Fail Forward to Succeed.

Where can your experiences lead you in the future?

Failure can lead to the next opportunity, and where you start your career isn’t always where you end up.

Knowledge that Fred Kohout, winner of the College of Arts and Humanities’ Alumni Award, gave to a class full of eager college students gathered early friday morning to listen to lessons learned from hard work and experience.


Students listened while Fred talked about his career, after starting with a degree in Broadcast Journalism, and using connections he found his way from working in broadcasting, to Sun Microsystems, and the Chief Marketing Officer for CRAY Inc.


Fred gave students a few recommendations on how to be coveted.


  • Be “great athletes.”:  people who are mobile, moving, flexible, communicative, and take risks are the ones most likely to accel.


  • Endeavor to be a “Student for life”: Once people stop learning they stop striving forward and learning new skills or methods is the moment that people get left behind in their fields.


  • “Think critically” or in Dimensions: Think on more than one level, think past, above and below each objective, think of the repercussions of each decision.

  • Be Flexible: Have the agility to deal with multiple angles and problems, so you aren’t a one trick pony.


  • Understand business lingo: Follow conversations, and understand what is being said, even if you lack complete understanding on the subjects.


  • Connections: Think about connections like a bank account: even if it’s not being used, it’s there.
    “You never know who can get you a job,” so don’t burn any bridges.


Ears perked and eyes widened when Fred explained his philosophy of resumes  that while a good resume helps, nothing helps more than connections, effort, and hard work.


Fred came to CWU impart his professional knowledge, and it is up to us to take a look at what he said, and put it into practice. What have you learned lately, and who have you connected with?

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