college skill: Intellectual Openness

Intellectual Openness: It’s Role in a Successful College Life


Richard Buren


The success of students in college depends largely on their readiness. By readiness I mean not only passing the requirements to graduate in high school but knowing the different strategies to meet the challenges of a college life. Students who are college-ready know how important these strategies are to succeed. But more important is knowing how to use them. One of such strategies is a cognitive strategy called intellectual openness.


According to D.T. Conley in his article titled Components in a Comprehensive Definition of College Readiness, a student is intellectually open when he is curious. Curiosity of a student in his field shows his thirst for deeper understanding. When a student is curious in his chosen career, he will do anything to fulfill his curiosity, like taking up certain classes to give him some kind of inspiration in a field he wants to pursue. As actor George Takei said “You got to be open to whatever opportunity; if you don’t take risk you will always be where you are”. If the student is able to take risks to fulfill his curiosity, being an intellectually open person will lead him to many opportunities.


Furthermore, an intellectually-open student questions the views of others when those view are not logically supported, Conley explained. He does not readily accept the views of others without thinking them over. He is an active member of his class and one that keeps a thoughtful discussion of a view in question. This student always seeks the truth and understanding through discussion, brainstorming, reading, among other things. As Phillip Ackerman, professor of psychology at Georgia Tech, wrote, as quoted by Michael Hogan in his article Openness to Experience and Intellectual Ability, “Openness measures individuals’ intellectual curiosity and preference to engage in cognitively demanding or challenging leisure tasks and activities such as reading, problem, and abstract thinking” in order for student to seek the truth in discussion.


In Hospitality Management industry, people have to have intellectual openness in whatever they do. They need to be open-minded because their jobs lead them to many opportunities like meeting people, traveling, and cooking various cuisines. In Culinary Arts, chefs are really open-minded because they are able to travel around the world learning technique, trying the food there and experiencing the culture of the country so they can bring their experience and inspiration back to their restaurant and share with their customers. In the Culinary Arts, it is all about creating new things or trying new food. In the words of Andrew Zimmern from Bizarre Foods, “If it looks good, eat it.” So trying new thing or making new things is all about the adventure and the experience that you can learn from it. Openness does not only involve the many opportunities in the Hospitality Management Industries, but also with the relationship within it. Harvey Firestone (of the tire company) stated that “planning is trust building, which leads to honesty and integrity, which is the keystone of the business.” So by having a good relationship in the business, intellectually open people will have many opportunities to have a successful business.


Over all, intellectual openness is an important skill for students to be successful in college life especially in the Hospitality Management Industry. To be intellectually open in the Hospitality Management Industry is very important because of the many opportunity that the industry provides. It is because if they are open to many opportunities, these opportunities can take them anywhere in the future and become more appreciative in who they are, what they are becoming and where they come from. Intellectual openness will lead to many great fortunes in the future in a person’s life.


Work Cited

Conley, D. T. “Components in a Comprehensive Definition of College

Readiness.” Redefining College Readiness. Vol. 3. Eugene: Educational Policy

Improvement Center, 2007. 12-17. Print.

Valk, John. Journal of Adult Theological Education

Knowing Self and Others: Worldview at Renaissance College”.  2009. Vol 6. Issue 1. 69- 80. 12 Print

Henning, Mike. Hotel and Motel Management

“Openness improves ownership and employee relationships”.

Vol  221. Issue 9. 2006.  8-16,2p. Print

“Bizarre Food” Travel Channel.  New Orleans October 2013

“Fangasm” SYFY.   LA. September 2013



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