At our 2014 Hall of Fame event, we featured a video of then Winter Park Mayor Ken Bradley who is also CEO of Florida Hospital, Winter Park. The video starts out with Ken saying the following: “I came to UCF as a failure and left a success.” Ken had seen his dream to enter medical school dashed, but found his future at UCF. He has gone on to great things and now has doctors reporting to him! His achievements landed him in our Hall of Fame, a place where only 67 of our more than 55,000 alums have been recognized for their accomplishments.
Despite what helicopter parents think, everyone fails. It is part of life. A Knight should never fear failure. Getting comfortable with failure is a key step in becoming a better risk–taker and successful leader. That is why we celebrate failure and persistence in the college. Today, we begin the ninth installment of our Failure Competition. Entering our competition is simple:
Write an account of a failure you have experienced in the past. Your failure story has to focus on a new experience, a time you stepped out of your comfort zone: the farther the better. Tell us why this was such a stretch for you, the failure that resulted and what you learned from the experience that would be of interest to others.
While the Failure Competition began with students in our capstone class, it is now open to any UCF student on campus: undergraduate, graduate or EMBA, business, education, engineering or whatever. The only requirement is that you currently be enrolled at UCF. Two semesters ago, we had a music student win the competition.
Need inspiration or guidance to tell your story? Search my blog. We have posted many stories about failure over the years.
Here are the ground rules, complete with important deadlines:
1. To enter you must post your essay in response to this blog. If you are a capstone student this semester include your section number and name of your instructor. If you are not in this class, tell me your class standing ( e.g., freshman, senior, graduate student) and your field of study. You must complete this exercise by 5 pm on Monday April 4th.
2. Instructors from the Capstone Course will then choose a winner from their section and explain why they chose the essay they did. A panel of College staff will choose no more than five finalists for me to consider from the rest of campus. I need these by 5 pm on April 11th.
3. Those winning entries are then sent to me. I will select three finalists by April 13th at 5 pm.
4. The finalists will be asked to submit short videos based on their essays. They must have those videos to me by 5 pm on April 20th.
5. I will then feature one video each day on my blog starting April 25th with a vote by everyone reading my blog taking place to determine the winner on Friday April 29th.
6. The winner will get a letter of recommendation from me along with a $500 prize. Second place will get $300, third place $200. These monies are awarded through our financial aid office.
Good Luck! Who knew failing could be this good?