Board chairman shares lessons for success with students


TUSKEGEE, Ala. (November 14, 2012) — Students learned some helpful tips for surviving and succeeding after they leave the university from a familiar face on campus. Retired Maj. Gen. Charles E. Williams, chairman of the Tuskegee University Board of Trustees, spoke to engineering and ROTC students at Luther Foster Hall Interdisciplinary Auditorium Monday evening.

Retired Maj. Gen. Charles E. Williams, chairman
of the Tuskegee University Board of Trustees,
speaks to students about life after college. 
Using a mix of lessons learned in life and his time spent in the United States Army Corps of Engineers and business, Williams had a frank conversation with the students about preparing for life after college. He stressed the importance of self-evaluation and creating a plan for achieving goals.

“As you go from one stage of life to another, you’ve got to go through transition. You have to think through it and figure it out,” Williams said.

According to Williams, the first and most important step to building a success plan is self-evaluation. He said it was vital for students to know themselves and their capabilities. He also said students need to look in a mirror and make a personal assessment on how they feel about themselves.

“That’s who you are, you’ve got to like that person,” Williams said. “If you’re not comfortable, you’re not ready to go where you think you want to go. And there’s some more work to do. ”

Williams also said students should outline their plan for success and detail their current state, goals, strategies, results and their desired position. He said part of that planning should include finding a mentor and a good supportive friend. A realistic perspective is also vital to planning for success.

“You’re not going to leave (Tuskegee) and go from broke to rich,” Williams said.

Kit bag for success

Williams said students should also develop a kit bag with essential items they can refer back to throughout their professional lives. The kit bag should include things like reference books, phone numbers for mentors and former professors and a calendar.

He also said students need to establish a set of rules and ethics to follow during their professional lives such as always doing their own work for presentations and taking responsibility for mistakes. He said it was good for students to have some knowledge of organizational behavior and probability theory so they can assess the nature of a problem and whether a proposed solution will be effective. But, he did not discount the importance of individual effort on a positive outcome.

“Whatever you want is out there waiting for you. The big task for you is having the courage and perseverance to go and get it,” Williams said.

Williams speaks to Tuskegee students about the importance of self-evaluation before moving on in their professional careers.

Students listen as Williams discusses career planning.

© 2012 Tuskegee University


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