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Has anyone read this book? I just finished it and it's got me thinking more about this application season and potential long-term impacts on careers for those that graduate in 2011 compared to 2013, etc. The book dissects the obvious - that those that are 'outliers' are outliers because of a set of random circumstances that put them in the right position to take advantage of opportunities if they have the right personality to do so. This could be being born in a certain year or certain month, graduating at a time during a recession compared to a booming economy, being raised with the cultural backbone of hardwork, and it goes on.
I know a lot of people on this board want to consider themselves to be potential outliers, and I wonder if this horrible recession will either keep us from getting there because of the opportunities that future grads will get in comparison to us - or if those with certain personalities will still continue to become outliers, it will only take longer for them to get there. Again this is all very obvious stuff, but often I wonder if the odds are stacked up against us more so than we think. The last time I graduated was during a recovering recession where jobs were not a plenty either, it makes me wonder.
I just finished this book back in December, and I agree that its a very quick read.
Malcolm Gladwell makes an attempt to understand why certain media moguls, legendary musicians, and tech enterpreneurs end up successful. In that respect, its a good read that talks about things that most people would consider common sense. Things like:
1. Practice, practice, practice - something like it requires 10,000 hours of practice to be successful in your field
2. Effects of Language Differences - I don't remember the exact reason, but something like "asian languages have a more formal numbering system (compared to English), so that's why they are typically better in Math"
3. Luck - Everybody discussed in the book had luck to reach the success they achieved.
Overall, I liked the book, but didn't really walk away with any huge "aha" moments. I think that Gladwell tends to over-simplify things, and I'd like to read more about how he came to his conclusions.
So if you want to apply it to your applications:
keep writing and honing those drafts and realize that each and every one of us will require some form of luck to get the acceptance phone call.