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Wisdom From Failure Essay Competition

Wisdom From Failure

The Leadership Communication Studio (LCS) has created the Wisdom from Failure Essay Competition for Purdue University Undergraduate Students. The LCS will host events throughout the year. Prize money will be awarded to the winning participants. Each participant will have the opportunity to write an account of a failure he/she has experienced in the past. The story must focus on a new experience, a time he/she stepped out of their comfort zone, a class experience, a leadership experience, etc. The participants will have to explain why their experience was such a stretch for them, what the failure was that resulted, and what they learned from the experience that would be of interest to others.

  • Important Dates

    • March 30: Matt Clarke - What's Your Why? Learn how to Tell Your Story; 6-8:00 p.m.
      • Krannert Building, Krannert Drawing Room Wisdom from Failure Competition Program Release
    • March 31: Brunch with Matt Clarke; 11:00 a.m. - Noon
      • "Reservation Required" with Matt Clarke at Purdue Memorial Union, Sagamore Restaurant
    • October 17: Essay submissions are due at 11:59 p.m.
      • All submissions should be via filelocker prior to Midnight (Purdue time)
    • October 23: Wisdom from Failure Competition Gathering
      • All participants and guests invited to the Wisdom from Failure Gathering starting at 5:30 p.m. in the Krannert Building, Krannert Drawing Room. There will be Keynote Speaker Remarks, Announcement of Winners, and Food and drink provided. The public is welcome to attend.
  • Competition Information:

    Rules and About the Wisdom from Failure Essay Contest (2017)

    • We encourage submissions from all fulltime Krannert students pursuing an undergraduate degree to apply, we will review entries from other colleges. We welcome all full time Purdue undergraduates to participate and attend the events.
    • Essays must address Wisdom from Failure and the word “failure” in the essay title. Essays should be 250-500 words. The essay evaluations will focus on the description of the failure, lessons learned, writers’ ability to turn failure into opportunity/vision, wisdom gained, and writing quality.
    • Essay submissions review will be by a committee under the direction of the Leadership Communication Studio. Finalist will participate in a final round and will have 1-3 minutes to share their Wisdom from Failure story at the October 23 event.
    • The rubric for this round will include an assessment of delivery presentation, grammar, how captivating the story is, how well the story relates to the purpose of this competition, as well as the confidence of the student. Next, participants and the public will have an opportunity to attend a Wisdom from Failure Gathering Event to recognize outstanding participants.
    • Awards for the Wisdom from Failure Competition are $500 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place. Additionally, Dean David Hummels will write a letter of recommendation for the first place Wisdom from Failure Award Winner.
    • The Wisdom from Failure Competition is an excellent opportunity to interact with the broad Krannert community. The LCS welcomes sponsors and partners, please reach out if you would like to join our community to execute this learning opportunity.
  • Click here to view event flyers (new events coming)

Direct questions and feedback to the Leadership Communication Studio (LCS) Collaborator, Melissa A. Evens and Undergraduate Director, Jessica Miller at: and  

The application closes on October 17, 2017 at midnight (Purdue, West Lafayette, time).
Upload 250-500 word essays on application

albert einstein
michael jordan