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#College2Career: Dianne Juhl on the Limits of Traditional Education


When it comes to choosing a major and making other career-defining decisions during college, Dianne Juhl, CEO and Founder of The Feminine Face of Money, describes herself as a probable outlier. “My choices were totally driven by my financial needs, ambition, and career vision,” she says.

Dianne Juhl

(Photo Credit: Dianne Juhl/The Feminine Face of Money)

Juhl double-majored in English and Education at Luther College, and went on to earn a Master’s of Information and Library Science at the University of Washington, and later a PhD in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. But even with all these degrees, she is the first to say that education is just one of many things that goes into preparing entrepreneurs for future success.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

“I believe the traditional education system is limited in its capacity,” Juhl says. “It operates under a ‘banking model’ – students are empty containers into which educators must deposit knowledge. So I don’t believe that the traditional education system honors an entrepreneurial mindset and drive – for that you have to seek out experiences and mentors and role models.”

Juhl says that her experience working in her family farming business helped her to “think like an entrepreneur, not an employee” – something that she feels is a big part of her success. She also cites her time working at Microsoft, where she was a Senior User Experience Researcher, as educational.

It’s Not All About Classwork

The best thing she did during college to lay the foundation for future success was becoming a student athlete, Juhl says:

“I was a national caliber All-American runner, both as an individual competitor and a team player, and a leader in the women’s movement to fully implement Title IX. It taught me discipline, leadership, and strategy. It taught me how to play well with others. It taught me that the most powerful barriers to our happiness and success are the invisible ones that live inside us.”

Being an athlete taught her that “80 percent of success in any endeavor is psychology and 20 percent is mechanics.” Sports showed her how to break through what she describes as her “upper limit issues,” and see success as a foundation for bigger things, rather than the end destination.

Mentors Are Important

Asked what she would do differently, Juhl says she would have connected with entrepreneurs who had successfully grown businesses up to and beyond the $5 million dollar level, and asked them how they got there.

“I also would have sought out people who are very good at sales and asked them to mentor me,” she says. “I think I would have been amazed at how much information would’ve been available to me once I’d made my needs known.”

Want more #College2Career advice? Read about how other successful people got to where they are today in “It’s What You Do in College That Determines Success.”

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What’s the best thing you did to prepare for your career? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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