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Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Value of Experience versus Education - 1 of 10 Einstein life hacks

Information vs Knowledge  
© Gaping­void LLC

The Value of Experience versus Education was actually a paper that I wrote first semester of my freshman year at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma in my English class.  My teacher was Ruth Givens. 

I was so convincing (to myself and later to my parents), that I ended up leaving ORU without a degree and headed home to get down to business and get a job.

As shown in this great graphic on knowledge vs experience, the really important thing is that experience helps you "connect the dots".

Einstein said "“Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience.” 

My life and my career validate this premise.  Of course, if I had wanted to be a Chemist, I would have had to get a degree in Chemistry (perish the thought!).  If I had wanted to teach, I would have needed a degree in Education.  Some professions simply require that piece of paper.

What I learned was that in the business world, the piece of paper was just a "tick box" on an application.   And since 1975 when I left ORU, I only filled out one application in my entire career.

At the time I left ORU, I wanted to work in accounting (what was I thinking?).  I went back to Milwaukee and landed at Miller Brewing Company.  Although I doubt that Oral Roberts would have approved of the beer served on tap in the break room (really!), it was a great place to get my feet wet, learning how to connect the dots between accounts receivable, accounts payable and the tax departments.  Later I moved into manpower planning and IT and met my very first mainframe.  Since I had to do keypunching to get information into or out of it, I can't say that we were very good friends.

Each step that I took in my career provided the pieces and parts necessary for the next job offer.  I moved from Miller to a food brokerage company, then to a travel agency.  That was my start in the travel industry, where I have remained until today.

Tomorrow we will talk about curiosity, Einstein's next life hack.
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