Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Hansen: Advice to grads: Try hard


At this time of graduations and hopeful, forward-looking young faces, I’m going to tell a failure story.

I have a master of business administration degree.

MBAs used to be a ticket to success in business leadership careers, but that was long ago. MBAs from the best schools in the nation can still launch lucrative careers, but not so much at lesser institutions.

For me, the MBA involved years of hard work and persistence.

Ultimately, it didn’t work in the way I intended, though.

Here’s where it failed: I had lingered too long in an area where MBAs don’t apply.

I was 55 years old when I received the degree and could not parlay it into something different, even in a company as large as the one that employed me.

Can my failure story help a young person succeed?

I think so.

Even though I’ve never made full use of the MBA, I’ve never regretted a minute of the effort I made to get it.

What I’ve learned from the effort has taught me much about studying and thinking in greater depth.

And not just about money, marketing, and management.

The MBA did not succeed, but it has helped me be more successful at other things.

That’s how failure instructs. You gather what you’ve learned and push on.

Now comes my advice to young graduates.

You should never stop learning, exploring and working at something.

The earlier you start on this process the more likely you are to succeed in something you really love, because you will have earned it.

Passions for entertainment, which often dominate teenage minds, don’t get very many people very far.

Entertainment success involves exceptional talent, exceptionally long, hard work, and lots of luck.

The other 99.9 percent of us have to find and earn a real passion, and then bring it with us everywhere.

My advice for new grads is to try hard, fail, explore and try some more until something comes along that you learn to love, because you’ve learned to do it well and you’ve put so much into it.

And if you really love what you’re doing, you’re going to continue to learn, explore, work hard and love it more.

Steve Hansen writes about our life and times from his perspective of a retired Tucumcari journalist. Contact him at:



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