Top Ten Reasons That Real World Studies is Necessary:
1. Because the shock to college graduates upon finding out in the workplace that their core values are contradicted and even punished is a destructive and rather unnecessary trauma.
2. Because students need to know that the workplace is not a meritocracy before they enter it.
3. Because students need to understand how relationships actually control one’s fate in the workplace.
4. Because students need to understand the guerrilla warfare of competition in the workplace before they are actively engaged in it.
5. Because students need to think about the amoral nature of “business decisions” before they are asked to make them on behalf of their employers.
6. Because students need time to think about how they will deal with the loss of personal control that will come with corporate life.
7. Because understanding the real world workplace, in advance, gives graduates the power to make informed choices.
8. Because people who are desperately unhappy at work are extremely likely to be unhappy in general.
9. Because the chronic stress of the workplace actually kills people.
10. Because students need to critically scrutinize the workplace and its dysfunction in college so that they can resolve, from the very beginning, to change it.
Welcome to The Real World Studies™ Global Initiative!
The Real World Studies™ Concept
Every year, a new class of college graduates struggles to make the transition from the academic environment, which rewards merit and nurtures their idealism, to the purely pragmatic and deeply dysfunctional corporate workplace in which politics often determine one’s fate. This transition is so traumatic to most recent graduates that it typically results in intense stress, anxiety, confusion, loss of confidence, and depression. Most who remain in this environment will be exposed to long‐term, chronic stress – and that chronic, long‐term stress will make them ill (mentally and physically), diminish their ability to be good spouses and parents, and make them considerably more likely to fail in the workplace – the same workplace that is, ironically, the very cause of their maladies. It is currently estimated that 90% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress‐related illnesses, and research indicates that the workplace is, far and away, the most significant cause of this stress and anxiety.
Some of the trauma that recent graduates experience is associated with the utter shock of learning the daunting realities of the real world workplace upon entering it. They would be better served by having the opportunity to critically consider the real world workplace before they enter it and are forced to use all of their faculties and energy simply surviving it.
Stephen Blair Venable, J.D. introduced the concept of “Real World Studies” in his pioneering book, The Commencement Odyssey: Why We All Have a Stake in Transforming the Real World Workplace. He effectively makes the case that every post‐secondary education should include mandatory coursework in Real World Studies.
The Real World Studies Global Initiative
Our mission is to advocate for the development and inclusion of a curriculum in Real World Studies as a part of every post‐secondary education across the developed world. It will result in considerably happier, healthier, and more productive citizens, and it will give students the insight that they will need to effectively demand and orchestrate a transformation of the corporate workplace – a transformation that will simultaneously make business organizations considerably more efficient and profitable. We developed the Real World Studies Global Initiative to articulate the goal, provide the context, and facilitate the success of our advocacy work.
The Real World Studies™ Program
The Real World Studies Program consists of our own lectures, seminars, coursework, and other products and services that we offer to institutions of higher learning and their students.
Some of our topics are as follows:
1. Making the Transition from Academia to the Real World
2. What is Merit (in College and in the Workplace), and Why Does It Matter?
3. Is There a Place for Idealism in Business and the Workplace?
4. How Competition Among Students Differs from Competition Among Workplace Peers.
5. Resolving the Guerilla Warfare Among Workplace Peers – Peers Who Happen to Be Your Teammates.
6. Darwin and the Workplace ‐ Are Those Who Survive (and Thrive) in the Workplace the Fittest?
7. Managing Issues of Control in the Corporate Workplace
8. Is the Workplace a Reasonable Place to Search for Meaning?
9. A Liberal Arts Orientation in Technology‐Driven World
10. The Enduring Value of the Liberal Arts
11. Should Business Decisions Be Ethical – or Just Effective?
12. How Post‐Secondary Education Must Change for the Benefit of Students, Families, and Business
13. Workplace Stress and Human Health
14. Minorities, Demography, Social Mobility, and the American Pie
15. The Qualitative Orientation and Leadership
16. Do you really have a Calling?
17. Structural Impediments to Productivity: The Physics of Value Creation
18. Why We Need More Female Leaders
19. Are Leaders Born or Made?
20. Making the Real World a Sensible, Fair, and Humane World