrens and Leonard J. Rosen. Boston: Pearson, 2013. 307-315. Print. Van Vugt, John. Personal Interview. 2 October 2013.