Donald Martin

An expert on higher education in the Midwest, Donald Martin has served as director of admissions at two of his Illinois alma maters — Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and Wheaton College.

Martin came on board at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business in 1993 as director of admissions and financial aid, and was named associate dean in 1998. He now oversees each business school student’s metamorphosis from recruit, to applicant, to first-year student, to campus veteran, to alumnus. Here is his checklist for survival:

1. Determine your priorities and stick to them.
2. Involve yourself in life outside the classroom as well as inside.
3. Focus on friendships and relationships as well as networking for career purposes.
4. Remember that enjoying your job over the long haul is much more satisfying than earning top dollar.
5. Keep in mind that the acquisition and application of knowledge is important, but that people skills are even more important.
6. Allow yourself to get a B, to take a break, to make a mistake, to say, “I’m sorry.”
7. To paraphrase Calvin Coolidge: Education, talent, and genius are helpful, but persistence and determination ultimately make the difference.
8. Learn to be content despite unanswered questions, unsettled situations, unsolved problems, unresolved conflicts and unfinished business.
9. Remember that it’s far easier to do your homework than not to do it.
10. Operate on this principle: “The measure of my character is what I do when no one else is watching.”

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