David Carr Gives 10 Pieces of Work & Life Advice to UC Berkeley Graduates

David Carr took sev­en years to get through col­lege. He did­n’t have a Mas­ter’s degree or a PhD. Before he made it big writ­ing for The New York Times, he spent time in rehab and on wel­fare. David Carr did­n’t fit the pro­file of your aver­age com­mence­ment speak­er.

And yet Carr, who died in the Times news­room on Thurs­day nightearned his spot speak­ing before the 2014 grad­u­at­ing class at UC Berke­ley’s Grad­u­ate School of Jour­nal­ism. Known for his insight­ful report­ing on changes in pub­lish­ing, tele­vi­sion and social media, Carr under­stood the world these young jour­nal­ists were enter­ing. And when he offered 10 pieces of grad­u­a­tion advice, you know the stu­dents took note. You should too:

1.) Some­one who is under­es­ti­mat­ed will be the one who changes the world. It’s not the per­son every­one expects. It might be you.

2.) “Do what is front of you.” Focus on the small steps ahead of you.

3.) Don’t wor­ry about achiev­ing a mas­ter plan, about the plot to take over the world.

4.) Be a work­er among work­ers. It’s more impor­tant that you fit in before you stick out.

5.) Fol­low the “Mom Rule.” Don’t do any­thing you couldn’t explain or jus­ti­fy to your mom.

6.) Don’t just do what you’re good at. Get out­side of your com­fort zone. Being a jour­nal­ist is per­mis­sion for life­time learn­ing.

7.) Be present. Don’t wor­ry about doc­u­ment­ing the moment with your smart­phone. Expe­ri­ence it your­self.

8.) Take respon­si­bil­i­ty for the good and the bad. Learn to own your fail­ures.

9.) Be hon­est, and be will­ing to have the dif­fi­cult con­ver­sa­tion.

10.) Don’t be afraid to be ambi­tious. It’s not a crime.

He says it’s a lis­ti­cle that won’t appear on Buz­zfeed. But it fits per­fect­ly on OC. David, we’re so sor­ry to see you go.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

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  • Hanoch says:

    Giv­en the abysmal state of the jour­nal­ism pro­fes­sion these days, it is unfor­tu­nate that he did not pro­vide them with the most impor­tant piece of advice: to stay faith­ful to their call­ing by ruth­less­ly pur­su­ing and report­ing the facts, no mat­ter where they lead, rather than pur­su­ing and report­ing those facts that sup­port a par­tic­u­lar agen­da.

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