By Andrea Goeglein
Dr. Success Challenge: How brave are you? Imagine you are 25 years old and you are about to choose your graduate school. You have full-scholarship offers from Harvard, the Mayo Clinic and University of California San Diego. Which would you pick?
The answer? Read on.
A year ago I met a young man who was introduced to me as a genius. Really.
While working on the TEDxUNLV project, the license holder and curator of the event, Michael Grema, abruptly introduced me to a new member of my speaker selection committee, Horacio Guerra. Michael noticed my hesitancy and quickly said, “and he is a genius.” Almost as quickly and will great humility, Horacio said, “yes, I am.” I burst out laughing.
Over the time we worked together I could observe Horacio’s title was well deserved. He spoke with passion about his research in curing HIV. He had fun with his friends. He gave back to his community. He won a lot of awards and grants as an undergrad. He even wears a tee shirt that declares he is a genius.
Today, however, he proved that title beyond a shadow of a doubt. When I last left Horacio he had graduated – with high honors of course – and was applying to graduate schools. When we had brunch this week he updated me on the status of his applications.
Horacio nonchalantly told me he decided to go to UCSD (University of California San Diego). I responded respectfully. Then Michael chimed in. Michael said, “tell her you got into Harvard and that ‘other school’ too”. Horacio complied and told me he got into Harvard and the Mayo Clinic graduate program. I asked what made him choose UCSD over two school that might appear to be more prestigious.
His genius answer: The involvement of the professors and how much the professors’ students like working with them. He said at the other schools the titles may have been better but the relationships were not. He knew he could do great work. He wanted to make sure he worked with great people.
Horacio is not waiting to be brave enough because he is confident enough in his ability to put relationships before image. Now that is success!
BTW, which school did you initially pick?