News: Featured Stories

June 7, 2018

President Meehan shares 3 keys to success for UMass graduates

  • The UMass System

While visiting UMass Amherst earlier this year, UMass President Marty Meehan made an appearance on the Plant the Flag podcast and offered some words of advice for UMass students and recent graduates on how to succeed in life. Now that commencement season is over and thousands of UMass grads are entering the workforce, we thought it was the perfect time to share President Meehan’s three keys to success:  

1. Work hard

“You have to work hard,” he said. “If you look at the top Fortune 500 CEOs, most of them come from public universities, because they learn a work ethic that is really important. And when I interact with UMass students, I’m impressed with their work ethic. And you need to work hard. To achieve success and your full potential, you have to work hard.”

2. Have a passion for what you’re doing

“You need to believe in what you’re doing,” he said. “I don’t think that you can fake a career or fake a job or anything like that. You can’t fake your way through college. You have to do something that you’re passionate about, that you care about. And I would urge students to find their true love, to find what they really have a passion for, and just kick butt and make a difference and try to change the world and push the envelope.”

3. Be strategic about achieving your goals

“Students have to learn through advisors, mentors, faculty members and teachers — be strategic about what you want to accomplish and how you’re going to get there,” he said. “I think young people have to figure out a way — once they get to college, once they get to UMass — to be strategic about what’s step four, five and six going to be, and how do I get to steps four, five and six? If I’m a student at UMass and I realize I have to go to graduate school in some way, how am I going to get there? What are my steps going to be? And so I think it’s engaging with other students but also faculty members and mentors to be strategic about their career.”

To sum up, President Meehan said: “Work hard, have a passion for what you’re doing, figure out what you want and have a strategy to get there. Because working hard alone doesn’t get it without the passion, and without a strategy for how you’re going to accomplish it.”

For more advice for recent graduates, check out our Words of Wisdom feature.