Dianne Hull, Associate Director
The conclusion of an academic year is a perfect time to reflect on the past year and to make plans and goals for the future. Students at Penn have so many successes to celebrate, but sometimes students focus more on what didn’t work out for them than what DID. The reality is that even the most successful people have failures and setbacks – countless of successful people weren’t admitted into their top choice graduate program, lost out on a summer internship that they really wanted, or were told their work just wasn’t good enough to be in a show.
There has been much talk on college campuses about what employers are looking for in job candidates. One of the top “competencies” employers are focused on is professionalism, of which a big part “is able to learn from his/her mistakes.” And the key to this? Resilience! Resilience can take shape in so many forms, but primarily in the ability to build skills to endure challenges and hardships. Challenge is inevitable in everyone’s personal and professional life, but truly successful people take these setbacks as an opportunity to learn and grow.
This spring, Penn’s Weigle Information Commons allowed students to highlight these challenges through their “Wall of Rejection,” where students were able to share the challenges they have experienced during this past academic year.
Something that may resonate with many students – a Princeton psychology professor who posted his “CV of failure” online. He outlines degree programs which rejected him, grants and fellowships he did not receive, as well as his “meta-failure” – that his list of failures has received more attention than any of his academic work!
Since the challenges that students face at Penn may not disappear but simply shift as time goes on, take the time as a student to work on your skills of resiliency which will serve you well as a student and beyond.