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Alex Boughton

Kogod School of Business, Masters of Science in Real Estate


boughtonCan today's college graduates really succeed in the future?

While we can bring our diploma to the job interview and our passions to the workplace, can we depend solely on textbook teachings to make us successful?

It's both a blessing and a curse that our generation has access to so much technology to help us in our careers. While our parents, the Baby Boomers, encouraged us to go to college, they didn't necessarily inspire us to learn practical life skills. But in fact, without knowing how to use our hands to create, build, fix and protect ourselves, our lives will be more challenging than theirs were. Our grandparents routinely knew how to grow vegetables, build things, and sew clothes. Along with these skills, they passed along self-respect and dignity through hands-on learning.

As graduates, we must not only motivate ourselves to master these fundamental skills, but we must encourage our peers and communities to invest in life skills learning. We come from all walks of life, and we graduate intellectually stronger thanks to American University. Now, instead of just using our diplomas to accelerate our careers, we must take the time to grow our life skills. We can better ourselves and society by supporting and embracing the tools and skills of the trades.

With our college education and our life skills combined, we are unstoppable. We need not neglect one over the other; we can access both!



Alex Boughton, MSRE, is an advocate for experiential education and a motivational speaker for students with learning disabilities. Alex's advice for young people is featured in his "Ask a Millennial" column for House Magazine.