Rich Kid Poor Kid

Robert Kiyosaki in his renowned rebook titled “Rich Dad Poor Dad” described how as a child, his biological dad wasn’t interested in making money while his financial mentor also known as the ‘rich dad’ helped him build financial literacy, entrepreneurial and investment skills. As a uni student, one might be tempted to think that they could get by as poor kids as long as they have good grades. But, we might want to decide first what a rich kid at uni really is like.

There’s no harm in being a poor kid, especially when it comes to financial strength. But, at uni and at La Trobe, you do need to be a rich kid, period! Obviously, you don’t have to be born rich or have a budget to burn. In this case, being rich is more about how to manage your expenses and invest your time. Choosing to sit next to someone in class you don’t already know is too, an investment of your time. So you had better take it as a precious decision, since your time is precious.

At uni, you need to manage a plethora of things, such as your time, expenses, assignments, rent and roommates. Only a few days ago, a friend of mine had to drop out of a class because he had to work the next day and an assignment due on the same day. One may be a smart kid but, keep in mind that uni grades aren’t only about intellect. Recent studies on student behavior have shown evidence that American students often lag behind their counterparts from Shanghai as academic success is not solely due to their ability[1]. Better students are, in fact, the ones that are better managed and more disciplined.

If you have been a good student in the past, it is by no means a sign you will necessarily be one at La Trobe. I, being a research student, have had the chance to live on-campus and work on-campus. I have yet to come across any student here that doesn’t work either on or off-campus. If you are joining La Trobe soon or are here already, make sure to brush up three of your personal skills to be that rich kid on campus – communication skills, socializing and multitasking.

Getting an on-campus job goes a long way in our uni life since it is not only better paid, but it also saves time and helps academically in one way or another. These benefits come when you learn how and when to communicate with professors, staff members, and your colleagues at Career Ready and the Student Union to score a job on campus. In addition, it is almost like missing out on the life at La Trobe if one doesn’t partake in the social opportunities. La Trobe stands out when it comes to making it easy for students to join loads of clubs and societies and build our network. The clubs aren’t only for making friends, but they also provide us with industry contacts and potential career opportunities. Finally, it sure helps if you multitask by running your laundry while cooking and learn how to save a penny by avoiding the need to buy your meals at the Agora. That’s one example of multitasking, and proves how valuable it is to save your time and money. This is a norm at uni, but only for the rich kids!

[1] The Economist: Effort, not ability, may explain the gap between American and Chinese pupils https://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21726745-when-greenbacks-are-offer-american-schoolchildren-seem-try-harder-effort-not

Mohsin Khawaja is a PhD scholar at La Trobe Business School. He has written for academic journals and for a newsletter. Mohsin enjoys participating in social welfare projects and academic initiatives. You can follow him at Twitter (@mohsinzk) and Facebook (mohsinzk4).