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By: Tori Kuhr

Ben Carpenter created “The Bigs” project for students who want to take control over their happiness, career and destiny.

Carpenter gave a presentation with a question and answer session in Hudson Auditorium on Sept. 5 to a room full of students ranging from freshmen to seniors. All seats were full; additional students stood against the side walls; three rows of students stood in the back of the auditorium.

Carpenter first wrote down a list of 21 things he thought his daughter should know before heading into the real world with a real job. He then realized there was more to tell, which turned into his book, “The Bigs”, with nine chapters ranging from “Hopes and Dreams” in Chapter 1, to “Exploring and Choosing Careers” in Chapter 6, to “Next Steps” in Chapter 9. The last chapter discusses 15 things a student can do to take advantage of every opportunity offered at college and beyond.  

Carpenter’s background on the back of his book is a “progression from a naive student, to the owner of a wild bar in Manhattan, to the CEO [Chief Executive Officer] of a major investment company, to the worried father of a recent college graduate.”

Everyone listened intensely to the presentation, the questions and answers because they directly applied to some aspect of their life.

Interested in being an entrepreneur? Well, one student asked for advice on starting a business right out of college. Carpenter said he doesn’t recommend it, but rather to first get a position in a business similar to the one the student wanted to create, so he could then learn everything there is to know about it. Some people get lucky and become successful, but a risk is involved.

The presentation and book don’t only focus on choosing the right career and how to figure out what you’re good at, but also on what matters most to you as a person. Carpenter specifically wants students to be successful and happy in every aspect of their lives, from professional to personal. He talked about both in the presentation and explains them further in his books.

A couple of the biggest pieces of advice Carpenter gave were leave a job if you are unhappy and can’t see yourself growing there, and it’s never too early to take control of your future.