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Authored by 

Sharon A. Hill

Book Review by Gary Tomlinson

Book Review on


“24 Tips for Students to Succeed in College”


“35 Tips for Students to Succeed in Corporate America”


by Sharon A. Hill


(Review by Gary Tomlinson)

Women’s Edge – October 2007 Issue


If only life was lived in reverse.  Imagine coming into the world, wise and mature.  What a strange thought – being born wise and living with that wisdom all your life.  Since we don’t enter this world with the wisdom needed for the years that will follow, it’s much appreciated when someone takes the time to document the how-to process of success.  This way our young people can possess the wisdom to be successful in college, successful in life and successful in the corporate world.  Sharon Hill’s 24 Tips for Students to Succeed in College and 35 Tips for Students to Succeed in Corporate America captures so many of the things we all wish we could have known during that period of our lives.


Sharon obtained her corporate experience at IBM where she worked in marketing, product development and stints as an executive assistant for 20 years.  While in management, Sharon saw so many employees torpedo their careers because of misguided assumptions about how to succeed in corporate America that she was intrigued and curious as to why this was happening.  She was so intrigued that she researched this topic for her M.B.A. thesis.


Women’s Edge recently spoke with Sharon.  When asked how she was inspired to write these handbooks, she responded:  “In 1997, when I was working at IBM as a marketing manager in the Software Group, I was elected chairman of the Black Diversity Network Group.  This was one of eight newly formed Diversity Groups within IBM.  It was during this time that IBM was laying off large number of employees.  Because I was chairman of this group, many were coming to me for advice and council.  At first, I thought there might be an unfair proportion of blacks being laid off.  I immediately began to investigate and quickly found that this was not the case.  The layoffs were across the board and every group was affected.  This was not a race problem – it was a people problem.  I wanted to help.  I wanted to fix the problems I was seeing. 


In 2003, I earned my M.B.A. with a focus on organizational behavior.  I began thinking about lessons learned and what advice I could give to young people to help them succeed in corporate America.  When I mentioned the topic of my book – preparing students for corporate America – to my friend, Dr. Bala Ram, who taught at North Carolina AT&T State University, he told me I needed to take a step back and include tips for students to succeed in college because good habits started before entering the workforce.  I took his advice and first wrote 24 Tips for Students to Succeed in College.  This handbook came out in March 2007.  I quickly followed it with 35 Tips for Students to Succeed in Corporate America.”


24 Tips for Students to Succeed in College provides helpful information to students and parents.  Unfortunately, if students don’t focus on how to be successful in college, they may not last more than a few semesters.  They may graduate with a dismal GPA and find themselves unable to find a decent job.  Sharon’s handbook offers great advice and timeless wisdom on helping students graduate with a decent GPA, minimal debt, and characteristics they should develop to carry them through life.  Tips include:


  • Think long term

  • Focus on your GPA

  • Attend class

  • Take leadership roles in cooperative learning assignments

  • Find a mentor


35 Tips for Students to Succeed in Corporate America helps prepare young people to avoid the surprises that await them in the corporate world.  Her handbook is easy to read and uses straightforward talk.  Her 35 Tips will help put young people on the right track for their career.  Tips include:


  • Focus on what you know, learn the processes

  • Learn the politics and the players

  • Eat lunch with others, especially if they don’t look like you

  • Get a mentor

  • Manage your credit, don’t go crazy when you get your first paycheck


Both handbooks are available online at or  Not only are these great gifts to give to students who are beginning their college or business career, but also they are incredible resources for parents to guide and mentor their children.


When Women’s Edge asked Sharon what one key message she’d want to share with our readers, she said:  “To protect the next generation of young girls and boys by teaching them how to set goals and to achieve them.  Be a role model.  If there was one thing I could have done earlier on in my life, it would have been to have a role model.  I wouldn’t have made as many mistakes.”


You can engage Gary at To read his other book reports
or book reviews visit his website at

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