Book Review and Giveaway: They Don't Teach Corporate In College


Written by Marisol Dahl

In college, we get book smart. We become masters of supply and demand curves, we balance chemical equations in our sleep, and we read Foucault with ease. Okay, maybe not that last one.

But the world outside college is a whole new playing field. It’s not enough to study the material and show up for the test on time with a #2 pencil. Surviving the business world requires the ability to get your work done, navigate messy corporate politics, and maintain your “professional persona” at all times. Much easier said than done. But don’t worry—Alexandra Levit’s got you covered.

In her book They Don’t Teach Corporate in College, Levit walks us through all the things about the corporate world we might not know about—everything from the importance of performance reviews, to working your way up the ladder, to figuring out if you’re going to get the axe. Levit is direct and open in her approach. She wants you to succeed, and she’s not afraid to divulge all the secrets to becoming a corporate superstar.

A former PR manager for a Fortune 500 company, Levit wrote They Don’t Teach Corporate In College in 2004 at a time when her career was finally picking up and she was eager to share all she’d learned. Now an expert, she devotes her time to writing and speaking about modern workplace issues and concerns. This 10th Anniversary edition of her book is filled with even more tips on how to thrive in a corporate world that is becoming even more global, fluid and unpredictable.

As a college student who has yet to take the great leap into the “real” working world, I’m fortunate to read this book and start preparing myself now. But there are lessons to be learned at all ages, and the great thing about The Don’t Teach Corporate In College is that it addresses all stages of the corporate lifecycle—finding a job, working your way up, and moving on to the next big thing.

So what are my biggest takeaways?

  • Focus on results. The working world values results more than it values effort; we have to work smarter to get ahead, not necessarily harder.
  • Swallow a healthy dose of humility. Don’t underestimate the value of a little modesty. No one likes a know-it-all, and employers and co-workers alike appreciate it when new employees make an effort to understand an existing workplace culture.
  • Act with intention. Make sure your current actions and work habits align with your long-term career and personal development goals.

Book Giveaway

To enter to win a copy of They Don’t Teach Corporate in College by Alexandra Levit, answer the following questions in the comments by Friday, March 21st. We will pick a winner via and email to let you know!

Comment to be Entered to Win:

What is one piece of career advice you’d like to give to your younger self? What do you wish you had known before starting your current position?

About Marisol Dahl

Marisol Dahl
Marisol Dahl

Marisol is currently a Sociology and Education Studies major at Yale University. A longtime New Yorker, she is interested in pursuing a career in education and child advocacy. Marisol started her blog in 2011 as a way to document her college years and beyond.

When not running around campus and catching up with her school reading, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading dystopian fiction and volunteering in her community. She can be reached on Twitter at @marisoldahl.