Book Review: ‘Cash Your Investment’

Image Courtesy of S.A. Eberwein

Teni Adedeji
Staff Writer

Despite the statistic that a person with a college degree makes on average a million dollars more in their lifetime than someone without, a lot of students still find it hard to make a return on their education after they are finished with university. In his debut novel, Cash Your Investment, S.A. Eberwein lays out succinct yet comprehensive strategies to help the average college student succeed not just in the classroom but also long after they’ve tossed their hats and framed their diplomas.

Due to once being a college senior himself, Eberwein is able to use personal anecdotes to relate to the emotions and thoughts of the reader. His friendly and charming tone prevents this book from taking the form of a dry instructional guide. Instead, it becomes a lively literary motivator that readers can carry around with them easily in their backpacks and handbags.

While sometimes it may seem as if he is reiterating the same concept in many words, Eberwein does an excellent job giving clear ideas about “how to leverage your college degree into a great first job.” This book is organized conveniently into five chapters — each of them explicitly titled on the subject it discusses. Additionally, at the end of all chapters (and sometimes sections within chapters), Eberwein provides “action items” that briefly summarize the important points. Instead of reading it once and putting it away, this makes it easier for you to continually go back and read specific sections that you might want to review.

To begin, Eberwein delivers an upbeat start by emphasizing the importance of “embracing a confident, buoyant inner disposition” when approaching job opportunities. Rather than merely telling readers to be confident, as if it’s a switch that can be turned off and on, he focuses on giving more concrete ways that students can build an “A1-mindset.” In the next chapter, he talks about the impact his amazing mentor had in advising and motivating him, and he explains the characteristics one should look for in a consultant. The third and longest chapter provides an extensive view of job search methods that Eberwein believes college seniors should utilize in order to “leave no stone left unturned.” Lastly, he ends the final two chapters with two technical things that every student must know about — nailing an interview and crafting a terrific resume.

Although this book mostly pertains to those in their final year of college, students of all years would benefit from reading this as soon as possible. It reminds students that they “did not enroll in college solely to score dazzling marks in the classroom.” By doing this, it spurs all students to start thinking beyond college. The earlier, the better. For example, knowing that one should be “[pursuing] any and all potentially viable paths to gainful employment” can be useful to students even in their first year of college; they can get a head start at building an abundant and blossoming communication network. This book provides relevant advice for all college students. It can be used as a tool for those about to graduate, as well as for the continuing students preparing for future challenges.

The numerous anecdotes from his own college experiences make this book a refreshing and informative read. While the personal stories in every section may make it feel a little like an autobiography, the reader can easily relate to the same anxiety, frustration and joy that Eberwein and others felt during their senior year job searches. Better yet, the readers can get a full hand experience on the mistakes that they made, and what to avoid when they depart on their opportunistic journey. For example, Eberwein recalls an intern who “insisted on boring a hole on [him] every time [they] spoke,” and advises against such intensity despite the famous notion that a lot of eye contact is better. In a way, Eberwein’s experiences complete the same role that a mentor would by helping the readers prepare for real-world circumstances.

Cash Your Investment is an informational guide for any student out there who wants to make the best out of their years in college, especially for the average student, who may not have all the tips they need to compete well with students who have a bigger advantage. Eberwein packs in a lot of helpful advice into a short and concise package. Through his words, he motivates and mentors his readers, guiding them on how best to get a return out of their college years. On average, you should be making an extra million dollars more. Don’t let those zeroes go to waste.