Five skills from a box of cookies

By Kendall Tich

While sitting on my couch one morning, I glanced over at the box of Girl Scout cookies I had recently purchased.

Written on one side was the Girl Scout Cookie Program which states the five skills that the young girls involved are expected to develop during their cookie sales: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.

As I began eating those Thin Mints, I realized that we could all learn something from this seemingly insignificant box of cookies.

The skills that the young Girl Scouts are aspiring to master are skills that as college students, we should be working toward perfecting.

The first skill that caught my attention was goal setting. At an academically rigorous school like USD, setting goals can help to ease some of the pressure of classes and grades.

One of the easiest ways to survive college courses is to set weekly goals. These goals can be simple but once student learn to set goals for themselves, those goals become increasingly larger. However, the lessons learned in achieving small goals, help students in achieving even the seemingly impossible goals.

Decision-making is a key skill for a successful time as a college student.

As we grow up, we realize that seemingly small decisions can end up having larger consequences that we may or may not have foreseen.

In regards to classes, making the decision to do or not do your schoolwork, to study for a test or go to sleep, or to go out on the weekend or stay home, are decisions that have a bigger impact on our futures than we may have originally expected.

As college students quickly leaving behind adolescence and the influence of our parents, it is important to learn to make our own decisions. Without those decision making skills, we can have a negative effect on our future without even realizing it.

Many college students run into problems with managing their funds, which makes money management another important skill.

Balancing money between classes, extracurricular activities, trips to the mall or Downtown San Diego can seem impossible. However, many of those money management skills can be easily acquired.
Recording your purchases and subtracting that from your allotted budget every once in awhile will aid in managing your money.

Those financial skills can be improved upon during your four years in college and can be used in the business world as well.

People skills. This is perhaps the most important skill listed on that box of Girl Scout cookies.

Interaction and communication can be used to form connections in the college world and in the business world.

Many of these connections and relationships formed through your people skills are what will land you successful jobs following graduation.

The ability to speak with people of all demographics is a unique trait that many business professionals are still striving to acquire.

As college students, we have the chance to interact with students, professors and visitors to USD’s campus. This maximizes the importance of developing those interpersonal skills that are bound to help in the business world later in life.

Lastly, business ethics is an increasingly necessary skill with how competitive the business world has become.

It is too often heard of for businesses to “go under” due to their inability to follow protocol or participate fairly in the business world.
As college students, we are learning the same business ethics that are taught in the business world.

Goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics—today’s Girl Scouts and young adults developing these skills will become tomorrow’s business professionals and leaders.