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FROM THE DIRECTOR: What is success?

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AW-Cropped Head Shot.jpgWhat a loaded topic with so many definitions including both external, cultural  definitions and internal, personal definitions.  I recently attended the Color of Success program sponsored by the Mulitcultural Affairs and Office of Student Life where Lisa Smith-McQueenie, Associate Dean, asked a panel of students for their definiton of success. I was impressed with their responses:


  • "Accomplishing what feels right or what you feel good about involving self-reflection and growth"
  • "Collective work"
  • "Hard work and stepping out of your comfort zone"
  • "Your own definition based on experience, learning and empowering yourself and others"
  • "Confidence in your work, goal setting, and accomplishments for something bigger and greater"

To achieve success, you must find your own personal definition like these students.  What is your defintion?

The author, Anna Quindlen says, "If success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all." I came across another author who defined success as having a positive impact on the lives of other people. I strongly resonate with that.

There is no one answer to what success is as we create our own personal definitions that have meaning to us.  This can drive our career and life choices and serve as our anchor point in making meaningful decisions throughout our lifetime.

I was struck by a recent Gallup Business Journal article and their international research on well-being that targets "career well-being" as the most important predictor of overall well-being. Their research looks at the longer term outcomes beyond salary as a measure of "success" and speaks to the value of helping students explore and discover what they like and do best in finding a good job.

In the Career Education Center, we are here to contribute to your success and encourage you to utilize our STEPS Career Development Plan. STEPS = Steps To Explore, Prepare, Succeed

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STEPS Career Development Plan here.

You  can make it your own personal action plan to guide you along your 4- year path at Simmons. Take advantage of the career coaching support, skill-building workshops, website resources and employer opportunities in front of you.

I invite you to visit the CEC and discuss what success means to you!

Andrea Wolf is the Director of the Simmons Career Education Center.