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March 2014 Articles:



Alumni Advantage is a newsletter for current students written by members of the National Professional Advisory Board and their colleagues. It provides insider advice, insight and inspiration so that when our graduates enter the real world, they are ready to rock it.


5 Lessons from Books That Literally Changed My Life
by GianCarlo Pitocco
GianCarlo Pitocco

GianCarlo Pitocco

Some of the greatest advice I’ve ever received came from the friends and mentors who recommended the following books. These books have essentially transformed my life professionally and personally for the better. Like the title of the first book implies, I wish I had read them before I ever graduated. But, I offer them all to you now in one convenient location, and with the highest personal recommendation a fellow Millennial and professional marketer can offer.


1. On Challenging Assumptions: What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 by Tina Seelig

The world is divided into two groups of people: those who are waiting for others to give them permission, and those who are willing to give themselves permission. No one is more motivated to help you succeed than yourself. Don’t wait for opportunity to be handed to you; find it, make it, and seize it for yourself. This book offers a series of stories of how people like you and me defied established assumptions to achieve remarkable success.


2. On Financial Literacy: Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Will you spend the rest of your life as an employee, collecting a salary for spending your days doing your part to help someone else grow rich on your work? Or, will you turn the tables around, assume some managed risk, and make your money work for you? This book will help you challenge assumptions about your role in the professional world and about your finances. This eye-opening book lit a fire under my butt to quit my “dream job” and start my own company instead.


3. On Authenticity: Start With Why by Simon Sinek

These days, to be a great brand is to be a great company. It starts with the why you do… that drives the what you do. And that’s simply because there’s nothing between the consumer and the reality of the corporation behind a brand anymore. The truth about any brand and its corporate leaders are simply a Google search away. This book (and TED Talk) has been the inspiration behind some of the best strategies I’ve ever developed for my clients.


4. On Effective Communication: Simple - Conquering the Crisis of Complexity by Alan Siegel and Irene Etzkorn

The fastest way to close the gap between you and the person you wish to communicate with (whether its you and your boss, a company and a customer, or the government and a citizen) is through empathy, clarity and simplicity of communication. The examples in this book changed the way I see and experience the world around me both as a human and as a marketing strategist.


5. On Reality or Optimism: Republic, Lost - How Money Corrupts Congress – and a Plan to Stop It by Lawrence Lessig
- or -
Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler

I was torn with this last one, so the choice is yours. Do you want to see how the sausage is really made in compelling, graphic detail; or do you want to hear about how despite our civilization’s greatest problems, we’re all gonna be just fine? These two books shattered my worldview and put it back together again in a way that made much more sense.





GianCarlo Pitocco is the founder of GCP&Co – a marketing strategy consultancy based in New York City. He shows brands how to get people to like them.

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