Empowering students to take ownership of their success and build help seeking skills.


Keondra Wright, (she, her, hers)

Hometown: Toledo, Ohio
Class of 2022: Graduate student in Higher Education


We all know that grad school is not an easy task. But, I feel like we never talk about how challenging it can be to get into grad school. I can remember sitting on the floor of my residence hall room, pressed up against my door, wearing a dress shirt, and sweatpants interviewing for an assistantship. It was by far the worst interview of my life and, when I sent a thank you follow-up email, the interviewer replied, “I hope you find a fit somewhere." That crushed me. I wanted that assistantship so bad and, because of one bad interview, it was all gone. At that moment I was over it and wanted to be done. Not just with interviews, but with grad school as a whole. If I wasn’t a fit there, then where would I fit? I asked myself those questions every day for weeks until I had enough.

“My life is not defined by my failures. It's defined by my resiliency and ability to pick myself up and keep it moving.”

So what, I didn’t get that assistantship! It’s not the end of the world and, they probably weren’t a good fit for me either. I took that experience and learned from it, asking myself: what made the interview so bad and, what can I do to make it better? I made sure that I was setting myself up for success in every interview after that. At the end of the day, I still look back at that interview, not because I’m still mad at myself, but because it taught me a valuable lesson. This may sound cliché, but through that experience, I learned life happens and it’s ok.