I would like to preface this little review by saying that, despite the title of this book, I am not a C student. I am, in fact, an A student (at least on a good day), and so I wasn’t sure how useful some of the advice in this book would be. However, I firmly believed that it was a good idea to know what strategies these C students were using to get ahead of me – so I can crush them at that as well!
Just kidding. Mostly.
As for the advice of the book itself, a lot of it is rather common sense (although perhaps that’s just my “A student” mentality speaking, and many “C students” don’t realize this stuff). Common advice in the book includes taking over jobs that no one else wants, going for the challenging risk when others hang back, not being afraid to throw yourself into new experiences, and making sure to learn some new skill at every job.
Bliwas takes a lighter hand with attacking A students, but he does state that many of them, thanks to the connections of success or money, don’t bother with many of these tidbits of advice. However, many of these suggestions sounded familiar. Why is that…
…oh yes, because they’re also in every other management and career advice book I’ve read.
For a student who didn’t score the highest grades and is struggling to find a way to connect or succeed in a job, the tips and suggestions given in “The C Student’s Guide to Success” are good. But don’t let that student believe that they’ve found some hidden secret, some inside track.
Everyone out there is going for these same moves – and that includes many A students. Sure, some of them believe that connections and grades will get them all the way, but most A students tend to be overachievers – and that comes to their devotion to a job as well as their devotion to studying classroom material. Those A students were willing to take on the workload of extra credit in their classes, and they’re just as willing to take on the workload of a challenging project or long hours in a career. Even here, I suspect that many C students will find themselves outflanked.
Overall, Bliwas wrote a decent book. My two big complaints, in the end, are as such:
1. Bliwas has several “rags to riches” success stories of various friends and business contacts. These are good stories, and reflect a wide range of viewpoints – but the author always has to use the person’s full name every time they’re referenced! For some reason, this strikes me as shoddy writing (by 100 pages in, we should remember someone named “Art Frigo”!). It gets annoying and distracts from the message of the book.
2. As you can see above, the cover of this book features the title, “The C Student’s Guide to Success,” in very big, easy to read letters. While this is great for advertising the book, it does make me feel a bit uncomfortable about carrying the book around. “Look at me, I have bad grades!” it shouts out to passerby.
Time to read: 10 hours. This was a “bedside read” that I struggled to get through, mainly due to the author’s habit of consistently referencing the same individuals over and over, always by their full names, giving me deja vu and making me think I’d already read that section.